How to Hook & Keep a Real Man

How to get and keep a man with integrity — from a guy’s perspective.


This article was written by a man and is a compiled reaction to everyday complaints from singles, and the most common one that you hear is that there are no eligible guys. Next time you’re in a crowded space, look around and note what you see: men, most of them single, all around you, right? Every day you’ll see dozens of people who would date you, and a few who would continue to enjoy your company over many years. Every day. And even if you are the local prom queen, you really aren’t the only similarly eligible person that you’ll see either in the halls or at the local chapter of Mensa, believe me.

And if you are, then move.

First, start by making a list of must-haves and can’t-haves. Things you want –and don’t want– in a man. Ask yourself what you find attractive in exceptional people that you might happen to know. Is it their wit? Are they kind? Accomplished? If all that you can come up with is that they dress well, phone at the right time, and have perfect teeth, I suggest picking someone else.

How to Hook & Keep a Real Man

Bite the Bullet!

If you like someone, say so. Work it edge-wise into some trivial discussion, if you’re too shy to be unsubtle. But unless you say something direct and unmistakable, you’ll waste months — if he ever figures out that you’re interested in him. Batting your eyelids is not enough, but sustained eye contact is like a tractor beam in a nightclub. If the guy talking about third world poverty impressed you, then flag him down after the lecture and ask him out! Realize that if he is not open to dating you, it is not a reflection of you as much as it is him. Remember that it doesn’t – shouldn’t – matter if he says no, but it is significant if he says yes, so jump on your opportunities. Hey, it has worked on me!

Popular literature is full of stories of a woman making it easy for a man, because a man is as liable to be a chicken as anyone else. Maybe he’s distracted by a new project and wouldn’t have even noticed a gun-wielding terrorist. If you want the guy in the sales department, keep in mind that even if a man doesn’t ask out a woman, it doesn’t at all mean that he wouldn’t agree to talk over coffee. Be gutsy and assertive to get what you want, and it will pay dividends.

How to Hook & Keep a Real Man

Corporate Images of Perfection

Nothing is a bigger turnoff than someone who buys into being told what they should look like. Why should you not feel comfortable outside the house without a bra and makeup? What makes you think that you need makeup in the first place?

Don’t pull your hair out trying to fit some image, an artificial mirage, that is pushed onto you by self-serving corporations and a manipulative media. Tell the people trying to sell you makeup to go to hell, and just be who you are. If you have inner beauty, a lasting and reliable beauty, that will shine through without covering up your face.

It boils down to feeling that you have to buy something, or do something, or add one more thing before you will be good ‘enough.’ This trap is bottomless… just as I could replace a my car with its 380-horsepower version, and still not be satisfied, I should instead take comfort that it starts when it’s cold and has heated seats. Accepting yourself puts you in a better position to continue to improve. Don’t wait to be happy with yourself, start now!

How to Hook & Keep a Real Man

Love Your Body

You will always be able to single out something to not like, and without changing your attitudes and self-image, you will always dislike whatever you single out with the same intensity.

You should realize that you can make big changes in your body just with regular exercise or athletic training if you keep at it and eat a normal, modest, healthy diet at the same time. However, you should consider if it’s really worth it to change who you are to meet someone else’s image. Consider if you really need to, to achieve your internal, psychological goals.

It’s about self-esteem, and confidence, and feeling attractive, and being healthy, so go after these attributes directly! Makeup and a diet program will only give you the kind of gloss-over confidence that will only be there when your tube of reprocessed whale fat is with you. What good is something will only work while you are slim, if such a hollow source of confidence works at all?

It is taught that rather than needing to have, in order to be happy, you must be happy with what you have. Be happy with your body. Feel good about you, as you are reading this article right now. Remember the things that make you special, and don’t be fooled to think that getting the body you’re told to want will make you happy.

If you have severe self-esteem problems, make an effort to seek out people who can help you. If you can’t remember what makes you special, go create some special things in yourself. Cultivate your interests instead of watching television. Accomplish something amazing, bit by bit, by devoting some time to it every day. Think about what will make you feel good, and what you enjoy, and do it!

How to Hook & Keep a Real Man

Be, Don’t Act.

You can change yourself to be better – read, more altruistic or more cultured and sophisticated, but don’t imitate. Acting like a giggling teenybopper twit is not a way to be “cool”. Being more confident around people, being cheerful and charming, on the other hand, is a step in the right direction. Straining to fit some “cool” or “supermodel” persona will not only be transparent to anyone who matters, immediately identifying you as a superficial person, but it is also a strain to sustain for any length of time. If you want to change, then change — don’t act.


Be ethical, honest, and trustworthy. I don’t lie, and I don’t do things that I would want to lie about. I face the music when I do something wrong. Whether it is in business or in interpersonal relations, if you want to work with or live with a person that you can trust, you have to be one yourself. There is nothing more repulsive than a woman who is Machiavellian, manipulative, spiteful, selfish, dishonest, or doesn’t measure her actions beforehand against her own ethical yardsticks. People get to choose who they spend time with, and I choose to be with people who have integrity, and people who are unwilling to hurt others.

How to Hook & Keep a Real Man

If you’re going to be manipulative anyway…

While I’ve never had the heart to not play fair, studies have hinted at lots of ways to make someone like you. People tend to like those who are similar to them, with similar interests and of similar overall attractiveness. Men rank women that they see on a regular basis as more attractive than strangers of identical attractiveness.

Intense situations make people confuse emotions in your favour: one study had an attractive woman interview men in the middle of a rickety canyon footbridge and others near the exit, and most (rather than few) of the men interviewed in the fear-evoking situation later called her for a date.

People tend to like people who hold them in high esteem, and those in whose eyes they have improved in, and vice-versa. For example, some men play games by being a little critical at first, them complementing. It’s an effective strategy to make someone like you, just as long as they don’t get it backwards!

Finally, based on the assumptions that I make and catch, a woman with high standards will be assumed to meet those standards herself.

How to Hook & Keep a Real Man

Don’t Be Feeble

Be competent, capable and independent. Don’t be prissy or incompetent or feeble or fragile, or a pushover or a wimp. Responding to a situation like a panicky child is highly unattractive. It is attractive to be able to ride a bike down a mountain, and if you bust your arm in the process, to take it. Watch Terminator 2, and pay attention when the girl breaks out of her cell.

Be an independent person, and be able to support and take care of yourself. It’s less about spending money on power tools, and more about having the confidence and willingness to tackle any problem on your own. Be capable of cooking and eating well, of keeping your apartment clean, and of weaving the basic elements of a good and satisfying life into your day. I am independent, and value this in others. If you can’t meet your own basic needs in isolation, or are preoccupied with vacancies in your life, what do you have to offer except dependance?

Improve Your Brain

Cultivate your intuitive side, to be sensitive to people’s emotions and internal states. At the same time, cultivate your rational mind, by thinking for yourself, and by reading about logic and reasoning, and history and biology for that matter. Be capable of razor-like logic, slicing away fallacies and making brilliant connections. Refine your reasoning skills, get educated and enlightened. Become more creative, and turn this creativity into solutions and into art. Be open-minded, objective, and choose to be logical or choose to open and receptive to sensing the feelings of others.

Become a great conversationalist and an interesting, knowledgeable person. Nothing will hook a man more than a brilliant, vigorous debate over some non-threatening issue. Your brain and ability to come to good decision on the basis of intelligent and creative reasoning, and a wide base of knowledge, is a key attribute. Wit is a good heuristic for intelligence that people notice. Train yourself to listen actively, and to learn constantly. Read, read, read, and absorb the information.

How to Hook & Keep a Real Man

Get Cultured

Learn about the world’s cultures and philosophies so that you can comment insightfully about Feng Shui. In contrast with some flaky astrology nut, know about some topics in depth, and have a breadth of knowledge that covers the main categories of human endeavor, and know enough words to be articulate. Read something about Romantic Literature, and put up some prints of Monet – but not before reading the encyclopaedia article.

Do some meaningful travel (hint: beaches and car rides don’t count), so that you can talk to locals about what life is like, and what values are held, elsewhere in the world. Being an ignorant Philistine is as big of a turn-off as is excess body fat to a high-school boy, while on the other hand, waking up to Eggs Benedict or even Museli with steamed milk from the espresso machine (that’s a hint), rather than some plebeian, American staple like Rice Crispies, will greatly help your cause when you ask him to call you for another date.

Reader Discussion: 13 Comments

  1. Avatar of Elise Pemberton

    Elise Pemberton

    Just be sure not to validate yourself as a woman by seeking attention from men. Thankfully, I can enjoy my real self while enjoying the relationship that I have from my long-time boyfriend. A man should accept the partner he chooses as a person and respects the differences between them even if they do not end up being together.

  2. Avatar of Virginia Farleigh

    Virginia Farleigh

    Why do we need to be reliant on men? We do not need to depend on them about our needs, specifically, emotional needs. So why bother giving a shit about whether they will actually like us or not? I do not want to improve myself for any man, for that matter, but for myself, so I can be a productive citizen of our citizen, and not just to be a slutty woman who goes gaga for men’s attention.

  3. Avatar of Gwen Buckley

    Gwen Buckley

    As a lesbian, I can say that we want girls who are not too emotional, the same as guys do, I guess. Every decision and memory is attached to certain feelings with girls, and they get easily frustrated with anything… Can’t we have less drama and more fun, please?

  4. Avatar of Rachelle Smith

    Rachelle Smith

    If it takes too much effort to find a way to make someone to be attracted to me, I’ll just wait for the time when someone notices me for real and to continue to be me. I don’t want to be submissive, but I don’t like too much assertiveness on my part either. It’ll only end up in frustration. Plus I don’t think it will work on me or else I’ll freak out any guy I want to date. LOL

  5. Avatar of Blaise Dalton

    Blaise Dalton

    I honestly don’t know how to react if some women would be the first to show interest in me or if she is the one to approach me. But I also think it’s quite sexy, nonetheless. I might change the way how I view such aggressive and witty type.

  6. Avatar of Denisse Isaacs

    Denisse Isaacs

    Do women nowadays need to be that aggressive with men to prove our strength as a person? I still believe in the traditional way where the man is the one who initiates courtship with a woman, though I guess time is changing fast, so is the way we interact with each other. The thing that I agree with is that a woman must improve herself: mind, body, character, and attitude, and show her true self to be appealing and attractive to a man that she wants.

  7. Avatar of Marie Carbell

    Marie Carbell

    Interesting… I once read a book written by 3 men about how to have a good relationship with men. I can remember that sometimes I was shocked by what I was reading, but I also realized that was the truth and that men were very different from us in their way of thinking.

  8. Avatar of Jen Spillane

    Jen Spillane

    This is an interesting article. I'm not sure I understand the last bit about fat about feeding your man, but the majority of it I agree with. I especially like reading a male perspective that encourages women to make the first move.

  9. Avatar of Zenab Bello-Osagie

    In order for you to find a person who possess certain “good” qualities,you must obtain them yourself as well. I completely agree wit that’s article on that point and on many other points. Finding a real man is not a game, I would call it more of a conquest where you’re not only learning more about your mate but yourself. A good tip is being confident. Confidence makes you more attractive and show that you’re proud of who you are. Thanks for the article, it was very enriching.

  10. Avatar of Randie Cadiogan

    Randie Cadiogan

    Awesome. 🙂 I never thought i’d come across an article like this, one that is written by a man! hehe… 

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