What do guys in their 20s really want from a woman? And what does any of that have to do with Craigslist?
You might not think of Craigslist as a scientific tool, but it really offers a certain amount of insight into the psychology of the people around us.
For example, ladies, if you’ve ever driven yourself crazy wondering what men really want, you’re not alone—but your answer could be right at your fingertips– all it might take to find out is a quick check of some Craigslist ads.
Wait, what? Find out what guys in their 20s want…on Craigslist?
So, being the big research geek I am, I just had to know if Craigslist ads could give me a good idea of what men, in general, want. I took a look at a cross-section of men-for-women (M4W) ads on Craigslist in my local area in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s. Today, we’re looking at guys in their 20s want.
(Stay tuned for follow-up articles in this series to discuss the 30-60 somethings!)
What do guys in their 20s want in a woman?
While none of the men’s answers were identical, there were certain trends that could be noted, both across the board and within each age group, including, of course, our fearless 20-somethings.
Honest, Sincere and Must Love Bondage (Age 23)
A 23-year-old anonymous male postedseeking “…that special woman that will respect and honor me. A woman that is honest, sincere, dedicated, good worker and loves to spend quality time with his man…family values and responsible. A woman that likes to enjoy the beautiful things of life, a woman that is willing to have one man in her life, a person I can trust…”
So far, so good, right?
The young man goes on to reiterate that he wants a decent-looking, active, fun-loving woman who shold also have a nice body, no criminal history, financial stability and must like to travel.
Finally, he ends his ad with a note on cleanliness, followed by a very…touching proclamation: “You must love SEX because I really do..I’m a very SUBMISSIVE MALE in bed..I LOVE BONDAGE PLAY.”
Yep. Don’t knock each over trying to get to that one, ladies. Moving on…
Lover, Best Friend, No Baggage Please—But I’ll Take a High Schooler (Age 25)
Our 25-year-old Craigslister offers a bit more hope in the male side of our species. He says he likes “a girl I can do everything with. Lover, best friend, most trusted person in life.”
He adds that he’s not looking for “someone who wants to be casual, still focus on their friends all the time,” but that he’d prefer “someone who wants and needs one man to make them happy, and wants to make a man happy.”
But then he adds a little something extra that makes me cringe a little. His age restrictions, specifically, include “someone who is either a high school senior, college student or college grad with a good career.”
That whole “high school senior” part that gives me pause. I mean, seriously?
I realize that 18 and 25 aren’t that far apart, technically. But let’s be honest—there’s a lot of maturing that happens between those ages.
Finally, he adds that he’d really prefer someone “with no baggage like kids, drugs issues, crazy exes etc. Someone who isn’t afraid of scary movies and roller coasters but also isn’t afraid of showing their emotions and professing a faith in some higher power. Someone who likes the man to take the lead, but knows how to take it when its time.”
So, there’s that. Do with it what you will, ladies. And if you’re in high school, please stay away!
Smart, Confident and Perpetually Barefoot (Age 28)
Thank goodness for this 28-year-old, who seems to be a decent guy looking for something real.
He made a very comprehensive list in his ad.
“1. My soul mate is faithful and honest.
2. She is confident in her own skin. Real women are beautiful regardless of her size.
3. She is perpetually barefoot or in flip flops.
4. She loves rocking jammies over getting dolled up. She also prefers an all natural look to wearing a bunch of makeup.
5. She is brash and bold, but in a loving way.
6. She is smart and witty.
7. She loves nature.
8. We share a ton of hobbies.
9. She is looking for her soul mate too.
10. She wants true love and will work hard for it.
11. She is African-American.” ~
Can’t find too much wrong with that one, can ya?
No Barbies, No Fatties and Don’t Be Too Short (Age 28)
“I don’t want a Barbie or a stick woman, (but) I don’t want an obese woman either,” says another. “There are beautiful big women out there but it’s just not for me.”
He goes on to explain that he prefers Caucasian women, because he’s “never dated interracial and (has) no plans for it.”
“You don’t have to be 6 feet tall, but I don’t want to have to look to far down at you. I don’t mind if you’re divorced, but not looking to pay for your divorce either.”
And, in case you wondered, he ended the post by noting that “everyone has their own taste and what they like; I won’t be everyone’s ideal mate.” Good insight.
Drug-Free, Childless 1950s Housewife (Age 28)
So, there are guys like this in every generation. It doesn’t make them bad, per se, it just makes them specific.
The good thing here is that you have the choice–if you don’t think you can fit into this guy’s mold without becoming someone you hate, then you don’t date this guy.
He prefers, according to, “a woman that isn’t one of these feminist new age liberal types.”
She should also be thin or athletic, and intelligent–however, she should not have a child or a smoking or drug habit.”
He adds that his ideal woman “just wants to be a man’s princess. The 1950s lifestyle, house wife etc…. that is what I seek.”
So how about you? What qualities do you (or would you like to) see in an ideal woman? What do men in their 20s want in a woman, as far as you see it? Are these guys unusual? Share your thoughts in the comments section, below.
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.