They Do Exist.

What A Man Wants From A Woman

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is written by Dan Bode. He lives in Sacramento, California and blogs at Thoughts of Dan. It’s beautiful, and challenging. This is also the last week of posts from men, so if you’d like to share your story on learning to set boundaries, go ahead and submit it for the upcoming month! – Lauren

What men want from women will always be a much debated topic, as will what women want from men –  but we can still talk about it.

One thing I believe is almost universally true is this: You can easily overwhelm us, and we fear being overwhelmed.

Our society has taught us all that we each have certain roles and limitations within a relationship with a member of the opposite sex.  Men are supposed to be strong, solid and relatively unemotional – and women are supposed to need protection, love and understanding.

Society screwed us all up pretty well there.

When men display emotion it is viewed as a weakness, and for women to display strength is offensive.  These are changing, but still widely held viewpoints if you sit back and observe how it is actually played out in daily life.

On top of all this we add the dimension of Love, and the myriad definitions of it that each of us has, and everything gets mixed up!

I’m a single man of 51.  My wife died a few months ago, and I am discovering completely different aspects of love that I never would have imagined before.  I didn’t want that relationship to end so I still had the desire for love when she died.

First of all, let’s get something straight right now: being single does not mean you are incomplete.  Being single does not mean we are a bunch of “half-persons” running around searching for our other half so we can be “whole.”  God made us complete in Himself so we don’t have to be in a “relationship” to be a finished product.  That being said we have to acknowledge that God made us to be social beings, and “in relationship” with other people.

Being successful in a relationship requires what we have been trained to minimize: Commitment.

When we enter a relationship, we most often approach it from a dating standpoint. Which means we’ve put the romantic aspect on it from the start before we even really know anything about the other person.  We put our best face forward, and don’t let the other person see who we really are until we figure they like us enough that they’ll be ok with our faults.

What we should do is let the relationship start as a friendship and be honest about who we are.  Instead, we risk a greater sense of rejection when you discover the person you think you have fallen in love with doesn’t like who you truly are after all. Or your own disappointment when you find out that honestly? You can’t stand him.

We are all taught to treat relationships as temporary.  Like clothes you try on to see if they fit just right, and then toss on the floor of the dressing room when they don’t conform to our ideal.  We have to understand that we cannot enter into a relationship with the intention of “changing him/her.”  The only ones who can change a person are God and themselves.  Anyone else who tries will be met with abject failure.

This is the opposite of what we are called to do in a relationship.  Love and relationship are all about one thing: commitment to the person as you know them to be.

Men as a general rule have learned to be afraid of commitment.  The rate of fatherless children is higher now than it has ever been, so the example men have grown up with is one absent of any male commitment at all.  This isn’t an excuse at all; it’s just the way it is.

As much as men might fear a committed relationship, we also realize at some level that this commitment is well worth it.

Love, as God created it, is meant to endure. My wife died, but our love did not. In 1 Corinthians 13 Paul says that “Love never fails.”  He’s right.

Love doesn’t fail – we do.

We insist on putting human limitations on the gifts of God and insist that we can’t maintain the standards He has set.  The truth is that love endures our human limitations.

Love, as God created it, is not meant to meet my own needs.  It would not survive any conflict if it was.  Love and forgiveness go hand in hand so that we can each forgive the truths that we try so desperately to hide from each other.

Maybe this is stuff I just wish I could tell my younger self, I don’t know.  But it is what I know now, and what I will live by and teach with every opportunity that comes my way.

So as a man, what would I like to see in a woman?

Someone who sees herself as valued already, and isn’t afraid of being honest about who she is.

Someone who isn’t afraid to insist on being treated fairly, and treat him fairly in turn.

Someone who will allow a man to show his emotions without fear, because the comforting circle of the arms of a woman who loves him is a powerful thing – whether he will ever admit it or not.

Love requires Forgiveness. 

When we participate in romance we are living out our fantasies of being in love with our perfect match – but since no one is perfect we have to apply Grace to cover the others faults and fall in love again with this person who, while not nearly perfect, is indeed our perfect match. 

What does a man really want?

He wants a beautiful woman, but not the beautiful woman you might think.

If you as a woman wish to see beauty then go and take off the makeup. Look in the mirror.  This is the face of beauty, but you must learn to see it in yourself.  See yourself without the blinders of this world’s definition.  See yourself as God intended you to beAct as though you are as beautiful as anyone else around you.  The man who recognizes that beauty in you is the one who knows what he wants and will strive to meet your needs with what he has to offer you.  (There is a caveat to this whole argument: many men in today’s society are completely blind to true beauty, but you’re better off ignoring them.  That man will only cause you pain.)


As hard as it is, please be patient with us.

You will find each other when you are supposed to.

Because in the end, what a man wants isn’t nearly as important as who you are meant to be..

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36 Responses

  1. This was a beautiful post. Thank you.
    As a newly boyfriend-less person, it's really hard for me to NOT think that I have lost half of me. Thank you for the reminder that I am whole and that I am enough. :)

    March 27, 2012 at 4:10 pm

  2. //Love and forgiveness go hand in hand so that we can each forgive the truths that we try so desperately to hide from each other.//

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    I'm in a class for women at my church and we have been learning these very same things. Hearing them from an older man helps solidify it as truth in my heart. What you wrote was beautiful, moving, and so very healing. I hope that every woman soaks up these truths and know them to be not only evident but relevant and real.

    March 27, 2012 at 4:19 pm

  3. Great post! Thank you for your honesty, and condolences for your loss.

    Love the comments on beauty.

    March 27, 2012 at 4:38 pm

  4. Anna Kaye

    Wow! What an impactful and amazing post. Thank you so much.

    March 27, 2012 at 4:53 pm

  5. Lauren

    I love this post. it's insightful, honest, and encouraging all rolled into one :)

    March 27, 2012 at 5:59 pm

  6. Sarah

    Love this!! Thank you for sharing!!

    March 27, 2012 at 6:25 pm

  7. Because in the end, what a man wants isn’t nearly as important as who you are meant to be.

    thank you Dan, thank you for taking the time to write this. I needed it.

    March 27, 2012 at 6:43 pm

  8. bornsirius

    Interestingly enough, I disagree with some of this. I don't think relationships must necessarily start as friendships. I think it can be helpful in the long run, but I don't think it's absolutely necessary. I think it depends on the framework of the people entering the relationship. If both of them don't feel as if the relationship is an end-all be-all, but are committed to being completely honest about who they are, and are willing to accept the other person as is (which does NOT mean put up with… two different things) I think that a relationship can be great and committed in a dating sense, without starting with a friendship.
    That being said, I personally have an easier time of it when I'm friends with someone, even on a low level, first.

    March 27, 2012 at 6:56 pm

  9. "Someone who will allow a man to show his emotions without fear, because the comforting circle of the arms of a woman who loves him is a powerful thing – whether he will ever admit it or not."

    So true–and very well said! Ironically, if he's man enough, he will admit that truth.

    March 27, 2012 at 7:09 pm

  10. abellez

    i read this after reading 'they're never going to like me' and they both speak to some of exactly what i've been struggling with recently. this all made sense and it's stuff i've been told//thought about before but also ended me back at a question this whole thought process makes me wonder::so what happens when a girl isn't very sold on her value pre-guy. then is it her problem? if she did would the 'right' guys notice her? does that make sense?? i know the thinking is a little twisted and irrational and over analyzing..but how do you answer it?

    March 27, 2012 at 9:36 pm

  11. 'Love doesn't fail– we do.'

    Yep, just starting weeping. Thank you, for this.


    March 27, 2012 at 11:57 pm

  12. Wife

    "If you as a woman wish to see beauty then go and take off the makeup. Look in the mirror. This is the face of beauty…"


    April 12, 2012 at 2:59 pm

  13. Jennifer Harman

    Wow. Really all I can say. How I needed this today! Going through some intense relationship things (finalization of my divorce this last Thursday after him leaving 2 1/2 years ago) and trying to navigate "dating" as a Christian woman of almost 37 years with 2 kids and a boatload of baggage, which He is healing me from in record time, once I gave it all up to Him. Thank you for the reminder of my worth; God speaking through you to me. Thank you for these wonderful observations and the reminder that there are some "Men of Valor" out there :) Blessings.

    April 23, 2012 at 2:37 pm

  14. Molly

    Wow. Thank you.

    August 21, 2012 at 11:34 pm

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