Men, of an age to be seriously dating, often think there is nothing in the world as hard to understand as a woman and to know what she wants. So, I’m going to give it to you straight. (I’m about to break it down for you.) I’m here to give you clues into a woman’s head and heart. These are things that a woman may not say to you, but they think them regardless. And if you want to find a woman of high caliber you would do well to keep the following in mind.

Control Your Temper

It doesn’t matter how biased the referee was or how close you were to making that shot, it isn’t worth blowing up about it. Self-control shows an ability to take life in stride. Life gets harder and more stressful with time, especially in relationships, so it is important to a woman that she has a man by her side that knows how to hold his tongue and his anger in check. Rage driving is never attractive, and neither is being a poor loser.

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Most things in life don’t matter in the long run, and anger usually says more about the person who is upset than the issue at hand. Defensiveness is often a sign of insecurity or lack of concern for others, it is better to keep a cool head and learn how to solve problems that will surely come. Most of the time we don’t remember how many shots you score, but we sure won’t forget it if you throw a tantrum.

Chill with the Video games

We are not impressed by a man who spends hours on end playing video games. It isn’t even that video games themselves are so horrible, but time is precious, and the opportunity costs are high. The time you spend on video games can be numbing, spending hours clicking buttons to control a virtual world, which is often violent, and does nothing to contribute to your character or society in the real world. Women are never impressed by a man who invites them over only to watch them play a video game, by themselves or with friends, or to obsess about the new cheats they have discovered.  “I want to marry a full-grown man addicted to video games”, said no girl ever.

Trusting in the Arm of Social Media

Along that same line, a constant need to be on social media shows a lack of connection to the real world. You are a real person, show up to life. A few updates can keep friends informed, but a constant reliance on social media will soak up your ability to enjoy real life just as sure as too much sugar will give you cavities. Do not think that anyone who knows you will love you any more because of the number of likes you acquired on a post. Those who scroll by your post probably only glimpsed at it anyways, while those people who need you most are sharing you with 2,000 others, the majority of whom you don’t even remember their names or what THEY posted.

Living your life to please those online is like a salesman buying cheap products in the hopes that someone else will buy them back. People who spend an inordinate amount of time on social media aren’t there to validate you; they are there to validate themselves and they are missing out on life in the meantime. Do not give into that. Get offline and decide to make a real difference. In his General Conference talk,  If Ye Lack Wisdom, Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis said,

“Whatever the question is, if we need more information, we search it online. In seconds we have a lot of material. This is marvelous. The Internet provides many opportunities for learning. However, Satan wants us to be miserable, and he distorts the real purpose of things. He uses this great tool to promote doubt and fear and to destroy faith and hope.

“With so much available on the Internet, we must carefully consider where to apply our efforts. Satan can keep us busy, distracted, and infected by sifting through information, much of which can be pure garbage. One should not roam through garbage.” (Aidukaitis, 2004)

Are You Spiritually Swole?

Going to the gym is a good habit, but just make sure that you are working in just as much as you are working out. There are many men who spend hours ripping their muscles apart and forget to think about who they are becoming as a person. Would you really want to marry a girl who loved you for your arms? Barbara B. Smith, General Relief Society President in her talk Good Health, A Key to Joyous Living commented, “The state of our health affects every facet of our life- our feeling of personal well-being, our approach to work, our social interactions- even our service to the Lord.” (Smith, 1978) There are many important lessons exercise can teach you about life, such as discipline and delayed gratification.

Let health be that for you, but do not stop there. Do not obsess about working out. Don’t get me wrong; women appreciate a man who is strong and works hard, but let those things speak for themselves and let it be an added bonus to the incredible person you have become. It should never be the reason that a person loves you.

A person is not a body; they are first and foremost a soul. An attractive body will only ever be an asset, but it should not be the whole package. And remember, that a girl does not want to feel like she is merely a “body” to you. Respect her. Do not make her feel that she needs to show some skin or go down a dress size to be enough for you. Show her that you value her mind and her character and her dignity; show her that you value her purity. Those qualities will not only remain intact, they will grow over time and ultimately, they will be the only aspects of woman that you notice, if you choose to see them.

Watch Your Mouth

Crude comments are low class and they rub at a person’s character. Do not choose to watch crude movies or base tv shows. Do not repeat foul humor or use coarse language. Those things may seem common, but you can choose to rise above that. Just because everybody does it does not mean that everybody is better for it. A woman notices a man who is well spoken and careful about the way he speaks.

Do not think for a second that you can hang around those things and watch destructive and animal-like humor and that it will not rub off on you. How you think of yourself will come of what you spend your time doing. Gospel topics, under the topic of profanity states, “Profane, vulgar or crude language or gestures, as well as immoral jokes, are offensive to the Lord and to others…Foul language is both degrading and harmful to the spirt…”

Your thoughts about life and your purpose run on tiny hinges. Do not degrade your self-respect by giving into base instincts. Crude jokes are easy to tell, but laughter comes only because of shock value not because of any real talent. The problem is that shock eventually wears off and all that is left behind is the decayed character that did not apply itself to higher thought processes.  (see Proverbs 8:7-8).

Discipline for the Win

Discipline is extremely attractive. Lack of discipline is a lack of control, over oneself, one’s schedule and one’s habits. Discipline creates a dependable lifestyle and gives a person power to improve circumstances and achieve their goals. To be disciplined means to establish a pattern of behavior that favors principles over willpower. These decisions are better made once.

People should not ask themselves if they “feel like” fulfilling responsibilities or living a clean lifestyle. The hardest part of any decision is a commitment to it. Commitment to go to class, commitment to wake up and live life on purpose, commitment to honesty, commitment to keep promises and commitment to God. This kind of commitment entails dedication to excellence for the sake of excellence. This alone creates freedom from the stress that comes from living beneath your privileges.

President Russell M Nelson, in his October 1985 address entitled Self-Mastery stated, “Christ is our great Exemplar. I declare, as a special witness, that he is the Son of God and “is the life and the light of the world.” (Alma 38:9; see also D&C 11:28.) We develop self-mastery as we become like him…” Those that think discipline limits personal freedom do not know the joy that comes from self-mastery.

Take Advantage of the Present

The best way to prepare for the future is to live well RIGHT NOW. Promises of future behavior will do no good if they are not coupled with present action. Action is better than empty promises. Do not tell a woman what you wish to be there for her. Show her the type of man you already are. Do not get so stuck on future ambitions that you do not realize the opportunities you have today.

Spiritual moments from your mission are good, but what are you doing to create spiritual moments in your life right now? What kind of a roommate are you right now? Do you work hard in school? If the woman of your dreams walked in on you right now what would you have to show for yourself? Life is never convenient and those who are successful must learn how to take advantage of the time they have in the present. They are not a slave to procrastination, and they do not put off progress to fit someone else’s timeline.

Never make your own progress dependent on someone else’s decisions, and do not make promises to others that you were not willing to keep for yourself. Your progress is between you and God first and foremost. Women will respect you more when they know that your promises run deeper than an attempt to impress in a relationship. Promises of future behavior must be banked on credit made from reliable past behavior.

Employers do not generally ask candidates to promise good work, they ask for a resume because they want to know what the potential employee has already done. When the time for decision is come, the time for preparation is over. As Marvin J Ashton said in his talk Progress Through Change, “It is true that some people may not want to change, even though they may say they do. Only you can supply the motivation and only you can decide to change.”

Try being Positive

Do not talk negatively about yourself. Self-deprecation is nothing but a cop-out plea for validation. A woman wants to date a man who has a healthy sense of self esteem and who knows his worth because ultimately the greatest gift you can give to anyone is to become your best self. Now this may seem a little harsh but think about it this way: you usually end up treating the people closest to you in this life the way you treat yourself. Be kind to yourself and work to accentuate the positive.

When you mess up, and you will, do not look to a relationship to fix you. Look to God. He is the only real source of confidence and change. A woman does not want to be responsible for changing your habits. She wants to be a partner in a strong relationship where you are both working on developing strengths and striving to become your best selves. Prophets and apostles have long counseled to marry someone who can be a companion, to be equally yoked. As Ezra Taft Benson said in his unforgettable talk Beware of Pride, “If we love God, do His will, and fear His judgment more than men’s, we will have self-esteem.

Be Affectionate

There is nothing more validating to a woman than a man who can sincerely express appreciation and admiration. Be honest; there is no need to pull out pick-up lines. Tell her she is beautiful. Find ways to point out specific characteristics that you admire and let her see how much you love it when she laughs. Some men are afraid of coming on too strong and so they hold back or try and play it cool. You can keep a girl guessing and play dating games, but if you want a woman to rise to the full stature of her potential you will learn to build her up. Thomas S. Monson counseled the men in his Priesthood address See Others as they May Become, “A woman needs to be told she is beautiful, she needs to be told she is valued, she needs to be told she is worthwhile”. When a woman feels beautiful, she has all the motivation she needs to rock your world, and she will do more to please you if she knows she is succeeding. Show her how much she means to you. Encouragement is always more effective than criticism. You will find that in relationships, love is the water that makes the flowers grow.

Put God Before Me

The most important thing you can ever do for a woman is to love God. God makes it possible for boys to become men and for men to become kings. This is because God’s love is the only pure kind of love and unless we become like He does we cannot love like he does. The best way to find a woman who will love you in the way you desire to be loved is to seek his guidance and counsel. The world can give you a makeover that would fool most anyone, but God can make you over in his image so that no fooling is necessary. Trust God, he created you and he is aware of your dreams. He is the only one who can bind two hearts and he is the one who can guide you to happiness. As the Christian one liner goes “Run as fast as you can towards God and if someone keeps up, introduce yourself.”

Make This Life about Eternity

This life is not about money, this life is not about luxury, it is not about how many records you can beat, and it isn’t even about reputation. If we are honest with ourselves, we know that life is about relationships. This life is about love. Love is difficult to describe and impossible to force, but there are principles that govern love like anything else. Luckily for us, love is not only a common goal it is a craving, an obsession, and a need for everyone on this planet. You do not need to strain all your energy looking for someone else who wants that love. Look to your right and to your left and you have already found it. Focus instead on becoming the type of person you wish to marry and someday that love will gravitate to you. Have the courage to live life with integrity and vigor and passion and to put God first and he will lead you to that love that you most desire. That is, after all, what a woman wants.