What Women REALLY Want In A Man: The Player Vs. The “Nice Guy”

what women want, understanding women, what women want in a man

A reader wonders why women say they want nice guys and instead fall head over heels for players.


Women say they want nice, genuine guys—not players, and care about personality more than looks. So why is it that when nice, genuine, funny guys show interest in them they never interested, but instead go for players with nice looks?”

Good question. Let’s talk about how women process attraction.

Wondering why it doesn’t seem like women know what they want from a relationship with a man?

This begins with understanding the one thing about women that most men have completely backwards: what women want in a man.

They tell you they want a nice man with good manners who knows how to treat a lady and who loves his mother. A man who’s sensitive and responsible and who opens the door for them, tells them how beautiful they are and is a great friend.

But then…

They fall madly in love with players who are unrefined, obnoxious, cocky, a bit childish and who you just look at and wonder:

“What the hell does that guy have going for him?”

Meanwhile, here you are, being the nice guy with good manners who knows how to treat a lady and who loves his mother. A man who’s sensitive and responsible and who opens the door for her, tells her how beautiful she is and is a great friend.

And where does that get you? A place in her life as either a “great friend,” or worse, she slowly writes you out of her life.

What in the world is that all about?

You did everything according to the book.

You were just the man that she said she wanted.

How come you ended up in the friend zone while watching her fall head over heels for that “other jerk”?

It’s because what people want isn’t often what they really say and think they want. The sooner you accept this, the sooner you can stop getting stuck in the friend zone. Now this shouldn’t really surprise you.

After all, doesn’t almost everyone say they want things that are totally contrary to what their behaviors reflect?

How many people do you know who want to be healthy but live on a steady diet of completely trashy junk food?

How many people do you know who want to be rich but spend their money on crap, are deep in debt and can’t wait to get off work so they can go home to sit and watch TV for the rest of the day?

In spite of how much people want to be rich and healthy, they are driven by deeper subconscious motives, which most average people don’t take the time to understand.

I don’t say this to judge people.

Most people are pretty clueless about the true motives behind their behaviors because they really believe themselves when they tell you what they think they want.

If you want to know the real story about what people want on a primal level, you have to look at their behavior.

If you want to know what women find attractive, don’t listen to what she says…look at her behaviors.

Believe it or not, there is something that “jerk” has that most women are drawn to like a moth to a flame.

These “jerks” make women feel safe (in the moment at least), and they excite them.

This is an irresistible combination, because security and excitement are two of the primary emotional needs which ALL people seek out in romantic relationships.

When a man meets these two emotional needs for a woman, he ignites a powerful subconscious attraction trigger that overrides the “reason” and “logic” parts of a woman’s brain.

Sound hard to believe?

Just think about the times when men you’ve known (ever done this?) have completely abandoned their reasoning because of intense physical attraction to a particular woman.

Men are biologically programmed to respond to physical attraction.

Think about how many people abandon logic and reasoning about “what’s healthy” and eat foods they know are bad for them because it tastes good.

Think of how many people spend their money on things they really don’t need and end up broke, then go buy lottery tickets because they “want to be rich.”

These are all examples of how our emotional drives beat our logical, reasoning minds into submission.

And… this is why “players” (we’ll call them bad boys) ignite subconscious attraction triggers that seem to contradict a woman’s spoken desires.

How do bad boys do this?

First of all, these “Bad Boys” make themselves immune to being controlled by a woman’s whims, and this makes them unpredictable…which is exciting.

Think about it, how exciting is it for a woman when a man responds to her by doing whatever she wants because he’s afraid of “making” her feel sad, upset, jealous, angry, pouty, insecure, stupid or some other dramatic emotional state?

As you can imagine, this is pretty boring.

The more of a catch a woman is, the more accustomed she is to men acting like complete doormats whenever she bats her eyelashes.

Frankly, she’s okay with most men doing this because it gives her more power in the exchange… she just doesn’t chase, date, and sleep with these men. This isn’t a conscious process– it’s just that by acting like doormats, these men count themselves out of the running for her attention.

She dates the men who know how to take charge and aren’t intimidated by her.

…And that’s where her needs for security and safety come in…

Think about this: how secure does a woman feel to have a partner who she can easily bring into submission?

Does this suggest that he’s weak, insecure and submissive OR powerful and confident?

Of course, most women would truly love for him to also be a nice man with good manners who knows how to treat a lady and who loves his mother. A man who’s
sensitive and responsible and who opens the door for her, tells her how beautiful she is and who is a great friend (Sound familiar?).

That’s why women say this. They really do want those things ALSO. Nice guys truly make great fathers and companions.

However, here’s where the misunderstanding lies:

Most men are either one OR the other: the nice guy who acts like a doormat, or the unrefined, (biologically sound) bad boy who dances to the beat of his own drummer.

VERY few men are both, and since the bad boy meets her biological need for safety and for excitement, she chooses him over the nice predictable man.

Now in case you missed the secret formula in hidden in the last two paragraphs, let me make this as clear as possible:

Develop the bad boy’s immunity to drama and external control, then balance that with the manners, sensitivity and chivalry of the nice guy and you’ll truly become what women want– the total package.

There are not statistics to support this, but based on my general observations and life experience, I’d guess that kind of man is about one in a thousand at best.

Do you have a burning question about love, dating, sex or relationships?

Submit it here for a chance to get it answered in a future Ask Elizabeth: Q&A article.

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