Men want to have it all.
By The Good Men Project — Updated on May 20, 2023
Photo: Daria_vg/ Shutterstock
By Ben Lenzo
As a guy who considers himself to be emotionally mature, I want my equal here. I want a woman who is emotionally mature.
She’s lived, has scars. She understands that by having earned those scars, and coming through the other side (or is on the path to doing so), she’s a better human. She knows her scars make her stronger than she was before. More whole than she was before.
And I will love her even more for sharing that with me. I will not put myself in a position to “save” her, and she wouldn’t want me to. Not because I wouldn’t want to stop her hurt, but because I know that doing so, would only be temporary relief. Instead, I will be right there beside her and will do anything I can to support her on that path.
Here is what modern men really want in a girlfriend, as told by a modern man:
I want to move beyond ticking surface-level boxes like “has a great sense of humor,” or “loves the beach,” which matter only for a short time, and long term not at all.
I want the things that are core to what I believe are important for a human. As a registered human myself, this also applies to how I live my own life. And that’s way beyond skin deep.
I want a woman who understands that being perfect is boring, and far from real. One who isn’t afraid of sharing her imperfections with me. A woman who isn’t intimidated by her imperfections, or more accurately, is sometimes intimidated, yet engages them. And she isn’t afraid to respectfully call me on mine. She understands that I’m not perfect, but that I want to be everything I can for myself and for her.
A woman who has empathy for others as well as a love of herself. Understands the dichotomy of needing to put herself first, so she can put her partner first too! I want a woman who is deserving of me to put her first in the same way.
I want a woman who is open and seeks growth, both as an individual and as a couple.
Her word and her integrity are of supreme importance to her. Not someone else’s version of what “integrity” is, or mine, but her own.
A woman with passion — whatever that is for her — but she has an incredible supply of it! At times, it becomes a close second to oxygen. It feeds her! She takes comfort in the everyday. Enjoys today, and is not just chasing some future potential happiness. She’s never complete because she’s always ready to grow further and takes satisfaction in doing so.
She’ll let me look after her too. I’ll do a dozen tiny things a day to make her happy. To please her. Because it’s another way I show her that I love her and think of her. She’ll reciprocate that too! Or teach me the ways she demonstrates her love, so I can feel it.
I want a woman who is tactile and loving. A woman who understands that I need to touch her, deliberately and with intent, and one of the ways I feel close to her is by touch. But sometimes it’s just my natural state to be absently touching her, caressing her, feeling her warmth. I want to be touched like that too.
Although she gives me her heart and her mind, I want her body too. She understands her body, takes pleasure in it, knows what set her afire, and wants to engage & teach me the same. She willingly gives herself to me because she knows I will simultaneously treat her body as the gift it is, but will also allow my hunger for her to take over, devouring every part of her.
She knows that entwined together in body and mind, she is still a beautiful and whole individual.
A woman who understands that love in the long term is a choice. It is something that can’t be left to chance and must always be tended to with great care and attention. But also that my choice to love her is not to be taken for granted.
I want a woman who is as proud of me as I am of her and sings my praises from the rooftops. Just as I do of hers. She will encourage me and support me in my time of need. I want a woman who is my best friend. Someone that I can truly be everything I am. No need to hold back a single part of myself and never afraid because I know that I am absolutely safe with her.
A woman who understands that depending on how large my coffee is, one Equal might not be enough and I may need a lil’ bit o’ sugar too. She mocks only a little at this odd marriage of unnatural sweetener and sugar. She pays attention to that, and if she’s getting coffee, just sorts it out, happily!
Importantly, she understands that while true, this last paragraph actually has nothing to do with coffee or sugar.
Like me, she’s naïve enough to hope that love can be forever, that ‘til death do us part’ can be real and isn’t some foolish hope. But something that can be worked on together every day to ensure its eventuality.
A woman who understands that these are all things that I will try to bring to my relationship with her too.
I have no expectations of someone else that I do not have of myself. I will try to get there every day — and fail. Many, many days I will fail. As will she. And that’s OK, as long as we are together and trying not to.
These will not be the typical things a guy (or girl) will list when asked, “What are you looking for in a partner?” when meeting someone, or on a dating website. Or if it comes up in conversation, it’s unlikely I’m going to be this open with just anyone (except for complete strangers on a website of course — odd one that).
And I’d probably advise not to bust out these puppies too soon, because, well, that’d just be weird. If you’re looking for companionship, for someone to hang out with and spend some time with — for someone to not be alone with — then “box ticks” are probably fine. But I’m OK being on my own. And I have lots of friends.
If I’m looking for someone, they need to be my someone. And that means looking beyond the surface-level stuff.
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Ben Lenzo is a writer/director and business owner who has written for TV and theatre.