It’s a topic that has been hotly debated for the past 30 years. As more and more women erased “homemaker” from their job description, the gender roles have blurred and morphed, making it hard to know what women expect of us. In such a fast-changing society many of the rules we were taught as boys seem to be all wrong. Is it fair to expect that a woman will set aside her career aspirations for family? Is it selfish to expect time away from your partner to maintain male relationships? Do women really want a sensitive man? It can be very confusing.
eHarmony is a useful tool for answering many of these questions. The long and detailed questionnaire that all eHarmony members complete gives us great insight into the values and expectations of women who are here searching for the love of their life.
So what are eHarmony women looking for in a man?
A Verbally Intimate Man
You just knew this would be in the top five didn’t you? It’s true, women want a man who will talk about what is going on inside his head and heart. They want a man who won’t bottle things up or run away when times are tough. They know that the healthy thing to do is to share, and at the very least, let your partner know what you’re going through, even if there is seemingly little they can do. The important addendum to this is that eHarmony women don’t want a man who is weak spirited. This means that sharing your feelings is great…bursting into tears when problems arise is bad. In fact, while tears are completely appropriate on some occasions, most women want a man who is likely to be less “emotional” than they are, a very important distinction when getting ready to discuss your emotional past.
An Honest Man
Honesty is consistently rated as one of the most important traits that eHarmony women want in a soul mate. Why is that? Because, almost every single woman in eHarmony (and in the world at large) has been lied to by a man they loved. Before you assume that you are honest, take a moment and consider all the statements you’ve made, all the descriptions you’ve written during your eHarmony process. Are you being consistent? Can you stand behind everything you’ve said? Women have learned to look for subtle inconsistencies during the “getting-to-know-you” stage. They know that this is the best way to anticipate whether you will be honest in big important issues, by examining how you handle small things. Make sure you’re on the level.
An Emotionally Healthy Man
What does emotional health mean and isn’t everybody a little unhealthy? Yes and No. eHarmony women aren’t looking for men who have completely solved all their internal issues, but they have voiced an unequivocal desire to be matched with men who are neuroses free. In fact, eHarmony goes so far as to screen these people out of the service. The most attractive men are confident men. Men who are emotionally stable and at ease with themselves seem safe and secure and allow a woman to open up and trust.
A Man Who Can Resolve Conflict
Men are taught from a very early age to win, especially American men. We see the world as full of winners and losers and we know exactly which side of that line we want to occupy. There are many real world situations where that type of thinking is useful. A successful relationship is not one of those situations.
eHarmony women want a man who handles relationship conflict with an eye towards peaceful compromise, not personal victory. For many men, being right is a priority. They will cut off their nose to spite their face with an argument that establishes how right they are, and leaves their partner, the love of their life, feeling belittled and worthless.
eHarmony women want a man who is smart enough to know when winning is less important than resolving conflict.
An Attractive Man
This doesn’t mean that your extra 15 pounds make you undesirable. This doesn’t mean that eHarmony women want George Clooney (though they might, if asked). This just means that women, like men, can’t completely set aside physical appearance when choosing a Soul Mate. They need to feel that tug of physical attraction…and you can help them.
With each eHarmony membership we receive photographs. Many, many photographs are uploaded to eHarmony every day. It appears to us that eHarmony has equal numbers of men and women at each level of physical attractiveness. However, many men need help with the art of photography.
Most women seem to naturally take the time and effort to dress nicely, pick an attractive spot and send in pictures that are clear and flattering. Men are another story. Men often send in pictures that are blurry, in strange positions (often sitting at their computers), with hair askew and bewildered expressions. With the advent of digital and disposable cameras it is too easy to take a few minutes and create a great picture. Your female matches are hoping that you will put your best foot forward.
In the end, each match is a completely different person, with different needs and preferences. The above guide is just a basic checklist of foundation points that will create a nice starting line to begin learning about the women with whom you’ve been matched. The one universal tip for relationship success is listening to what your match has to say. Then you can decide if you feel that bond that is the beginning of a rich and successful life together.