Guys Reveal The Top 15 Things They Actually Like In A Girl

Are you ready to journey inside the minds of guys? Then read on and discover 15 things he actually likes about a girl — if you dare.

By Olive Winks
Guys Reveal The Top 15 Things They Actually Like In A Girl

Guys Are Visual Creatures

Cartoon from Psychology Today titled "This Proves That Men Are Visual Creatures."

If you want a quick and reliable test to see if a guy is sincere or not, ask him this question: is physical appearance the most important thing you look for in a girl? If the guy in question says, “No, looks aren’t the most important thing,” then he is insincere and probably not worth your time. Too, he is most likely only interesting in your body if he maintains appearance isn't first on his list of priorities in a potential mate. However, if he admits just how crucial physical appearance is, then he is sincere and might be worth getting to know a little better. Look, you probably don’t need a relationship guru or a psychologist to tell you that guys like a girl with pretty hair, nice skin, and a shapely figure. Still, for those that need to hear it straight from the mouth (or, in this case, straight from the pen) of an expert, here’s what Helen Fisher, who holds a Ph.D. and is the Chief Scientific Advisor for, wrote about guys in her book The First Sex: The Natural Talents of Women and How They Are Changing the World:

Men are more turned on by visual stimuli. They use pornographic materials of every kind more frequently than women do. When they fantasize, they conjure up more images of coitus and body parts, the explicit details of sex itself.”

Of course, Dr. Fisher isn't suggesting that all guys are perverts, who constantly watch pornography because the three things they care most about are the female body, the female body, and the female body. But she is using scientific research to state that (and I'm paraphrasing here), yeah, guys like to rest their eyes on a girl who’s visually appealing. You know that; we all do. But good looks isn't the only thing guys like. They are human beings after all, and they want many (if not most) of the same things that a girl wants. Which begs the question: aside from looks, what do guys like? Read on to discover which 15 things made the list.

Guys Like A Smart And Funny Girl

1. Intelligence

Can we speak frankly for a moment? Yes? Good. Even if you’re in the kind of hot and heavy relationship that would make Christian Grey from Fifty Shades of Grey blush like a school girl, you’re still spending an overwhelming majority of your relationship time outside of the bedroom, meaning most of your time is not spent ravaging your man's body. Even if you wanted to, you can’t spend every waking moment having sex. That would hazardous for a variety of reasons. So what are you going to do with each other otherwise? Answer: you’re going to talk. And guys like a smart girl, one who can intelligently speak about the dismal state of American politics and why episodic TV shows like Mad Men and Breaking Bad are slowly replacing novels. Guys are not only visual creatures; they are competitive as well, so if a girl can hold her own in a debate, whether it be about pop culture or the best taco truck in town, your guy will be into it. Trust me, my boyfriend and I debate everything, and he loves it and usually ends the conversation by saying, “Damn, you’re really smart.” To which I invariably reply, “Bet your ass, I am.” Bottom line, girls, one of your greatest gifts and most powerful weapons is your intelligence. Use it!

When conversations lack depth or intrigue, we often fill our time with physical activity together, but it is impossible to build a real connection or lasting relationship with someone on that alone. Being intellectually challenging and having the ability to hold real discussions about meaningful topics, will always trump shallow beauty in the long run.

2. Sense Of Humor

Here’s a bit of inside information: from an early age, guys are programmed, through television, subconscious parenting, and interactions with peers, to be competitive. This means they are constantly attempting to be the best athlete, the brightest student, and the funniest among their friends. Sounds like a lot of pressure, no? It is. (And I’ll address the seemingly endless pressure that a girl faces on another occasion). So when guys meet a girl that actually makes them laugh, they like it. No, actually, they love it. Not only does it take some of the pressure to entertain off of them, but it helps them relax, which will allow them to let their guard down, which will mean they’ll be more likely to open up and that, in my opinion, will only deepen the relationship bond. To me, intelligence and sense of humor are the two greatest gifts a girl has. And most guys will agree.

Guys Like An Authentic And Playful Girl

3. Authenticity

Perhaps the worst thing a girl can do is pretend to be something she’s not. Guys like it when girls own their sexuality, individuality, and femininity. Sure, guys appreciate it when their girl agrees to go to a basketball game and doesn’t text or act bored the entire time, but they don’t like it when girls fake their interest. So, if you’re more into Don’t Be Tardy for the Party than NBA games, say so. And if you don’t like wearing a lot of makeup and feel more comfortable just pulling your hair back into a ponytail rather sitting through an involved procedure at the salon, make it known. Because if a guy is interested in you (read: attracted to you), there’s a reason for it, and at least part of that reason is you are you. Never feel like you need to perform to get his attention and/or affection; doing that will only turn him off and, more than likely, make you feel crappy for being fake. Always remember the wise words of Oscar Wilde: “Be yourself; everyone else is taken.” Great advice from one of English literature's greatest writers and a guy who had real personality.

4. Playfulness

Get your minds out of the gutter because this doesn’t only apply to the bedroom, although guys certainly like a sexually adventurous girl. No, I’m talking about being playful in general. The nerdier type guys (like my cute-as-a-button boyfriend) might make a checklist of questions about a girl they are interested in. Does the girl like to laugh? Does she make me laugh? Does she enjoy playing games (silly and harmless games, not head games designed to confuse/frustrate/manipulate)? Does she tend to find the humor in most situations? Is she up for playing hide-and-seek with flashlights, or partial strip poker because she knows guys like to keep a little bit of mystery going? Questions like these might make the list. To most guys, playfulness=sexy. And by the way, playfulness is usually what guys are referring to when they say they want a girl with a great personality.

Guys Like A Confident And Self-Reliant Girl

5. Confidence

This is a universally attractive quality, and one that guys love — not like, but love — in a girl. Confidence demonstrates that a girl has a healthy level of self-esteem, and it shows that a girl knows who she is, what she wants, and where she is going in life. Confidence: it was, is, and always will be sexy. End of story. The old adage that gentlemen prefer blondes may contain some nugget of truth, but this is an absolute: guys definitely prefer a confident girl. So whether you’re a sassy redhead with generous curves, a petite brunette who wears horn-rim glasses, or a tomboy who hits the town sans makeup, own it! Be confident and you’ll pique the interest of the right kinds of guys: the ones who are looking for an equal partner, not arm candy or a "yes" girl.

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6. Self-Reliance

Translation: guys look for a girl who wants to be with them, but she doesn’t need to be with them (or any other guy). A self-reliant girl will not turn into a quivering soup of jealousy and resentment if her guy decides to spend the night alone watching old Woody Allen movies, or if he, occasionally, goes out drinking with the fellows. Why? Two reasons. One, a self-reliant girl may love the pants off of her guy (both literally and figuratively), but she has her own life, too; she has her own interests (shout out to my Merlot and Game of Thrones Sunday Night Girls Only Club). Two, she isn’t solely defined by her relationship; she has her own identity, and she aims to keep it that way, which guys really like. Having a self-reliant girl takes some of the pressure off of guy, so he doesn’t feel like he needs to be his girl’s entire world. And by the way, he finds that very attractive, and he considers it to be one of your best gifts.

Guys Like An Ambitious And Generous Girl

7. Ambition

Memo to the unenlightened out there: it’s 2017, and that means a girl can accomplish anything she puts her mind to. And guys who aren’t threatened by a woman with goals (and those are the only type of guys you should date anyway) like a girl with ambition. They like a girl who is career-minded and not just waiting around for someone else to take care of her, financially and otherwise. Plus, smart guys are going to be aware of statistics like those in the quote below:

More women than men now graduate college. Nearly half the U.S. workforce is female and 40 percent of those women are their family’s breadwinner…Multiple studies show that, when asked, men say they prefer dating ambitious go-getters.”

So what the numbers say is this: guys are beginning to actually look for a girl with ambition.

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8. Generosity

Guys are looking for a girl who is generous with her body, her time, her laugh, her attention, her money, her talents, and her intelligence — just to name a few. (Yeah, I know; guys can be demanding, but the right one is worth it. And remember, ladies: we demand a lot from guys, too). Check out what Colleen Crawford had to say about generosity in "Ten Steps to Become an Irresistible Woman."

Men attracted to women who seem to be comfortable with themselves. In general, men prefer women who don't feel like a garbage and behave as if they are worthless and simply lack confidence in themselves. To find self-esteem, you should trust yourself, you're a woman and therefore you need to do what it takes to be attractive to a man.

Guys Like A Talented And Unique Girl

9. Talent

Of course, girls want to be physically attracted to a guy if there is any chance for romance. But there are things that are just as important (if not more important) than purely looks. I'm talking about talent. Come on, girls. Who among us hasn't dated a guy with a receding hairline or some extra belly fat because he was an amazing drummer, a kickass soccer player, or an extremely talented writer? (You can't see it, but I'm raising my hand to indicate I have dated a less-than-attractive guy because he had mad singing skills.) Guys, who are primarily visual creatures, won't date a girl they find unattractive, but they do like it when a girl has talent. So, please, don't feel as if you need to hide your crafting skills or downplay your acting abilities just to get the attention of your crush. Showcase your talent, girls, and don't be surprised if your crush is really into it — and you.

10. Unique

Personality. Everyone has one, and everyone, regardless of age, sex, or race, is unique. Everyone. We all have something (or many things) that make us unique as individuals, and a girl should never try to hide those things. Reason number one why she shouldn't hide her uniqueness: because it will, in the long run, make her feel ashamed and fake. Reason number two: because guys actually seek out girls with unique personal gifts, and no, I'm not only talking about physical gifts. Remember that guys are competitive, and they aren't afraid to stand out or shine — quite the opposite. So when it comes to looking for a girl, guys expect their potential girlfriend or wife to not be afraid, either. So ladies, if you've got a unique fashion sense or a unique talent, show it!

Guys Like An Affectionate And Flexible Girl

11. Affectionate

Every girl wants a guy to hold her hand sometimes and kiss her cheek and snuggle with her on the couch, especially whenever it's time to drink red wine and binge on rom coms. And although guys might not want the exact same things (maybe substitute beer for wine and action flicks for rom coms), but they do want a girl who is physically affectionate, a girl whose personality is just naturally wired for physical touch. But don't take my word for it. Read what James Michael Sama over at The Good Men Project has to say in his article "The Top 12 Qualities Men Want in a Woman."

For me, affection is important. Holding hands, hugs, just being physically close together. It symbolizes a connection. It’s a warm, loving feeling, and I would have a hard time building a long-term relationship with a woman who shrugs off your arm when you put it around her or always feels ‘separate’ from me.

12. Flexible

Being physically flexible in the bedroom will definitely get the attention of guys--as will being confident in your own skin. However, what will hold their attention (and make them more likely to want a longterm relationship) is for a girl to be flexible in other ways. That means a girl should be open to new experiences, be open to meeting new people, and when things don't go according to plan or schedule, be open to rolling with the punches. Personally, I have always found that the best times I've ever had with boyfriends, girlfriends, or family were when a well-orchestrated plan went hey wire, and everyone just embraced it and had fun anyway. Oh, the memory of the Christmas turkey incident of 2001 still makes me smile! For more this, here again is Colleen Crawford, who has some smart things to say.

Maybe some man is attracted to a woman who has enough flexibility to do somersaults in the air, but they are more attracted a woman who has flexible ideas, comments and suggestions, without being too stubborn and arrogant. Men tend to have stable relationship with a woman who can adapt to the changing situations without breaking their own principles.

Guys Like A Well-Rounded Girl Of Real Character

13. Well-Rounded

Confession: I love Sex in the City and makeup and spending an unholy amount of time thinking about my hair. I am, after all, a girl. But I also love watching Tottenham Hotspurs play (Harry Kane is a devastating goal-scorer and easy on the eyes!). And I love other stereotypically masculine activities such as mowing the lawn, drinking beer (my keg stand record is one minute and three seconds), and doing scene-by-scene reenactments of "The Godfather" and "Goodfellas." In other words, I'm not just into one thing. Being well-rounded goes hand in hand with being flexible. The more a girl allows herself to step outside the comfort zone, the more she will grow as an independent and confident female, but (and this is secondary on the list) she will also be that much more attractive to guys.

14. Character

For a word containing only three syllables, character has a lot of meaning packed into it. Having character should be a part of any girl's personality. It is one of life's true gifts to encounter a girl (or a guy) who thinks about the feelings of others and doesn't always act out of self-interest. That (and so much more) is what gives someone character, and guys appreciate this in a potential girlfriend or wife.

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Guys Like An Honest Girl

15. Honest

There is a reason most guys have gotten into fist fights and major verbal altercations with their friends: because guys value honesty. And honesty can, on occasion, cause conflict. Guys, for better or worse, call each other on their mistakes, and this extends to their relationships with girls, too. They don't want to be with someone who is going to lie to them or even bend the truth because, frankly, it's too much work to try and sift through what is true and what is false. No, guys are looking for a girl with a good personality, one who will tell the truth about her likes and dislikes, her hopes and dreams, and her fears and misgivings. Do this. Google what guys really like in a girl, and click on any article you come across. Most of them will mention honesty. I know my boyfriend says that my honesty (and my twinkly brown eyes) are what he finds most attractive about yours truly.

Men look for a partner they can share themselves with. They’re looking for a girl who will be honest with them. You don’t have to share all the details about everything. However, men respect and appreciate a woman who tells them how they really feel. Men are not mind readers, so honesty not only helps them understand you, but it develops a stronger relationship between you both.