It is interesting in every conversation I have had with my male friends, especially those who already found their significant other (married men) or/and those who somehow already found their so-called soul-mate (soon to be married). Being close to male friends more than women, I considered myself very lucky to be able to have a good sets of samples for 'observation'; which I could use as reference to become more ladylike and presentable to my potential future partner (or at least to all other guys).
These friends of mine, however, often puzzle me whenever they admitted to fancy having a woman like me as their partner. When asked about the reason for this, they quickly elaborated of certain attributes or personality traits which, they claimed, I have that somehow fit their criteria of an ideal partner. [Considered all that as compliment, the confusion part is - How come I have yet to find a partner, until this moment?]
This piece is not meant to explain about who and how am I, but merely to share some opinion on these criteria; which, according to them, is very rare among ladies (especially Malaysians):-
Criteria # 1 >> Always look presentable & natural
Although, beauty does not always mean stunning and pretty (Englishmen often use the term handsome, even for a lady), many men admitted being easily attracted to ladies who are able to look good by just wearing the right style and image. In other words, just by being yourself in the best natural way possible with the right post (body), tone (voice) and fashion (clothing), you will always remain as a beautiful lady to his eyes.
My personal comment: To be presentable all time for different instances requires knowledge, skills and talent. One needs to feel beautiful and always believe that she is indeed beautiful. This will then be automatically reflected physically and spiritually to the eyes of others.
Criteria # 2 >> Perceived to be smart & independent
Despite having a bigger ego of wanting to be a leader, especially in looking for a relationship, woman with 'brain' often perceived as attractive to the male gender. The ability to engage with intellectual conversations depends to the level of subject matter of both individuals. Vast knowledge of all areas may not be required, but enough when the lady could show support whenever he speaks or invite her to start a discussion. At times when a lady is 'allowed' to lead the conversation or even a serious discussion, this will automatically reflects the type or/and level of freedom she owns. Men dislike the idea of having to own something or someone. Thus, explains why they are more attractive to women who can manage themselves with minimal control. More men now understand the concept of sharing in relationship, so dependency is seen as a burden more than an act of supremacy.
My personal comment: With more ladies come from a strong educational and urban background, it is so easy to be overly influenced by the 'individualism' concept brought from other culture. One needs to be wise at choosing which approach to show the strong side of being an individual without compromising the soft side of being a woman, understood and accepted in a unique culture. Otherwise, she may be seen as too powerful and has the possibility of overtaking the lead in a relationship.
Criteria # 3 >> Understanding, tolerance and be selflessness
Aware that the needs and wants of women are different from men, each side of expectations are to be clearly defined and communicated. In general, men hold most of the responsibility and need to be engaged with numerous of commitments - be it as an individual, as a son, as a husband or as a father, etc. Additional responsibility by being in a relationship means that man needs to be functionally acceptable to his partner. Woman is seen to be more reactive than proactive, in nature. The ability to comfortably allow one's partner to do what-ever is required, needed or wanted without being judgmental is an act of selflessness deemed to be highly attractive for a woman to men's eyes. This is truly a great equation of being understanding and highly tolerance in a relationship.
My personal comment: The ability to give freedom and trust to men is most probably the hardest thing a woman could do. A woman should learn how to understand and accept her partner as if she is in his shoes (put yourself at his place). To a few women, it can be very natural since they may have the same expectation from men over these matter. When a woman say "I accept you as who you are," almost 75% are related to the physical and material attributes own by the man. It's the remaining 25% that will cause the biggest trouble in a relationship. Believe it or not, that 25% will be reserved as trade-off by woman as she voluntarily make changes (sometimes sacrificing her own personality and 'assets') to be seen as understanding, tolerance and selflessness at some point in the relationship (usually before marriage). This criteria however is a continuous one and requires sincere commitment.
Criteria # 4 >> Motherly loving & caring
"I don't need her to be like my mother," this is a common statement from men. "I wish I could be more like his mom," this is a common statement from women. See the stark difference? Motherly loving and caring provides comfort to men, significantly. Being very much influenced by the concept of mommy-is-the-lady of his life, an ideal woman should be able to love and care man as if a mother could be. Men understand but expectations set over the outcome may have been overly exaggerated here. Traditionally, in preparing a woman to become a wife, the mother would teach and guide her daughter of the right approaches (tips and tricks) to being a wife. Love your partner as a lover, guide your partner as a best friend and take good care of your partner as your beloved son - these summarizes the long list of actions expected from a woman, by men.
My personal comment: It is a big fallacy that one needs to be a mother before she can know how to be a mother. It is the same idea of having a man equivalent, almost, as a father to woman. As we grow up, memory of experiences are compartmentalized by our brain according to the time and logic of our mind. Logic means the ability of our brain to choose what considered as correct based on the memory of experiences, which will also be paired with the stored knowledge stored in terms of customizing our actions to suits the given conditions. Further to this, time means the ability of our brain to associate these customized actions with certain period of time or zone or phase based on the memory of experience. If I used to only see the soft side of my mother whenever she speaks to me & my siblings, chances are I would also do the same only to my children. It may not be appropriate for me to do the same to my husband - because my brain only stores memory of experiences this way. The idea is to creatively combine and use whatever experiences and knowledge so man can feel secured, loved, cared and comfortable by the actions of woman.
These 4 criteria summarizes briefly of what men looks for in women, based on my personal observation. Added together is my personal opinion on these criteria (or shall I say, their expectations).
Some men or women may argue of the simplicity of these criteria, since it is well understood that there are more reasons to have a longer list of criteria, compared to the above. Well ladies and gentlemen, feel free to put in comments and additional points if you feel the need to share more with other readers.
Just to set the expectation of readers, I have no intention of writing another piece of what women looks for in men. With a very limited pool of female friends I have, it is not an easy task for me to further explore on that topic. I did, however, written something similar, but very personal to myself, on this subject. [Read here]