10 unexpected things women find attractive in men

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Simone Paget, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:44 PM ET

What do women really want? This is an age old question that men have likely been trying to answer since the dawn of time. Although men’s magazines will try and convince you that women are only interested in a very specific set of characteristics, like abs of steel, money, cars, sexual prowess - and did we mention abs - what women want is actually a lot more complex.

I think actress Mindy Kaling nailed it when she remarked on this discrepancy during an episode of her show, The Mindy Project, “It’s like the headline of every men’s magazine is, like, how to make your abs great. But no girl has ever been, like, ‘I wish you had a flatter stomach.’ They’d be like, I wish you made more money’; ‘I wish you would open up about your feelings.’”

It’s true. Many women do consider looks and success when choosing a mate. However after surveying my female friend, I found that what really turns women on is anything but skin (or wallet) deep. Here are 10 unexpected things women find extremely attractive in the opposite sex.

1. Follow through: In a world where a relationship can unexpectedly end when one party doesn’t return the other’s texts, women appreciate men who possess a sense of integrity when it comes to communication. As Annie in Toronto comments, one of the reasons she fell for her husband was because he always followed through with what he said he would do - something that was lacking in her previous relationship. Whether it’s calling you back at a certain time or remembering to take out the recycling, we love men who do what they say they will do.

 

2. Sense of humour: Robin Dunbar, an evolutionary psychologist at Oxford, says that the muscular exertions involved in producing laughter, trigger an increase in endorphins, the brain chemicals known for their feel-good effect. Therefore, it’s not surprising that almost all of the women I spoke to mentioned “sense of humour” as one of their turn-ons. Simply put: We want to be around someone who makes us feel good. A great set of abs is nice, but a man who can make you laugh until your face hurts is even better.

3. Empathy and kindness: This one is probably a no-brainer but it needs to be mentioned. Women love men who are good with children, animals and are able to look beyond themselves to empathize with others. Want to turn a woman on? Hold a baby. Adopt a rescue animal. Work hard to support a local charity. Do good in the world around you.

4. Ambition: Women like it when you have goals that you’re excited about. Whether you’re launching your own startup business or aiming to be the best father possible, a man with drive, ambition and a strong work ethic is extremely sexy.

5. Nice socks: There’s something to be said about a man who takes pride in his appearance. Whether that’s choosing a nice pair of socks (as opposed to the used-to-be-white, purchased bulk from Costco” tube sock variety) or investing in a nice watch that reflects your personality, it shows that you took the time to consider this very minor detail and there’s something really sexy about that.

 

 

6. Confidence: Many of the women I spoke to listed “a strong sense of self” as one of the main criteria they look for in a partner. As Amanda from Victoria says about her partner, “My sweet man knows what he wants and respects his boundaries. In turn, he respects and supports mine.” Personal boundaries are important. When asked what she looks for in a man, Lianne from B.C., says, “A man that can say no to me. I like a man that can hold his ground, and not let me win all the time.”

7. Smell: Pheromones, the invisible chemical signals that help determine sexual attraction, play a huge role, whether we realize it or not. We love the way you smell, when you smell good. Everyone finds different scents attractive, however I’ve been known to get weak in the knees for a man who smells like freshly-washed laundry.

8. Loyalty and family values: A guy who has a good relationship with his family and friends is pretty awesome. How he treats the people around him is a great indication of how he will treat you, which is why many women listed “loyalty” as a very attractive quality in men.

9. Independence: There’s something really attractive about a man who can take initiative, cook his own meals, do his own laundry and is in general, a fully-formed, functioning adult. We like to know that you can survive on your own without us (but would prefer not to).

10. Smiles: Although the majority of men’s underwear ads would convince us otherwise, most women aren’t looking for an ultra-serious, stoned-faced man. We like to see you smile. It signals that you are warm, friendly and safe to be with. It also shows that you have a sense of humour. As Kim from Victoria says about her husband, “He never takes himself too seriously. He is just so damn likable. He's handsome too so that doesn't hurt.” Take note: This is a guy who smiles.


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