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How to charm the male mind

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Many single women think that what men want out of a relationship is radically different from what they hope for. “He just wants to date around,” “He’s looking to have fun, period,” and “Why does he say one thing and do another?” are the kinds of comments they often make. But the opposite sexes are actually very much alike when it comes to love, if you know how to read between the lines, says Greg Gilderman, author of She’s the One: The Surprising Truth about What Makes a Woman a Keeper. Here, he reveals what men really look for in a woman— and how you can use that info to your advantage!

Q: In your book, you say that “good guys” ultimately want the same thing out of a romantic partner that women do. Before we get into what these qualities are, can you shed some light on who the “good guys” are?

A: “Good guys” are the types of men who aren’t hoping for life to be an extended fraternity party, who don’t want only sex and who don’t need to be tricked into long-term relationships. Despite what you might read in magazine advice columns, the vast majority of men really aren’t this way. The truth is that 90 percent of men have been married by the age of 40, which, if you subtract prison inmates, is almost the entire straight male population. I don’t believe those guys have been tricked or manipulated. They wanted to be married.

    Q: So what are the qualities and behaviours “good guys” looking to be in a long-term relationship are seeking in women?

    A: Men ultimately do want long-term, exclusive relationships — some at 20 years old, some at 30, almost all by 40 — and if you ask a married guy why he’s with his wife, unless he’s Ice T, he won’t say just “her butt.” He’ll say it was her intelligence, her humor, her values, her potential as a good mother, and the fact that she just makes him feel relaxed and loved. It is women who display qualities like this that charm men, pure and simple.

    Q: What are some of the most common ways that single women turn off men?

    A: A prime example: asking too many “Where do you see us in five years?” type of questions early on in a relationship. You see it on those dating shows all the time: a couple is happily rock climbing, the woman suddenly asks something like, “Do you want to have kids some day?” and the guy looks like he’s been hit with a Taser.

    Q: Why do men react this way?

    A: While it’s odd when you consider that most men, like most women, have marriage and children as a goal for their lives, I think it comes down to biology: Men just have a greater natural impulse to have more partners than women do. It’s possible that men are simply wired to be resistant to the idea of monogamy, at least initially. If you’re looking to really charm him, keep these types of questions out of the conversation until you’re well into a serious relationship.

    Q: What else is a “don’t” when it comes to attracting a guy?

    A: Aloofness. Sure, it’s good not to inundate a guy with phone calls or emails after the first date or two. And yes, every guy likes a little bit of hard-to-get from a woman. But at some point, it’s best to recognise that guys are as insecure and flawed as you are, and being told or being given signs that we are liked is often what gets a relationship off the ground.

    Q: Some women are man-magnets, plain and simple. What do you think is their secret?

    A: I can remember as far back as junior high school that there were always one or two girls all the guys liked best. Although they were certainly attractive, they were never the very best-looking, but they had some kind of spark that just drew guys to them. They could laugh with the guys without being one of the guys and they had a way of making guys feel relaxed and good about themselves.

    I also think context plays a role in this kind of attraction. Have you noticed that an otherwise unremarkable straight guy in a ballet class will seem far more magnetic than he would at a math convention? By putting himself in a context that benefits him — being the only guy in classroom of women — he improves his chances of getting a date. It’s no different when the tables are turned, and it’s one woman in a sea of men.

    Q: So how can women use “context” to their advantage when looking to attract men?

    A: Consider all of the social contexts in which you come into contact with men. Are your friends, co-workers and classmates all women? If so, is there a way to get around more guys on a regular basis, especially as one of the only women in the room? If the answer is yes, do it. If not, wrack your brain to come up with ideas (a hint: think sporting events, an auto show, a basketball court or a steakhouse). I promise you’ll get positive romantic results.

    Article by Chelsea Kaplan