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.
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. 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.