10 Surprising traits men find attractive in women

10 Surprising traits men find attractive in women

Unfortunately, the amount of Tinder disaster stories involving serial messaging pests and certain unwanted photos have smeared the reputation of men. But you can't assume that all men are shallow and that they're all just after "one thing".

Most of them are pursuing relationships with women for reasons that aren't just driven by hormones and egos. Just like us, they want to find comfort in a relationship, and ideally develop a strong and passionate bond with a woman in a way they never can with their mates.

Yes, I hear you sniggering "and also boobs" under your breath, but that's not what I mean. Sure, it's a man's basic instinct to feel physically attracted to a curvaceous woman (wider hips = better reproductive capability), for example, but men really aren't so primal anymore.

People come in all shapes and sizes, and everyone has different interests and preferences. Still, there are certain personality traits that men generally find attractive in women, and they might surprise you. We've scoured the internet and compiled a list of the top 10 characteristics and attributes in women that men find irresistible, so here they are:

1. Not wearing too much makeup

Apparently, guys much prefer a more natural look than a full-on face of makeup. It shows you're secure in your own skin, and that you're down-to-earth rather than high maintenance. Sure, put in an effort for nights out with your girlfriends or a fancy dinner if you want to, but he's probably not going to love you taking a full 2 hours every single day to contour and blend your face into something unrecognizable. In fact, it's probably quite scary to realize the girl you're with looks completely different without makeup. Better keep things simple.

2. Exuding real confidence

It kind of relates to the first point, that guys love a girl who knows herself, accepts herself and makes decisions for her own happiness, rather than anyone else's. This doesn't mean being rude to others, and shouldn't teeter on the verge of being egotistic or narcissistic. It just means she values herself and isn't someone who is needy, insecure and constantly seeking reassurance – probably from men. Being strong, secure, decisive and driven is super sexy to men. And it's certainly a turn-on in the bedroom.

3. Intelligence

This is surprising to some people who think guys love a ditzy, "dumb blonde" stereotype. So stop the charade if you think your intelligence "threatens" some men, and quit playing dumb. And it's not like you need to be able to namedrop philosophers or have a frighteningly high IQ – it's more just street smarts, the ability to read sarcasm, wisdom and maybe some kind of worldly knowledge that men find attractive.

4. Kindness

I hereby propose – shock! horror! – NOT to "Treat him mean, keep him keen". Being kind does not mean letting yourself be walked on or being taken for granted. It's more that you exercise empathy and agreeableness. It comes from our primal instinct that women are nurturers, needing to create and maintain social alliances for the safety of our little cavemen children. Things are different now, but it's still true that men prefer a nice girl who genuinely cares. Especially as relationships get more mature.

5. Letting him be your knight in shining armor

As much as he likes to nestle in the comfort of your kindness, he also wants to show his masculinity at times. Although you're probably an independent, down to earth, practical woman who can do things on her own, it is nice to feel looked after too. And men relish in that feeling of helping out a damsel in distress. Let him open doors for you, stand idly by as he fixes your bicycle, and thank him when he escorts unwanted houseguests from your place.

6. Being open-minded

Sure there are probably some kind of dealbreakers for you – maybe regarding politics, maybe regarding cilantro – and you have every right to them. But be careful about judging too hard or assuming things that you don't really know about. Men find it more attractive if you're curious, playful, and willing to see things from other perspectives. Better yet, they love an adventurous girl, someone who likes meeting new people every now and then and who is curious about the world.

7. Being opinionated

Okay, this might sound a little contradictory coming straight after being open-minded, but hear me out. While it's good (for anyone) to be nice, non-judgemental and accepting, it's important to also have your own opinions and your own direction in which you want to go in life. This means you might be burning with intensity about certain ideas, hobbies and causes. Undiluted honesty means you're saying how you feel and sharing your own unique outlook on life. You'll have more interesting conversations, and a deeper and more passionate understanding of each other this way.

8. Being a bit of a clown

Humour is a trait that everyone finds attractive. And for guys, they're going to have a much better time hanging out with a girl who sees the funny side of things rather than someone who is overly complicated and dramatic. It's tiring work to hang around with someone constantly worrying about what they're saying and how they look. It's so much more fun to hang out with someone who can laugh at themselves, who can admit to being imperfect, and who doesn't get offended at the tiniest thing.

9. A genuine smile

Yes, sometimes it's as simple as that. Happiness is a totally underrated trait, but a person who is cheerful, positive and light-hearted about things is a person you don't want to let out of your company anytime soon. Men love someone who appreciates things as she's more likely to be affectionate, laugh at other people's jokes (and actually genuinely) and they'll find it adorable if you are impressed by even the small things in life. And smiles are contageous.

10. Uniqueness

There's a reason some people decide they want to keep seeing you rather than the average person, and that's exactly it – you're more than just "the average person" to them. Men like someone who doesn't just follow the crowd and blend in to be like everyone else. A bit of creativity, individuality, and your differences to others is really what shows people that you're daring, that you can do things differently and that no-one else is like you.

The last trait may point to a fundamental problem of this list. Of course you can't be someone you're not, and of course, everyone has different ideas about what is an attractive quality and what isn't.

But this list is something that rings true for many relationship scenarios, because these traits are as much about self-care and personal empowerment as they are about "being attractive" to the opposite sex. As Lucille Ball famously quoted: "Love yourself first and everything else falls into line."