According to a specialist, the majority of females seek out these nine characteristics in a companion.
The question of what women desire has perplexed many, from Sigmund Freud to Amanda Bynes and Colin Firth. However, it is a well-established fact that there is no one-size-fits-all answer, particularly when it comes to what women truly seek in a mate. Nevertheless, scientists have concluded that the response to “what do women want in a potential partner?” is not as intricate as one might think.
Suzanne Degges-White, Ph.D., a licensed therapist, has extensively researched female relationships, and her recent study investigates “what men in their lives can offer women ranging from 18 to 75 years old.” The results indicate that, while everyone is unique, a woman’s relational necessities are relatively foreseeable. In her 2018 Psychology Today article, she states, “A solid relationship is founded on some fundamental, practical qualities. Women do not require partners who expend all their effort trying to demonstrate their strength, masculinity, machismo, or heroism. They desire men who are willing to understand their perspective and treat them with fairness and equality – while also maintaining the romance.”
Although it may be impossible for anyone to know precisely what a woman desires – which may or may not include traveling to England to locate a long-lost, posh British lord running for office – I consulted Claudia Johnson, an associate therapist for the PNW Sex Therapy Collective, to identify the following nine characteristics that are undoubtedly necessary for a satisfying relationship. Here’s what women seek in a partner (regardless of gender).
Females desire transparency in a relationship. It is commonly understood that being truthful is the ideal course of action, and a woman does not want her partner to deceive her on significant matters. Instead, she desires a partner who is willing to share happy experiences and memories with her. Dishonesty often indicates that one has crossed boundaries, made poor decisions, or mistakes, and a woman doesn’t want her partner to feel like they must lie. However, according to Johnson, transparency in a relationship is more valuable than honesty. It can prevent either partner from spiraling into anxiety and self-blame for things beyond their control.
According to Johnson, “While honesty is admirable, it’s crucial to understand that we don’t fully comprehend ourselves. We are continuously evolving and changing.” Johnson tells Elite Daily, “Our preferences may shift over time, and what we like today may differ from what we like tomorrow. Therefore, it’s unreasonable to expect our partners to be entirely truthful when we don’t even know ourselves. In my view, transparency encompasses all the various identities we possess and everything we know about ourselves at any given moment.”
Johnson also mentions that women and individuals socialized as females are prone to blaming themselves if something seems amiss in their relationship due to cultural expectations. In contrast, a transparent partner may come home in a bad mood because of work-related issues. However, instead of letting their partner agonize over the reason for their foul mood, a transparent partner will clarify how they’re feeling and provide additional context. Being transparent demonstrates that one is sensitive, compassionate, and willing to put in the extra effort to alleviate their partner’s concerns.
A woman desires an attentive listener who comprehends her on a profound level. Why? Because only then can she feel genuinely appreciated. We all desire to know that we are valued for who we are. Not the image others have of us. While not everyone requires reassurance of their worth, everyone yearns for it. Additionally, women and individuals assigned female at birth (AFAB) often experience mansplaining and gaslighting in their daily lives and interactions. Johnson asserts that a caring partner will make a conscious effort to communicate effectively and demonstrate empathetic listening skills.
According to Johnson, if you’re in a relationship with a woman, it’s essential to be curious and exhibit active listening skills. Due to socialization, women are often required to be thoughtful and deliberate in expressing their emotions, and their partners must use compassionate listening to understand them fully before jumping in with their own opinions. Johnson suggests that partners should ask lots of questions and request additional details to improve their communication skills. It’s vital to comprehend what she’s conveying without trivializing or dismissing her feelings, as women may be subjected to mansplaining or gaslighting in their everyday lives.
Compassion is a quality that women value highly in a partner. Feeling cared for and supported can alleviate the loneliness and difficulties of life, which can be especially challenging when we are struggling with our mental or physical health. According to Johnson, a good partner is someone who can share the burden and make life a little easier. In turn, a woman will reciprocate this kindness and be there for her partner in their time of need. It’s a fair and valuable tradeoff in any healthy relationship.
Johnson explains that caring is more than just a concept, it involves actions that demonstrate your concern for someone. It’s important to show up for your partner and let them know that they are valued. When you care about someone, you will naturally be more interested in their life and well-being. Johnson suggests that asking about their day or their family can go a long way in showing that you care.
Johnson suggests that caring for someone requires being interested in them. She says, “Asking questions is the first step in demonstrating that you care.” Johnson also recommends a simple way to check whether you are invested in your partner’s life. She suggests asking yourself if you know what your partner is going through at the moment, such as with work or their family, without having to check. If you are unsure, she advises asking your partner questions and getting involved to show them that you care.
Johnson believes that women desire strength in a partner, but it’s not just physical or mental strength. Contrary to popular belief, women don’t necessarily want a partner who’s “strong” in a conventional sense. Rather, they’re looking for someone who’s emotionally strong and secure enough to provide them with space and support their independence.
Johnson emphasizes the importance of having space in relationships, especially for women who have been conditioned to prioritize nurturing and constant availability. While it’s important to have a partner who is there for you through thick and thin, Johnson suggests that what women truly desire is both space and security in a relationship.
According to Johnson, a strong partner is someone who values independence and allows their partner to have the same. “When you love someone deeply, it’s natural to want to spend all your time together and do everything together. Building a foundation of togetherness is important for any relationship, but it’s also important to remember the importance of individuality. You have multiple hats to wear and different facets to your personality, and it’s crucial not to lose sight of that. So, it’s essential to give space, make space, and take space.”
Women desire a considerate partner who acknowledges that they have a lot of weight and responsibilities, and takes action to ease their burden. According to Johnson, women have a tendency to put their own needs last and be considerate towards others. Therefore, they want a partner who doesn’t take this for granted and recognizes their efforts to support them. Johnson emphasizes that thoughtfulness in words should be backed up by concrete actions, which are more crucial for creating a happy relationship.
Johnson highlights that women have multiple roles and responsibilities that they juggle every day. However, these multiple identities often go unnoticed and uncelebrated. “Women are expected to be mothers, daughters, sisters, friends, and partners all at once,” she explains. “A great partner will recognize and appreciate the different hats his girlfriend wears and find ways to support her in each role.” Being considerate is not just about thinking about it, but it also means taking action. Johnson suggests that small gestures can make a big difference, such as making coffee or breakfast to give her a few extra minutes to take a shower, which can help her start the day off strong.
Johnson explains that it’s not always the grand gestures that matter to women. “They’re not looking for something extravagant,” she says. “Rather, they want a partner who puts their clothes away and doesn’t leave their shoes lying around. It’s about being considerate, and women tend to be more attuned to these details, even subconsciously. Actions speak louder than words, so it’s important to have a partner who demonstrates their care through their behavior. You can say ‘I love you’ a million times, but a text from your partner before an important meeting saying ‘You’ve got this!’ can make all the difference.”
Reliability is key for women. While many people crave attention and validation, regardless of their gender, this desire can lead to competitiveness and even jealousy. This is why it’s crucial for women to have a partner they can rely on to be emotionally stable and dependable. While Johnson acknowledges the importance of loyalty, she emphasizes that emotional dependability is even more valuable.
According to Johnson, while loyalty can have different interpretations for different people, reliability is more concrete and crucial. Women want a partner they can count on emotionally, someone who will always be there for them. “Reliability grounds it a little bit more; your partner wants you in her corner. That’s what we all want in a relationship. Women, men, non-binary people — anyone anywhere on the spectrum — want to be with somebody that they can be themselves with. And that’s it.” Trust is an essential part of this; women need to feel safe enough to share their thoughts and feelings without worrying that their partner will leave.
Women desire emotional openness. It’s important to note that vulnerability is not a weakness but a sign of empathy, not just for oneself but also for one’s partner. According to Johnson, women want a partner who is emotionally open and not necessarily perfect or stoic. The societal pressure on men to be strong and tough can make it difficult for them to connect with their feelings and with their partner. Johnson says that toxic masculinity affects everyone, not just men, and that the less one pays attention to their emotions, the harder it is to form a connection with one’s partner.
Having a partner who is open to vulnerability is more fulfilling for a woman than being with someone who keeps everything inside. “When you’re able to express your emotions, such as saying ‘I’m feeling a little anxious’ or ‘I’m a little scared’, that brings a whole new dimension to the relationship,” Johnson says. “Sharing your feelings or fears makes you vulnerable, and when your partner shares their innermost thoughts with you, it becomes easier to work together and develop empathy.”
By opening up and being vulnerable, you encourage your partner to be vulnerable in return. “Your partner might respond by saying, ‘I feel the same way,’ or ‘I’m going through something similar,’” Johnson explains. “Women are often taught to be skilled at emotional communication and providing support to others, whether it’s our friends or family. But it can be difficult when we extend this emotional support to our partner, and they don’t reciprocate. It can lead to emotional exhaustion. So, by being vulnerable, we can ease that burden and promote emotional connection.”
Security is a top priority for women in a relationship. While you don’t need to be wealthy to make your partner feel secure, some women may require financial stability. However, a woman who truly values you will appreciate the qualities that helped you become successful, not just the money. Ultimately, she wants to feel safe and protected, both physically and emotionally. It’s important to show her that you will keep her well-being a top priority and make her feel comfortable in your relationship.
Johnson debunks the notion that women solely seek financial security from their partner. “Women work and take care of themselves, so we don’t require financial security,” says Johnson. Rather, women want to feel secure and respected. Johnson notes that numerous factors in this world make it unsafe for women, and in a heterosexual relationship, having a partner who helps make spaces safer is worth more than any financial resource. Microaggressions occur frequently, and a partner who acknowledges and defends their partner’s valid points is a critical experience for women.
Emotional security isn’t the only type of safety that Johnson is emphasizing. Intellectual safety is also a priority. “We’re equal, so treat me as such,” she says. “In all our everyday interactions, whether it be at work or in the street, women want a partner who can provide a sense of safety and support. We can fight our own battles, but it’s comforting to know that our partner is there to stand with us.”
Women seek a confident partner who is comfortable being themselves. According to Johnson, women often struggle with self-doubt, feeling that they are not good enough. However, she believes that individuals are beautiful and perfect in their own unique and imperfect ways. Being authentic and true to oneself is the best approach in a relationship, rather than constantly striving to be someone else.
According to Johnson, the best way to impress a woman is to be authentic and true to yourself. “Think about what you want to bring into your relationship and find a way to incorporate it that feels natural to you. Just be yourself!” she advises. “Your partner chose to be with you for a reason, and that’s a wonderful thing. Cherish it and don’t waste time overthinking it. Love is a choice, so focus on what you’re going to do with it instead of why she chose you.”
While women may have varying preferences when it comes to relationships, generally speaking, they seek qualities that are not particularly surprising. Therefore, the best course of action is to be authentic, truthful, and treat others well.