Anytime we talk about men or women in general, we will obviously be making some generalities. While there might be some men who are not attracted to women with these qualities I’m about to discuss, I am confident most men are.
Men want a woman who will copilot the plane with them, but they still want to sit in the captain’s chair.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying men just want wallflower of woman who is afraid to share her opinions and does not have personal goals in her life. I’m just saying that men enjoy being around women who are high on the scale for the personality trait of “agreeableness.” According to one popular psychological resource, “Agreeableness is a personality trait that can be described as cooperative, polite, kind, and friendly.”1
Perhaps you are now saying, “But aren’t women attracted to men who are agreeable too?” Let’s remind ourselves here that we are talking about attraction and romance, not friendship. While many women claim to want an agreeable man, many of those same women are also the ones complaining about passive guys who can’t ever lead, make decisions, and seem to be drifting in life without a plan. While agreeableness in a man is not unattractive to women, it’s also not the trait that draws them in to a man. Women want a man with a plan, a man who knows where he is going in life, and a man who is willing to standup when issues arise. Men are not looking for women with these qualities.
I’m not saying a strong man will be threatened by a woman with these types of qualities. I’m just saying he’s not actively looking for a woman like this. This may be offensive to many modern ears, but I truly believe that most men are not attracted to a woman who comes across like a leader. Men are attracted to women who want to follow. And please note how I just said that. I didn’t say men are attracted to women who will follow. I said men are attracted to women who “want” to follow.
Notice how Ephesians 5:22 puts it, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” This is a highly offensive verse to many people. But notice who this verse is directed towards. It doesn’t say, “Husbands, make your wives submit.” It doesn’t say, “Men, oppress women so they follow you.” No, this verse is directed towards women. It’s your choice as a woman to be this type of woman. A godly man is not called to make a woman submit. God would never tell a man to do that to a woman. Rather, God designed men to be attracted to women who are happy to be this type of woman.
And on a sidenote, for those who are offended by this word “submit,” I think it’s worth noting what the Bible also says to husbands Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” A wife is called to submit as the church does to Christ. But a husband is called to die as Christ did for the church. Yes, submission is a humble sacrifice, but so is death.
Figuratively and literally, a godly man is prepared to die every day for his wife. He’s willing to work hard, provide, protect, and nourish her soul by giving her what she needs emotionally. He’s willing to forsake his own desires to take care of his wife and kids. Their desires become his desires. In return, a man wants to be respected by a woman who is happy to follow him.
2. Feminine in Relationship Roles
It’s a mistake to say that a woman should follow a man and a man should lay down his life for a woman. That’s not what the Bible says. The Bible says a wife should follow her husband and the husband should lay down his life for his wife. Those are two very different statements.
So I’m not saying that women should not lead in the workplace or have career goals. It’s wise for her to have a good job so she can be well provided for no matter what happens. I’m just saying that when it comes to relationships, men are not interested in your accomplishments and accolades. Women want men who are successful in education, their careers, and with their finances, but these are not qualities a man looks for in a woman. These traits are not a negative to a godly man if a woman has them, but they aren’t really a positive either.
But if a woman lacks a feminine spirit in relationships, this is a negative to a godly man. She can be whatever she wants to be in the world, but a godly man wants a woman who is feminine towards him and in their home together. He’s not looking for another guy friend in a woman’s body. He wants a woman who is different than all the men in his world.
While I’m not advocating for the worldly locker room talk that many men engage in with each other, I do think it’s worth nothing that I have never heard a guy look at a woman and say to his friends, “Wow, look at the degrees on her” or “She just got promoted at work” or “She’s going to be a great provider one day” or “I love how safe I feel around her.” Notice the type of compliments the man and woman give each other in Song of Solomon 1:15-17, which states:
He: Behold, you are beautiful, my love; behold, you are beautiful; your eyes are doves.
She: Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved, truly delightful. Our couch is green; the beams of our house are cedar; our rafters are pine.”
Say what you want, it would be odd if these compliments were reversed. But a man describing a woman’s eyes like doves makes a lot of sense. A dove is a gentle, beautiful creature. Every man wants a woman to look at him in this way. And notice what the woman is complimenting him on. She’s comparing him to a strong house. Every woman wants a man who can make her feel safe, like she’s protected in a beautiful home.
All that to say, men are attracted to women who are feminine in relationships.
3. Relationally Selective
Many modern men will moan and complain about how choosy women are, but those are the same guys who will moan and complain about how promiscuous women are too. Worldly men want a sexually pure woman but they want her to commit sexual sin with them. Obviously this doesn’t make any sense since purity and sexual sin are opposites. Don’t date worldly guys. They are confused.
Now I want to take a quick step back and clarify what I am not saying. I’m not advocating for “purity culture” which basically values women based upon how little amount of sex they have had but does not hold men to the same standard. I’m not saying that a woman who is not a virgin is no longer attractive to men. I believe men and women should be held to the same standards and I believe that if someone has repented of past sexual sin and is no longer living that sinful lifestyle, we should see that person the same way that God sees them because of Jesus. Jesus transfers his purity onto us through the gospel. As 1 Corinthians 1:30-31 (NLT) states, “Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. Therefore, as the Scriptures say, ‘If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.’”
Where worldly men and true Christian men should diverge is how they treat a woman who is seeking to be sexually selective. A worldly man will dishonor her and try to have sex with her as soon as he can. But a true Christian man will be living up to the same sexual ethic as her and will try to help her wait to have sex until marriage, whether that is with him one day or not.
My main point in saying all this is that men are attracted to women who are selective. A woman who says yes to every guy who pursues her is making it harder for her to make one man believe she really loves him more than other men. The more boyfriends a woman has, the less men want to be her next boyfriend. Men are often more concerned with a woman’s past while women are often more concerned with a man’s future.
So if you want to be married one day, don’t waste your time dating around. It’s fine if you need to date a guy to see if he is the one you should marry. But if you know a guy is not a man you would marry, by dating him you are keeping those guys away who you would want to marry.
I’m not advocating for sinful signs of affection. I’m just pointing that when a woman expresses happiness with a man, this really makes a man happy. A man will avoid the woman he feels like he is constantly disappointing, and he will want to be around the woman who seems happy with him.
Notice the first words of the woman in Song of Solomon, “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine . . . .” (Song of Solomon 1:2). The man doesn’t just want to kiss the woman. He wants the woman to want him to kiss her.
In most cases, a woman is looking for a man who makes her happy. However, a man is looking for a woman that he can make happy. If a man feels like he could never make this woman happy, he will avoid her. He’s attracted to the woman who is happy about him being attracted to her. When he pursues, he wants the woman to let him know that she likes it.