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Men and Women - The Qualities We Seek




This letter constitutes a permission to reprint or mirror any and all of the
materials mentioned or linked to herein subject to appropriate credit and
linkback. Every article published MUST include the author bio, including
the link to the author's Web site (at the bottom of this message).

===============================================================
Men and Women - The Qualities We Seek
By Sam Vaknin
Author of "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited"

"For what qualities in a man," asked the youth, "does a woman most ardently love him?"
"For those qualities in him," replied the old tutor, "which his mother most ardently hates."

(A Book Without A Title, by George Jean Nathan (1918))
 

Q. The Top 5 Things Women Look for in a Man, the top five qualities (based on an American survey):

1. Good Judgment
2. Intelligence
3. Faithful
4. Affectionate
5. Financially Responsible

Why is this something women look for in men - why is it important?
How does this quality positively affect a relationship or marriage?
How do women recognize it?

A. There are three possible explanations as to why women look for these qualities in men: the evolutionary-biological one, the historical-cultural one, and the psychological-emotional one.

In evolutionary terms, good judgment and intelligence equal survival and the transmission of one's genes across the generations. Faithfulness and a sense of responsibility (financial and otherwise) guarantee that the woman's partner will persevere in the all-important tasks of homebuilding and childrearing. Finally, being affectionate cements the emotional bond between male and female and militates against potentially life-threatening maltreatment and abuse of the latter by the former.

From the historical-cultural point of view, most societies and cultures, well into the previous century, have been male-dominated and patriarchal. The male's judgment prevailed and his decisions dictated the course of the couple's life. An intelligent and financially responsible male provided a secure environment in which to raise children. The woman lived through her man, vicariously: his successes and failures reflected on her and determined her standing in society and her ability to develop and thrive on the personal level. His faithfulness and affections served to prevent competitors from usurping the female's place and thus threatening her male-dependent cosmos.

Granted, evolutionary constraints are anachronistic and social-cultural mores have changed: women, at least in Western societies, are now independent, both emotionally and economically. Yet, millennia of conditioned behavior cannot be eradicated in a few decades. Women continue to look in men for the qualities that used to matter in entirely different circumstances.

Finally, women are more level-headed when it comes to bonding. They tend to emphasize long-term relationships, based on reciprocity and the adhesive qualities of strong emotions. Good judgment, intelligence, and a developed sense of responsibility are crucial to the maintenance and preservation of functional, lasting, and durable couples - and so are faithfulness and being affectionate.

Soaring divorce rates and the rise of single parenthood prove that women are not good at recognizing the qualities they seek in men. It is not easy to tell apart the genuine article from the unctuous pretender. While intelligence (or lack thereof) can be discerned on a first date, it is difficult to predict traits such as faithfulness, good judgment, and reliability. Affections can really be mere affectations and women are sometimes so desperate for a mate that they delude themselves and treat their date as a blank screen onto which they project their wishes and needs.

Q. What are the top 5 Things Men Look for in a Woman, the top five qualities?

Why is this something men look for in women - why is it important?

How does this quality positively affect a relationship or marriage?

How do men recognize it?



A. From my experience and correspondence with thousands of couples, men seem to place a premium on these qualities in a woman:



1. Physical Attraction and Sexual Availability
2. Good-naturedness
3. Faithfulness
4. Protective Affectionateness
5. Dependability

There are three possible explanations as to why men look for these qualities in women: the evolutionary-biological one, the historical-cultural one, and the psychological-emotional one.

In evolutionary terms, physical attractiveness denotes good underlying health and genetic-immunological compatibility. These guarantee the efficacious transmission of one's genes to future generations. Of course, having sex is a precondition for bearing children and, so, sexual availability is important, but only when it is coupled with faithfulness: men are loth to raise and invest scarce resource in someone else's progeny. Dependable women are more likely to propagate the species, so they are desirable. Finally, men and women are likely to do a better job of raising a family if the woman is good-natured, easy-going, adaptable, affectionate, and mothering. These qualities cement the emotional bond between male and female and prevent potentially life-threatening maltreatment and abuse of the latter by the former.

From the historical-cultural point of view, most societies and cultures, well into the previous century, have been male-dominated and patriarchal. Women were treated as chattels or possessions, an extension of the male. The "ownership" of an attractive female advertised to the world the male's prowess and desirability. Her good nature, affectionateness, and protectiveness proved that her man was a worthwhile "catch" and elevated his social status. Her dependability and faithfulness allowed him to embark on long trips or complex, long-term undertakings without the distractions of emotional uncertainty and the anxieties of letdown and betrayal.

Finally, men are more cavalier when it comes to bonding. They tend to maintain both long-term and short-term relationships and are, therefore, far less exclusive and monogamous than women. They are more concerned with what they are getting out of a relationship than with reciprocity and, though they often feel as strongly as women and can be equally romantic, their emotional landscape and expression are more constrained and they sometimes confuse love with possessiveness or even codependence. Thus, men tend to emphasize the external (physical attraction) and the functional (good-naturedness, faithfulness, reliability) over the internal and the purely emotional.

Soaring divorce rates and the rise of single parenthood prove that men are not good at recognizing the qualities they seek in women. It is not easy to tell apart the genuine article from the unctuous pretender. While physical attractiveness (or lack thereof) can be discerned on a first date, it is difficult to predict traits such as faithfulness, good-naturedness, and reliability. Affections can really be mere affectations and men are sometimes such narcissistic navel-gazers that they delude themselves and treat their date as a blank screen onto which they project their wishes and needs.

==============================================================
AUTHOR BIO (must be included with the article)



Sam Vaknin ( [sign in to see URL] ) is the author of Malignant Self
Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East.
He served as a columnist for Global Politician, Central Europe Review,
PopMatters, Bellaonline, and eBookWeb, a United Press International (UPI)
Senior Business Correspondent, and the editor of mental health and Central
East Europe categories in The Open Directory and Suite101.

Visit Sam's Web site at [sign in to see URL]


---
Encyclopedia of Narcissism and Psychopathy

http://samvak.tripod.com/siteindex.html

Buy 16 books and video lectures on 3 DVDs about narcissists, psychopaths, and abusive relationships

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/thebook.html
Jan/19/2009, 10:32 am Link to this post  
 


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