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Matchmaking specialist Kathryn Lewis holds both an Honours degree and an MSc in psychology from the University of Surrey. She serves on the panel of experts at Seventy Thirty, the exclusive London-based matchmaking, partner headhunting, and lifestyle service for affluent and successful people worldwide.

What men want

Yes, it’s true that men are visual beings and physical attractiveness in a partner is often top of their list, but it’s also true that they’re not necessarily all looking for a Claudia Schiffer or a Kate Moss.

What they do want is a woman who takes pride in her appearance – they’re proud of having a partner who looks good. When a man first starts dating, his driving force is sex. Basically, he wants to sow his seeds; even Freud agreed on this!

You might despair that men can seem so shallow, but although sex does remain important, as a relationship develops into the longer term, other factors become equally important. Men also look for femininity, gentleness and kindness in a woman – they subconsciously desire a partner with attributes that point to them making a good mother in the future. So, ladies, do show him these qualities – enjoy being a woman, embrace your femininity and all that it entails!

Men do have other needs besides the instinctual driving force for procreation, such as security, love, affection, closeness and companionship. Men have many of the same insecurities and needs as women and want to be able to trust and rely on their partner and feel safe and comfortable in the relationship.

Men are also looking for a partner who holds similar values and has a similar outlook on life. As values, morals and outlooks are often shaped during childhood, we commonly find ourselves attracted to people who have experienced a similar upbringing to us.

Confidence, intellect, success and a level of ambition are all common traits that the men I work with identify as attractive qualities in a woman. However, men do like to see a little vulnerability, so don’t try to be superwoman. Let him scoop you up every once in a while. Men like their masculinity to be reinforced - to feel like the breadwinner and the protector. So make sure that as an independent woman who is accomplished and successful in your own right you don’t dent his ego. Try redressing the balance by making him feel good about himself – flatter him, encourage him, boost his esteem and confidence.

So one may wonder - if men really are deeper than we think and are not only looking at the physical appearance of a partner, why do we so often hear phrases such as a "well-endowed blonde" when they’re describing their ideal mate?

One explanation is macho group behaviour. Men like to feel like men – they want their friends to give them a big pat on the back for a job well done. I recently met a group of hedgefund managers at a champagne reception. Together, they joked about finding a partner, and "putting their order in". Half an hour later, I had a tap on the shoulder from one of them - a super-successful guy and with all the trimmings of an eligible bachelor. We spoke privately and it was a whole different experience once his friends were out of earshot!

It’s the same with my clients. After a little probing and delving beneath the surface, I find that men whom Seventy Thirty matchmake for are all fully focussed on and committed to finding a likeminded, compatible, long-term partner – many superficialities no longer exist, or at least pale into insignificance. Yes, having a partner who makes an effort and takes pride in her appearance is always going to be important, but men really are also looking for genuine synergy with a partner. Looking good in itself is simply not enough - I am in the privileged position of being able to confirm this fact!

So, how useful is it for you to know what a man really wants and how can you use this information to your advantage?

Well, it is important to realise that you should not (and more importantly can not) change who you really are for a man. You might spend a small fortune on a Prada dress or botox to improve the way you look, but your outlook, values and what you see your as journey in life can not be successfully altered in a major way simply to secure a relationship. Without these aspects in common, any relationship will be relatively short-lived.

Confidence is key – focus on being truly happy within yourself and in your own life. Then the chances of finding the right man to enhance your life, rather than complete it, will be massively increased.

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Kathryn Lewis

by Kathryn Lewis

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