"Ideal" man and woman


In a recent research conducted in Poland (link just in case, though it’s in Polish), it turns out “macho” is the type of man women are after, which is also more or less in accordance with what men believe. Translation (just the relevant paragraph):

For women, the ideal man should be: well-kept, well-groomed, pretty [sic], proportionally built, with a hairy chest, fashionably dressed, tanned, musculated. He should also be mature, understanding, warming, taking care of himself, honourable, amusing, independent, tough, risk-taking [literal translation ranges from rash to devil-may-care], determined.

And now the way men see the ideal woman:

According to them, she should be: delicate, good, warm, intelligent, listening, loving, sincere, trustworthy, caring - loving children. And appearance? - we look for a middle-height brunette or blonde, marked by a fluidity of movement, delicacy, sensuality, naturalness and an athletic [literally sporty, which is less than athletic], firm and lithe body.

Reeks supermarket, I know. Such surveys produces scores which encompass such broad ranges of subjects that they lose much of the indentifying factor. Additionally, there is a lot of inconsistencies. However, those inconsistencies is something I’d like to address.

It seems - also according to the sexuologist (a noted professor) who’s preparing the commentary - that women officially prefer a, “smooth-spoken, nice, well-brought-up guy,” whereas in reality they do prefer a blood and bones guy. “Guy” is the word they used. I will agree the picture is broad and falls somewhere between Ken and Rhett Butler. What’s worrying is the association with a wish machine that I’ve been having recently: i.e. that basically the deal is that the man should at all times respond “appropriately” to the situation, with an overtone of submission or a form of subservience hidden in all the requirements and particular characteristics thereof, as well as the expectation of being all this and that. I am also especially worried by the high rank of “risk-taking” as a requirement. It doesn’t read, “able to take risks for his family.” It reads “rash” or even, “devil may care,” as a trait of character - speaking in the relationship vernacular, a “turn-on”.

As for men, I notice a worrying tendency to focus on the one hand on a surprising catalogue of good, pro-family, traditional qualities (which I wouldn’t have expected) and on the other hand on the body, which is being addressed in a near-technical manner suggesting the possibility that it’s being evaluated from the point of view of sexual performance rather than aesthetic factors.

While there’s no direct inconsistency, the coexistence of several of those traits is somewhat problematic. For instance, sensual and natural… what’s that? Sensually natural? More like naturally sensual. It doesn’t necessarily ring of anything bad, but I’m sensing some degree of stimulus-seeking here. Lollita charm, don’t know what. Then also delicacy and sporty, athletic body put together are certainly viable, but I do wonder what they suggest. Aren’t men looking for tough ladies these days? I don’t want to make premature judgements, but it seems to me this ideal is highly influenced by female models of mass culture - be it characters from films or computer games or even porn perchance.

To sum up, to me it seems there’s a bit of an inconsistence in the way women see the ideal man. In how men see the ideal woman, there’s no inconsistence in the mental and emotional traits, although there may be some inconsistence in the physical traits or the combination of those and aforementioned mental and emotional traits. Men’s ideal woman emerges as a pro-family image, after all, while women’s ideal men strikes as not quite the family guy, more of a macho to impress and stir the blood.

I must say I am more worried by women’s ideal, since it doesn’t mentioned anything like good husband or good mother or good or loving anywhere. “Honourable” seems to progress through “independent” to “tough” and even “risk-taking”, which suggests an overall macho image, rather than being honourable for itself. I can’t help regarding the combination of certain factors such as “understanding” which goes together with “caring for himself” and the machoistic traits coming together with a layer of empathy suggest a “teddy bear” longing, which is, unfortunately, something I have been able to observe around here.

However, I’m a man myself, so I am less able to notice the dangers and potential trouble in the way men see the ideal woman - apart from the seemingly difficult to reconcile high physical/sexual traits with good wife and mother characteristics. The content, the matter, is not as worrying as the way it is framed. I realise it may be as worrying to the ladies as the women’s picture of an ideal man might be to me - although it would be an overstatement to say it deprives me of my sleep. :wink:

Now I’d like to ask your opinion about this, perhaps also how it is where you live - is it different anyhow? I’m guessing not really, at least if you were to take a poll like this one. Prove me wrong, though. :wink: How does this relate to Catholics? Is it good or bad? Is it good that women seem to appreciate tough men again and that men seem to want a family woman? Or is it prevalent and worrying that one gender wants a handsome teddy bear with a bit of a claw and the other wants a mellow flexible doll to cover all the needs? Discuss please. :wink:


I think that it depends on how tightly a person clings to their ‘dream’ mate. The danger is when a person clings to the ideal and doesn’t realize that a real person has a combination of good and bad traits. Or when they put to much emphasis on physical ideals over traits such as honor and compassion.

The traits in the study are very vague though. I am not certain, for example, what risk taking means exactly. Does that mean that women want a husband who will always be doing thing like jumping from airplanes and speeding down the highway. Or does it simply mean that they want a guy who will get off his bottom and have fun?


I was suprised to see the “family” traits the men sought. But the physical traits were to be expected.

I liked that bit about the hairy chest. I find it amusing( but it is only cause of my own lack of perception) now, to see that, (it’s really quite obvious) the “ideal” person is practically perfect in every way. But why shouldn’t they seek perfection? It’s a noble persuit, I suppose. So long as they realize perfection isn’t on this Earth but above it.

I think that the ideal man seems too infuenced by action movie heros.

Sporty and delicate, what sport, praytell, allows for delicacy? Ah me, when I think sport, I think the very violent and physical adventures so popular amongst my country men. I suppose there is a sport allowing for “grace” which doesn’t allow for frailty, such as “delicacy” does.

Intresting to see the Polish men aren’t fans of redheads.


He also has to love God–and put Him above all else…in addition to some of the characteristics named above–that was the best quality in my eyes in choosing my husband. A guy or woman could be great in many ways–but if they lack a love for God…I think that the rest of the criteria wouldn’t matter to me. Just my two cents. Interesting survey!


Much concurred, poster above me.

Notice how that didn’t figure into any of the ideal mates criteria?

I guess the lovers would be jealous that their significant others were paying more attention to God than them.:stuck_out_tongue:


I thought that was noticeable, as well…that religion/faith/sprituality never came up? Yikes.


I read a book consisting of a series of essays by women about men in their lives who turned out to be the wrong one. I’m not recommending it unless you like rather graphic chick-lit. In any case, don’t let your daughters read it.

Still, many of the women seemed to head instinctively for the bad boys. One made the point that she even went after the bad boys, not to change them, but to pick up some of their traits. Some of them returned again and again to the same ‘bad boy,’ like a moth drawn to a flame, even after the relationship had crashed and burned repeatedly in the past. Often, they didn’t leave him for good until he got violent, one of them concluding, after being thrown up against a wall, that maybe, after all, this guy would not be the ideal father to her children. But it took a final scary situation to get her to quit coming back to him.

I thought maybe it would help me understand women, but it left me more puzzled.


Bad boy types and abusive men are totally different genres. Let’s not mistake the two for being remotely the same. Every woman is individual…just like all men don’t like bimbos who’s wait on them hand and foot…it’s important to know that each woman is individual, and understanding women cannot be found in reading a book about a handful of women who might have been drawn to a certain type of man. Many women are drawn in to abusive relationships, because it mirrors what they grew up with–etc. But, just wanted to make that huge distinction that bad boys and abusers are two different things. They can be the same person–but women are not ‘drawn’ to being abused, or being with people that mistreat her. There is usually a lot more to it than that–and all women are different.:slight_smile:


My only hope is that I will meet a woman who loves me and makes me the second-most important thing in her life. Just like I would make her the *second-*most important thing in my life.

(psst. perhaps I already have. http://bestsmileys.com/whisper/2.gif )


You mean there’s never any overlap? There was a gal who once worked in my office who would occasionally bring the newspaper with photos of the county’s ten most wanted fugitives, pointing out the one who was her latest flame.


I do not think she meant no overlap. But a “bad boy” is not necessarily abusive and abusers are not necessarily “bad boys”. In my experience, some of the most abusive men were not “bad boys” at all but “pillar of the community” types.

The same hold true for abusive women, who, while less common than abusive men, can inflict great emotional and physical harm. I know this as I was abused, emotionally and physically, by my ex-wife.


Clayton Barbeau, a renowned family counselor says…
We find the perfect mate…and then we spend the rest of our life trying to change them.

As one who does marriage prep, I find those values listed above rather shallow. I rather like what Fr. Corapi says about marriage.
The Sacrament of unity and fruitful love.

When you love someone, truly love them, you want the best for the them…and the best is heaven. Not all the artificialities that our culture expects us desire.


Someone still talks about honour, especially in such a context. You’ve made my day - and I almost spilt my tea. Thank you.

The traits in the study are very vague though. I am not certain, for example, what risk taking means exactly.

“Devil-may-care” attitude. Ability to take risks rather than sitting in a safe corner is one thing. Having a risk-taker streak is another. It’s quite enthralling to other persons, probably, but I’d say too much fascination with one who enjoys the thrill of risk has a great potential for trouble.

Does that mean that women want a husband who will always be doing thing like jumping from airplanes and speeding down the highway. Or does it simply mean that they want a guy who will get off his bottom and have fun?

I’m sure the modern woman the former and the Catholic woman the latter. As for that study, I believe it was the modern woman and the devil-may-care man, you know, risk is adrenaline, adrenaline is an aphrodisiac. It’s like with pheromones.


Yup. James Bond as you see it. An unreal mix of the qualities of a gentleman and a villain, a man who saves your life but you aren’t sure if he’ll be there in the morning. Smooth-spoken and charming, sweet to the point of being dumb, especially when sex has anything to do with it, even if he has the kind of intelligence of a Ph.D. in rocket science.

Sporty and delicate, what sport, praytell, allows for delicacy?

Hehe. Well, I’d certainly say fencing, for instance.

Intresting to see the Polish men aren’t fans of redheads.

Yeah. Although admittedly we don’t have so many redheads round here. Personally, I love the copper colour.


Whatevergirl, JimG, rpp, there’s a direct link between abusive qualities and abusive behaviour and I believe “bad” contains a measure of abuse. How else would it define? Generally, “bad” people abuse others in some form. At the very least, they somehow abuse the system or the situation. While women are certainly not drawn in a conscious way to relationships in which they are abused, I believe it’s the abusive qualities of bad boys which draw women - at least in part. …Or not? What is it, after all? Rashness? Lack of care? Nonchalant disrespect of authority? Risk-taking? Or perhaps some bossy, violent, loud ways… It’s hard to say where it’s all about some flair and nonconformism and where it starts to be about attraction to aggression and abuse.

As for bad girls, I guess after all, men might be drawn to surprisingly similar factors.


:eek: yikes jim–that’s not the norm for most women. Yes, there are women who like men who are even jailed murderers…that’s not the norm of what most women are looking for by a long shot. :o


I would generally agree with your first sentence as well as most else you write here.

However, as I write this, I am thinking of a notable exception. I have a “bad boy” younger brother (currently dying of cancer). He would never lay a hand on person, mock them or call them bad or nasty names. He just likes a “tough guy” and macho image. He is a risk-taker, but he is a real teddy bear.


I’d like to point out that (in regards to America’s most wanted) she might be seeing a bit of “rebelliousness” in them. Americans have always glorified the rebel, or the bandit, no matter how cruel, so long as he wins. Morality takes a back seat to victory, and Americans despise no one so much as a loser.

And on delicacy and fencing, I agree that it requires finess, but once again I would like to point out that grace would be preferable to delicacy. Well, my conception of delicacy, which is frail, weak, and breakable. Particularily if your opponent want to show off their hard hitting lunge.:ouch:

I think the females that seek out the “bad boy” characters are in fact seeing something deeper than the foul exterior. Perhaps they see bits of their father, or brother, or perhaps they see into the fiend’s soul, and see the bleeding heart of a poet!



I’ve always told my daughters to marry a nerd. The money’s usually better.:smiley:


I am a geek (computer software engineer.). Does that count?

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