Editor’s Note: This is the second in a two part series of what people are looking for godly marriage material. Click here to read yesterday’s post, “What Women Want in a Godly Man.”
“Single 27-year-old male, searching for a life-partner. Her best qualities must be external appearance and sexual appeal. Superficiality is welcomed. Preferably someone who is lacking in goals, neglective of dreams and aimless in direction to allow for me to become center stage. Would prefer to keep conversation entirely shallow—limited to pop culture and materialism.”
I can pretty much guarantee an ad like this wouldn’t draw much attention from females. In fact, if this were an actual ad, it would make most women cringe.
But the ironic thing is that though this ad seems so irreverent and disrespectful, it is often these very lies we are fed through movies, music and pop-culture as the way to a man’s heart. And many times as women, we believe those lies and try to measure up to a standard we were never meant to follow.
Just as women are not satisfied in defining a real man by his muscle mass and sex drive, real men are shifting their perception of what they are looking for in a woman. As women, we’re often told that our value and the quality of our relationships are directly tied to our sex appeal. But sex appeal has little value in the equation of a healthy and meaningful relationship.
Here are some qualities Godly men have told me they’re looking for in their brides-to-be:
It’s sometimes hard to believe being “real” is attractive to a man. It’s easy for women to look at the billboards and magazines that fill our minds with airbrushed beauty and enhanced bodies and think that being “real” makes you less than the others.
But I’ve found that real men are attracted to a woman who reveals her natural self.
This “realness” manifests itself partially in physical ways. Obviously, looking good is not a bad thing, but there is something about the beauty of a real woman that far exceeds the plastic Barbie version of ourselves so many women strive for and believe in.
Of course, men are not simply looking for a woman who is real with her appearance, but real with who she is. When it comes to attracting a real man, there is no need to pretend. They’re not looking for a woman who pretends to be into sports, cars, sex or anything else she thinks her man wants. They are looking for a woman to be fully herself—personality, quirks, deficits and all. Ladies, these are the things that make you unique and set you apart from every other woman.
There is something about a confident woman that exudes beauty and attraction to a man. A woman who is confident knows who she is and what she believes, and holds onto that in her interactions with others. She believes in herself, and knows she is valuable standing alone. She’s not defined by her relationship status, her physical appearance or her sex appeal.
She doesn’t buy into the lies that her value is dependent on what she does, but rather, who she is. Because a woman of confidence is aware that her value is rooted in nothing else but who she is in Christ, there is no need to flirt around or flaunt her stuff.
Flirting and flaunting will definitely attract a certain type of man to your side, but you’ll have to keep flirting and keep flaunting your entire life to keep his interest. A real man will be attracted to you because of who you are, not what you have to offer him. And just continuing to be yourself will be all you need to do to keep him there. That’s what healthy relationships are meant to be.
Most men will tell you it’s important for them to be attracted to their significant other. But sometimes we as women misinterpret this to think that the way to a man’s heart is by achieving supermodel status. We beat ourselves up emotionally, physically and mentally trying to fit into a mold we were never meant to fill.
To a real man, beauty and attraction are defined by so much more than physical appearance. I’ve met tons of men who are completely turned off by women who are gorgeous on the outside, but hollow on the inside.
Real men are looking for a woman who displays true beauty, a beauty that cannot be enhanced, made up or airbrushed. They are looking for a woman who resonates with the beauty of kindness, compassion, humor, strength, love, joy and gentleness.
Believe it or not, real men are more interested in the size of a woman’s heart and mind than the size of her waist. It’s ironic then, that our society pressures women into keeping their focus on the external—the things that matter very little at the end of every relationship.
Let me clarify: There is a huge difference between a passionate woman and an overly emotional woman. The first is the kind men flock to, the latter is the type they run away from and never look back.
If there is one thing that I hear again and again from men, is that women need to be less emotionally driven. This may be a gender stereotype, but as much as I hate to admit it, they might be on to something. Emotions are such a valuable part of human beings, for men and women alike. But a huge problem arises when women (or men) let their emotions take the lead. It’s important for us to be driven by what we know and balanced by what we feel. Feelings alone should never lead the way.
But now that we’ve discussed what passion isn’t, here’s what it is: Being passionate means living a life that is purposeful, allowing your heart and life to be guided by things that are meaningful and invested in things that are good. It means having goals, believing in dreams and holding on to your values. It means being defined and propelled by justice, mercy, forgiveness, charity and grace. It means striving for healing in your own life and in the world around you.
Living a life of passion is important, because that passion will seep into every part of your life—relationships included.
It’s time to redefine the qualities we as women think we need to have to impress a man. It’s time to say no to the draw of sex appeal and begin to believe true admiration from men to women comes only when we begin to respect ourselves. Real men are looking for real women who will reflect to them the qualities of a loving God—a God who has made us to be confident, passionate, genuine—and beautiful in every way. May we as women strive to reflect Him in all that we do.
Debra is a Licensed Professional Counselor, relationship expert, speaker and author of several books, including True Love Dates. Debra is also the creator of the popular relationship advice blog TrueLoveDates.com, reaching millions of people with the message that healthy people make healthy relationships. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.