Photo by Bruno Thethe

Have you recently been on a date when a guy asked you “What are you looking for in a relationship?”, and you just didn’t know what to say?

Maybe his question made you feel a little startled and taken off guard. Aren’t you supposed to know what you’re looking for in a man? Why is it so hard to find the right answer to this…

Well, it’s because it’s a tricky question!

When a man asks you what are you looking for in a relationship, he is putting you on the spot and testing you!

In this article, I’ll explain why this is and how to respond in a way that will make any guy want you more.

What Are You Looking For in a Man?

Before jumping into the particulars about this tricky question guys so often ask on dates, let’s first briefly discuss our side of the story.

What do women really look for in a man?

When it comes to this, at first glance, it might seem like everybody has their particular tastes and preferences.

You might be looking for a guy with a similar taste in music, for a travel companion, someone you can share your passions with, for a gaming buddy, etc.

But, these are all pretty surface level needs that determine whether you’ll even be interested in a man and feel attracted to him in the first place.

So this is the first reason why “What are you looking for in a relationship?” is actually a trick question.

When a man asks you this, he is indirectly asking: “What about me makes you interested in pursuing this?”

In other words, he is trying to trick you into revealing what you might like about him.

This is pretty vulnerable information to give to someone you might have just met on a date. This is why this question might have startled you, and you didn’t know what to say.

We all go through our share of not so great experiences when it comes to dating…

It’s not easy to find the right kind of guy and have things work out with him.

This is why you might be weary and don’t feel comfortable being this open and transparent with someone you might have just met.

But there is more to this…

What Are the 5 Most Important Things in a Relationship?

On the surface levels, we are all looking for different things.

This is why you feel attracted to some people and won’t feel anything towards others.

They are simply not what you are looking for.

However, on a deeper emotional level, we all have the same needs when it comes to what we are looking for in a relationship:

1. Security

Being able to feel safe and secure is one of the most fundamental human needs.

It’s certainly one of the most important things in a relationship.

Everybody is looking for a partner they can trust and rely on. Someone who will not deceive them or let them down.


2. Closeness

Just like with feeling safe and secure, we also all crave closeness with another human being.

We want to feel connected and like we’re not alone.

This is why closeness (both physical and emotional) is one of the five most important things everybody is looking for in a relationship.

3. Companionship

Doing things together with a person you have a very special bond with makes them so much more enjoyable.

Regardless of whether it’s hiking, going to parties or cleaning the kitchen, doing things with a significant other adds a whole new dimension to them.

This feeling of having a companion who you can share your life with is another one of the most important things everybody is looking for in a relationship.

4. Support

Everyone wants to be able to lean on their partner when they need it.

It might be when they’re sick, or even when simply struggling with something.

Emotional as well as pragmatic support is another one of the five most important things in a relationship, everybody is looking for.

5. Growth

Everybody wants to continuously grow in the course of their lives. This might mean so-called ‘adulting’, self-improvement, maturing emotionally – essentially growing as a person.

In order to be able to stay together, you need a partner who will accompany you through all your changes and hopefully grow with you.

This is why the ability to grow is another one of the five most important things in a relationship that everybody is actually looking for in a romantic partner.

How Do You Answer What Are You Looking For in Relationships?

Now you know that when is comes to our deeply rooted emotional needs, we are all looking for the same things in a relationship:

We all want to feel safe and secure, we crave closeness, companionship, we need our partner to support us, and we all desire to be with a person who will grow and develop with us.

This truth reveals the second reason why “what are you looking for in a relationship?” is actually a trick question:

If deep down we all have the same emotional needs, why would a guy ask you about this?

Isn’t it obvious that ultimately you’re wanting all the same things from him that he wants from you?

And, why is he making it out as though this wasn’t the case?

This is because he is asking you this, so that he can put you on the spot. It’s a power move.

He is trying to get you to reveal vulnerable information about yourself under the guise of “a casual conversation”.

So what is the best thing to say when a guy asks “What are you looking for in a relationship?”

There are a few different ways how you can approach this:

Turn Your Answer Into a Joke

One way to deal with the “What Are You Looking For in a Relationship” question is answering in a way that will make your date laugh.

You can just say something outrageous and ridiculous. Or better yet, give him the answer he was likely fearing the most:

“I’m looking for a knight on a white horse. Someone who will be obsessed with me and solve all my life’s problems for me. Oh, and he best be rich… How about you?”

This kind of response is bound to take the pressure off of you and put it on him instead.

He will likely also appreciate your light-hearted response and sense of humor.

Responding with a joke when a guy asks you “What are you looking for?” is bound to make him perceive you as more of a challenge.

It will make you come across as confident and playful.

Flirt With Him

A second great way to answer “What are you looking for in a relationship” question is by treating it as an opportunity to flirt with your date.

A good way to do this is by complimenting something you do genuinely like about him, but doing it in a way that’s playful and flirty.

For example, you can say something like:

“I’m looking for a man with strong arms just like yours…”

By answering his question this way, you will be signaling to him that you are genuinely interested and that you like him.

He will definitely want you more after this kind of reply…

Give Him a Heartfelt Answer

Last but not least, you can also make quite an impression on a man by answering “What are you looking for in a relationship?” truthfully and in a heartfelt way.

One way to do it is by talking about all the deep emotional needs we all share.

You can mention the five most important things everybody is looking for in a relationship: security, closeness, companionship, support and growth.

Or you can just pick whichever one of these qualities that is most important to you personally. Feel free to go into depth on why this one particular thing matters so much to you.

Answering “What are you looking for in a relationship?” this way gives the two of you a chance to connect on a deeper level and feel closer.

It will make both of you more attracted to each other.

This approach might also help either of you to overcome trust issues many people struggle with in a new relationship.

How to Know What to Say When a Guy Asks What Are You Looking For?

All three of the above-mentioned approaches can work and will make your date want you more. Each in its own unique way.

If it’s one of your first dates with a guy, and you don’t know him that well yet, going with the joke approach might be the safest bet.

It’s the least vulnerable, most light-hearted way to answer “What are you looking for in a relationship?”.

But if you’re really into a guy and sparks are flying between the two of you left, right and center, then flirting with him will only make the atmosphere hotter.

And if the two of you are really getting along and feeling a special connection already, giving him a deep, heartfelt response will bring you two even closer.

Ultimately, you should choose the type of answer you personally feel most comfortable with.

Dating is a game of endlessly flirting and testing each other.

This is why you might want to build your own arsenal of playful questions to make any date more exciting and interesting.

If you could do with some inspiration in this regard, be sure to check out my husband’s post:

10 Unique Questions for a Perfect Date With Him

If after reading all this, you still feel lost and downhearted by your dating life, this is something we can definitely help you with in a coaching call.

Here, you can tell us about your struggles, and we’ll give you solutions tailored to your particular needs.

We will also give you tips on what to say and do to get guys to be more interested and want to commit to you.

Click Here to Check Out Our Coaching Calls

Thank you for reading, hope you found my take on this topic helpful. If you have any questions, leave me a comment down below, and I’ll get back to you.


Karolina Bartnik