The driftwood that may never find its shore

Came across this article on Forbes via Twitter – Top 10 Traits Women Want In A Husband

Perhaps it may be a good opportunity to do some self-analysis.

No. 10: A Good Financial Prospect
Interestingly, modern women rank a man’s financial potential as more desirable than they have in the past. In 1939 women ranked it lower on the list, at No. 13. It still comes in after items like love and maturity, but perhaps today’s women realize that a good economic partner is good husband material.

The amount of dosh in my bank account will send any decent woman on this little speck of an island screaming in disbelief. The number on my pay check will shock the living daylights out of any local female. It’s one against D W.

No. 9: Good Health
Health has been an important characteristic for women through the 20th century and remains so today. One might argue that because we’re living even longer, health plays a huge role in the success of a marriage.

At age 30, I was diagnosed with something that devastated all that’s left of my self-esteem (from the ravages of youth). There was a time when I had to wear long-sleeved shirts in this hot and humid weather just to keep prying eyes away. Because physical intimacy will always come into play in any relationship, my body (i.e., health) will scare the shit out of any decent able-bodied female. Especially so, when it is in a state of undress. And that’s only one disease out of the lot that I’m battling with. Another case against D W.

No. 8: Ambition and Industriousness
Ambition has become less important to women over time, though it still makes their top 10 checklist. It may be that because more women are thriving in the workforce, they want a husband who has earning power but aren’t looking for him to be the sole provider. In 1939 women ranked ambition at No. 3, and it was No. 4 in 1956.

Is my ambition also my dream? Or vice versa? I don’t know. Perhaps I’ve held on to the wrong value for the longest time. I’ve always believed that eking out an honest living and doing an honest day of work were cast-iron principles. More often than not, these have been challenged time and time again. I’ve my dreams, but would they translate into ambition in the minds of the local women? It doesn’t seem like it, does it? And there’s very little room for me to maneuver now. It’s another against D W.

No. 7: Pleasing Disposition
Surprisingly, a man’s likability does not rank as high on women’s list of wants as it used to. Until recently, women consistently ranked it at No. 4. Perhaps women are now more willing to accept a man for who he his, despite the inevitable mood swings.

Am I likable? Is any guy who quietly smoulders in the corner of the room, nursing his non-alcoholic drink with one hand in the pocket, appealing? Would this person arouse the attention of females or would that dashing livewire of the party be more likable to the general female population? Will that dreamy and distant look on his face be likable? Would any decent woman want to lug an almost inanimate object with her down Orchard Road? I think not. Another case against D W.

No. 6: Sociability
Both men and women rank sociability at No. 6 on their marriage-material list. And for both sexes, it has been steadily moving up the list from around No. 12 in 1939. The rise of the “love marriage,” a partnership based on attraction rather than practicalities (like wealth or status) might mean that married couples are more likely to be friends and have mutual circles of friends.

You’re meeting your group of close friends. You bring your mate along. Both of you sit at the table. You start catching up with your friends, while your mate sits there looking dreamy and distant. He rarely speaks. He looks tensed up. When he does open his mouth, he makes an interesting comment and then slithers back into his world. He props his infirmed body on the chair with his paunch sticking out like a humungous sore thumb. Another case against D W.

No. 5: Education and Intelligence
Women have ranked education and intelligence at No. 5 since 1977, making it one of their most desirable male traits for 30 years. This timeline coincides with more and more women receiving college educations themselves. Once education became important in women’s lives, it became a more attractive trait in potential husbands.

I’m not a Mensa member. Facebook tells me my IQ is in the 110s. I’ve never been to any of the Ivy League universities. Case against D W yet again.

No. 4: Desire for Home and Children
Today, women are much more attracted to men who are interested in home and family than they ever have been. In 1977 they ranked this characteristic at No. 10. Because most women today are expecting to be in dual-earner relationships, they want husbands who will be happy and willing to contribute at home. More women today even report that they hope he will take the lead at home.

I’ve a desire for home. To me, it’s a place where love and comfort reside. It’s one place in the entire world where I can be myself and I need not build walls to keep the rest of humanity out. It’s safe. It’s serene. It’s where I can serenade the heart of the woman I love and provide comfort for her, physically and emotionally. However, I hate kids.

No. 3: Emotional Stability and Maturity
This has consistently ranked in women’s top three throughout the 20th century. Men, too, place a heavy emphasis on a potential wife’s emotional maturity, signaling that it’s a key quality for a stable partnership. Women seem to look past appearance to the heart of the matter; they ranked good looks at No. 12.

Any potential partner who stumbled upon my Tweets for the past month would have blood drained from their faces. They will be aghast even more when they read the angst spewed from this website. Within seconds, the image of an unstable bloke with horrible and unpredictable mood swings appears. Clearly, the last thing they want is to deal with someone who is in a perennial state of PMS.

No. 2: Dependable Character
Women want a husband that they can count on, and this hasn’t changed in recent years. Yes, women look to their spouse to be a lover and friend, but they also want him to be supportive and trustworthy. They want to know that he will be there and will be loyal. Men, too, rank dependable character high on their lists, at No. 2.

Can I count on myself? I don’t know. I’ve offered my listening ear to … people… down the years. I’ve always tried to avail myself to people who I think may need someone to be with them. But they have all crept out of my life. Does this equate to me being dependable? I don’t know.

No. 1: Mutual Attraction and Love
The highest-rated characteristic women seek from men is mutual attraction and love. They no longer look for a man who will provide for them; they want to be in love. In 1939, when women had no job prospects and needed to marry, they ranked love at No. 5. The women’s movement has not only helped women pursue careers, it has also given them more choice in love.

For all of my 35 years, I’ve never been in any relationship. I’ve had more misses than hits. I’ve been advised by some that I don’t move fast enough. But that’s because I prefer to be absolutely sure than to lose a friendship. Maybe I’ve been wrong because just this year alone, two women whom I was attracted to tied the knot. With all that negative traits (as explained from No. 9 to 2), I’m not even sure if mutual attraction and love are enough to tip the balance in my favour.

I guess this lump of driftwood will never find a shore.


  1. roblee7

    Hi DW, its been a long time since i last visited this personal space of urs, and ur writing is still as good as yesteryears. Sometimes do look at some of the pros u possess urself n work on them instead of using the cons to give urself excuses for not making the first step. Nothing is perfect in the world but i do believe there is someone out there waiting for you. Good luck!

  2. D W

    Hi there. Thanks for dropping by. Updates are sporadic these days. I spill my thoughts more on Twitter. But this space would linger on for a while more.

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