What women want in a man, according to 1892 letter to ‘The Irish Times’

‘They like honesty of purpose and consideration; they like men who believe in women’

On the front page of The Weekly Irish Times on December 10th, 1892, a letter writer using the name Flora set about defining exactly what it is women want in a man.

Dear sir - Having been greatly interested by the various letters which from time to time appear in the dear old Letter Box, please allow me once more to occupy a short space in it by writing upon this subject: “What women like in men”. Women, I think, like manly, not lady-like, men.

They like honesty of purpose and consideration; they like men who believe in women; they like a man who can be as strong as a lion when troubles come, and yet if one is nervous and tired can button up a shoe, and do it with an amount of consideration that is a mental and a physical brace up.

They like a man who is interested in their new dresses; who can give an opinion on the fit, and who is properly indignant at any article written against women.


They like a man who is the master of the situation - that is, who has brain enough to help a woman to decide what is the best thing to do under the circumstances, and who has wit enough to realise when one of the fair sex is slightly stubborn, that persuasion is better than all the arguments in the world.

They like a man who knows their innocent weaknesses, and one who will bring home a box of candy, the last new magazine or the latest puzzle sold in the street.

And lastly, they like a man who likes them; who doesn’t scorn their opinions; who believes in their good taste; who has confidence in their truth and who, best of all, knows that the love promised is given him.

That is the sort of a man a woman likes, and her very sigh of satisfaction as his virtues are mentioned, is a little prayer that says - “God bless him”. Hoping you are not tired of this lengthy epistle,

Yours etc,