When you’re really young, dating can be all about looks. We become convinced that immediate and overpowering sexual attraction is the biggest indicator of a good fit. That’s fine, we’re young and at a period in our lives where dating is primarily for fun and not for lifelong partnership. But eventually we learn that attraction is a package constructed of many parts — and it’s made or broken by the person you’ll be stuck with when the hormones and looks fade away. Here’s what we come to find the sexiest:
1. They know how to give a big, fat, juicy… compliment
Every woman has been with (or watched a friend be with) a man who inexplicably cuts their partner down. For them, they think they will make the girl stick around longer if she thinks she doesn’t have other options. This is worlds away from the sexy confidence of a man who knows what he has. A man who gives compliments freely is one who makes you feel safe and secure in your relationship, and that’s when the real fun can start.
I’m not just talking about money here — though the guy who occasionally shares what he has with the people he loves is a great place to start — generosity is one of the biggest indicators of relationship longevity. A man who is generous with his time, with his love, with his patience — that’s a man who will make a great partner.
3. He is (or will be) a good dad
Is there anything as sexy as a guy who is a really good dad? (Or one you can tell will be, one day?) Watching someone nurture a tiny human means you get to see all their very best personality traits all at once: empathy, patience, self-sacrificial love, and streaks of humor and finding joy in the little things in life. It really makes you take a step back and realize how lucky you are to have them.
4. He tells you exactly what he wants
After years, and years of casually dating men even when you wished you were just casually dating them there’s something arousing about a man who is too old for these games. When a guy knows what he wants and tells you what it is, it’s completely sexy. His status immediately changes from boy to man.
5. They fix something
This isn’t about gender roles or a woman needing a man or anything like that. This is about the simple difference between dating young guys and dating someone who is partner material — they fix their own problems. Maybe for your guy, fixing something means calling a professional — that’s okay. The important thing is that they no longer run from problems or procrastinate and put them off, they just deal with them.
6. They help you through a difficult time
The death of a loved one, a job loss, a health issue — these are some of the most difficult things that can happen to a person and the time when you are the most vulnerable — and in need of your partner’s support. Two things can happen when you’re in a dark night of the soul like this: you can feel more alone and depressed than ever because your partner doesn’t get what’s happening to you, or you can feel amazed that someone loves you and cares for you like they do. This second thing, seeing a man show you what love is is something you’ll never forget.
7. They pop champagne
A man who is eager to celebrate your successes is a man who is truly worth having around. If he doesn’t shy away from your accomplishments because he is weirdly competing with you or feels insecure about what he’s done, that’s attractive. Life is too short not to be with someone who wants to celebrate the good things.
8. They clean up after themselves
No woman wants to end up a nagging housewife, so nothing is sexier than the kind of guy that won’t ever make you remind him to pull his own weight around the house.
9. He pursues his own interests
There is nothing sexier than a man who has his own life with his own hobbies and interests — and chooses to be with you. He doesn’t need to text you a million times to check in when you go out with the girls because he trusts you and because he’s not just sitting on the couch waiting for you. Whether he gains an interest in weightlifting or graphic design or learning a language, he’s not content to be the same person he was last year. He wants to be better. And you know this is one of many reasons your lives together will get better and better.