8 Qualities Mature, Intelligent Men Look for in a Woman

Jessica Wildfire


Photo by Kseniya Ivanova

Some men I know have passed up plenty of chances to date gorgeous women. They didn’t use her for sex. They didn’t breadcrumb her. They just rejected her. They did it because she struck them as:

  • Immature
  • Superficial
  • Selfish
  • Confrontational
  • Jealous
  • Insecure

We know these qualities exist in men and women. But we don’t talk about them in women much, do we?

We pretend that every woman out there is either sweet and nurturing, or misunderstood. Nah, some are just childish—even if they know how to get around in platform heels. They belong with blue-toothed entrepreneurs who spend their free time researching protein powders.

If you’re smart (which is not an innate quality, but honed), you deserve someone who appreciates that.

Ditch the standard dating advice.

My love life was an endless carousel of first dates until I came across a simple quote that changed my entire life.

If you go home with somebody, and they don’t have books, don’t sleep with them.
—John Waters

It was crass, and smart.

Until then I didn’t think you were allowed to be yourself if you were crass and smart. You had to water yourself down.

So I did.

I tried to date guys who did not own books, and it did not work out so well. I always wound up unhappy, and eventually single again.

I think a lot of guys might have the same problem.

If all you want to do is settle for someone and end up miserable in a big house, follow the standard dating advice:

  • Smile at parties.
  • Laugh at bad jokes.
  • Let them pick the restaurant.
  • Assume they’re going to pay.

But if you want a relationship that lets you live your own life, that’s going to take a little more work.

Stop settling for attractive vs. smart.

It’s 2021. There’s lots of smart, pretty boys and girls out there. They don’t always hang out at bars and clubs.

They don’t all sit back and wait for love to come find them.

Which leads to the first thing:

1. She’ll hit on HIM for a change.

Smart guys get a little tired of the old rules where they’re supposed to chase her, make the first move, or be the one who pays.

I have friends who turn the tables.

They hit on the guy.

They offer to take him out to dinner. They compliment his clothes and his hair and his facial structure. They send clear signals about when they want to be kissed. They initiate sex.

And you know what? It works. Most of these women wound up in happy, fulfilling relationships.

Sometimes the woman needs to go talk to the shy-looking guy in the corner. He has more to offer than it looks at first. Your gender doesn’t matter, and neither does all the crap you’ve read in magazines and dating columns. If you want to talk to someone, then go talk to them. Ask them on a date. Stop worrying about who does what.

2. She’s straightforward and doesn’t play games.

It doesn’t matter what gender you are. Immature people torture their partners with invisible rules and expectations.

They let someone think they’re exclusive. Then they start dating around or hooking up with strangers.

They have some unspoken ideal about how long you’re supposed to wait before answering a text or calling them back.

They flirt with someone just to make you jealous, then gaslight you by saying they’re just friends with that guy.

Smart men hate this.

If they feel like they’re being toyed with, jerked around, or subjected to rules they don’t understand, they’ll just walk away.

They have lives.

They have things they care about. And even more importantly, they know they don’t have to put up with bullshit.

They don’t get angry. They don’t play hard to get. They just give their attention to people who treat them well.

So smart, mature women do their best to say what they think. They communicate their needs and desires—at least eventually. They define the status of the relationship early on.

They send clear signals, and convey their interest. They expect men to read body language and pick up on cues, but they don’t make them play Inspector Poirot with every single emotion.

3. She’s witty, wry, or just plain funny.

Intelligent men have a sense of humor.

They can laugh at themselves, and at tough situations. They want more than a woman who pretends to laugh at their bad jokes.

They want a woman to tell them when they’re not funny. They don’t want her to let him make a fool out of himself. To smart men, it’s insulting to find out you think they have a fragile ego that needs to be stroked. They would rather you just be honest with them.

They want a woman who can make them laugh. They want a woman to go to standup comedy shows with them.

4. She can tell a story.

Being a character in a book or a film means you have a story. Having character in real life means the same thing.

Mediocre dates are full of people just answering questions.

If someone asks you a question, don’t just give them an answer like you’re filling out a multiple choice test.

Tell a story.

Show them your character.

(Like most of the advice here, this also applies to guys).

5. She’s creative or passionate about something.

A woman who talks about desperate housewives and yoga won’t attract a smart guy. Or she’ll attract a smart guy who’s going to use her for sex— or, worse, make her a trophy wife.

Intelligent men are looking for women who’ve invested themselves in something beyond a goop lifestyle.

It could be a career, a side hustle, a screenplay, an art studio, or just taking care of a sick family member.

Intelligent men love women who can play an instrument or carry a tune. They love women who paint, run a photography studio, or write decent poetry. They’ll support her ambitions.

6. She reads more than she watches TV.

Have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone who doesn’t read? I mean doesn’t read anything.

It’s difficult.

The only thing more difficult is someone who always brags about what books they’ve read. That’s not a conversation. That’s painful.

A woman who reads is a woman who has a longer attention span. She accrues wisdom from more than her own life experience.

She’ll be wise beyond her years.

Where do you find girls who read these days? You might find them in bookstores, if your city still has one. And if you don’t, there’s gotta be a place where smart people go to hang out.

Men and women are all allowed to start book clubs. One day, you’ll be able to invite people over to your house for wine again.

In the mean time, read.

7. She keeps up with current events.

It’s popular to shield yourself from the news these days. People think burying their heads in the sand will make them happier.

All it does is make them less informed.

Intelligent men want a woman who knows what’s going on in the world. They want someone who cares about things outside her immediate orbit. This comes along with other attractive qualities like empathy, confidence, and engagement with the world around her.

8. She has standards, not deal-breakers.

They want chemistry, on the physical and intellectual level. All chemistry means is you enjoy being around them. You enjoy talking to them. You enjoy looking at them, and touching them.

Physical chemistry tends to take care of itself.

The intellectual chemistry is tougher, but it’s key. The fewer deal breakers you have, the better.

Deal-breakers are just rigid expectations. They usually focus on the minutiae of a relationship — the stuff that doesn’t matter. Deal-breakers are often manifestations of our commitment phobia.

Standards are different.

They define how you treat someone in a relationship, and how you want to be treated. They’re meta. They’re flexible. You talk about them. They’re hard to define sometimes, but easy to observe.

Mature, intelligent men and women are both looking for someone with matching standards. They don’t have a bunch of little rules they make each other follow, just a few big ones. They’re not looking for watered-down. They’re looking for barrel strength.

So should you.

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