Here are 10 popular misconceptions that men have about what women are looking for, along with the truth about what women really want. Also, before you reach for your dating app and start swiping, I’ve included a bonus tip on how to improve your dating game for each one.
1. Women just want serious relationships
The Truth: Although women may be more expressive of their emotions and speak up more about how they feel, which is likely where this misconception came from, they’re fully capable of having all types of relationships. Each woman is entitled to pursue the relationship that works best for her, including (but not limited to) those that are monogamous, polyamorous, short-term, and yes, long-term as well.
Tip: Check in with your date to see what type of relationship she’s looking for before things progress or get too “serious.” This is a great way to ensure that your intentions are aligned.
2. Women always catch feelings at the end of the day
The Truth: Surprise! Men aren’t the only ones who want something purely physical or non-committal. Women can have casual flings without any strings attached as well. Sure, some may be “more emotional” than others, but contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t mean that sex or relationships always have to involve feelings for women.
Tip: If you sense that your date may be catching feelings, initiate an open and honest conversation about your intentions and where you see the 2 of you going. That way you can clarify that you’re on the same page or find a resolution that works for both of you before the situation gets too sticky.
3. Women want to go on dates that cost a lot of money
The Truth: Maybe this misconception stemmed from movies or viral “relationship goal” videos on social media, but the truth is that you don’t need to go on an elaborate date that costs more than your weekly salary. In fact, some of the best dates don’t cost a penny.
Tip: There are plenty of romantic and fun date ideas that are free or affordable, like hikes, grabbing coffee, going for a walk, or cooking dinner at home. Figure out which interests you share in common then decide on a date (and budget) that works for both of you.
4. Women will go on a date with anyone for a free meal
The Truth: This belief likely stems from either an insecurity of being used for money or having a past experience with someone who did use you for a free meal. This may happen on a rare occasion, but trust that most women are perfectly willing to split the bill on a date. Plus, not deciding to see you again after a first date could stem from plenty of other reasons, such as disinterest, incompatibility, they found a better partner, etc.
Tip: To avoid this scenario, ask to split the bill ahead of time or buy a round of drinks and see if she pays for the next one. If they go tit-for-tat with you or pull out their wallet to pay, they’re not just in it for a “free meal.”
5. Women don’t want to discuss religion or politics on dates
The Truth: This is a pretty generalized communication “rule” that may have carried over to dating. However, religion and politics are important topics to eventually discuss with your partner to ensure that your values align or work well together.
Tip: Whether or not you talk about these topics on a first date is up to both of you, but don’t entirely disregard them. Before starting a political or religious conversation, ask if your date is open to it. That will save you the potential awkwardness after dropping a not-so-casual “So what do you think about Trump?” over a romantic candlelit dinner.
6. If she invites you to her place, she wants sex
The Truth: Inviting you over does not explicitly mean she wants to have sex with you. There are endless non-sexual reasons why a woman might invite you over to her place. Maybe she wants to cook you dinner on the first date, enjoy another conversation after the second date ends, or share another drink after the bar’s last call. Perhaps she simply enjoys your company and doesn’t want the night to end.
Tip: Don’t rely on body language or assumptions. Have a conversation about her intentions to find out for sure. Never assume that your date wants to have sex unless they explicitly state it, and always receive full consent before initiating anything sexual with them.
7. Women never want the “nice” guy — they want the exact opposite
The Truth: We’ve seen it in the movies, and maybe even personally experienced this, a million times. After all, the saying “nice guys finish last” didn’t come from nowhere. However, it’s simply not true… at least for those who don’t seek out “bad boys” (AKA toxic partners).
Tip: Instead of trying to be or find someone who’s “nice” or “bad,” be and find someone who is kind, thoughtful, supportive, and selfless. Embody and date someone who makes you smile, inspires you, and brings out the best in you. The goal is to be secure in yourself and find a partner who brings more joy into your life and makes you feel good instead of dragging out your insecurities or makes you question your worth.
8. Women want “macho” or super masculine men
The Truth: Sexualities and gender constructs are evolving and becoming more fluid every day. Each woman identifies differently and will be attracted to whoever she feels attracted to, regardless of how traditional gender roles have impacted women’s typical dating roles in the past.
Tip: It’s up to you to be clear about the type of person you want to attract and date and accept your partner’s sexuality as well. That way you can find the partner who best matches your wants and needs, whether that’s someone who’s very masculine or feminine.
9. Women only want to date men taller than 6’0”
The Truth: Once upon a time (a very long time ago), a man’s height directly correlated to his social status and level of power. But it’s 2023. This is no longer relevant. Although some women may be more attracted to taller men, all of them won’t rule you out solely because you’re not 6’ tall. To each their own.
Tip: Be honest about your height on your dating profile. Your dates will eventually see how tall you are in real life when you go on your first date. Confidence in who you are goes a long way and is way more attractive than a liar who claims they’re 6’ when they’re really 5’10”.
10. All women want kids and marriage
The Truth:Traditionally, women were expected to assume the role of “wife and mother.” Nowadays, not so much — more women are now career-focused, disinterested in bearing children, and disregard the idea of getting married until they’re “established” in life.
Tip: When you feel these outdated expectations kicking in, remember that every woman wants something different for herself. Whether your date wants to get married and have kids or date around until (if!) she ever wants to settle down, you’ll never know unless you ask and have the conversation.
An Honest Conversation Is the Way Forward
Ultimately, honest conversations will always lead you to learning more about what your date truly wants in a partner. Avoid assumptions and openly communicate to find out for yourself. Otherwise, these misconceptions will continue to stand in your way and prevent you from finding the best, most secure relationship that works for you.
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