What Do Men REALLY Want? A Famous Matchmaker Tells All

Jessica Rubin

“What do you think? See how smart you are. What do you think the number one thing a man wants in a woman is? What’s the biggest turn-on to a man?”

“Um…appearance?”

“Besides that. See, every woman’s answer is looks. But more importantly than looks. What else”

“Common interests?

“Nope! You’ll be guessing until you’re green in the face. The answer is confidence.”

Welcome to a snippet from my conversation with Janis Spindel, matchmaker extraordinaire, who this summer will celebrate her 21st anniversary in the business. With 992 marriages under her belt, this is no small feat. Spindel is confident in her abilities — with good reason — asserting: “I’m a wealth of knowledge. I really am and I’m not saying that from an obnoxious perspective. I own the mind to men.”

(If only we could all be so lucky.)

With clients in every major U.S. city, Spindel spends lots of time on the road, but she’s not slumming it at your regular old Motel 6:

I’m at spas, I’m at gyms, I’m antiquing, I’m flea marketing. [My clients] fly me either first class or private jet and they put us up in five-star hotels.

But all the fun comes with a fair share of hard work. Spindel becomes her clients’ psychologist, mother and all-around support system. Helping a man find the perfect partner involves soul-searching, which leaves her clients extremely vulnerable — Spindel’s firm confidentiality policy is one of the keys to her success.

And Spindel knows exactly how to keep up with the dating trends. She’s recently launched a “New Gay Division” as well as an online site (although all applicants still need to be approved by Spindel). Helping men find men doesn’t involve too much of a shift in technique, however: “There’s nothing I really have to change, it’s just who I’m looking for is a different target.”

One of the most controversial, blunt and tell-it-like-it-is moments from my time with Spindel was when she laid it down about a male’s ultimate goals:

Well, it doesn’t matter if men are straight or gay; they are superficial. A gay guy wants a good-looking guy with a hot body. And he wants him to be intellectually stimulating balance. He doesn’t want a needy guy. He doesn’t want a high maintenance guy. He doesn’t want a whiner or a nag. It’s no different. Men are no different. Men are men.

As our conversation drifted, we landed upon the topic of Patti Stanger of The Millionaire Matchmaker, Spindel’s former assistant. But Spindel distanced herself from Patti’s “vulgarity” and “meanness,” chalking her meetings with clients on the show up to entertainment and not genuine matchmaking. Men who are truly looking for love don’t want to reveal too much of themselves on television. The guys out there who truly have their head in the game go to the best…and the best is Janis Spindel.

Spindel’s parting words of advice? Put yourself out there! Be funny, be confident and don’t be afraid to meet new people.

For more on Spindel, check out her two books Get Serious About Getting Married and How To Date Men. (Oh, and keep your eyes peeled for her third book out this year!)

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