What You Really Want in a Mate
Men want physical beauty - skinny, big boobs - in a woman, and women want success - money, lots of it - in a man. Right? I mean, isn't this what it's all about? If you aren't anorexic with gargantuan boobs and if you don't own at least one Porsche, you can forget about ever getting laid let alone married, right? These are the truths we all live by, and complain about, and cite as the cause of all our woes, right?
Sure it is. Women mumble bitterly about it while chewing on celery and low fat cottage cheese at lunch, men scowl at "gold-diggers" at parties who bat their eyes and ask "So what do you do?". Both sexes know full well - and hate the fact - that there are certain requirements everyone has to meet in order to find Mr. or Miss Right and that if you don't meet these standards, you might as well get used to self-love. Right?
There may be these standards out there, for some people, and there certainly is the perception that these standards exist for everyone, but in general, these expectations are merely what I consider to be "misunderstandings", or confusion on the part of men and women who have almost got it right, but don't really understand what it is they're looking for or why. There is a key difference between the genuinely shallow - who really don't care about love and want the trophy babe or the guy to buy them things - and the genuine, who want love in their loves but are going into it with the wrong ideas.
I know there are a lot of men out there, for example, who are searching for a meaningful relationship and who can't understand why it's so hard to find love. These are good men, honest and decent, who nevertheless spend much of their time alone because "the right woman" never enters their lives. They're confused about something - as are the women who deal with them - and most of them don't know it.
The mistake they're making is in thinking that they must have beauty or physical perfection in a partner when what they really want is sexiness, which doesn't have to involve beauty at all. Men in our culture have just been programmed to think that beauty means sexiness and that therefore when they're looking for love it'll have to be with a supermodel. They think this largely because of women, who focus on beauty themselves and shun sexuality, who have always made it clear that they love being told they're beautiful but hate being made into sexual objects, and delineate so clearly the moral lines between 'nice girls' (asexual) and 'sluts'.
It's not hard to understand why in a society in which women obsess over physical beauty that men come to equate beauty with sexiness - but it isn't the same thing.
Men want a fun, vibrant, loving woman who likes sex. A man wants a wife who is playful and flirtatious, who makes it clear she likes men and loves sexuality, who enjoys her body and his and who doesn't feel ashamed or guilty for enjoying sex. A man wants a woman who tries to make the most of her looks, yes, but he doesn't require a supermodel in bed, he wants a confident, intelligent, mature woman who revels in being a woman. This is why there are happy, sexually fulfilled and 'in love' couples well into their sixties, seventies and beyond - they don't base their happiness on anything as fleeting as looks, they base it on the kind of sexy romance that doesn't decline with age.
Men will always prefer sex to beauty, sexiness to physical perfection. Ask a man what he would rather have - a perfect model who lies stone cold and emotionless beside him and who doesn't like him or sex or anything, or a fun loving, warm and sensual "average" lover who adores him and his body and enjoys lovemaking in all its forms. Ninety-nine men out of a hundred will choose the latter - the other guy is probably in prison somewhere anyway, or should be.
It's vital to understand that physical beauty is a pleasant, inspiring thing, but that it has nothing to do with sexiness, marriage or love. Marriages based on it always fail. It's impossible to love a person because of the way he or she looks - you only love their looks, not them, and this is not strong enough to sustain a marriage, as those who have divorced when the allure of looks faded will attest. Men and women have to understand that it's really an interest in sex and sexuality, a loving marriage based on a lifetime of companionship and great sex that men are really after, and they only think they will find all of this in the form of a great looking spouse. For a better understanding of what beauty really represents and how to learn to see it for what it really is, please see the only current authority on the subject, Body in Mind.
Once a man fully understands that it's sexiness he wants in a woman, that it's a sexual, sensual, fun and loving playmate he wants and not a Playboy playmate, then it will make finding such a woman so much easier and marriage with her so much more fulfilling. And once women fully understand that men are looking for sexy women and not supermodels, then it will make attracting men that much easier and staying married much less stressful. Imagine the possibilities if you could keep your husband happy by being sexy instead of starving yourself into a smaller dress size - imagine the possibilities if you learned to enjoy the carnal pleasures of a woman whom you wouldn't have even looked at before. Imagine being just as in love with each other thirty years or more after your wedding, regardless of how time or circumstances had changed your bodies. I would think just the thought of it would intrigue more people into changing their "requirements".
The confusion that grips women - and men who encounter them - is that women believe financial success is a necessary component of a good relationship. Instead of asking "So what are you passionate about?" or "What interests you?" when they meet, women routinely try to assess the earning power or prestige of the man, and will turn away if the answer is ambiguous or less than they hoped. It's not a myth that women - especially attractive ones - pursue doctors and lawyers and stock brokers and shun everyone else as a loser. It's no accident that the Fox network received thousands of requests to appear on "Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire" and other shows wherein marriage to a rich stranger was the goal. There's a reason for this - but it too is a perversion of the natural interest a woman has in a man.
Women, especially in our modern world, are fully capable of supporting themselves and living entirely on their own if they want. They can even have children without a man, and have no reason to depend on a man financially. Many women are already set in their careers when they go looking for love, and sometimes make more money and are in more prestigious position. So why is it so common for a woman to insist on financial success in a potential mate? Why are women so interested in what a guy does for a living?
The answer is simple, if you understand the dynamics of dominance and submission in a sexual relationship. Simply speaking, a modern confident woman needs to admire the man she sleeps with. She needs to find something masculine and "dominant" about him; she needs to be just as impressed with him as she is with herself, if not more. A woman who earns $60 000 a year in a prestigious job, who owns her own home and drives a nice car, who has friends and connections and the respect of her peers is not going to go to bed with someone lower down in the hierarchy of employment. Why would she? Why would a powerful woman "submit" sexually to someone less powerful than her? Why would she let herself be taken by someone she has run circles around in life? This is also the reason most women will not go out with someone shorter than they are - she can't feel submissive to someone she towers over, and can't feel feminine around someone who makes her feel masculine. It's the perception of dominance, the ideal of needing something to look up to - literally - that makes women seek out the taller, the stronger, the richer, the more powerful.
The problem with this, of course, is similar to that of men who think sexiness only comes in a size 2 package. A man doesn't have to be rich to be admirable. An executive position or a $100 000 car doesn't necessarily mean a man has character, nor does it mean that the ambitious pizza delivery guy wouldn't be the best husband you could ever be lucky enough to find.
Women have to learn to separate earning power from real character, and to establish for themselves exactly what it is they are looking for in a man. Masculinity is what women really want - meaning the qualities of having goals in life and pursuing them with passion, of being honest, rational and mature and of being confident in his ability to dominate sexually. This also means being self-sufficient and capable of supporting himself - and possibly her for a while if children come along - and so it is important for a man to have a job. He just doesn't have to be CEO. Many men have careers they're passionate about and goals they want to pursue, many men are honest and decent and are ultimately admirable in their own way, and many men are happy in the role of provider, as long as they're respected for the contribution they make.
Women have to understand that they want a man to whom they feel comfortable submitting, and that they only think financial success or possessions represents character and masculinity. Just like in the scenario above, the issue becomes much clearer when you break it down to essentials - which would you prefer, a wealthy and powerful husband who neglects you and cheats on you and really doesn't love you, or a man of lesser means whom you genuinely respect and admire and you treats you like a queen? A man's drive, his ambition, his desire to constantly improve himself and conquer the world is much more vital than whether he has achieved success already.
Both sexes have to understand that when a man sizes up a woman based solely on her appearance, and when a woman checks out a guy's wallet before talking to him, it establishes a kind of superficiality and mistrust that will always cast a pall over any ensuing relationship. The woman will always feel trapped into the relentless pursuit of beauty - because that's all he wants her for, after all - and the man will always feel compelled to earn and provide and support - because without that paycheck he's nothing to her. Both people will eventually come to resent being "loved" for these things, and will wonder vaguely what it means to be loved for "who they are". Marriages based on the misconception that the concrete representation of values is as good as the real thing are almost doomed from the start, unless both people make a concerted effort to understand what it is they're really looking for in a mate, and search it in whatever form - pizza boy or pudgy girl - that it takes.