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7 Things Men Look for in a Woman

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Believe it or not, men are just as much a mystery to women as women are to men. I'm asked quite frequently by women, "What do men really want?" They react to celebrity splits like Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore's with shock and dismay, stating, "She is so beautiful and successful. What more does he want?" Of course, what they're really asking is, "If she is that gorgeous and famous and still not good enough, how will I ever be?"

The great news is that quality, emotionally stable men do exist, and what they want is not reliant upon their partner being a beauty queen or a Fortune 500 CEO. Over the course of my work counseling men, I've figured out what the seven most common characteristics men look for and hope to find in a woman. Men want a woman who...

1. Is confident in her own skin

There is nothing more attractive and sexy to a man that a strong, confident and secure woman. This type of woman has done her inner work. She feels good about who she is and is comfortable in her own skin. She does not have to be gorgeous, rich and famous, but she does have to live her life from a place of meaning and purpose. That purpose can be anything as long as it means something to her. She is the type of woman that has not waited around for Prince Charming to rescue and build a life for her. Instead she created her own personal kingdom. As Mr. Right comes along, she finds a way to merge their worlds without giving up everything she has created. This means she does not drop her friends, family and life purpose simply to become a part of his world. She knows how to blend the two without losing herself.

2. Knows what she wants

When a woman is clear on what she wants, she does not waste time with situations or people that do not fit into that model. Men are attracted to this because they want to know up front if they are a contender. When a man encounters a wishy-washy woman who is not sure what she wants, it signals to him that she does not know who she is and because of that may end up not wanting him next week, next month or next year.

3. Clearly communicates

In general, men are not natural communicators. Therefore, they want a woman who speaks to them in a concise and straightforward manner when it comes to expressing her needs. They want to avoid navigating through a woman's feelings in order to interpret what she's saying. He likes it when she directly tells him what she wants and how he can best deliver it. His goal is to make her happy and when he has the information on how to accomplish that, he feels more confident that he can do it.

4. Respects and admires him

A man wants to be able to feel like he's the man and that the woman in his life thinks he is the greatest. He wants her to respect him for who he is, not what he does or how much money he makes. The bottom line is that men who are emotionally healthy are not looking to be with a woman who emasculates, bosses or controls them. These men are looking for a woman who will treat them well and with respect and admiration.

5. Does not need him but desires him

Throughout history, men have fought wars and built empires. However, they have done it on their own terms. When a man feels a woman needs him out of desperation, he questions her real interests. However, when a woman does not need a man but desires him, he knows she wants him for who he is rather than what he can do for her.

6. Is drama, manipulation, and pressure-free

Men do not want emotional drama queens who use their feminine wiles to manipulate them out of their time or money. Dealing with emotional outbursts, sneaky ways and pushiness does not go over well in the long run with a man. He wants a woman who is emotionally stable and authentic in both her words and actions. He is not looking for a spoiled little girl who is ill-equipped to handle the ups and downs of life; he is looking for a woman.

7. Likes and wants sex

Yes, it's true! Men want a woman who is comfortable with her sexuality, enjoys sex with him and is not afraid to let him know. A man looks for a woman who will positively respond to his desire for her instead of rejecting him. This is especially true when he is looking for a wife, as men do not want to sign up for a lifetime of bad or dispassionate sex.

Although men and women are different in how we think, communicate and express our emotions, one thing that's true for all of us is that we desire to love and be loved.

Understanding gender differences is vital, but so is knowing that when it comes to finding a partner, the core basics apply to everyone. We are all looking for a mate to be a loving and supportive friend, confidant and lover who will be with us through thick and thin as we walk through life.