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Dating in Midlife

Dating in Midlife: 8 Things Men Want

How to find a grownup you connect with -- and what's actually important to look for

by Andrea McGinty

Oh, the eternal question. What do women want? How about men? With over 25 years’ experience working with both, the good news is that it’s a bit the same — and then a whole lot different!  

As 50 percent of my clients are male, today I’m going to focus on what I hear on a daily basis from men about the characteristics they are looking for in women. While most of what they say is common sense, some of it may be a bit of an eye opener.

  1.  Taking control
    Ok, this starts with the online dating process. Men love when the woman reaches out first with an actual message, not just a heart or like. This continues in the dating process — a frequent comment men make is “She relies on me to do all the date planning — I love it if she comes up with ideas.”  Yep, this is 2023, not 1965. Control does not mean a domineering or bossy attitude, just someone who knows her own mind and has ideas.
  2. A Positive and Confident Attitude
    I cannot stress this one enough! I combined two here, as men find confidence extremely sexy, and a positive attitude shines through immediately on a date. Example: Ron, 59, in Fort Worth, had a date with a pretty 58-year-old woman this week. At lunch, he asked about her day. You know the first words out of her mouth? “The traffic was lousy getting here and the rain ruined my hair.” OMG. Do you really think a second date is happening?
  3.  No Mind Games
    Bottom line: this is manipulation. No more playing games, like the one prospective couple who had a great first date. He texted her, but she waited four days to answer, thinking this made her more desirable by playing hard to get. And definitely no more cryptic messages. Another woman left a man saying there were several things she’d like to talk to him about next week when she got back from a vacation. He’d lost all interest at this point. 
  4. A Healthy Mind and Body
    You know, many say 50 is the new 40, as many of us have taken great care of ourselves by eating well, exercising, and practicing self-care. Which iso different from our parents’ or grandparents’ era. 
  5. An Intelligent Mind
    Yes, men like an attractive woman. But guess what? An interesting conversationalist who is well-read, up on current events and has an open mind to discuss different topics is just as enticing. Rarely do I speak to a man asking for a 9 or 10!
  6. Empathetic and Kind Heart
    No one wants to deal with a catty woman. Little acts of kindness such as to the wait staff, talking positively of others or volunteering show character, consideration and graciousness.
  7. Adventure
    Yep, a man likes a sense of adventure in a woman — a willingness to try new things, travel to new places, meet new people and explore life together. After all, isn’t that why you’re trying to meet someone in the first place?
  8. The Way She Presents
    First impressions are crucial! A stylish outfit, nails done, hair freshly blown out, pretty jewelry — all are immediately noticed.  The most crucial:  your smile and a sparkle in your eyes. Now, that’s a big turn-on. It shows you are happy to be here with him.

In general, I’ve found that men are much easier to coach with online dating. They don’t have an exhaustive list of “must-haves;” usually there are two or three items that are important to them. An easy way for you to get on the same page: make that list of 10 items you feel you must have. Now cross off seven.  There you go! On with your online dating adventure.

 Happy Dating!


Andrea McGintyAndrea McGinty, America’s Dating Expert, has over 20 years of dating experience. She is happily responsible for working with over 33000 clients and 4200 marriages. She is the founder of 33000Dates and the iconic It’s Just Lunch. Andrea views dating as an adventure!


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