Quantcast

The One Thing Men Value More Than Looks

The answer may surprise you.

Love & Relationships

The proliferation of social feeds flooded with Instagram models boasting Instagram bodies has duped us into believing that our outward appearances are the single most determining factor in getting and keeping a man. I agree, to some extent, that physical appearances are important to the start of a new relationship. But there's another significant factor that often goes unnoticed when it comes to what attracts a man: a mental connection.

I'll begin by stating the obvious ways women may think will get a man's attention, you know what the music videos would have us believe. Advice from the unwise suggests superficial strategies like dressing provocatively, trying to make him jealous with another guy, posting sexy pics on social, or that maybe even getting a butt job to look like an IG model are all things men crave. However, there are actually other things like confidence, intellect, and an emotional connection that really turns men on and keeps them wanting more.

What Men Really Want

Shutterstock

A 2018 Bustle article asked men how they knew they felt an emotional connection and some of their responses were quite profound. Even though sex is an important part of any romantic relationship, don't think for a second that great sex, alone, will keep a man around. Men are visual creatures, this we know, but after they've fulfilled their physical desire, they're looking for something deeper that can sustain a long-term relationship. The best way you can offer something meaningful to your partner is to be your authentic self. That's something that can't be replicated.

"Having said all those things, the quality I love most about her is, she's honest and genuine. I think that comes across to people. They get a sense that they can trust her. You know, the word 'authenticity' is overused these days." - President Barack Obama, on his wife, Michelle

Believe it or not, men are emotional beings, although pop culture and rap lyrics will lead you to believe otherwise. Society standards and gender stereotypes contribute to the notion that all men want sex, which may be true, and that that's all they want, which is probably untrue. But let's face it, it's kind of hard to ignore the importance of sex in a relationship, especially when that's the message that is perpetuated throughout the media. Aside from that, it's not like society welcomes men to be vulnerable. If anything, they're in jeopardy of being shamed for showing their emotions, which is something we need to work toward turning the page on. I think it's important to understand that some men actually enjoy intimacy, a form of closeness that can be attained both physically and emotionally.

Physical Connection

Yes, we know men are turned on by the way a woman looks, dresses, or styles her hair. Otherwise, women might not make such an effort to look good for their men, as often as they do. However, something we often fail to talk about is men's desires for emotional connectedness. An emotional connection can enhance a physical connection in a relationship. How else can you explain a man having an amazing night of passion with a woman only to ghost her the next day? If a man isn't emotionally invested in her, then it can be quite easy. However, when a man connects with a woman on a deeper level, his attraction to her grows.

"You will spend more time with this person than anyone else for the rest of your life, and there is nothing more important than always wanting to hear what she has to say about things." — Barack Obama

I remember being in a relationship where I knew the guy had strong feelings for me when he stayed on the phone for half an hour, talking me through the process of removing a splinter from my hand. And while I valued his consideration of being there for something so small, it was the deeper conversations that strengthened our relationship and grew our bond.

Connecting on a Deeper Level

Shutterstock

I've done extensive research on this subject while working to obtain my Master's degree in Communication Studies. One important concept I learned was the act of self-disclosure. In his book, The Art of Positive Communication, Dr. Julien Mirivel notes a model of positive communication where he suggests two key components for strengthening relationships: 1) asking questions and 2) disclosing information. According to Mirivel, the way we communicate with people is indicative of how we feel about them. And some studies go so far as to say that there are specific questions you can ask someone to increase intimacy that lead to love and/or greater intimacy.

Disclosure deepens relationships

Communication scholars often refer to the analogy of peeling the layers of an onion to illustrate how social penetration, the process by which relationships progress from relatively shallow to more intimate, occurs. I prefer the analogy of an orange, whereas there is somewhat of a tough exterior on the outside, once removed, reveals a sweet, pleasant, and tender piece of fruit.

The sense of connection that we feel with people is not something we have, it's something we create. One way to create a deeper sense of connection is by asking questions.

Asking questions discovers the unknown

Think about it. The word question is rooted in the Latin term meaning "to seek" or "to look for," and that's what Mirivel's example points in his model. When we ask questions, we are in search of answers.

I read an article in Scientific American that said people's favorite subject to talk about is themselves, although when it's done excessively while just getting to know someone may be a red flag. Asking questions gives people permission to talk about themselves without coming off as a narcissist. It also gives you insight into a potential dating partner and can give you clues on whether or not to pursue a relationship. Every one of us has a story to tell and when we ask questions, what we are really saying to our partner is that we want to know more about them. What's more attractive than that?

As it turns out, all men aren't as one-dimensional as most of them appear to be. When a man feels comfortable enough to let his guard down and share his emotions with a woman, it can increase attraction, helping to build a stronger connection and foundation for a relationship and who knows, maybe even falling in love.

Are you a member of our insiders squad? Join us in the xoTribe Members Community today!

Featured image by Shutterstock

While Issa Rae's HBO show Insecure is coming to an end, the star just celebrated a new beginning. The writer/actress got married to her longtime boyfriend Louis Diame in July in the south of France. The couple released the wedding photos on social media on July 26. And while many people expressed excitement for the 36-year-old, others were left confused thanks to Issa's sense of humor.

Keep reading... Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

At the start of each season, I browse the net to get an idea of the latest styles and trends to look out for when adding to my closet. When shopping, not only do I love items that are hot for the moment but mainly those that I can keep in rotation year after year. I especially look for styles that are both modern and classic, giving off an effortlessly timeless vibe.

Keep reading... Show less

Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns has had to deal with numerous devastating losses over the course of two years due to COVID-19. On April 13, 2020, his mother, Jacqueline Cruz-Towns passed away from the novel virus. He had several close family members pass from COVID-19 as well. And, in the beginning of 2021, Karl also contracted the virus and ended up in the hospital.

Keep reading... Show less

Is it just me or does it seem like, these days, folks are used to just throwing words and phrases out without really understanding what they mean? Take being a free spirit, for example. While some people may be spontaneous (at times), like to take risks or even be a lot of fun to be around, that doesn't automatically or necessarily make them a free spirit. In short, a free-spirited person is someone who's considered to be a nonconformist. And, even with that said, it goes a little bit deeper.

Keep reading... Show less

Before Naturi Naughton captured audiences as Tasha in Power and even before she played Lil Kim in the Biggie Smalls biopic Notorious, the actress was in the girl group 3LW. The group 3LW, which stood for 3 Little Women, composed of Naturi, The Real's Adrienne Bailon and BET Presents: The Encore's Kiely Williams, and they had many hits including "No More (Baby I'ma Do Right)" and "I Do (Wanna Get Close To You)."

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews

Adrienne Bailon Wants Women Of Color To Take Self-Inventory In Order To Redefine Success

"You can't expect anyone else to care about yourself like you do."

Latest Posts