Beauty might be in the eye of the beholder, but researchers have found key characteristics that attract women. Confidence, authenticity, and the ability to make her laugh are all factors that could contribute to that initial spark. But once you’ve got her attention, do you know how to keep a woman interested?
How to *Really* Keep a Woman Interested, According to a Former Therapist
As a former therapist and relationship expert, I can attest that much of the work of therapy and personal growth involves un-learning what we once thought to be true.
The culture may promote the idea that women are mysterious creatures with little rhyme or reason to the way we work, but science doesn’t support that idea. Keeping a woman interested just might be simpler than you think.
What follows are a few things to always keep in mind.
Have an Individual Identity
There just might be a scientific basis for the idea that “absence makes the heart grow fonder” according to research published in The Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy.
Relationships where both people have space and an individual identity can result in a stronger bond and higher level of sexual attraction. Overly bonded couples tend to become overly familiar and lose that initial spark.
Having a separate sense of self and different interests can actually work to maintain the sense of curiosity and attraction. Partners who want to keep a woman interested can make sure to have full, independent lives rather than relying on their partner to entertain them or define them.
Cultivating hobbies, spending time with friends, and allowing each other a healthy amount of space are all important aspects of interdependent, healthy relationships.
“A busy, vibrant, goal-oriented woman is so much more attractive than a woman who waits around for a man to validate her existence.”
― Mandy Hale
Cultivate Shared Interests
While it’s important to have separate identities, it’s still important to cultivate shared interests. Sometimes, opposites attract, but it’ll be hard to maintain the attraction if you can’t find common ground. Seeking out commonalities can bring you closer together — and help keep her interested.
If you don’t have shared interests, you might want to take the time to talk about things you’ve always wanted to try. You might find that you both are enthusiastic about signing up for a scuba diving class or attempting a triathlon.
You might find a show you’ve both wanted to watch or a fandom you both love. Finding hobbies that you can share will give you more quality time together and help maintain a sense of intimacy.
“It’s no good pretending that any relationship has a future if your record collections disagree violently or if your favorite films wouldn’t even speak to each other if they met at a party.”
― Nick Hornby
Do Small Things Often
According to relationship experts at the Gottman Institute, all relationships have an Emotional Bank Account. Positive interactions result in an investment into the health of the relationship. Doing small things often within your relationship can help keep it going strong.
Extravagant gestures might be ideal for proposals and special occasions, but they don’t nurture the everyday health of your relationship. Instead, the small, simple day-to-day actions do that.
Here are some ideas of small things you can do often to keep her attention and support the relationship:
- Say thank you often.
- Compliment your partner.
- Bring home a small, thoughtful gift.
- Kiss your partner with intention rather than absently.
- Make time to give her your undivided attention when she tells you about her day.
By regularly making deposits into the Emotional Bank Account with small, thoughtful gestures, you’ll be more likely to keep her invested in the relationship and maintain her attention. These tiny gestures may seem insignificant, but they are the basic building blocks of greater intimacy.
“I want to be in a relationship where you telling me you love me is just a ceremonious validation of what you already show me.”
― Steve Maraboli
Affirm Her Attractiveness
Another way to keep a woman interested in you is to let her know that you find her attractive and desirable. Many men may be under the mistaken impression that engaging in sexual intimacy alone is an affirmation of her attractiveness, but it’s also important for partners to speak up and validate that desire verbally. Offering genuine compliments is one way to do this.
Another way to let her know that you still find her attractive and desirable is to make her feel good about the way she looks even when she’s expressing insecurity.
Research has found that the perception of how a partner feels about one’s body will impact sexual functioning and relationship quality. A woman who thinks her partner finds her attractive will have a more positive perception of the relationship.
Conversely, if you criticize how a woman looks, you can expect that she’ll lose interest in both intimacy and in the relationship. Attempting to make a woman feel like she can’t do better will likely backfire and have her opting to either be alone or to find a partner who is more supportive and affirming. It’s important for the health of relationships that both people view each other as attractive.
“That night when you kissed me, I left a poem in your mouth, and you can hear some of the lines every time you breathe out.”
― Andrea Gibson
Assume the Best
This may sound simple, but assuming the best of her and giving her the benefit of the doubt will help you keep a woman interested. This is especially true in disagreements.
Rather than jumping to conclusions, hear her out. When you always assume the best and allow space for imperfections to exist, you create a safe environment for the woman you love to be herself.
Many relationships have ended because one person kept assuming the worst. This tendency is often an indicator of past trauma and unresolved issues.
Left unchecked, it can sabotage your relationships. In conflict, do you assume the best or worst of her? If your answer isn’t “the best”, you may need to address the underlying issues causing your lack of faith in her.
“Because isn’t that the point of every relationship: to be known by someone else, to be understood? He gets me. She gets me. Isn’t that the simple magic phrase?”
― Gillian Flynn
Stay on Her Level
If you’ve ever heard anyone referenced as “in your league” or “out of your league”, you might understand already that people often prefer to date people who are on a similar level to one another. There may be some exceptions, but researchers have found that leagues do exist based on self-worth, attractiveness, and even popularity.
To keep her attention, make sure that you stay in her league by maintaining your self-worth and attractiveness. Confidence is attractive, and even if your looks change over the years, it’s important to maintain a sense of self-esteem. It’s equally important to take good care of yourself.
Very few of us stay high school skinny, and we’re all subject to aging if we’re fortunate to live long enough. You don’t have to look the same as the day you met her, but if you feel good about yourself and do some basic self-care, it’s more likely you’ll keep her attention.
Staying on her level to keep her attention isn’t just about how you look. If she starts to learn new hobbies or embarks on a course of study, challenge yourself to learn more. If she’s on a personal growth journey, think about how you can work on yourself in the process. Change is inevitable. If she’s growing, you can try to grow with her or accept that she’ll likely grow out of the relationship.
“Learn to deal with the fact that you are not a perfect person but you are a person that deserves respect and honesty.”
― Pandora Poikilos
Recommended read: 20 Powerful Self-Confidence Positive Affirmations
Avoid the Four Horsemen
According to the Gottman Institute, the Four Horsemen of relationships are as follows:
Conflict is a normal part of relationships, but when the Four Horsemen enter, you can expect love and interest to wane. No one wants to be treated with contempt or criticized. Stonewalling and defensiveness can also prevent you from resolving problems in the relationship.
If you want to keep a woman’s attention, avoid the Four Horsemen and learn to be a better communicator. Practice discussing issues openly, arguing respectfully, and seeing your partner as a teammate rather than the enemy.
Communicating effectively takes courage and vulnerability, but it will also improve your relationship and could help keep her interest and attention.
“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”
― Brené Brown
Stay Emotionally Available
To keep a woman interested, it’s important to stay emotionally available and responsive to her needs. Researchers have found that this is key to happy, healthy relationships.
It’s important to know that you can depend on your partner and that they will value what you need within the relationship. Partners who are emotionally unavailable are unlikely to maintain a woman’s interest.
It’s not enough to be open with your own emotions. You’ll need to be receptive to her emotional experiences and responsive to them. Even in healthy relationships, you’re still responsible for your own happiness, but it’s also important that you care about your partner’s relational needs.
For instance, if the woman in your life tells you that something you do is triggering for her, do you acknowledge this and attempt to find a solution that you both can live with or do you dismiss her concerns because it isn’t a problem for you?
Being emotionally responsive doesn’t just stop at hearing her out. It also involves looking for ways to solve the problems that might appear in the relationship.
“When you struggle with your partner, you are struggling with yourself. Every fault you see in them touches a denied weakness in yourself.”
― Deepak Chopra
Recommended read: Emotionally Intelligent People: What Makes Them so Attractive
Are you willing to take an honest look at the work distribution in the relationship? Consider how much you both contribute to the household, childcare, work-life balance, and finances. Most women tend to carry the burden of the mental and emotional labor in relationships.
Women make the appointments, attend the school meetings, stay home with sick children, do the lion’s share of the housework, and still manage to hold down jobs. Frankly, most of us are holding the world on our shoulders.
Is your relationship equitable? If not, you may begin to lose her interest. And if she’s carrying her load and yours, too, she may feel taken for granted and overwhelmed with stress.
If you want to keep her interested, you might need to do your part to create a more equitable division of work in and outside of the home.
According to the Pew Research Center, there’s still an unfair division of labor that leads to relationship dissatisfaction. This division favors men and puts more of the work on the shoulders of women. Bringing more equity into your relationship promotes more satisfaction and can help keep her interest for longer.
“When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated. This is why we sometimes attack who they are, which is far more hurtful than addressing a behavior or a choice.”
― Brené Brown
To keep a woman interested, consider this: Are you being yourself, and does she feel safe to be herself? In the healthiest of relationships, researchers found that authenticity is linked to relationship satisfaction. Being yourself isn’t just about letting your freak flag fly. It’s also about being able to be imperfect without losing your partner’s affections.
Too many people start out by putting their best foot forward and then don’t know how to make the transition into being their regular, everyday selves.
Failing to be honest in the beginning about who you are can create a struggle later as you try to reveal your true self. Creating a safe and loving environment for the woman in your life to be her unfiltered self is an important aspect of keeping her attention.
A lack of authenticity will undermine your relationship. She’ll feel like she encountered the bait-and-switch routine when you show her the aspirational version of yourself at the beginning only to reveal a much different daily personality.
Similarly, trying to police her behavior and exert control over her identity will likely destroy her interest and attraction to you, and possibly even her self-worth in the process.
“The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.”
― Ernest Hemingway
Recommended read: Authentic People: 7 Core Traits They Have in Common
Can YOU Keep Her Attention?
In the end, you can’t make anyone stay with you who wants to leave — and honestly, you deserve better than someone you have to convince to stay. We all deserve to be loved for exactly who we are.
It’s important to acknowledge that our day-to-day behavior in relationships is more important than the meet-cute story at the beginning or the highlight reel of our love stories. Daily kindness and appreciation nurtures relationships while daily criticism erodes it.
The honeymoon period will fade. The first flush of love shifts into the ordinary routine of work, bills, and adult responsibilities. It might be easy to get her attention in the first place, but are you willing to do the work to keep it?
Photo by Dainis Graveris on Unsplash