Sex Or Substance, What Do Men Really Want?

In an age of photoshop, social media, and impossibly beautiful models, we have found ourselves living in a society that seems to value sex over substance.

When relationships that work out in the long term are actually seen as a surprise, and serial monogamists or people who are adamant about staying single because they think a relationship will “hold them back” are the norm, it’s clear that there are some questionable societal trends at hand.

While men are wondering if there are any “good women” left in the world, there are millions of good women who are wondering why they aren’t being recognized by these same men. Men can relate to this if we put it in the terms of being in the “friend zone.”

It leads us to ask, are men really looking for a woman to wake up to, or just one to sleep with?

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I don’t usually write about myself, but a personal experience may be able to shed some light on this subject. In November of 2012, I met a young woman who would become the first girlfriend I committed myself to in a very long time. She is beautiful, well-traveled and educated, intellectually challenging, funny, witty…the whole package.

In July of 2013, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Needless to say, everything in our relationship changed. Chemotherapy is akin to bombing an entire city in order to wipe out one single building. It wreaks havoc on your body, and two intimately active twenty-somethings quickly transformed into a couple who more accurately resembled “just friends.” (Side note: She is healthy now, thanks to fantastic doctors).

The point is, never once during this journey did it even cross my mind to end the relationship, or not be there for her. My love for her comes from the person she is, not the nights that we spend together. Had I valued a physical act more than the emotional connection with and totality of an amazing woman, I would have walked away.

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Some men are just not ready for, or looking for, a relationship with depth. For a long time, I wasn’t either. But I do believe that as a whole, we secretly wonder (hope) if each person that we meet could turn into a happy relationship. Strictly physical intimacy is a great short term solution to a loneliness or a primal urge, but it is not fulfilling over time.

Eventually, the act itself will get old. Waking up alone will get old. Not having someone to share your life experiences with, will get old. Some people say that no man will enter into a monogamous relationship if he is still able to go out and court multiple women. I think this is nonsense because a fleeting physical act cannot replace a deep emotional connection.

Plus – a true connection with someone will actually increase your intimacy, making the experience more enjoyable as a whole, over time. Building a healthy relationship brings happiness in multiple areas of life, whereas being a player will be fun for awhile, but will eventually be found seriously lacking.

Is this to say that men don’t want sex? Obviously not. But is that the only thing that they want? No.

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Of course, a multi-faceted relationship with depth needs to be built between two multi-faceted people.

So to the women of the world who are working to improve their minds as much as they’re improving their bodies, to the women who pride themselves on their ambition and success, to the women who have more to offer than just a pretty face – don’t give up hope.

Stay strong, stay positive, and most of all, stay true to yourself. There will be someone that comes along who appreciates you for you.

They say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone, but you also don’t know what you’ve been missing until it arrives.

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22 thoughts on “Sex Or Substance, What Do Men Really Want?

  1. thank you for this! i have a bunch of friends who wonder about finding the right guy and worry about it as we get older. I am a firm believer of you find it when you least expect it. But its there! Im glad she is healthy and doing well! <3

    1. I love the “when you least expect it theory” as well. I find when you stop LOOKING and just let it comes along it makes it that much better.

  2. I would love to know what a man in his 60s is looking for and why so many have forgotten how to cherish women and be a gentleman! I love your story above and your website on FB. I am an old fashioned single woman (divorced), but I have to admit I am clueless even still. Are morals less important at my age to a man of my age?

  3. For my husband and I it’s the day-to-day existence, the similarity in beliefs, the way we are able to communicate with each other, find humor in our days, support when one of us feels defeated or fallen, set roots for our family and enjoy our life’s various moments that has sustained our relationship for 15 years so far…beyond the childish romance that began in our very early 20s. And it’s the substance within our relationship that I know can withstand time and change. It has proven itself over the years.

  4. Im and old fashion lady ,do have high moral and believe and long lasting relationship have a person beside you, wake up an still there that I love .

  5. Thank you for this post. My girlfriend was recently diagnosed with cancer. Like you it didn’t cross my mind to leave her, even though she said it was okay if I did. For me it’s a no brainer. When you have that connection with someone then staying is the only thing to do; there are no other options really. If she survives it then we’ll have a stronger bond. If she doesn’t then our relationship will be a blessing for us both. I appreciate your point of view, it’s encouraging.

  6. Great post! I think timing and other things can factor in as well. When men are really young, they aren’t looking for anything serious, and they keep those women looking for something serious at a certain distance. The older I get, the more I see men who are welcoming of a substantial relationship.

  7. I would totally agree! As a guy, it can get very annoying the stigma that is put on a guys motives in a relationship. For me a deep emotional connection trumps a fleeting fling EVERY single time. I know I’m not the only one, it’s just time for guys to express it.

  8. I like your blog. What strikes me is your quote: “A multi-faceted relationship with depth needs to be built between two multi-faceted people.” And with it, as a man, I am really looking for a woman to wake up to rather than to have a woman just to sleep with.

    Your blog made me reflect on what I am looking for in a lasting relationshop. Keep it up!

  9. I have discovered that when you commit to someone, when you give yourself to them EMOTIONALLY before physically, it opens up ALOT. If sex is your thing, the more you trust, the kinkier and more exciting things get. Quality over variety.

  10. If you’re lucky enough to find someone you enjoy being with then you should count your lucky stars. Most women are not very interesting. They believe some of the nuttiest things. And they’re a lot of work. Most guys wouldn’t put up with that if it weren’t for the sex. Or realize they’re stuck with them once they have your kid.

  11. This is a really terrific post and quite honestly it added so much for me that you shared a personal note. So often, reading a blog like this can feel like some “wise person in the sky” handing down pearls of wisdom – – but having an occasional window to glimpse through and feel some commonality really heightens the powerful nature of blogs in general and this blog, for me, in particular. Thank you and as usual, great topic and awesome approach in dealing with it.
    Stephanie
    ps. Wishing your girlfriend continued good health.

  12. It was really nice to read this post. Many times I’m lost in the ‘waiting’ for a good man to come along, and it is nice to hear of someone who really is more about the relationship than the benefits of the relationship. It was incredibly encouraging to read. Best wishes to you and your girl.

  13. Well done as always James. With my ex, through thick and thin I never left her side and supported her wherever I could. Unfortunatley when it came to me being down on my luck I was given the boot.

    I know somewhere out there, theres a fine young lady who sees the potential in me and wants to take that ride to success. My parents raised me to be faithful to one person….I was never the type to go around with multiple girls. I valued and cherished each relationship no matter how long or short, and each one taught me something about myself. Ill take waking up next to my love over meaningless sex any day of the week.

  14. Matt, yes its beautiful stuff to aspire to, but we need to be realistic of female hypergamy and desires. Unfortunately, women will resent a weak man, through no fault of his own. Women biologically seek a strong male for protection and provisioning – when his strength goes, she lashes out fearfully. What makes it bad is that women refuse to face this reality of their own desires or own up to it.

  15. Reblogged this on Dee's Dating Diary and commented:
    While men do value sex, it’s definitely substance that will keep a man around long-term. Never try to win a man over with sex!!

    I truly believe that women drastically benefit from hearing dating advice directly from a man’s mouth. So here’s some great need to know dating advice from James Michael Sama!

  16. I always re blog your articles James. I write about happiness, about the Laws of attraction and the Universe as a whole. So when you say about choices between sex and substance, I guess people might or need to choose both. You can’t really know someone’s substance when you first meet them. You are attracted by their sexual appearance, hence, sex becomes a precursor to wanting to meet that person and if they have substance, then you can move forward to something more meaningful. We all want to meet someone special that we would like to spend the rest of our lives with. We just need to understand what is needed to make this happen. Some comments says that if you stop looking, it will come to you. Not sure if I totally agree on that one. If you stay home, play video games and not socialize, how are you suppose to meet anyone, especially your significant other? We all need to be out there and let ourselves be known by others. We need to put the effort or the results won’t be what we expect. Get out there and meet people to hopefully find the best one that meets all your expectation. Its a numbers game.

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