What a Modern Woman Wants and Seeks in a 21st Century Relationship – Part 1 of 3

Downtown Los Angeles as seen from my American ...

sarah nean bruce ~ a modern woman on a journey of «becoming beauty & discovering beyond»... while living in urbia as a storyteller, filmmaker, informationist, artist {Image via Wikipedia}

A revealing, honest, in-depth exposé
by Sarah Nean Bruce

PART 1 of 3


Modern Women function under plain and simple truths when it comes to dating and relationships.

Honestly, most women are attracted to men with a great personality over great looks. They often like and admire the funny and fun men more than handsome and debonair guys.

They like men with personality, confidence, courtesy and strength. They admire men who are leaders and decision-makers. They want men to have a positive attitude, engaging presence, enthusiastic disposition, and to be confident, but not domineering or arrogant.

And even though we live in the 21st Century, many modern women want 21st Century Gentlemen to ask them out in person or on the telephone, not in an email or a text or an IM or on Facebook,  which seems weak.

Modern Women often like to wear dresses and to be treated like a woman. They are fond of stronger men who are polite and gallant. They notice and appreciate the little conscientious things modern men do for them, and for others. They like men who offer to pick them up for their date, open the car door and the restaurant door for them.

Each friend represents a world in us,

a world not born until they arrive,

and it is only by this meeting that

a new world is born.

~{Anaïs Nin}~


Modern Women consider etiquette during dating and beyond. There are taboo topics and misbehaviors that annoy and turn off both women and men.

They don’t want to hear about the “eX” and how much he dislikes her or how she’s poisoned his friends or his kids or his boss or his dog. They think men might badmouth them that way if things don’t work out. They don’t want to hear about how his mother ruined his life, or didn’t care for him or that she loved him too much. Modern Women often equate how a man treats, and speaks about, his mother as an indicator of how he will deal with them.

In the beginning, they don’t want to know how much money a man has lost in the real estate market or the stock market or a business. Or how bad the economy is treating him or how bad business is for him. They don’t want constant mentions of how stressed he is and his fear about a lack of money or paid work, or that he needs to get these clients or gigs or sales. Modern Women are not gold diggers, but they want security as much as men do. Equally, they don’t want men who are gold diggers and looking for Ms. Moneybags to facilitate the guy becoming a kept-man to live the life of Riley and total leisure.

They don’t want men to apologize for living in a small house or condominium or apartment. Nor do they need to hear that they want to get that big house again like the one they had when they were married. They don’t want men to make excuses for their residence, their CB2 furniture, or their work in the home office since they had to shut down their big office.

Conversely, Modern Women don’t want to hear how much money the men have or how many sports cars or SUVs or hybrids they own. They like men who are successful, assertive and self-assured, but they don’t like boasters and show-offs. On the other hand, they definitely don’t want men who are narcissists, posers, interlopers, opportunists, freeloaders, con artists, chico espertos, or couch-surfers.

Many Modern Women date within, or above, their financial class because they want a partner who has the similar goals and aspirations. They have read that an artist and a scientist can both be motivated and enthusiastic about their work and have tons of things in common but they also are realistic that it can be hard when a modern woman is financially more successful than her man because it’s societal, it’s social and it’s psychological. It doesn’t mean that a relationship is impossible, it just means Modern Women recognize paradoxical challenges of the 21st Century.

Modern Women don’t want men to flood over them like a tidal wave of too many communiqués and too many calls that hint of a quiet desperation to keep them monopolized, attracted and distracted while men evaluate potential or financial portfolios.

They want men to make the dinner plans and know that women won’t change those plans that took time to make. Modern Women enjoy men who will plan and make them dinner, or go to the gourmet food store to gather a dinner. Modern Women want men to know that they appreciate it and will say thank you after that dinner date planned, or made or gathered for them.

Modern Women believe that developing a deep connection takes time.  They want to know if they’re physically and intimately compatible with each other and maybe even by the third week, around the third of fourth date, they will explore that. They definitely don’t like men who try to make them feel bad about wanting to use protection (condom) during intimate relations. And they really don’t want to be with men who are sleeping around.

Modern women know that early on there are bonding behaviors that intensify a relationship. They like to enjoy the quixotic ride a bit. They like to have the benefit of that romantic, electrifying bonding period.

I walk ahead of myself in perpetual expectancy of miracles.

~{Anaïs Nin}~

**DISCLAIMER: the preceding commentary is a composite of relationship experiences, expectations and hopes from many modern women. They trust that any men they’ve dated/relinquished, friended/unfriended, liked/disliked, loved/loathed and married/divorced won’t take it personally.**

This ~ Part 1 of 3:


Next ~ Part 2 of 3:


Then ~ Part 3 of 3:


® bel âge medias


Sarah Nean Bruce is a 40-something, thrice-married, childfree, single, modern woman living and writing in Los Angeles. On her journey and journaling of Becoming Beauty since the new millennium began, her friends often remarked that she had gained a rare and realistic perspective on what modern women truly want and don’t want in a relationship. From many years of reading, writing, speaking and sharing personal experiences, she was encouraged by these friends to reveal in her books, screenplays and articles the thoughts, secrets and opinions of the Modern Woman. She believes she has put together a straightforward, objective and noteworthy breakdown of what many modern women seek in a 21st Century relationship.
This brief exposé is presented in three parts.
This is Part 1 of the series


ANNOUNCEMENT: We are pleased to share news about our friend Sean Kanan’s new endeavor http://seankananthemoderngentleman.com. Sean brings together helpful and invaluable ideas, resources, guidance and tools for Modern Men (& Women) all in one place.  We think the well-rounded approach of providing advice on cooking, entertaining, fashion and relationships to become the Modern Gentleman is a great concept and adventure. We enjoy the friendly writing, the assorted viewpoints and the distinctive insights the website presents. Please join us & share this link~sb


25 responses to “What a Modern Woman Wants and Seeks in a 21st Century Relationship – Part 1 of 3

  1. Ah, yes, very well written, and I wonder if men know how quickly we will write them off, for all their good qualities, if they poo-poo the idea of using a condom with us. I would have to say one of my favorite things I see in a good man is “surety.” He continues to remind me he’s here to stay and win me again and again. It is bliss when it happens. <3

  2. Thanks to my friend Lydia Cornell
    (http://www.LydiaCornell.com; http://twitter.com/LydiaCornell)
    for posting my link and a fave Anaïs Nin quote on her Facebook page!
    i love how people commented about it on her page!~sb

    @Lydia Cornell ~ http://www.facebook.com/LydiaCornell
    “Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. ~ Anaïs Nin ~ Read my friend Sarah Nean Bruce’s article: “What a Modern Woman Wants and Seeks in a 21st Century Relationship” https://sarahneanbruce.wordpress.com/2010/08/20/what-a-modern-woman-wants-and-seeks-in-a-21st-century-relationship-part-1-of-3/

    @Lisa Morgan: Thanks Lydia for sharing with us!

    @JoAnn Niedzialek Maurer: One of my favorite Quotes;)

    @Carolyn Halcrow: Sarah NB is a good writer. Thanks for sharing the link. :)

    @Darren Flaster: That is a great quote Lydia!xoxo

    @Gary Richardson: sweet!

  3. stay tuned_Part 2 of 3 “What a Modern Woman Wants & Seeks in a 21st Century Relationship” ~an exposé by sarah nean bruce~ revealed/posted Weds/25 Aug.
    PS-please subscribe to this blog and get the update faster~thanks

  4. plus, i just read another fun/funny article at GLAMOUR: The 5 Stages of a Relationship in the “SINGLE-ISH” column http://www.glamour.com/sex-love-life/blogs/single-ish/2010/06/the-5-stages-of-a-relationship.html
    i liked their 5 stages of a Relationship article – A LOT because I have a dark anti-romantic comedy feature film i plan to direct called the 5 STAGES OF BREAKING UP. it is under consideration for funding and will star a friend & associate Eva La Rue from CSI:Miami. It’s an English language remake of Domingos de Oliveiras festival award-winning Brazilian film SEPARAÇOES.

  5. funny/ironic comment 2010-0821 on my facebook page after i posted/listed the SIX stages of Relationship/Dating
    @Philip David Lee http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000071239682
    “It’s definitely better than the men’s version:
    1) Deception
    2) Persuasion
    3) Penetration
    4) Evacuation
    I hope your project goes full speed ahead.

    @Sarah Nean Bruce http://www.facebook.com/sarahneanbruceDOTcom
    funny, i hadn’t heard those 4 Stages of Hooking Up so eloquently summed up before now… made me laugh out loud, tho. thanks!

  6. more fun/interesting Facebook comments to this post on 2010-0821:
    @Sarah Nean Bruce http://www.facebook.com/sarahneanbruceDOTcom
    funny, i hadn’t heard those 4 Stages of Hooking Up so eloquently summed up before now… made me laugh out loud, tho. thanks!

    @Philip David Lee http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000071239682
    Glad I could make you laugh, Sarah. Your post inspired me to make that up. Feel free to use it if you want to.

    @Sarah Nean Bruce http://www.facebook.com/sarahneanbruceDOTcom
    REALLY!? That’s great! i thought that was from an unofficial “guy dating handbook” – excellent writing Philip! Keep up the great work~sb

    @Paul Helton http://www.facebook.com/paulhelton
    There is a “guy dating handbook,” but it is passed down from father to male child with strict rules that it not be shown to or discussed with, “the others.” It’s a verbal thing, so no one can actually copy it. The only known partial (and encrypted) record is kept by the honored elders of the secretive Sealth tribe in a place remotely near Hood Canal and protected under treaty with the U.S. Governemnt CID offices near Bangor. Very hush, hush.

    @Sarah Nean Bruce http://www.facebook.com/sarahneanbruceDOTcom
    yes, i think i have heard that. someone could make a lot of money if they could publish it someday on the internet… a traitor, of course.

    @Paul Helton http://www.facebook.com/paulhelton
    It would mean a sudden and mysterious death, kinda like in a film noir sorta way — so, count me out! Love my kids and want to see them get off into the world first! Besides, it’s (at least while I still have my mind) all in my head, and it is imperative I assure he has it well remembered first. As a 19-yrs. old, it is becoming very important to him these days, and proper guidance is an important part of a father’s duty!

    @Wendy Elder http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1057022551
    Sarah, really five stages, maybe for a woman but for a man I am thinking only one…..I will have to start reading those little shorts, so glad that I don’t have to be in that dating scene, when you are married it is easy to just tell them straight out what it is that you are looking for and want won’t be delivered if what you are looking for doesn’t make an appearance. Read Song of Songs, ( found in the OT of the Bible) Now there is a man who knows how to woo a woman……..Looking forward to future blogs/ articles

  7. Really great advice from The 21st Century Gentleman. I think a yoga date might be interesting… at least, for someone like me, it would be intriguing for many of the reasons Sean points out in his blog article~sb
    PS_Sean’s oatmeal pancake recipe & tuna wrap recipe look D-lish!

    THE GYM DATE: Is a workout date a good idea?
    What you can learn on a trip to the gym, and
    two great post-workout recipes from Sean.

  8. Pingback: What a Modern Woman Wants and Seeks in a 21st Century Relationship – Part 2 of 3 « sarah nean bruce·

  9. Pingback: What a Modern Woman Wants and Seeks in a 21st Century Relationship – Part 3 of 3 « sarah nean bruce·

  10. Very good read. Enjoyed it very much and will post it to my Facebook page!

  11. I just read a great article (and title) “We All Married The Wrong Person,” on Lori Lowe’s blog Marriage Gems!
    i wish i would have known this years ago… i am thrice divorced and there are so many excellent points here.
    i especially like (and finally take to heart) these points:
    ~Be the right person, instead of looking for the right person.
    ~Be a loving person, instead of waiting to get love.
    ~Be considerate instead of waiting to receive consideration.

  12. Pingback: What a Modern Woman Wants blah blah blah… | Solomon II's Lost Gold·

  13. Pingback: GOOD READ_Old Flings Bring Opportunities For New Patterns! |·

  14. Pingback: GOOD READ_Opportunities For New Patterns! « sarah nean bruce ~ living in urbia…·

  15. just came across an intriguing article about marriages on the Big Think website titled:
    “Are We Living in the Post-Romantic Age?” by Megan Erickson
    She writes:
    If 19th century relationships were about forming alliances, and
    20th century relationships about passion, how will the relationships of the
    21st century be defined?
    We’re more likely to choose our partners based on how well they can
    help us find ourselves, says Haag. We tend to marry “people who are
    like us in terms of their career and their education and their life experiences
    and their goals.”

    What do you think?

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