Archives for November 25, 2013

How to Attract the Right Kind of Man

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Once again, to my single readers, here is the the post I promised. After writing “What To Look For In A Man,” this is the flip side – how to attract the right kind of man. It took me a while to put it together but with the help of a group of men whom I trust and hold in high regard, I got the content I needed. They provided valuable insight into the kind of woman they considered as “marriage-material.” Some of the men were already married, so they had the added hindsight of what really matters in the long term. Although certain preferences varied from one guy to another, there were a couple that stood out as pretty consistent. So let’s get right to it…

What does a good guy look for in a woman?

Someone who will follow his leading. Yep. I wasn’t surprised to get this one as an answer. Men naturally like to lead and they want a woman who will trust and respect them to do so. No matter how society reverses the roles of men and women, God’s design still stands. A man is called to headship in a marriage.

One of the guys clarified that it doesn’t mean a woman can’t have an opinion. In fact, he welcomes this. Men don’t want a woman who is always patronizing them. However, at the end of the day, if a man has to make a decision and a woman doesn’t completely agree, will she support him? This is what counts. Will she be willing to yield her will in favor of his, trusting that God has spoken through her husband?

This is important in marriage because you can’t have two heads going in different directions. Think about it…two heads on one body is also known as a MONSTER. God has given men the responsibility of leadership in a marriage. He has uniquely made a woman to be a compliment to a man. A woman’s role is invaluable – her support, encouragement, insightfulness, and prayer will be key to her husband’s effective leadership.

A positive, joyful person. Men don’t want a woman who will drag them down with their moodiness, irritation, expectations, and negativity. If a man is going to settle down with someone FOREVER, let her not be a grumpy, moody, self-absorbed person who will drain the life out of him! Oh my.

I’ve fallen into that mode a couple of times and it is not attractive to Edric. Men go to happy hour to get away from a woman like that. They want someone who will encourage, build up, and affirm them. For example, if a man makes a mistake (and he will in marriage, that’s a given and so will we!), he doesn’t want to hear a lecture or a 10-point sermon on what he did wrong and how he can correct his error. He doesn’t want to be yelled at, criticized or belittled either. What he does want to hear is, “Hon, I forgive you. I believe in you. I know God is going to help us get through this.”

Is this asking too much? I don’t think so. After 12 years of marriage, I know how powerful statements like that can be. As women, we have a way with words. We can target our statements to cut through a person. In fact, we can destroy a man and turn their heart away from us when we say things like, What’s wrong with you?! What were you thinking?! That was really stupid! This is all your fault! I should’ve never married you! I was better off single! And on and on…

The Bible says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” (Proverbs 18:21)

We need to carefully consider the words we say and filter them to make sure they build up and don’t tear down. No guy wants to end up with a woman who will keep highlighting his present mistakes or resurrect his past failures.

“It is better to live in a corner of a roof than in a house shared with a contentious woman.” (Proverbs 21:19)

A good guy is looking for a woman who will encourage him to trust in God, who will keep him hopeful about the future, and remind him that she is right there with him, willing to move towards it together, for better or for worse!

I like what my dad had to say about my mom, “She is flexible and easy to please. Anywhere is fine as long as she is with me.” He also added, “I pity the man who marries a woman who is difficult to please!”

Physically attractive. Before you react, let’s dissect this a little. God first presented Eve to Adam visually. Almost all the men I know (the good guys and the bad boys) notice what a woman looks like. In fact, this is often what gets their attention at the beginning. But after hearing the opinions of the men I interviewed, it was comforting to know that they don’t all share the same preferences for physical attributes.

One guy said, “I like legs and I got a wife who is 60% legs.” Another guy jokingly quipped, “It wouldn’t hurt if she looked like a Victoria Secret model.” (Good luck!) Yet another one said, “femininity and poise, a woman who is lady-like in her behavior and demeanor.”

When it comes to outward beauty, it can be very subjective. This means there is no ONE type that will appeal to every single man on the planet. So let’s celebrate our uniqueness because it is God given. At the same time, there are attributes that are considered universally appealing which we can do something about. Here are some examples: clear skin and vibrant hair, feminine curves, fitness, posture, bearing, smile, a positive body-image, confidence, hygiene, and grooming.

We need to do our best to look our best. If we need to change our diet and start an exercise program then let’s get started. If this means we have to pluck our eyebrows and wear deodorant, hey, it’s about time. If this means we need to update our wardrobe because our closet is a collection of ratty T-shirts from high school, then we need to go out and get something nice.

It doesn’t cost that much to look put-together. My mom and I enjoy bargain shopping. We are able to find stylish clothing just about anywhere without having to spend a fortune. We cut each other’s hair, too! (Okay, I probably need to get my hair professionally cut soon.) I’m sharing these little secrets because I am glad my mom is simple. She never bought a single designer bag or designer pair of shoes, so I wasn’t wired that way either. But she taught me a lot about how to sit, stand, walk, and how to dress like a lady.

A good guy has radars that alert him to avoid high maintenance women. Men can tell if a woman is overly concerned about her physical appearance. One of the interviewees said, “A woman needs to be content with herself so that she doesn’t feel the need to buy expensive clothing or wear a lot of make-up to make her feel beautiful.” (Paraphrased) Okay, I understand where he is coming from but praise God someone brilliant invented the “no-make-up-make-up” look! Ssh.

The focus of trying to look our best shouldn’t be, “I need to do this to get a guy but rather, I need to put effort into taking care of the face and body God has given me because I reflect him.”

And on that note, let me add that if we want to represent Christ, let’s wear clothing that highlights beauty but doesn’t sexualize us. If you don’t know if something is too sexy, ask your brother or your father! That’s right, go ahead. My older brother used to ban me from wearing all kinds of clothing.

As a married woman, Edric helps me a lot. He will tell me if I am wearing an outfit that isn’t appropriate because it draws the wrong kind of attention. And speaking of attention…when it comes to physical attractiveness, let’s remember that the motivation should be to attract people to the person in us – Christ – and not to pursue and obsess about being attractive. Honestly, the most attractive women I know and admire are those who are spirit-filled and radiate Christ-likeness.

I like how one of the guys put it, “The physical rates very high with men, but it’s definitely not number one after you get married.” He went on to explain that a really beautiful woman has depth. There’s a depth to who she is and it is anchored on who she is in Christ. This is not to say that it doesn’t matter to a man that his wife tries her best to stay attractive, but as the Bible says, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)

Someone he can connect with and enjoy activities with. Being able to engage one another in conversation, meeting each other intellectually, having common passions, hobbies, interests or shared ministries…these things add dimension to a relationship. A guy wants his life partner to be a companion he can have fun with and DO things with. In fact, if a gal plays sports and is game for an adventure it’s a plus.

My brother, Paul, and his sister-in-law, Jenny, are both athletic. In fact, they seem to breed athletes. My nephew, Caleb, turned over at just a few weeks! Since Paul and Jenny are into fitness and sports, they can play golf together, run, bike, swim, and if Paul is lucky, he can even get Jenny to play basketball once in a while. Recently, they even mounted a Fitness Retreat for athletes. She’s pregnant right now so after this season, she will be up and about her activities with him again. But it’s great that their common interests get them to bond with one another and their kids.

Furthermore, if a woman uses her gifts and abilities to serve the Lord and others that’s a plus-plus. A good man will be drawn to a woman who invests her life in blessing those around her versus someone who is self-absorbed, spends too much time on Facebook and Instagrams herself all the time.

“Get along with his parents.” Who wants the added stress of having to manage their parents’ perception of the woman they are interested in? Stretch that across a lifetime and it’s not pleasant to keep trying to convince your parents that you married the right person.

I have a friend who is absolutely loved by her mother-in-law. Before she was married, she would bring food over to her boyfriend’s house and spend time with his mother when she was invited over. So very early on, she won the favor of her mother-in-law.

In our family, all my sisters-in-law are dearly loved, too. My brothers made sure that my parents got to meet them before they committed their hearts. So during family gatherings, it’s wonderful that everyone gets along and shares common values. Conversations are free-flowing, no one has to be “on their guard,” and we exchange a whole lot of laughter.

Most important of all…A committed follower of Jesus. According to one of the interviewees, “When a woman loves the Lord, the rest follows – obedience, submission, gentleness of spirit…”

One of the couples in our discipleship group (a small group for couples) had a pretty rocky start. Both the husband and wife would criticize each other in public and they would shout at one another during fights in private. However, both of them had a relationship with Jesus. When they began to take their spiritual growth seriously, there was a very noticeable change in the way they treated each other. The wife became sweeter, more respectful and submissive toward her husband. In fact, she made a 180-degree turn from the person she used to be.

So many conflicts in marriage need spiritual solutions. Furthermore, when children come into the picture, it matters that both husband and wife share the same biblical values. Otherwise, they will be contradicting one another’s parenting style and challenging one another’s decisions when it comes to child-rearing.

Before I end this entry, I want to insert some of my own take-it-or-leave-it tips on what is attractive in a woman. I’m no love-guru. But I believe there is an art to the kind of womanhood that men are drawn to and it largely has to do with behaving like a lady, a feminine one. (Some people have vehemently reacted to this list. And like I said, it’s NOT the Bible. My goodness, no. These are just SUGGESTIONS. If you really really don’t like to wear skirts, hey, don’t kill me. Wear pants. At the end of the day, a man will look past things like this if he really loves you. I know someone who had sweaty hands and stinky armpits but she has a husband who is madly in love with her.)

In no particular order…

Wear dresses and skirts more often than pants. It sounds silly but it makes a difference.

Stand straight. Don’t slouch. Walk with good posture.

Don’t play head games with a guy, acting like you are interested in him one day and ignoring him the next. If you like him, smile at him, talk to him when he talks to you. Don’t send mixed signals. Guys don’t do well with mixed signals.

If he has already expressed interest in you, reciprocate interest if you like him. You don’t always have to wait for him to come up to you and make the first move. You can wave hello or initiate conversation. Just be natural about it and don’t do it ALL the time.

Have a life of your own that doesn’t revolve around his. Let him miss you. You don’t have to see him every single day. You don’t have to text him, call him, message him, and send him photos every other hour.

Don’t be clingy and selfish. If he wants to hang out with his guy friends or he has something he has to do that doesn’t include you, don’t make him choose and don’t impose rules on him. Be happy for him and give him his space. Be busy doing your own thing.

Pursue your ministry calling, hobbies, work, and interests. It makes you multi-faceted and more fascinating (but don’t do it for this reason!)

When he starts to open up to you and share his dreams, his frustrations, his goals, etc., be a good listener, someone he can confide in.

Preserve an amount of mystery. This is different than playing games. Don’t always volunteer information about yourself unless he asks. And if he does, give it to him in regulated doses so there’s always something more to discover.

Be grateful and appreciative for the things he does for you, and compliment him when it’s appropriate.

Show off some of your domestic skills (if you are pretty confident about them). Cook him a meal, or bake him some brownies.

Be game for adventure and activity. Don’t act like you are going to break your nails if he wants to take you hiking. Be fun!

Be thoughtful and considerate. For example, don’t be late or make him wait for you. Another example is when he has a rough day, send him a word of encouragement.

Pray for him. Ask him how you can pray for him.

Love God more than you love him. Don’t compromise your values or principles for him. Set boundaries when it comes to the physical.

Be complete in Christ. Don’t look to a guy to complete you.

In fact, I want to end with that thought. There’s something that you absolutely need to know. God loves you. Live to please him first. Don’t take this article and think, “Yes, this is how to snag a husband who will love me and take care of me.” You don’t need a man to complete you or make you whole. You are beautiful just as you are because you were made by God. He created you for a special purpose and your best life is found in pursuing this purpose. If that includes getting married, then praise God. If not, he has something better in store for you. But just remember, married or single, an attractive woman is one who is content, at peace, and joyful in the Lord!

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