Back in my late twenties, I was a guinea pig for love.
I was living in a city that made it easy to date. I worked in the city center, where I could pop out to a coffee date on my lunch break. I rewrote my online dating profile every three months. There were parties and barbecues and a thriving social scene after dark.
Being young, I just wanted to see what worked. Would an edgier look get me more attention? What if I was the one who approached men? What if I played it cool on a first date and let him try to impress me?
What I noticed is something that has stuck with me ever since…
Something that challenges everything we think we know about attraction.
Simply put, it’s this:
You can’t attract men.
You can only attract A MAN.
And how you go about attracting the opposite sex determines the kind of men who respond to you.
The Outfit Dilemma
Imagine you’re looking in your closet for an outfit to wear for a night out. You’ve got three choices: jeans and t-shirt, slacks and silk blouse, or low-cut LBD.
Most of us would make the choice based on which outfit we think makes us look better. If those jeans are tight and show off your butt, then you go with the jeans. If that silk blouse looks and feels sensual, then you go with the blouse.
When you walk into that coffee shop or restaurant, wearing your outfit of choice, every man there will check you out. But only a few will take a second glance. Those are the men who respond on a visceral level to the signals you’re sending. The guys who appreciate a girl in jeans, or a girl in a silk blouse.
The guy who appreciates a girl in jeans may listen to country music and prefer things that are simple and unfussy.
The guy who appreciates a girl in a silk blouse may wear a suit to work and love the way professional clothes make women look powerful.
Those are just guesses, of course. I don’t know.
But what I do know is that men take a second glance at women who match their tastes. Some guys like the girl-next-door look, while others like the vampy look. Some guys are drawn to confidence, while others are drawn to shyness. Each man has his own unique “type.”
Sometimes a man’s type coincides with what we think of as the ideal look, but more often it doesn’t.
What he finds appealing reflects a range of factors, including his romantic past, formative childhood experiences, how attractive he considers himself, and his values.
A man who values simplicity and directness will be put off by a woman who’s overly mysterious and unavailable.
A man who values scarcity and exclusivity will be put off by a woman who’s friendly and available to everyone.
What’s irresistible to one man puts off another.
Which means that NO woman will ever be able to charm ALL men.
That’s not bad; that’s a GOOD thing.
You don’t want every single man on earth interested in you. You just want the RIGHT man to be interested in you.
And if you don’t know what he specifically finds attractive, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.
Dating Advice is NOT One-Size-Fits-All
There is TONS of advice out there on “what men want” or “what puts men off.” (I may have even written some of it myself! 😉 )
But that’s a hopeless task, because every man is different.
Consider your own experience. Compare the sorts of men you’re attracted to with the sorts of men your best girlfriend finds attractive. Is there much overlap?
We ALL have different tastes.
So anyone who’s trying to tell you “what men are attracted to” is just making an educated guess.
What’s much more useful is to find out what the kind of men you’re interested in respond to.
And that takes some experimentation.
That’s easy if you’re online dating. Just have a particular man in mind and write your profile based on what you think he’d respond to. If it doesn’t work, try a different angle. Keep playing with it until you consistently get hits from men you might actually be interested in.
Back when I was online dating, every so often I would forget this maxim and make the mistake of creating a fun, sexy profile that attracted a flood of hits from guys who wanted a fun, sexy girl.
I didn’t want a party guy with abs. I wanted to meet serious, interesting guys with their stuff sorted and a partnered future in mind. Those guys didn’t necessarily respond to coy winks.
Getting attention from guys I’m not interested in just wastes my time.
Which brings me to the three types of men…
The 3 Types of Men
You can’t generalize about what ALL men want in a woman, but that doesn’t mean it’s not useful to sort men out into different types.
Some want a domestic goddess, others want eye candy, and still others want a challenge, right?
So when you’re planning your attraction strategy, ask yourself what part of a man you want to appeal to:
- His head,
- His heart, or
- His loins.
Your choice will determine which men feel attracted to you…
And which don’t.
Dating Tactic #1: Hook Him on a Chemical Level
The biggest mistake most of us make is reducing all men down to their primal nature. Appeal to his loins, and he’ll be putty in your hands.
There are all sorts of reasons and rationales for appealing to his base nature. Men have evolved over millennia to seek fertile mates to spread their seed. They can’t resist youth, an hourglass figure, shiny hair and clear skin.
But, of course, many men CAN resist those things.
Men are just like us. They prefer compatibility over the risk of being rejected or cheated on.
That means they tend to pick partners who are like themselves. A man with average looks and a mature disposition wants a mature woman who’s beautiful in his eyes.
Unlike animals, human have a highly evolved neocortex, the part of the brain responsible for logical thinking. Men are able to weigh their self-interest and project themselves into the future. A sexy babe might be nice to look at, but many guys are smart enough to realize she’d bore him stiff within a week.
Sure, there are immature guys out there who don’t want conversation. Send out the right signals, and he’ll leap at the chance of getting you in the sack. But is that what you want?
Hook him on a chemical level, and you’ll get a chemical connection. He may become obsessed with you, but his attraction is based on getting a constant hit of those pleasure chemicals. Stop giving him that hit—because you want to connect emotionally—and he’ll lose interest fast.
Not much use if what you really want is a man who loves you.
Dating Tactic #2: Mess with His Mind
Maybe you’re after an even bigger catch.
A guy who walks straight past all the girls throwing themselves at him.
He’ll notice your flirtation, your coy glances, but he won’t be interested unless you make it hard for him.
This guy only responds to mind games.
You’ve got to trigger his interest on an intellectual level. You’ve got to be mysterious, fascinating, intriguing. You’ve got to make him want to know more about you and find out what makes you tick.
So maybe you dress a little more modestly. You show him glimpses, but never reveal too much. The Rules serve you well.
But once he’s solved the mystery of you, what then?
Will he still be interested?
Or will he move onto the next woman just out of reach?
Dating Tactic #3: Care for Him
It’s hard to find anyone who cares.
In the dating scene, it’s all about what we can GET from each other. He’s looking for sex. She’s looking for a ring.
Even if you meet a man who seems to be genuinely interested in you and want nothing more from you than your company, you might still be suspicious.
That’s why dating from the heart is the least popular dating strategy of all.
Why be vulnerable? Why open your heart just to get hurt? Surely you need armor to compete in the dating game.
Which is why we send our avatars to date for us. We create elaborate profiles. We connect over Facebook. We text him instead of picking up the phone. We feel safer with a little distance between us. We’d rather pique his interest with sexy messages than let him see what we’re feeling inside.
No wonder our results are so mixed. We attract men we don’t really like. We put off the few men we really DO like. We blame the entire male race for the behavior of a few.
Are we brave enough to face the thought that we’ve had a part in this?
We didn’t lead with our hearts. We led with our bodies. We led with our clever quips. We led with our carefully crafted profiles.
That’s not to say we should go back to the days when we were young and spilled out our feelings to our crushes, feeling the hot shame of embarrassment when they turned away.
Even then, we were doing what we thought would GET us something. We wanted a relationship. We didn’t care about these boys as much as we cared about whether they’d say yes.
It’s time to stop seeing other human beings as means to an end.
A man is still worth your time and concern even if nothing could possibly happen between you.
A man who knows you would have time for him even if he weren’t your romantic interest is a man will care about you.
You’ve touched his heart, and he can’t help but share some of his heart with you in return.
For those of us who want one true love—not a bunch of horny guys chasing at our door—it’s the ultimate prize.
If you want a man in your life who knows how to love, lead with love.
The kind of unconditional affection and positive regard you’d give to anyone, even if you weren’t dating them.
The men who respond to your emotional warmth and generosity are the good guys. And those who don’t? Maybe they’re not worth your time.
Take it from the fabulous Ken Page:
If you try to be something you’re not, then you’re going to meet someone who is attracted to someone you’re not.”
Let us know what you think!