What women want: confidence. Hands down the number one thing a woman is looking for in a man is confidence. Not to be confused with arrogance or cockiness, confidence is defined by Webster as “the quality or state of being certain.” And the secondary classification is “the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something.” When combined together, these two definitions create the confidence that is very attractive to women. We want to know what you are certain about and what we can count on you for.
My close friend is an executive coach. When she works with her client’s teams and organizations she has the group identify what shows up when one member walks into the room. She did this exercise with my team at work. We named a person on our team and asked, what shows up when John is in the room. Or , when John shows up, what do you know you can count on? For us, John meant reliable, follow through, insight, and strategy. I know I can count on John to weigh the decisions and make the best choice, create a plan and see it through. John isn’t the jokester. He doesn’t get the whole team energized. He isn’t the devil’s advocate, stylish one, best hair, or idea generator. John is the steady train that sees the whole process from point A to point B. And we love John for that.
Women innately look for qualities in a man that exemplify a good partner and what qualities we will be able to count on you to have. When men are covered in arrogance or drowning in self-doubt, it is hard to see what would make you a good partner. Partners, like friends, have actual traits that attract us because we know we can rely on them to consistently. Consider asking your friends and people who are closest to you, what shows up when you are onboard? What do you bring to a situation? What can others rely on you for? Confidence can be confusing. This exercise gives your confidence a tangible foundation. Armed with your strengths and knowing what others can count on you to do, creates clarity around what exactly you are confident in.
I can’t remember everything about the one hundred plus first dates I have been on, but I always remember two things: 1. The guy’s standout strength. 2. Where we went. Those are in order of importance. You can take me to a junkyard if you are so freakin’ hilarious that the only thing I am paying attention to is you. And I will always remember that you took me a junkyard.
One guy I dated was very good at life balance. He told me that he looks at his life as 6 pillars: work, health, friends & family, recreation, finance and love. Then he ranks himself on a scale from 1-10 on how he feels about each area. When one area is low, he knows he needs to give attention to that area. And so, he shifts his attention to the low area to maintain a nice balance in his life. He said he felt about a three in the love category. I didn’t need to know that much detail.
While the guy didn’t stick with me, the idea did. I remember him as the guy who valued balanced. He was talented with the variety of questions touching on different parts of your life. Conversations were never dominated by work or vacation stories or family history, but ebbed and flowed easily between all six pillars. Even finance, which he approached in a non obtrusive, inquisitive way asking about my company’s stock prices and if I owned any shares (I do). He asked what I thought the fluctuating value meant about our inventory management. Each subject was touched on in an intentional and natural way. We left the date knowing a little about a lot of the other person.
I dated a Columbia University PhD student who was studying human origins. When I inquired into his studies, at first he threw around some Paleolithic technical terms for stone artifacts and such. I must have looked bored, confused or a dreadful combination of both, so he backtracked and spoke to the most interesting debate he has seen to date – the fate of the Neanderthals. He explained that no one really knows for certain what happened to Neanderthals, there is a gap in evolution of human species and what that means about understanding our history. He used some examples that related to my interests like nutrition changes. My inquisitions fueled his confidence to plan our next date: the Natural History Museum. Setting the stage where your strengths and that which you feel strong is important in making a woman see your confidence shine.
Don’t be afraid to set yourself up for success! The second thing I never forget about dates one through three is where we went. Within these three dates should be a date that highlights what you feel most confident in. I often talk to guys who spend a lot of time thinking about what the girl will like on the first date and trying to impress her by knowing her interests. We don’t expect that. We don’t think you are going to know exactly the perfect place on the first date. It is imperative that you put thought and effort into it, but we don’t expect it to be a fairytale. We do expect you to wow us with you. Y-O-U. You are the most important part of the date. Later down the line we will get to what to eat and not eat. Where to go and never go. What not to wear. All of these little details together create an experience. The whole experience does matter, but what matters most is who you are. Knowing who you are and feeling confident in who you are is key.
My commitment: to make this worth the read. Humorous, fun and introspective. I welcome your thoughts, ideas and feedback via email at email@example.com.