Dating After Divorce For Men: What Women Want

Are women really so complicated and difficult to please?  The answer is yes!  But don’t worry, I have some insight for you.  It’s true. We can be complicated, but there are essential things we all seek and it isn’t too difficult to deliver on these.


While every woman has her own preferences and desires, there are common qualities we all seek in a potential partner. One of those is security.

Back on the pre-historic Savanna, we humans faced the very real risk of being devoured by wild animals. In those days women and children relied on men’s physical strength for protection.  This setup was critical to ensure the survival of our species.

What women want – security

While these types of dramatic threats no longer exist in modern day life, women still feel a visceral need for protection from danger, even if “danger” comes in the form of a flat tire.

Security will be defined differently depending on which woman you meet, as each of us will perceive security in her own unique way. I don’t care how independent a woman feels or comes across to others, we all have the need to feel taken care of.

It’s only our preference of HOW we are cared for that varies.

What women want – safety

A few examples of ways to communicate security to a woman include wealth, physical strength, talent, and loyalty.  Loyalty and stability, for instance, were two things a friend of mine sought.

She had a history of tumultuous relationships with “hot” guys who never followed through.  When she decided to get serious about the right partner for her, she looked for and found a man she knew would never cause drama. He was the loyal, even-keeled type.

A woman who needs to feel financially secure will likely seek a man with demonstrable financial stability and wealth.   Women who seek out rich men aren’t necessarily gold diggers! They may find the safety net that financial security provides appealing.

For the woman who has a strict rule about only dating guys over 6’, physical size may represent protection. She could be accused of being too picky or superficial, but having a mate who is significantly larger than she is likely makes her feel protected.

What women want - worker

Some women I know find the handyman type very attractive. I suspect for women who are drawn to handymen, the ability to fix broken things equals safety.

I’ll share some general thoughts about actions and attitudes that communicate you are someone who will protect and provide security to a woman, regardless of her own personal definition of security.

In fact, I will use a personal experience as an example.

I hadn’t known my boyfriend very long when I had an unfortunate traffic incident. I rear-ended someone, so knew I was at fault.  On the scene, the guy whose van I hit was verbally aggressive and unforgiving.

Though I didn’t know my boyfriend very well at that time, I had ascertained he was good at fixing things and clever at negotiating life situations in general.

Going against my usual independent streak, I called to ask his advice as to how I should manage reporting my side to the police. He offered to come to the scene.

Normally, I would have politely thanked him for the offer and have dealt with things on my own but I took him up on the offer.

…..His efforts made a huge impression.

He smoothed things over with the other driver by chatting and showing interest in his predicament while working to the vehicle so that it would function well enough to get the guy home. He also demonstrated caring and loyalty by making the effort to show up.

What women want - chivalry
In our modern times there are gestures a man can make that represent the intent to protect and keep us safe. Some examples include simple things like walking on the curb-side of the sidewalk or opening the car door.

Regardless if you consider yourself more of the traditional type or whether you see yourself as a  more progressive dater, pay for the first date.

Then pay for the 2nd and 3rd.

After three dates, when there is clearly a mutual interest, you may come to another arrangement.

Some women will be perfectly comfortable allowing you to pay for everything while others will feel uncomfortable and insist on contributing.

Again, this is the ambiguity of being caught between the more traditional generation where a man was responsible for the expense of dating and the younger generation who is definitely more egalitarian in their dating practices.

What women want - Bill

When in doubt, remember chivalry is not dead.  I don’t know any woman who would refuse a second or third date because you insisted on paying.

It’s worth remembering that small gestures such as opening doors are taken note of and will earn you points.


Everyone needs acknowledgement. That’s just a basic human need.

When we are talking about women and our need for attention and acknowledgment, there are a few pointers I can share.

What women want - Attention

Say it

Every woman wants to feel beautiful and desireable. Sincere compliments on her appearance will always be appreciated.  The key here is sincere.  We women are perceptive aren’t moved by empty flattery.

Compliments should be truly unique to her. Rather than saying she looks beautiful (though that works too!), commenting on something uniquely “her” will really make an impression.

What women want - Say it

It’s worth mentioning that, while we appreciate acknowledgement of our physical assets, we also want to be recognized for less superficial qualities like intelligence, sense of humor, etc.


How do you let a woman know you have heard what she says?  You remember details and ask about them later.  When you ask how her co-worker who was recently laid off is doing, you show real interest in who she is and in the things that she values.

What women want - Listening


Follow through.  This may sound so simple as to be not worth mentioning, but being consistent plays into the security thing.  Knowing you will do as you say reaffirms you are a safe and loyal partner

Be Generous

By generous, I don’t necessarily mean monetarily. Be generous with your time and energy.  Pay attention to details about what she likes and when a special occasion comes along, incorporate her interest in an activity or a gift. Believe me; your efforts will be noticed.

What women want - Generous

On the surface we women may come across as confusing creatures, but we really just want the same thing all people want – to be appreciated and to feel safe.  Sometimes your simple efforts can make all the difference!

If you haven’t read part one, check it out here: “Getting Back in the Game” and Part two, Online Dating.

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