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5 Attractive Qualities in the Modern Man

This I started pondering a couple of weeks ago now, while at #SMDames13.  Don’t worry, gents, we weren’t talking about you en masse (at least not too much).  This idea instead was provoked by a smaller lunch conversation at the event I was having with two friends of mine that I don’t get to see enough of, and especially don’t get to see too much of together.

At the lunch: One is married (let’s call her MW).  One is single (we’ll call her SW).  The third in the conversation is also single (moi).  MW was discussing the best qualities in the ‘ideal’ man for SW–which she accurately stated is a “balance of being in awe of SW’s awesomeness, yet also knows when to take command and control and be a man’s man in the relationship.”  (That wasn’t exactly how she said it, but the jist of it.)

Considering I can use one hand to count the number of guys I’ve ‘dated’ in the past decade (mainly due to lack of time, lack of patience and lack of interest–not to mention I have NO IDEA what the term ‘dated’ means anyway), this conversation got me wondering–what are the best qualities in a modern man?  What makes him attractive and/or a good man?

I don’t think in the post-feminist modern era this is very easily described anymore.  I candidly do empathize with the single dudes out there who dare to deal with fierce, staunchly independent women of the modern era.  I’m sure at times it can be equated to walking through a field of land mines without a map, simply because there are no rules anymore.  All bets are off!*

In search of answers, I of course headed to source of all mass knowledge, the internet, as I was half watching TV last night to research this quandary.  I found a couple of decent posts on what other women find attractive in men, like:

Marie Claire’s 9 qualities women look for in men
eHarmony’s What Women Find Sexy About Men
Psychology Today’s What Women Find Sexy - if you want it more science-y
43 Things List of 100 Qualities I Look for in a Guy – particularly AgentSpify’s list
The Art of Manliness’s list on 7 Vital Characteristics of a Man
Elite Daily’s 8 Qualities that define a great man – a list I particularly like
Even Danielle LaPorte had a post on her Timeline at the Faceplace today about qualities in an ideal man.
And my brother, of all people, posted this Fierce Gentleman Manifesto and 10 Qualities of a Fierce Gentleman on his Faceplace page today – dig.

I suppose these are all relevant and decent lists to encompass what would constitute an attractive modern man.  And I do know the babble out there about how “single women shouldn’t create lists for their ideal men” because that narrows possibilities for women, creates impossible standards, blah blah blah–but I’m guessing SW above has at least a mental list of what she’s shopping for in a guy, as most single women do.

Here’s my forbidden list.

1. Like my coffee – I do like my men like my coffee.  Tall, dark, and a little bitter.  Not too bitter.  Mild blend. I guess by a little bitter I mean a bit of a pragmatist.  I would prefer him worldly, in the sense that he’s experienced enough of life to be once bitten, twice a little wiser.  Not naive, and has his sh*t together–in his career, in his finances, and in his life.

2. Handy – Not going to lie – men who can fix things are awesome!

3. In touch with his feminine side, but not too Metro – One of the guys I worked with a long time ago in a company out east used to have fresh cut flowers at his desk.  He was like 40 years older than me, married, a finance guy (of all things) and definitely not on the menu as male-sig-other-material; however, I found something highly attractive about the fact that this man took the time to put fresh cut flowers on his desk every week.  He apparently was a big gardener too, and a lot of his flowers came out of his garden.  This is just one example of how men can be masculine and embrace their feminine qualities at the same time.  I know it sounds weird, but men in the EU do a good job with this too.  They wear scarves.  They cook.  They appreciate beauty in a lot of different forms–like art and literature and science.  I LOVE that, even though I’m probably not articulating that well here.  On the other hand, if a guy uses more skincare or hair products than me, that’s probably over my limit.

4. Darcy-esque - Reserved, stoic, well-read, a decent listener, writes, takes time to practice the art of conversation, and most important–will drop everything he’s doing if his partner is in distress and absolutely does NOT seek credit for doing the right thing.  Admits when he’s wrong too, and he’s willing to change his mind, and doesn’t fear a strong woman.  Last, I think this is where MW puts her “in awe of her awesome/man’s man balance” quality.  (So, if that’s what you were all wondering why we keep doting over Darcy – these are the qualities I ID with Darcy.  Thank you, Ms. Austen, for articulating them far better than I ever could!  You are my hero heroine.)

5. Cheerleads – A good guy is the biggest cheerleader of his partner.  He never gets jealous of her success, belittles her, her bankroll, or her ambition.  He’s her biggest advocate and Don King all rolled into one.  (Yes, there are male cheerleaders.  And many ladies, myself included, find that attractive in a man.)

Does the list include obvious things, like attraction, intelligence, sense of humor, etc?  Of course.  But I think this forbidden list of 5 covers a lot of ground in my ideal man’s department, if there is such a creature.

Now I just need to figure out where the actual department is located…


*I literally had a conversation with a poor confused guy as to whether or not he should get the door for a woman.  He was both chastised for not doing it, and chastised for doing it–seriously, guys, I feel for you.  (And go ahead and risk it–get the door for the lady.)


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