About the Author

Honey's main interests are online dating, long distance dating, and long term relationships. She met her boyfriend on MySpace and they have been exclusive since their first date over three years ago. Currently they live in Tempe, Arizona. Honey graduated with her PhD in Composition and Rhetoric in May 2009. You can contact Honey via email here or online here.

What Women Are Looking For…Hell, Men Too!

Lance turned me on to this post, which I think for the most part is right on (I take issue with the “surround yourself with women” bit because, if the whole point is to be a little more gender blind, I just can’t get past it). Of course, it’s hard to read something like that without asking yourself what makes men and women attractive. Now, when I was in my early twenties, I took “attractive” pretty literally. In the sense of dark hair, being 6’2″, and oh, yeah–in a fraternity if possible. I have to admit that my opinion on the matter has changed dramatically. My boyfriend does have dark hair and any objective female would agree he’s quite the hottie, but at 5’8″ and never having joined a fraternity, I almost assuredly would have overlooked him in my younger days. What’s he got that I appreciate now that I know better? Well, here’s a list of the most obvious. I have to admit that my own list is motivated by what is most attractive in a life partner–so if your goals are different, then this might not appeal to you. But I kinda think it might no matter what. Anyway, drumroll please:

1. Competence. Being in control of your life is by far the most attractive quality in a human being, male or female, and one that I never appreciated fully until I finally dated someone who was.

2. Self-assurance. He doesn’t apologize for who he is. There is a fine line between self-assurance and vanity (which Lance calls chode-ishness and which is really just a form of insecurity), so there is a danger here.

3. A sense of adventurousness. Someone who will try new things and introduce you to new things is hot, hot, hot.

4. Dislike of drama. There are people out there who crave drama, and who will create it if it doesn’t present itself. However, I have enough going on in my life that I want my relationship to be a refuge from drama–not the place where it occurs.

5. The ability to let go and be silly–and be themselves. Everyone has a bunch of idiosyncratic habits, embarrassing tv shows, or other things that they only do by themselves. One key to attractiveness is being able to let someone else into that–to let what were previously your own habits become the “in jokes” of your relationship.

I think that these characteristics of attractiveness transcend gender–that is, I can’t be close to anyone, guy or girl, if they don’t have these traits. It seems to me that guys don’t appreciate it as much when girls possess/display these qualities, but it also seems to me that’s only the case if the guy doesn’t possess those qualities. Who wants to date someone that is going to show you up constantly?

Now, I was always pretty successful in school, and though I never had a full-time job, had some pretty awesome resume-building part-timers and always did very well financially, at least for a student. The question becomes, then, why did I used to go for guys who might have had it in the looks department but who were complete drama queen downward spirals? I think that, in our younger days, especially if you possess the above qualities, there is the temptation to think that you can “rescue” someone, but that gets old pretty quick.

Then again, there’s the simple fact that since I didn’t yet possess all those qualities, I couldn’t expect to be dating someone who had them all, either. I always had number 1 down, but it wasn’t until many year-long mistakes dating as an undergrad that I gained number 4. And it wasn’t until I spent three years dating casually that I gained 2 and 3. And my current relationship is the only one where I’ve ever had number 5, so it’s one that I couldn’t have predicted but that, now that I’ve had a taste, I couldn’t live without.

What do you think are the most attractive qualities that someone can possess, and why?

This post is part of a roundtable series on attracton with a group of fellow bloggers. The blogs range from career development to dating advice to pickup. The original subject was, “what is your best advice for being more attractive?” See the other great posts below, and watch this space as more get published in the next few days.

Lance: 5 Ways To Be More Attractive, Stop Sucking, and Dominate Your Life
Monica O’Brien:
What Women Really Want In A Man
Nick Sparks: Blogger Roundtable
Hot Alpha Female: The Power of A Magnetic Personality
Lisa Q: How to Get the Girl…Advice for Men
Lisa Q: How to Get the Guy…Advice for the Ladies
Natalie Lue: 4 key things that make you attractive…or unattractive

  • Waldo

    It seems to me that there should be a place for breast size on this list.

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  • http://honeyandlance.com Lance

    #6: Boobies. Men love boobies. Love’em.

    Lance’s last blog post..5 Ways To Be More Attractive, Stop Sucking, and Dominate Your Life

  • http://www.worklovelife.com holly

    Wow. You just made me realize what the guy I’ve been seeing for the past three months is missing – #5. I’m not sure before him I’d dated anyone who had any of them except #5. The qualities of 1-4 were so unexpected and, yes, hot, that I thought I’d struck the jackpot. Missing #5 is tough though. And a major bummer for someone as goofy as I am.

    holly’s last blog post..On Traveling Well

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  • http://honeyandlance.com/contact Honey

    Holly, I agree that’s kind of a rough one, especially for someone who is goofy and who’s had that kind of dynamic in past relationships. However, I’d say that if you’ve got #1-4 then you’re ahead of the game.

    And honestly, three months isn’t that long–IMO, there’s plenty of time for you guys to open up and share that kind of stuff with each other. Maybe he’s never had that in a relationship before, either, and thinks that it might conflict with his confident, self-assured persona. Or maybe he’s waiting to be sure about you guys before he shares things that are potentially embarrassing :-)

    You could pave the way by beginning to share those things about yourself with him and see if he reciprocates. No need for overkill or major confessions–just some lighthearted, silly things prefaced with “this isn’t stuff I usually tell other people.” Before you know it you’re in a comfort zone. Just the other day I asked my boyfriend what he did with the cum when he masturbated in high school. You’d never believe what he said!

  • http://cheekiebacktalk.blogspot.com cheekie

    Oh Honey, you have left us hanging!!! what? what did he say??? lol.
    Ah never mind.

    Holly, I have to add that I think that anyone who has 1-4 at 3 months is well well ahead too. You are just starting to really loosen up at that point, so don’t worry too much and just be yourself, goofiness included. Maybe it’s because I am such a clown, but that is usually one of the first things I let show…

    And if you are in your 20’s or early 30’s and have this stuff sussed out already? Good for you. I have to say there are so many guys (and girls) wandering around out there at the age of 40 who still don’t know their arse from their elbow…not me of course. I’m soooo together (ahem)

  • http://honeyandlance.com Lance

    I insist on not knowing what your bf did with his spooge after wacking it. I haven’t met him yet, and I don’t want to be forced to regurgitate that story, as I am wont to do, when I do meet him.

    Lance’s last blog post..5 Ways To Be More Attractive, Stop Sucking, and Dominate Your Life

  • http://thegirlwiththegoldenmind.blogspot.com china blue

    This is a great list, very perceptive.
    #5 is very important to me – I will love a man forever who can make me laugh and isn’t afraid to be goofy. #1-3 also

    #1 is interesting. How do you define ‘in control of your life’?

    Well, if my recent ex-bf and a former fiancĂ© have taught me anything, there’s nothing worse than a person who bitches and moans about their job, but is too scared to break out and follow their passions. Anyone who does that earns my attention and respect. And I’m not being a hardass, either. It’s about someone realising that their wages, their boss, their situation, do not have the last word. They do!

    It shows fundamental insecurity of the worst kind, no matter how bullish and dominant the personality; I recognise this fear because I’ve also been stuck doing jobs I hate because I was too complacent and scared to go after my dream. And because I am now happy and fulfilled in my new career and chosen calling, anyone who isn’t is likely to find that threatening.

    People generally define themselves by where they spend most of their lives – at work. And if you’re not happy there, the grief it causes – exhaustion, stress, illness, frustration, friction – means that every relationship you have outside of it is doomed to fail, because somewhere along the line you start taking these issues out on your partner, and they deserve much, much better.

    china blue’s last blog post..‘If You’re Not Going to Play With Me, I’ll Just Play with Myself’

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  • http://40ssingleness.blogspot.com/ lisaq

    love it honey! i think a lot of people are missing #5…we don’t often remember that it’s okay to let your silliness show…

    lisaq’s last blog post..How to Get the Girl…Advice for the Men.

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  • asdfasdf

    Thing about number 5, if a guy starts sharing himself with another girl, he loses the mystiqe that made him attractive in the first place. Sharing a bunch of information with a woman puts you into a comfort zone that turns you into just a friend. Ive seen this first hand happen to me and others like me.

  • Cindy

    Definately a man who let’s down his guard and is silly is great. I also believe a level of maturity shows in a man who is not looking for perfection in a woman, or as I term, “The Cinderella Complex”. In itself, it reveals a lot about a man’s personality and psyche. A man who fault finds instead of looking at the positive including common interests, values, goals is one eliciting a level of maturity in relationships. I also believe MOST men need to work on verbalizing feelings. We women can not read minds and most of us are patient and good listeners. Communication is vital in any relationship. Along with communication comes some head butting. Again, all normal, healthy aspects in a relationship. New or old. The means to resolve are key, however.