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WHAT MID-40s MEN WANT IN A WOMAN
May 17, 2008


I surveyed a number of my good midlife male friends over the past several weeks – trying to figure out what most men our age REALLY WANT in a woman.  The results are not surprising … or maybe they are.  Not everything centered around breast size – although that did come up quite a bit.  Now I’m 43, and most of my close friends are between 40 and 45 or so … and we all work in different industries.  I work in technology … the others are contractors, real estate agents, some work in aerospace/defense, the legal profession, etc.  In other words, what you are about to see transcends educational levels and professions … it is a reflection of what all early to mid-forties men want … at least here in Southern California.   Here are the Top Five of what mid-40s men want in a woman:

1) Brazilian Wax Job
I found it amazing how many of us men find a Brazilian wax job so incredibly important and sexy on a woman. [If you don’t know what this is – it refers to a completely shaved or waxed vagina … no hair … oh yes!]   The truth is – not all women in their forties are willing to get a Brazilian wax job … and that is a shame because in today’s world, there is nothing less attractive than a hairy woman.  The younger women “get it” … many of them are completely waxed.  The difference from a man’s point-of-view is night and day … we absolutely favor the completely waxed look down there … even if we won’t admit it … take this comment to the bank, ladies.

2) Financial Contributor to the Relationship
Being a “financial contributor to the relationship” simply means that you earn an income, and are an economic asset (not a liability) to the male-female partnership.  Perhaps this particular attribute is a sign of the times … the tough economy … or maybe not.  The truth is that we men prefer that a woman is capable of standing on her own financially … not dependent upon us.   We don’t mind being the major breadwinner – but we also don’t want to be funding any slackers. 

3) Positive Mental Attitude
Having a girlfriend with a positive mental attitude is really important to us men.   A “positive mental attitude” simply means not being negative … being a happy person … seeing the good in things and people and situations … being adventurous in life (and in bed).  It means not being jealous.  Men want to be around happy women.

4) Physical Attributes are Definitely a Bonus
Not all men are pigs, but most of us are.  [I am, for example.]  We appreciate a good-looking woman … and what defines “good-looking” is unique to every man.   I personally enjoy a pretty face first and foremost, for example … but I’ve also been blessed in my past with a number of busty girlfriends who I have absolutely adored.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder – so ladies, please don’t think you need to be some perfect-looking little hottie in order to snag a good midlife bachelor – no.  I absolutely guarantee you that no matter what you look like, there is a man out there right now that thinks you are hot. 

5) Wears Tight Clothes
We midlife men enjoy women who wear tight clothes – but only if you are at least reasonably hot.  “Reasonably hot” can mean a lot of different things.  The way to know if you are wearing some tight clothes that look hot on you is to see if you are getting any increased attention as a result.  [If the “increased attention” is someone saying “that’s disgusting”, then you probably should not be wearing what you are wearing.]   What I’m really saying here is – show off what you’ve got … and only cover it up if it needs to be covered.  I know this is vague, but I also know that everyone knows what I’m talking about.

So there you have it – the five most important things that men in their mid-40s look for in a woman.  Some of the other answers I heard from at least one of my friends include:

     - Nice teeth
     - Dresses professionally
     - Non-smoking
     - Shoulder-length hair
     - Not a heavy drinker
     - DD-size breasts
     - a lot of sex

and I would pretty much agree with all of those.  The “nice teeth” comment came from me – no one wants a girlfriend with jacked up teeth – no!


FEEDBACK from Serena, Age 41, South Carolina, May 18, 2008 ...
I am saddened by the notion that midlife men don't care at all about the intelligence and logic of a woman but only her appearance and financial assets and I'm not saying this as an ugly feminist either. I mean apparently it's fine with men if if a woman erroneously believes that it's ok to tax the middle class to death to pay for Obama's form of socialized medicine or you forward every dumb internet forward that comes your way as long as you look hot doing it. Maybe it's because I'm a woman but I believe in the whole package and I prefer an average looking dude who is smart, logical and has a zest for life. A belief in personal freedom and the freedom of others is paramount in my mind to the trait of logic.

I am working on finishing up repainting the downstairs half bath and tiling it and I am working on refinishing an old wrought iron bed frame that I got for free because someone was just going to toss it and I am refinishing our patio furniture. I also have to design a header for one of my husband's business networking blogs and I will be power-washing the house this week. I'm also working on a plan to landscape the yard from local plants which should make the cost to us virtually nothing.

So despite the fact that I am not currently bringing money into my relationship I sure do things that save us loads of money plus that leaves me at home to be at my husband's and the dog's beck and call and since he works from home, he likes that.

MIDLIFE BACHELOR RESPONSE TO SERENA:
You are correct - intelligence pretty much never was mentioned by the people I talked to ... plus I tried my best not to influence any of the responses. You also make an excellent point that didn't surface ... and that is that "contributing to the relationship need not be solely financial". I mean - look at all the stuff YOU are doing ... that is awesome! Any man would LOVE to have a woman like you! But since none of us do - and since it is likely that none of our previous women contribute as you do ... that is why it didn't come up before! So you make some excellent points. Remember - this short article was really about what most guys think about when FIRST asked what they are looking for. I didn't give anyone any time to actually think through their answers ... they were all spontaneous.

FEEDBACK from Liz, Age 44, Madison, TN , May 18, 2008 ...
Whatever happened to independence, stability (and not only financial, but emotional), kindness, laughter??? Personally, if I was told to chose between a man with incredible looks and was BORING or average looks, kind and funny...I'd go for the personality!!!

MIDLIFE BACHELOR RESPONSE TO LIZ:
Independence, stability (financial and emotional), kindness, laughter - those are ALL definitely important ... but sadly they are not the first things that pop into a man's mind. But I definitely agree with you - those are extremely important.

FEEDBACK from Chris, Age 42, August 30, 2010 (his comments were too long for our COMMENTING feature below to support, and so he emailed them to me) ...

I'm 42. I don't care a wit about Brazilian wax jobs.

While I agree with "makes a financial contribution", it's more than financial: I want someone who can stand on her own two feet; who can contribute ideas, disagree with me when I'm off-track and be sturdy when life is not quite as planned. This is very important to me, and very attractive too - it's something that is often visible on a first encounter.

Note that a bit of vulnerability can also be attractive and does not contradict strength and pluck in the least. We're all both simultaneously strong and vulnerable at the same time, in different measures. But not too vulnerable.

Positive mental attitude makes a big difference, especially to keeping the relationship going over time. A negative attitude is an automatic block to attraction, and negative attitudes seem to increase with age in some people. Laughing is very attractive (in both sexes).

Something else that is important to me: I want someone loving. That's a bit hard to define, but some are more so than others.

And yes, physical attributes are the center of it all. Women might not like that, but I've come to accept that this is the truth. This does NOT mean than you are out of luck after a certain age - personally I've found my own attraction follows my age range (ok, it lags a little - I notice women in their thirties as well as forties). I think women are more interested in men's personality than men are with women, although I've been contradicted by female friends who say that women are just as interested in physical attributes of men. The point is - this is the most important factor. And yes, like he said, although certain features (blonds) are more popular to more people, beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder.

One big thing for me (and many, many men that I know): weight matters. Overweight is an automatic disqualification for attraction. This is very important.

Another automatic disqualification is smoking.

In regards to intelligence ... I don't think intelligence is attractive for either gender, and often is less attractive, or corresponds to less attractive aspects of personality. That said, stupidity, ignorance and poor social skills are all automatic disqualifications for attractiveness. Nobody wants to be embarrassed by their mate! What IS attractive is a winning personality and I do think a certain amount of intelligence contributes to wit and quickness, which are attractive in any gender. Social skills are their own kind of intelligence (and you can be quite dumb but have great social intelligence and therefor be far more attractive than the brilliant nerd).

NOTE THERE IS ALSO A DISCUSSION THREAD ABOUT BRAZILIAN WAX JOBS IN THE MIDLIFE FORUM ... here is the link: Midlife Forum - thread on Brazilian Wax Jobs


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