I am a believer that beauty flows from within. It is very possible for a very average, or below average physical beauty to be gorgeous in my eyes if she has inner beauty. Also, some have inner beauty, that has molded their ourter beauty, and this is captivating. For those who have extreme physical beauty, but your inner beauty is either fading, or was never there, I find so little in them that is attractive. Looks only account for a small percentage of the beauty of a being. I have a friend of many years, who when you first meet her you are captivated by her presence. She at first sight is beautiful. But, as you are around her more, you begin to notice her looks are really very plain. (picture sissy spacek with no makeup, and casual.) But, even after all these years, she is still a beautiful woman to me. This all goes for men as well.
After facilitating small groups for divorce recovery the last 15 years I have learned that both men and women complain about things which are very similiar. To avoid the same issues in the future I get them to see a perspective they may have not followed as much in the past.
To answer your question I would look for a woman who supports, values, affirms, encourages and appreciates her partner daily. I look for a woman who is not thinking about what I can do for her but what she can do for the relationship to make it grow. I am focused on her and want to serve her but if she is just looking for me to serve her and expects it without thinking about giving of herself to her man and serving him too, the relationship will eventually lose chemistry, growth and break apart. I am quick to notice if she tends to emasculate men and if so I move on. This is a huge issue that many men don't see. They just complain there is something missing or they don't feel important to her.
This is a two sided coin question, where both sides are heads.....Bottom line if a woman is happy with the way she looks, and is confident, and will never ask, "does this dress make my ass look big?"because she knows, that us men know, that question is a trap to make us feel guilty for no reason. Because there is no mr. or ms. perfect out there. Above all else, being understanding of each other weaknesses, and strengths, is what I look for in a woman.
Let me give you an example about what I had leaned so as to answer your question. Back in my Navy days, as a hospital corpsman stationed at Charleston Naval Hospital, I kept running into an unattractive Navy wave who worked in the x-ray department. As I waited for my patient to finish with his x-rays, she would come up to me and try to engage in conversation. I listened to what what she had to say but said little in return. After three or four encounters, I discovered something that totally amazed me. I not only listened but began to carry on with the banter. It wasn't long afterward that I began to look forward to my visits to the x-ray department hoping that she would be there. What started out as an unattractive female turned into the most beautiful lady I ever met, inside as well as out. Just as I worked up the courage to ask her out for a date, she received orders elsewhere and left before I could act.
Even though I still look at all of the physically attractive women, I never again take for granted that the unattractive ones can't be just as appealing. Beauty truly IS in the eye of the beholder.
The inside is the most important part in the simple answer aspect. There does need to be a certain attraction physically as well. That doese not mean you need be size 2 but has to do with your overall appearance. I agree that many men never achieve a level of maturity that tells them there is more in this world than nice looking women. Women like men come in all different shapes and sizes. I need to feel attracted on a multiple of levels with the woman or it is destined for failure. Once the love has established itself between the couple it becomes a no brainer that scenarios like the car crash where a leg is lost or someone is all of the sudden different. I bet most people feel this way but the secret is to find someone that feels as you do and the hard part of that is that even at our age some have a bad habit of not being honest with even themselves and then the other person winds up getting hurt. If everyone was more open and honest the world would be a happier place.