Pretty Girl with Sunglasses

What Girls Want

Pretty Girl with Sunglasses
Pretty Girl with Sunglasses, by JESHOOTS

Dear Son,

When I was a teen, I was constantly trying to figure out what it was girls want.  Growing up in the 1980s and 90s, there was more bad advice than good on that front.  Often, I could see through the bad advice, but I wanted it to be true, because it meant I didn’t have to change to make myself more attractive.  So I’ll give it to you straight and honest here, something I really wish someone had done for me when I was the age you will be when you receive this letter.

What girls want more than anything is a man who is self-possessed and a good leader.  For a woman attraction is not about what a man looks like, but how he behaves.

A self possessed man, knows that he gets exactly what he creates for himself, and has decided to create an incredible life.  He knows what he wants, and he has ambitious goals.  He also doesn’t hesitate to do what he has to to make those goals happen.

The self-possessed man is often assertive and well-spoken.  He doesn’t put up with people treating him with disrespect and rudeness, not even pretty girls.  And he handles his feelings well – he doesn’t sulk, weep. moan, or complain – instead he uses his feelings to create or drive him towards solving his goals.

Pay attention to that last one!  A woman wants to know a man has feelings, but she doesn’t want to see him wear them on his sleeve.  A Man’s feelings are mysterious and firey to women.  They love sneaking a peek at it in the moments when he lets his guard down, like a secret bonfire in the woods.  A man who shows his every feeling wildly and passionately can be scary, like being too close to a fire.

Remember, I don’t think men should swallow their feelings, but an attractive man uses his feelings to accomplish things.  He channels them constructively, and he shares them with his intimates in a respectful manner.

Because a self-possessed man is trying to create a good life for himself, he is usually very aware of the impressions he gives to other people.  He might choose a particular style or subculture to belong to, but whatever his style, he is well-dressed, well-groomed, and takes great care to make sure he carries himself with dignity and good grace.  Even a punker and goth who is self-possessed is the best-dressed and best-spoken punker or goth in the room.

A self-possessed man is also usually in good shape.  Nobody benefits from being out of shape, and it slows down your movement towards your goals.  So while girls are not as visual about attraction as guys are,they definitely respond to a trim and muscular body because it shows self-possession.

A good leader is a little more complicated than just being self-possessed.  I plan on writing you a lot of letters about leadership in the coming weeks, but I’ll give you a little bit of an outline here

A good leader is quick to step up when there is a problem and someone needs to fix it.  He is quick to volunteer to handle a hard job when noone else does so.  He is not afraid to be responsible for solving a problem – he will happily start getting other people together and getting them to talk about finding a solution, rather than complaining about the problem.

A good leader knows how to build good connections.  He is a good listener, and tries to work out out what a person’s strengths and weaknesses are.  He encourages people to play to their strengths, and teams them up with people who can cover their weaknesses.  He is quick with praise when he means it, and is honest and straight with his criticism when he knows the other person needs to hear it.

A leader isn’t interested in power, he is interested in solutions.  He takes the lead because he knows that people need someone to help them get on solving a problem, and he is willing to do the hard work of helping people think a problem out, making a decision based on the best compromise, and accepting the consequences if it doesn’t turn out.

A good leader lets his actions speak for him, and prefers action to theory.  The best leaders use their energy and their actions to make the world a better place.

On the outside a leader is going to appear confident.  He will also often be a man with some status, because people respect leaders, and to treat them differently, and often pay them well for their leadership.  A good leader will usually speak with authority, dress well, and have a bearing that commands respect from other men.

Beyond that, every woman will have some preferences about the manner in which he shows these qualities.  Some women love men who are clearly intelligent and creative, and fall for artists and intellectuals.  Some love rugged manly men who spend time working hard in the great outdoors (the cowboy type).  Some women are attracted to muscular and athletic men who will play sports. And some love a man who is a bit of a rebel and bad boy.

Whatever the preference what she is really looking for beneath those many types are the ways that kind of man shows his leadership and self-possession. The athlete, the intellectual, the bad boy, and the manly man all show self-possession, for example: The athlete hones and disciplines his body into a fine-tuned machine, the intellectual learns as much as he can so he always makes smart decisions, the bad boy doesn’t let anyone else tell him how to be happy or what to do, because only he can know what’s right for him, and the manly man makes sure he doesn’t need to rely on anyone else to survive.

One of the great ironies of relationships with women, is that while they want you to want them, they don’t really want you to need them.  They want men who can stand strong and make it on his own, who doesn’t need her as a shoulder to cry on, or to help him make decisions.  After all, that is anything but the work of a self-possessed leader.

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