9 personality traits in women that all men secretly admire

Ask five men what they admire most in women, and you’ll likely get five different answers.

The more men you ask, however, the more the answers begin to overlap.

More importantly, some of their responses might surprise you.

Here are 9 personality traits in women that all men secretly admire.

Humility aside, my gender is pretty awesome.

1) Resilience

Let’s start with a disclaimer: as with all qualities on this list, resilience isn’t exclusive to women. 

It’s an admirable trait regardless of gender.

(Similarly, not all women exhibit the qualities on this list, and not all men lack them. Cool.)

That said, women generally experience more hardship in life, which I believe makes the fact that they persevere nothing short of remarkable.  

I lost count of how many men I knew were impressed by women’s ability to pick themselves up after a failure.

Here’s the thing – women exhibit strength and tenacity in the face of adversity because they have more practice. Think about it:

  • We had to deal with harassment and sexism for most of our lives
  • We often have more robust social support networks
  • We are encouraged to express our feelings and emotions from an early age, which helps us process them better  

In other words, we’re used to dusting ourselves up and trying again.

We might need a bottle of prosecco or a couple of days under the covers, but we always bounce back. 

It’s not like we have any other choice.

2) Compassion

Historically speaking, women have been more likely to take on the role of a caregiver, which may have helped them develop a higher level of compassion.

While men are encouraged to be tough and stoic while growing up, women are frequently advised to be kind and caring.

As a result, women become naturally inclined to offer emotional support; something men can struggle with.

It’s a big reason why it’s crucial to keep challenging gender roles.

In the long run, promoting more inclusive and egalitarian values benefits everyone.

3) Empathy

If you’re a woman, there’s a good chance that you’ve done these things at least once:

  • Explained to a boyfriend why one of their friends might be struggling
  • Explained to a boyfriend why a TV or movie character was struggling when nothing was objectively going wrong for them
  • Explained to a boyfriend why he might be struggling when he couldn’t pinpoint the reason behind his emotional difficulties

I bet you check all three boxes. 

It’s because women are better empathizers.

No wonder men secretly admire women’s ability to go beyond the surface and connect with people on a deeper level.

4) Listening skills

A common complaint among women dating men is that their partners aren’t great at listening when they only want to complain for a bit.   

Instead of simply being there and commiserating, they enter problem-fixing mode.

In contrast, my exes often appreciated my ability to actively listen to them, especially when they were vulnerable.

I also used to have this male friend who preferred to talk to me about certain personal issues instead of reaching out to his buddies.

His reasoning?

“They’ll just buy me a beer and tell me to man up.”  

5) Intelligence

Just because some men find intelligent women intimidating doesn’t mean they don’t admire this quality.

Quite the opposite.

Most men are impressed by women who can challenge them intellectually.

They can engage in exciting debates and stimulating conversations, which is always a plus.

6) Ambition

On the same note, they might not say it outright, but many men hold ambitious women in high regard.

If they work in the same field or are competing, the man will often look up to the woman’s drive and strive to match it.

Moreover, ambitious men usually want to date someone who matches their energy.

That way, the woman can not only keep them on their toes but also inspire them to become better.

7) Patience

Personally, I have endless patience until I face any sort of technical difficulty.

Give me a slow internet connection, an evil-minded printer, or a complicated app I can’t master in 4 minutes, and that patience goes out the window.

I huff, puff, and swear profusely.

Dealing with a frustrating life situation, however? I am the queen of patience and calm.

In fact, I’ve noticed that women tend to have more patience than men overall.

For instance, some of the guys I’ve dated could not keep their cool if we had to wait in line for more than 20 minutes.

They would start fidgeting, sighing, and obsessively checking the time. 

Then they would ask me why I wasn’t particularly bothered, and I would smile sweetly and distract them with my endless charm.

Long story short: men secretly admire patient women.

Perhaps it’s because that means we will be more patient with them.

I might have just had an epiphany.

8) Ability to multitask

Growing up, I was constantly in awe of my mother’s multitasking ability.

She could make dinner, supervise me as I was doing homework, and chat with a friend on the phone, all at the same time.

Dad was impressed too. I know because he told me.


He’s not the only man I’ve heard express admiration for how women manage to do more than one thing without losing focus.

It happened at a previous office job too.

My male co-workers sometimes needed to immerse themselves in a task and only deal with something else once that task was done.

The women, on the other hand, could answer an urgent email in the middle of an assignment without missing a beat.

Turns out, this gender discrepancy might be due to hormones.

Whatever the reason, any (honest) man will admit it: he finds women’s ability to multitask inspiring, to say the least.

9) Sense of humor

People who think that women aren’t funny are living in the past.

Nonetheless, there are still women who believe – because that’s what they were taught – that they can be threatening to men if they appear too bright.

Since humor is a sign of intelligence, they are tempted to dial down the jokes when hanging out with men they find attractive.

The result? 

The man doesn’t even realize that his date has a sense of humor.

From there, he can (wrongly) conclude that women just aren’t that funny.

When he finally meets a woman who is unapologetically hilarious – or watches a female stand-up comedian – he can’t help but be impressed.  

And if the woman goes head-to-head with other men in the humor department? 

He’ll admire her even more.

Bottom line

Preferences vary, and not all men are attracted to the same qualities.

That doesn’t mean they can’t admire them.

Next time a man tells you he’s in awe of your big heart? 

Believe him.

Alexandra Plesa

Alexandra Pleșa is a freelance writer obsessed with television, self-development, and thriller books. Former journalist, current pop culture junkie. Follow her on Twitter: @alexandraplesa

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