Underlying this confusion are the mixed messages sent in modern society.Both men and women are uncertain about what women want.Nevertheless, if you have the motivation and ability, you might maximize your long-term happiness by first developing your own physical appearance (here), personality (here), and unique appeal as a partner (here).
Additional research by Tifferet and Kruger (2010) suggests that what women want in a partner may change over time too.
The researchers surveyed 1,365 women from 11 countries, ranging in age from 14 to 68, about their preferences in a male partner.
Women's mate preferences, along these lines, were explored by Buss and Shackelford (2008).
The pair gave married individuals questionnaires that assessed both their own value as a mate and their preferences for a mate too.
The authors suggest that this effect might be due to changing fertility.
Younger women may be more interested in securing "good genes" from attractive men, even if that means a short-term sexual affair.Ideally, they want to get all of the above in one man too.If they cannot find a single man to fit the bill, or they do not have a high enough mate value to get him, however, then they might settle for less all around, or mix-and-match between the two types.Specifically, these women were asked to rate how likely they would be to have a long-term, short-term, and brief sexual relationship with depictions of a "hero dad" and "dark cad" type man.Their results indicated that women generally preferred the "dad" type for a long-term partner and the "cad" for a short-term sexual affair.Fortunately, there is hope for clarity for both men and women... You may not realize it at this moment, but you most likely want all of the above traits in a man.