7 personality traits in men that women find irresistibly attractive

Actress Blake Lively’s relationship with fellow actor Ryan Reynolds actually started off as a friendship. 

“We were such good friends for so long,” Lively said in an interview with SiriusXM. “It didn’t click for a good year and a half, like, oh, hey, we could date,” she said. “But what I appreciate about our relationship is that he is my friend first.”

Lively and Reynolds married in 2012 and have three children. 

Getting to know someone from the inside out is the most insightful way to start a relationship. For women, it’s the sexy-meets-sweet formula that is especially alluring. 

Here are seven sexy attributes that make a man irresistibly attractive to a woman—and none of them have anything to do with looks. 

1) Kindness is king

A man can have it all: looks, charm, financial stability, and then some. But if he doesn’t have compassion and kindness, then, speaking as a woman, that’s definitely a deal-breaker. 

Science can back me up on this. According to The Gentleman’s Journal, a study conducted in 2016 by the universities of Worcester and Sunderland in the United Kingdom, over 200 women were asked to assess a dozen online dating profiles, and the majority preferred the more altruistic men over the conventionally handsome but less generous options. 

“Studies indicate that people generally rate others as more desirable when they personify compassionate traits like altruism, empathy, supportiveness, and mindfulness,” says Shannon Cooper from The Manual

“Basically, kindness is hot.”

2) There’s a fine line between confidence and cocky 

Confidence is sexy as hell in a man. Cockiness, however, is a complete turn off. 

Men who temper their pride with a healthy dose of humility have exactly the equation women are looking for.

That’s because women take humility as a sign that a man will treat them well in a relationship, according to Daryl Van Tongeren, PhD

“Humble people put the needs of others—like their partners—first,” he says. 

The beautiful thing about humility is that it isn’t something where you either have it or you don’t. You can cultivate humility with a bit of effort, says Van Tongeren. 

“First acknowledge your shortcomings. Don’t have any? A close friend or family member will happily fill you in. Having an accurate view of your strengths and weaknesses is a key part of being humble,” he says. 

One way is sharing the credit when you talk to your partner about your accomplishments. 

Another thing that is as important as it is irresistible, is to practice putting your relationship before yourself, says Van Tongeren. 

“For example, instead of trying to win a fight with your partner, think about how to achieve the best outcome for the both of you—even if it means making a sacrifice or admitting you’re wrong.”

3) He’s available…emotionally speaking 

A man who is emotionally present is a gift. 

When dating and relationship coach Shana Schutte asks women what the top trait that women want in a man is, she says that many of them say they want a man who is emotionally available.

A man who is emotionally intelligent and emotionally present means that he’s comfortable talking about his feelings and he can communicate how he feels without getting defensive.

Schutte says that if a man is present with you when he is with you, then that is a good sign. “He can look you in the eye and he isn’t looking around the room for someone more interesting.”

Part of being emotionally present means he is willing to voice his thoughts and how he wants the relationship to proceed rather than just going along with what you want. 

4) He’s hilarious—but not all the time 

personality traits in men that all women secretly admire 7 personality traits in men that women find irresistibly attractive

A good sense of humor is hands down one of the sexiest qualities a man can have. 

One study cited by TIME involving 400 university students showed that men who showed higher levels of humor production ability, were also higher on the sexual selection perspective. 

“Men who were observed as humor producers…were three times as likely to receive a phone number than those who were observed as laughing at a friend’s joke instead.”

As fun as a funny man is to be with, women are also drawn to those who are serious when the situation calls for it. 

All humor has a threshold, points out marriage and family therapist Nicole Arzt

“If, for example, someone can’t have a serious conversation, that’s going to quickly become a turnoff,” she says. 

“If someone is always using humor to deflect their discomfort, it’s often a sign of emotional immaturity—and this can undoubtedly create problems later in the relationship.”

5) He has a passion for you…but he also has a passion for something besides you 

Ambition is attractive in a man for all sorts of reasons. 

“It’s a combination of passion, determination, desire, and drive,” says E.B. Johnson from Medium. “It’s not just an eagerness, it’s a hunger to succeed that goes far beyond traditional goal setting.”

Johnson explains that someone who is ambitious is someone who actively engages with their dreams and someone who consistently achieves the things they set out to do. 

“What else could be more attractive than a person who never settles for less than what they want? Not a lot,” she says. 

A secure, confident woman who has her own passions isn’t looking for a man to be the be-all and end-all of her life. 

In other words, she wants him to add to her own already-fulfilling life.

6) Part of the sex appeal is pretty primal 

Part of what makes a man ravishing to a woman is that he’s something of a risk-taker. 

Rated higher on the hotness scale are those who take heroic and sometimes primal risks, say Rebecca Harrington and Paola Rosa-Aquino from Business Insider.

“These include saving people’s lives, hunting for food, and playing with fire,” they say, citing a study from the Journal of Applied Psychology

At the same time, the allure of risk-taking men depends on whether a woman is looking for something short or long-term, experts emphasize. 

Recent research indicates that women find risk-taking men more attractive for short-term relationships rather than long-term partnerships. 

“Women with better health and more access to healthcare were more apt to find risk-takers attractive than women from other social and economic backgrounds.”

This is because the security provided by better health and access to healthcare allows women to feel more confident in selecting a risk-prone man since women can better manage any potential consequences, says Kimberly Drake of Health News

7) Don’t forget about depth

A woman will desire a man who is deep in heart, mind, and soul. 

In a nutshell, this means he has intelligence, effective communication, as well a desire for self-improvement and awareness—all of these things make him profoundly interesting and exciting, says Kristina Tieken at The Herald-Times

Part of having depth has to do with his ability to truly listen to and take in what a woman is saying. 

“When a man masters the art of listening by making eye contact, paying attention and responding, he masters the heart of his woman,” says Tieken. 

Deep men also live a life that is far from ordinary, says this writer at Medium. “You want to live this amazing life with them, exploring new places, and thinking up the most impossible ideas.”

These men offer possibility and infinite potential. 

This is many women’s version of Mr. Wonderful. 

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Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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