In my nearly 26 years of life, I have met a lot of different kinds of men – from the devilishly handsome to the could-have-cleaned-themselves-up-more. The funny and charming to the slightly-awkward-and-uncomfortable. The respectful and humble to the hi-my-my-name-is-soandso-let-me-rock-your-world.
While men at the core may share many similarities, over my several years of dating, I find this truth to ring true: men who do not take themselves too seriously are ones who women will fall in love with.
So, men, while Old Spice and Dos Equis commercials may tell you different, I want you to know what us ladies really find attractive.
1. Not caring too much about your appearance
Notice I said “too much.” Girls do want a man who takes care of himself. You know…brushes his teeth, cuts his fingernails, wears clean clothes…But some men can take it too far. If it takes you an hour to get ready in the morning, you might care too much about your appearance. Men whose smell of hair product is only masked by a thick layer of cologne and a Gucci wardrobe are nice to look at, but they are seldom anything more. Stick with the natural look of being a man, get a little scruffy, be comfortable in a jeans and t-shirt. No girl likes a boy that is prettier than her.
2. Showing your “nerdy” side
Don’t hide your Star Wars collectibles the first time we come over. Girls like to see that you have a geeky side. Your Spiderman lunch box and collection of dinosaur documentaries will show us that you have a passion about something that isn’t so mainstream. Plus, it will help us admit that we still have a minor obsession with The Little Mermaid. Be proud of what makes you quirky because it shows that you aren’t afraid to be yourself.
3. Never taking a shirtless selfie
Men are handsome. Girls do like muscles, tan skin and tattoos, but vanity is a huge turn off. I’m a firm believer that “the selfie” is straight vanity unless you have a monkey on top of your head or a gnarly scar to show off. Men who are full of themselves aren’t any fun to be around. If you’ve got a 12-pack of abs, good for you, but will you gorge on pizza and beer with us without complaining about how much time at the gym you will have to spend tomorrow? The most attractive kind of guy is the one who doesn’t know that he is attractive. If you have to remind us that you are with your selfies and flexing, we will probably get over it pretty quick.
4. Never missing a costume party or opportunity to dress up
While you might not be the most outgoing person, you aren’t too shy to throw on a costume when needed. Whether it is a themed party or Halloween, you are perfectly ready to show up looking ridiculous. You know that all of the cute girls at the party won’t be able to see your ruggedly handsome good looks underneath your Teletubbie costume, but who cares? It’s a freaking costume party, not a yeah-I’m-a-shirtless-cowboy party. The fun kind of girls will appreciate a man who takes advantage of an opportunity to be ridiculous.
5. Not asking us out the first time you talk to us
You keep seeing me at the gym. We’ve smiled at each other. You asked if I was using the medicine ball once. Two days later you cracked a joke about the bodybuilder in the corner making love to himself in the mirror and then asked me my name. A week later, the vibe felt right and you asked if I wanted to go on a hike sometime. By this point I had been hoping you would ask me out soon. I even turned down that bodybuilder because he just walked up to me and said, “I like your top. We should probably get a drink sometime.” Women like it when a man doesn’t automatically assume we will fall into his arms at his request. Talk to us, get to know us a little and when it feels like we are interested too, we will be a lot more likely to accept the offer.
6. Not being afraid to express your feelings
Oh the feels. You boys have such a hard time with these. Most women have no trouble expressing their feelings and while we may not want a man who cries just as hard as us during Grey’s Anatomy, we want a man who isn’t afraid to tell us what he is thinking. There will be a point early in the relationship when feelings must be discussed. A girl wants to hear that you care about her, that you enjoy every moment with her, and get butterflies when she kisses you. She does not want to hear that your are fine either way. You guys can keep being friends with benefits or whatever… Lame. Tell us how you really feel. Honesty and openness is the key to any successful relationship.
7. Being detached from social media
There is something so sexy about a man who doesn’t check his Facebook everyday. To me it means that you are more connected to the real world. You have bigger and better things going on in your life than the latest snap chat, viral video or hashtag. While I personally use social media often, I dig a man who doesn’t need to publicize his life to the world. It shows that while he may have a Facebook to stay connected, his day doesn’t revolve around it. Women will notice when you are on a date and your phone buzzes, but you don’t reach for it. You live in the moment and make that the priority. Girls will eat. that. up.
8. You are okay with the occasional girly moment
When you are in a relationship with a woman, there is bound to be a time when you will need to be less manly. Whether is is holding her purse while she is in the dressing room at Forever 21, accompanying her to get a pedicure, or choosing to take her to a ballet instead of the Padres game. Women may love their men manly, but love it even more when they see them willingly step into the female world just to make them happy. It shows sacrifice and that you care more about making us happy than how much your bros will scorn you later.
9. Treating us as an equal (because we are)
Starting all the way back in kindergarten, boys get this idea in their heads that they should show a girl they like her by being mean to her. They tease and pester her about “being a girl” and not being as smart or as strong as them. Unfortunately, many men carry this habit with them their whole life. What you boys do not realize is that women are most turned on by respect and being treated equally. Sure, be chivalrous, but calling us a bad driver “because we are a girl” or trying to take over situations because “the man has to handle it” is just going to drive us away. In the words of Jo Dee Messina, “I want a man who stands beside me. Not in front of or behind me.” Am I right, ladies?
10. Being wild with us
There are so many men who feel it is necessary to have all of their ducks in a row in order to impress a woman, but that is society pressuring you, not the heart of a real woman. If you are interested in us but can’t afford to take us out for a four course meal, take us out for burritos and a beach sunset. If you want to marry us but can’t yet afford a house or even a decent car, ask us anyway. The kind of woman that you want to live your life with is the one who will do just that: live with you and laugh with you outside social norms, expectations and clichés. Love is a powerful thing and it isn’t something you plan for. While beautiful and composed on the outside, a woman’s soul is as wild as yours.
Meet her there and life’s greatest adventure will begin.