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Home Health & Lifestyle The Sex Column What Women Want: A Breakdown By Decade

What Women Want: A Breakdown By Decade

What Women Want: A Breakdown By Decade


Growing up, I heard my dad say this joke (or a variation) at every party we attended:

Sarah attended a ball annually where she would meet up with her well- connected Aunte Bessie. Every year Aunt Bessie would approach her and whisper:

“I have a man I want you to meet.”
In her 20’s, rather coyly and distracted she would respond, “Is he cute?”

Aunt Bessie, wise and advanced in years, would chuckle and roll her eyes.
In her 30’s, Sarah’s response changed to, “Does he have a job?”

Still unsettled and unmarried at 40, Sarah came to the ball. As was their tradition, Aunt Bessie approached Sarah with the all too familiar question:
“I have a man I want you to---“
Abruptly, without even letting her finish her sentence, Sarah interrupts, “Where IS he????!!!”

You chuckle. People always do. Unfortunately, there is a lot of truth to this tale. Women think they know what they want, but their desires change by the decade. Even still, there is a gaping void between what women [say they] want versus what they actually really need, a topic I will discuss at another time.

For now, we’ll focus on what women want.


A Woman in her 20’s- “Is he cute?”

    The majority of women are at their peak in physical attractiveness in their 20’s. For many it’s before children steal away from their beauty sleep and fitness regime. For many it means more time for themselves and for their hobbies. With all this time, they probably watch romantic comedies every now and then. Prince charming is always a handsome dapper young man. They romanticize men in ways that really create unrealistic expectations that are all too often smashed to the ground in the face of reality. These women are seeking the chemical high they get around cute men. The butterflies. The thrill. They want the drama and the excitement. They have a whole life ahead of them; they can’t imagine ever losing their beauty, their power over men, their sex appeal.  

How to Win a Woman in her 20’s:

    If a woman in her 20’s is concerned with finding guys that make her swoon, gentlemen, this is your challenge to get in the best shape of your life. Don’t give into the notion that women only care about money or how well you make them feel emotionally. We live in a time where it’s not only women who should concern themselves with how they look naked. We may not be the most visual of the sexes but we still can appreciate a little eye candy. Plus, confidence (not arrogance) is the hottest thing a guy can have, and getting in good shape and looking your best will ultimately help you in building confidence.


A Woman in her 30’s- “Does he have a job?

    Something changes in a woman’s perception once she hits her 30’s. Maybe she’s brought back to the reality that she will eventually lose her looks. Maybe she realizes her metabolism isn’t as forgiving as it was in her 20’s. Maybe she notices men are getting married left and right. Maybe she becomes aware of her evolving, changing face at the first sign of crow’s feet leaving lingering lines after she smiles. But most likely, it has something to do with the fact that a woman in her 30’s has been in the workplace now for maybe over a decade. Even though looks still matter to her, above that she wants someone who can hold down a steady job. Unlike her former self, she is concerned with being able to support not just herself, but her family or future family. Many single moms are in their 30’s, just trying hard to make ends meet. She realizes that a chemical high cannot take the place of a responsible, dependable man who can take care of himself, possibly even take care of her and her kids if she has any. She wants the thrill and excitement of her 20’s but realizes those things are not as important, especially if she wants to have a family of her own.


How to Win a Woman in her 30’s:

Oh my goodness. Please, please, please! If you want to pursue a woman in her 30’s please have a plan and a direction for your life! A woman in her 30’s is seeking security, the comfort of having a steadfast presence in her life, a man who can hold his own. If she doesn’t already have kids, and she wants kids, you know for sure babies are on her mind in this decade. And babies, they cost you a pretty penny. A woman in her 30’s will value your ambition, but not just blind, pipedream ambitions… To her a real man is a guy who maybe has crazy, unconventional career dreams, but in the meantime still understands the value of dutiful work and holding down a job for the sake of making a living and being a responsible adult. And if you have unconventional or risky career dreams, it’s the action you put behind those ambitions that will make her believe you’re for real.


A Woman in her 40’s- “Where IS he????!!!”

Long gone are the days when suitors would line up at her front door. She’s being passed up by young beauties. Even if she dated a handsome young man, she would definitely have “cougar” etched across her forehead. Now she doesn’t care if he has a job. She’s at a point where she can take care of herself. All she needs now is companionship, someone who will be there no matter what. Someone who sees a beauty that is beyond skin deep. A single woman in her 20’s: normal. A single woman in her 30’s: she must be focusing on her career! But a single woman in her 40’s? Our society doesn’t know what to make of it. When she’s approaching middle age, there’s a certain kind of societal expectation to be settled down and married with kids.  Not only that, but she’s hit that point where she sees retirement in her horizon and simply just don’t want to be alone.


How to Win a Woman in Her 40’s:

Be pleasant to be around. Be kind. Be a good listener. Prove to her that her life is better with you in it. Show her that you’d make a good companion, someone who will be there for her no matter what.

There you have it, the answer to the age-old question, what do women want? The answer changes by the decades and is based on different desires. Generally speaking, early on women desire the spark, the excitement, the thrill of romantic encounters. As they mature and desire family, they look for dependability, stability, responsibility. When they are beyond child bearing years, their desire shifts more to just a need for soulful, intimate companionship.


Midori is the girl behind Think old fashioned Carrie Bradshaw dishing out mother approved dating advice. She currently resides in Seattle.

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