SO, do you really know what you want in a significant other?

Sometimes I read articles, comments, opinions, etc, about what people want in a person that they're interested in. It gets me excited! It let's me know that there's just about anybody for anyone.

But while reading up on this, I've come across some confusing things as well, things that aren't seeming to add up, to me. Maybe I need someone to explain to me.

Many times people know what they want, but they won't go get it.

Or they'll say something that seems to contradict what they themselves like.

Examples being: "I want a sensitive guy" then that same person may say something like "when a guy cries it makes him look weak."

Or something like ...

"I like independent women." and then they'll probably say "Where do I stand in this relationship, she doesn't need me."

"I want an assertive person" but when someone approaches them, they shut down.

"I want this in a ..." But "they can't do that.."

"I don't want to settle ..." but " this time I'll"

Examples like this and others (too many to list here)have lead me to questions like this ... do people really know who or what they want in a significant other?

Is it something that always changes?

Does it generally stay the same?

I have to ask myself this question time, and time again.

What about you?

If I missed an option, let me know. Thank you!

  • I do know what I want. (state it)
    Vote A
  • I'm still figuring it out. (state what's to figure out [if possible])
    Vote B
  • I'm not looking. (state why not)
    Vote C
  • I've been unsuccessful dating. (tell me what's on your heart)
    Vote D
  • I don't know what I want. (state why not)
    Vote E
Select age and gender to cast your vote:
I'm a GirlI'm a Guy


Most Helpful Girl

  • I'm not currently looking, I have friends, I have fun, too busy with work to take the time to look for a relationship. The right one, I will make time for, but right now, I'm fine without a relationship. Been burned way too much in the recent months.

    That being said, I do know what I want and I like. I need someone who understands agriculture and loves it as much as I do. I tried dating city boys, didn't work, they don't know what hard work is. Someone who tolerates the fact that I love horses and they are a major part of my life. I do know I need someone taller than me, I tried dating shorter men but it never worked out, complete turn off and that's not fair to him. I want someone I find attractive, makes me feel attractive and who I can trust and by myself around. As long as he's in shape, healthy and a non-smoker, it comes down to the individual.

    Dating various guys does solidify your opinion. I tried city boys, hated it, was unhappy. Gave a shorter guy a chance, felt totally awkward and turned off. Had a serious relationship with a guy that loved horses... realized that wasn't so important to me.

    • WOw... that's good.

    • Show All
    • they don't know what hard physical work is. There are people in cities who work hard just different type of work.

    • Then I guess I haven't met them yet. The more time I spend in the city, the less interested I am in someone from the city. They just don't get it.

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Have an opinion?

What Guys Said 17

  • Sorry for the length:

    I have been unsuccessful. I am 34, and since age 18, I can count on one hand how many relationships I have been in. Only 4. Of the four, one lasting 5 years (from age 16 to 21. And the other 3 only lasting 3-6 months. I am uncertain of the reasons I was unsuccessful.

    I am aware of what I am looking for, and it is very specific. Some points I can compromise, others, I am certainly unwilling. I have contrived a list of qualities that is the epitome of what I am looking for:

    1) has to be as intelligent as I, or more. (Not to brag, but my IQ exceeds 140. And I am quite pedantic and laconic. I get annoyed trying to explain myself.)

    2) must have a decent personality. (I am originally from Detroit, Michigan. I grew up around ghetto minded people, and find it to be disgusting!)

    3) must be physically in shape. (I may be a truck driver these days, but I am not a fat ass. I am not attracted to women that look bigger than me. I am mostly attracted to smaller frame.)

    4) no kids (I don't have kids, nor am I willing to take care of another man's child)

    5) must be indipendant. (It is one thing to be in a relationship for companionship, I am intolerant of being a f*cking income source for a woman that don't do for herself)

    6) Must be well kept. (I don't like unkempt. I strive daily to keep myself presentable. I am a flatbed truck driver, and it is dirty work. But I don't look dirty nor do I have a body odor. I am highly intolerant of that)

    7) loyalty (I demand it. I never cheated on, nor betrayed any of my exes. One act of betrayal, and I leave. No questions asked, no forgiveness, no return.)

    8) must be attractive to me. (Face it, my goal is to be with this person indefinitely. Why would I date someone that I barely tolerate looking at?)

    9) similar interests. (Unless we both are open, it will not work if we don't at least have similar interests)

    10) Grammar. (It is effectively a HUGE deal breaker if she can't speak English properly, UNLESS English is NOT HER FIRST LANGLANGUAGE)

    11) must be honest. (I am honest, plain and simple)

    12) must be open minded about beliefs. (I am open minded about beliefs. I practice Judaism. I would date a Christian, Buddhist, or even an atheist. As long as she respect my beliefs. I will respect hers.)

    13) must be an equal. (I don't like bossy women. I also do not like overly submissive women either. I don't want to control someone, nor be controlled. I would like to be with someone that would come to a mutual term upon which any decision is to be made.)

    There are only 2 things that are arbitrary: numbers 4 & 9.

    It is not absolutely necessary for us to have similar interests. If she has (a) child(ren), the only thing I desire is that she does not speak negatively about the father to him/her/them.

    My issue: I am doomed to the "Shy, nice guy" bullsh*t. I am shy, and not a complete jerk. I am a bit rough, but not a jerk.

    • My biggest flaw: Being single and not dating for a period of 8 years, and of my 16 years of adulthood, being single for nearly an aggregate of 10 or 11 years. My experience with dating is rather limited.

    • Show All
    • Nah, not a fool. You're just shy.

      I don't see anything wrong with that.

    • Well, thanks. The only down side is, I am often approached by women... Too bad, I have absolutely no interest in the 99.993% of them that do. I hate to sound arrogant, but it is the truth:

      Most of the women that do approach me, often have a red flag attached. There is often an annoying (set of) trait(s) that defies the other 11 things that I am looking for.

  • I know what I want, but I stick with general ideas, not specifics, I'm not going to map out their personality, if that were the case, everyone would be single and in love with some imaginative god (dess) type figure which wont' ever happen. Having standards is good, but knowing what you can and can't live with is better. Rather than coming up with some idea of 'what you want', see what other people are like then decide whether you can live with their flaws.

    I tend to notice women say a lot of the opposite things of what they want, and often can't communicate their feelings too well outside emotional outbursts of joy/anger/depression or other. Communicating is a pain in the ass. I like people who are straight forward with their answers and won't take things to personally even if it's sarcasm or a joke. It isn't always the case, maybe 1/3 of the time. I find maybe half of or less than half of women get in a relationship giving attributes to the guy she is with.Then when he doesn't turn out to be that way, she just kicks him to the curb and does the same thing with the next guy. That's the story behind most of my ex's. Indecisive in every way possible,overtly over sensitive , and more. But this is personal observation.

  • Still figuring it out. But I never will figure it out. That's cause what I want in a SO is what makes them unique, what makes them them. I don't want someone who fits a certain formula. I want someone who will open my eyes up to new things in the world, new perspectives... someone who will bring out the best in me... someone who will give me a reason to be with them and not some other girl who "fits the formula"! So no, I don't know what I want in a significant other. But I like that I don't know. And I will never know.

  • I always had friends from different countries and was open to suggestion..I never excluded anyone based on any fixed criteria. Wound up married to a Venezuelan woman.

  • I've got a pretty good idea of what I want. I also know I probably won't find everything in one single person. As you get older, you learn more of what's important to you.

  • Found it. But she has a boyfriend...

    Every girl I'm interested in is taken.

    I want someone not interested in me, who has a boyfriend, who hates me...

    I want what I can't have.

    The impossible.

  • People don't know what they want period. At least it's this way for the vast majority of the population.

  • I want a kind loving good hearted person, just like my current girlfriend

  • Yup, but my standards are too high. I probably won't find her, ah well.

    • What are your standards?

    • 1 - Nerdy

      2 - Attractive

      3 - Self aware and observant (the most difficult to find)

      In many ways, these three qualities contradict each other. Usually if you possess a trait in one category, you end up lacking in another. It's just the general law of averages.

    • Hmmm .. I see.

  • as far as looks, I have a specific look I am attracted to.

    personality wise, I don't really know. I just know when I'm attracted to someone

  • sincerity

  • I know I just can't find her :/

    • Aww, what are you looking for in a girl?

      If I may ask.

      You can be as long-winded as you like. =)

    • Fun, Flirty, isn't afraid to let me know she likes me.

      Takes care of herself, comes from a good family, good head on her shoulder, ambitious. She doesn't have to be model looking just decent yaknow... And she needs to be loyal in the relationship.

  • i'm not looking- I am unfit for a relationship

    • May I ask why?

    • Show All
    • sorry (character restrictions) anyway hope this answered your question, there is much more to this then that but yeah that's the basics, go figure never though I would still post on a site like this ha ha well I do know who I am, not that anybody knows that, now I have to get to bed good night and take care :)

    • You too, and THANK you, hun. *waves*

  • Somebody fun. She must want to go skydiving, scuba diving, bunjee jumping, paintballing, jetskiing ect. like me :D

    • Nice, my kind of thing!

    • :)

      Of course this isn't the only thing, but it's the first thing I thought of xD

  • So far I just know I want a classy conservative Catholic gal. Beyond that I'm unsure. :-)

    • how come?

    • Show All
    • If you're strong in your faith like I am and your partner is also just as devoted, it is futile and the trouble is not worth it. I'd rather skip the tomfoolery and start on much easier grounds. You see, when I look for a girlfriend, I look for a bride. I've determined I would not date someone I would not also marry.

    • I agree with that. Similar beliefs. =)

  • A romantic woman, that doesn't have any kids yet, so we can start a family of our own. That will be a good mother to our children.

  • I have my preferences, most of them regarding lifestyle and personality, but I think when with a girl is when I quickly point out what sort of things I like and dislike.


What Girls Said 34

  • Yes, I know what I want.

    But what I want doesn't want me.

    So I have to settle for what I need...but what I need is definitely NOT what I want...

    Ya feel me?

    • "But what I want doesn't want me"...YET...The word is "YET." They will, my dear, they will.

    • Show All
    • Wow, that's deep.

    • Hoping is for the wishful, wishing is that, a wish. What you want, you may never have. However, settling for less is not what YOU want. Don't settle. There are other interesting people out there. More or less, I will never settle for some ghetto fat-bodied hood rat with 3 kids from 3 different men, just because I am lonely. Don't disrespect yourself like that. Settling is selling yourself short!

  • I chose B since I'm not 100% sure although...I want a dominant assertive guy who isn't afraid to take the lead.

    He would be someone who isn't afraid to do things/not do thing that are outside of the norm. Confidence is important too.

    Overall he'd be laid back about things or at least he wouldn't get stressed easily.

    I've noticed I like guys who are witty, intelligent, quick thinking and funny.

    Being blunt is fine, I don't deal with emotional people very well since I never really cry or talk about my feelings very much.

    I can't stand a man that has an ego, too much pride, is irrationally stubborn or even slightly hypocritical.

    Attraction is pretty much a must, my standards are high but as of late I occasionally see men outside of my type. But, he has to be be taller and stronger than me (otherwise I'll feel like I can beat him up). I also never want to feel like I'm waiting for something better to come along. In other words, I won't settle for less.

    I don't want him to have to struggle to remain loyal to me even with the attention he gets, or become insecure or possessive once he sees the attention I get.

    I need him to trust me, and I need to be able to to trust him 100%.

    I want him to be christian, anything else, and it'll cause immediate problems.

    I care about his past only as much as it effects our relationship, I need him to be honest with me though.

    I'll see no drugs or smoking in his present or future.

    • Wow, I like that. " Never wanting to feel like you're waiting for someone better..."

    • Thanks, it's the reason why I'm not dating atm.

  • Yes, I do know what I want. I think after you date a few times you realize even more what you want and don't want.

    I want someone that I can feel comfortable around where I can be myself. I can act so stupid and silly lol. I want someone that I can be able to open up to and talk to, someone that can understand me. Someone that makes me happy, makes me feel loved, respects me, is faithful, and protects me. He has to have his life together and not be some lazy guy.

    My guy has a back bone but isn't super tough where he always has to try to prove himself to others. He can be sensitive. It has to be in between.

    But I think sometimes you make exceptions for people. My boyfriend wasn't the best conversationalist ever and it used to bother me but I adapted to our relationship and I'm pretty damn happy lol.

    With my last ex, I didn't feel special or loved. He didn't really care about my feelings, it seemed like he did whatever he wanted even though it hurt. He didn't try to communicate with me.

  • Don't know...and that's because despite all we say we might meet someone around the corner that is just the opposite and makes us fall (in the best way possible).

  • I want someone who makes me laugh and can keep up with me physically. I'd love to have a triathlete-like me- or a cyclist or runner. He also needs to be loyal and kind. Other than that, anything goes. :]

  • I'm still figuring out..or rather, I'm afraid to state out what I want. Because when I list out what I want in a guy, and I do find them, they don't turn out as I expect them to be...It's disappointing and sometimes heartbreaking. I even fell for someone that did not fit my description and somehow I liked him too much. That didn't end well though...

  • I want a guy that is ;

    loyal to the core






    goal oriented


    romantic and sweet

    can take care of himself

    clean, neat and orderly

    knows how to have a good time




    good looking

    taller than me

  • i know exactly what I want and what I like and what I like, likes me; so we tend to find each other. The only things I have to be sure of is that he has the following qualities::



    same beliefs

    knows what love is

    has honor

  • Yes, I do know what I want in a man. However, I do not have it set in stone as in he must be this, but can't be or do that. If a person is that rigid they won't possibly find "the one." Because that person does not exist anywhere but in that person's mind or on paper.

    I am looking for a real human being, and that person may not "fit" my full list, but he will fit me & my life & I will fit his.

  • My Type of Significant Other:

    Looks: Tan, cute face, nice big eyes, taller than me, not too skinny, not too fat, has some muscles, full lips, manly features, very pretty.

    Personality: very nice, never mean, funny, teases me, loves me, hugs me, cares about me, is nice to everyone, not extremely stupid, very cute, is not a player, thinks I am pretty, looks at me a lot.

    Basically, I just want someone who loves me the most and is good looking and very nice.

  • My man is confdent,strong a go getter has a good heart is hard working .he never gives up even when things look bleak.he forges onward.he is sexy ,exciting and treats me well.he has a carismatic personality and he is so fun the life of the party.he loves nature,the out doors and boating. And he's my love.

  • How do you know they never had sex while in the same bed?did you stay up and watch? Best friends don't do never gave her a reason not to like you but yet she is mean to you.and you husband never says anything to her about being mean? She is a hoe he is a a lying prick.dump his nasty ass!

  • I'm still figuring it out. I have a boyfriend whom I love dearly and have been with for four years. We are discovering our likes and dislikes in a partner on a daily basis. I believe that being in a relationship while figuring this out can be beneficial because you learn how to discuss your likes and dislikes with your partner and make changes to accommodate for them.

    Thus far I have figured out what physically I am attracted to, though, I figured this out before I met my boyfriend. I have also figured out which personality traits I am attracted to as well. I am attracted to intelligence. Not simply average intelligence, but above average. I also like him to be fun-loving and willing to put up with or even participate in my silliness. A certain level of caring, sensitivity and emotional stability is also needed.

    I'm still learning about what all I look for, but so far my boyfriend has met all my "standards" and I have met his, so I'm good for now. :)

  • The fact that a guy used md to get my sister a guy cheated on me with a chick on Facebook got dumped the day before Christmas and a guy cheated on me with 3 other girls who were my friends and a guy I was in love with moved away.

    • Aww ... wow ... I'm sorry. *hugs you*

      What did you do?

    • Show All
    • Okay, =) be careful!

  • I'm not looking for a significant other but I know what I want if somebody were to come along. I'm being picky now.

  • I have a good idea for what I'm looking for. I'm that person who thinks there is someone out there for everyone and you'll find them eventually :)

  • No one knows what they really want until it's in front of them

  • I want what I got :)

    - Someone who communicates with me.

    - Someone who understands and accepts me

    - Someone who works with me

    - Easy going

    - loner and loyal

    - trust worthy

    - true to his word

    - forgiving

    - fall out hilarious

    - Mentally and emotionally mature, self aware

    - Grows with me, intelligent

    Yes, You are correct. As a younger girl I developed a list of what I wanted in a guy.. When I got him I discovered how much of it I liked, or what was missing. I did little shopping around picking up qualities I found attractive in the many guy friends I had dated another guy.. EEK! That is not what I wanted either. The basics of what I want out of a guy have stayed the same

    - honest

    - funny

    - easy to get along with

    The rest however have changed over time.

  • Someone who makes me laugh, who I can trust, who I feel happy with and who loves animals. Also someone who does not want kids with me.

  • I always thought I knew exactly what I wanted in a guy, but I've noticed that the things I thought were important, like similar interests, really aren't that important at all. I can find plenty of guys like that whose personalities suck or who treat me badly. I've learned that what I always thought I wanted in a guy, isn't always exactly what I need. So now I'm trying to think of what I NEED most in a partner. But at the same time, I'm also not actively looking. I just happened to meet a couple great guys on this site in the past few years. It's not something that I was searching for, but was a nice surprise.

    That being said, options B and C (and actually D, since I've never had a boyfriend) apply to me, but I voted B, because I think it's the most relevant.

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