Thought Catalog

7 Things You Need To Know To Get And Keep A Man

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Advice is based on what guys have told me they look for in a woman and often find lacking.

1. Know things.

Our interests tend to be socially-centered in either a nurturing way (health, psychology) or a way that could make us more attractive to others (fashion). These are all awesome interests. But having a scope that narrow makes us look bad. We’re conditioned to not be interested in things we can’t immediately relate to. (I do think it’s conditioning, because when I was a kid, I used to love things like dinosaurs and space. Now I have to fight to keep up my interest in hard facts and objective ideas.) If you really want to be a self-actualized human being, train yourself to read philosophy and science fiction, or anything that’s based on formulating a theory based on observation, not emotion. Teach yourself about stocks and real estate. A good man wants to share his interests with his partner. Learn about these kinds of things and I guarantee you’ll see a 75% increase in men wanting to be with you no matter what you look like.

2. Be easygoing.

I certainly don’t mean you shouldn’t expect your partner to listen to you. I read a book (by a man) where a guy thought his girlfriend was “a miracle” because she didn’t make him go to her art shows. No. No, no, no. If your boyfriend dismisses things that are important to you, then you should break up with him immediately.

By “easygoing,” I mean not nitpicky. Open to new ideas. Funny. Quality guys are delighted to be with a woman who makes them laugh.

I’m going to use an extreme example to make my point. I went to a small-town debutante’s 25th birthday party. There was this hippie chick there who was telling people “I shaved my armpits for this party!” This showed that she’s funny and un-self-conscious. This same girl was willingly homeless for 3 months. She had way more guys interested in her than in the debutante, who is a good person but also one of those people you can’t really talk to because she’s offended by everything.

So be up for doing things like camping out for a weekend with no running water. Don’t roll your eyes at street performers. Don’t be so hell-bent on wearing this or not eating that or not hanging out with this person because they’re awkward or uneducated or anything else you’re afraid would make you look undignified for being their friend.

3. Men like assertive women.

You can ask a man out directly. You can also smile at him from across the room so he’ll come over and talk to you. That’s literally what I did to get my boyfriend to start talking to me.

It’s a good idea to let him plan the first date (I always do this anyway to see what kinds of things he likes to do). But after that, tell your boyfriend what you like. Take him somewhere he’s never been. Be different.

And tell him what you want in bed. Don’t bark it at him like a concentration camp public address system (unless he’s into you being the dominant. More guys are than you think.) But if you want to be eaten out then, damn girl, let him know. I know a lot of women are shy about asking for that, but if you’re with a guy who doesn’t get you off and you’re scared to tell him how to then I don’t know what you’re gaining from that relationship.

4. Empathize with him (whether or not you think you need to).

Men have it easier. However, there’s an immense pressure for all men to be competent. I don’t think we quite understand how that feels. Three of my friends live in a house in a bad area, and if something is making them feel unsafe, the girl is the one who calls the cops. Because if a guy says “I’m scared,” the cop might just think, psh, suck it up, you pussy.

It’s the same if a man is performing poorly at work or is generally a little spacey. Women get away with that kind of thing. It’s even considered cute if we’re young and hot. Women are also more likely to have a wide support system, because we’re more likely to seek one. I think men are less likely to ask for help because they’re afraid of people thinking they’re weak.

My one experience dating a girl showed me what men have to deal with from us. I gave her foot rubs, came to her room when she was scared of the dark, bought her dinner, etc. She didn’t have sex with me. She called me two months later to tell me she got drunk at a party and ate out these two girls. Then she boldly complained to me about how gross they tasted. Is this what it’s like to be a nice guy? I had patience, an open wallet, and spectacular hygiene. And I got nothing.

5. Look your best.

Unfortunately men care about our looks more than we care about theirs.

However… I see women who aren’t attractive with men all the time. I’ve been dumped for women who are less attractive than me because they had better personalities. My boyfriend says my looks were about 50% of what attracted him to me at first, but now that he knows me he says he wouldn’t dump me if my face got burned off in a fire. You don’t want someone who thinks beauty is everything.

6. About age…

Men requiring that you be younger than them is crueler than requiring you to be hot, since most people look decent if they stay in shape.

The average wife is only two years younger than her husband. But when men start trying to sleep with women 20 years younger than them, it shows they’re looking for a fertile piece of ass more than a life partner whom they can relate to. I am terrified that my future husband will cheat on me with the 22 year-old secretary.

I’ve always liked younger guys. It works for me now, because in your 20s, there are plenty of guys willing to date girls three to five years older than them. But I’m not sure it’ll be like that later on. Men have the option of waiting longer to have kids, so it’s natural that they’ll start looking for younger women when they’re finally ready. I wouldn’t get into a relationship with someone more than five years younger than me because I think he would eventually leave.

Worst of all, there’s hordes of MRAs telling us the only reason men tolerate aging wives is because they remember how they looked as young women. Take heart though: my uncle is 66 and his girlfriend is the same age. They’ve been together for three years. And they are very happy.

7. If you just want to get laid…

Don’t assume that every guy who thinks you’re hot is going to have sex with you. Sometimes they won’t. I was shocked the first time I got shot down by a single guy who made a point of saying he found me attractive. I’d been led to believe that all men want sex from all decent-looking women at all times.

Sometimes people will get awkward and/or treat you like crap if you have casual sex with them. This is because most people, men and women, feel vaguely guilty about it for some reason. (A Polish guy told me it’s an American thing. Like, he’s seen Americans hook up with 15 or 20 people and they still hate each other the next day. His words, not mine.)

I sometimes want to know how someone is at sex even though I know I’m not compatible with anything else about them. And I’m doing fine. The double standard hasn’t vanished, but I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Nobody’s talked about their number since college. TC mark

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