I always imagined as I grew old and desperate I would become less picky when it came to qualifications for men. Strangely enough, I’ve experienced the opposite. Consider the Erica of age 18. Her only requirements for a man were:
- Thinks I’m sort of hot.
- Likes to party.
- Texts me sometimes.
As you can imagine, this led to me dating a random collection of a-holes. For every idiot I’ve dealt with, I’ve added more and more to my now colossal and detailed list, including:
- Must love dogs, and specifically, thinks my dog is the cutest animal that EVER lived
- Sings ballads at karaoke
- Is capable of overcoming my brunette genes to produce blonde children
- Does not have a standalone car as his profile or cover photo on Facebook
I’ll admit I should probably scratch several of the more outlandish items. However, as I thought about it, I realized that a few of the things I’m unwilling to budge on are universal necessities for women. Because I’m kind, I’ve turned said requirements into a bit of advice below. So men, if you’re trying to win over a lady, listen up. This is serious.
1. Don’t talk about how awesome you are in excess.
Sadly for the narcissists out there, constantly discussing how great you are subsequently makes you less great. While it may be true that you graduated with a 4.0 from an esteemed university and maybe your parents own a mansion in the Hamptons, where you spent your childhood summers perfecting your polo game – there’s no need to talk to these points over and over. As your mind is thinking, “I’m so accomplished and cool,” her mind is thinking, “What a douche.”
The Grand Canyon separates confidence from arrogance. The latter of the two is repulsive. For instance, for a brief time I dated the world’s most conceited man. I don’t exaggerate when I say his sole talking points were: 1) How he excelled at everything he did 2) How wealthy he was. One memorable evening I made a mad dash out of an excruciatingly long sushi dinner citing bad fish – when, in actuality, it was simply bad company. I proceeded to jog home, fearful my ears would begin bleeding if I was forced to be near him for another minute.
There’s an applicable saying my journalism professors always used: Show don’t tell. Keep that in mind. If you’re really the most wonderful man in creation, she’ll figure it out on her own.
2. Don’t be a cheater.
Girls are a sneaky bunch, I’ll tell you. There is no shot you can pull this off successfully. Maybe we’ll temporarily have the wool pulled over our eyes because we’re so in love – blah, blah – but I promise you we will find out eventually and we will get as mad as a hatter. The weaker breed will stick around, but if you have a strong, confident woman – the kind you’d want to end up with – she will leave. And hopefully you’ll end up crying at the window like an itty bitty baby. Hehe.
3. Pay many a compliment.
I’d rather date a creep from OK Cupid that says I’m pretty than a normal dude who is stingy with kind words. Because, let me break this down for you: Girls love compliments. A guy we’re not typically attracted to becomes considerably more alluring with even the slightest flattering remark. Recently a yucky, wind-burnt dude jack hammering on the side of the street stopped his construction as I walked by and shouted, “Good morning beautiful.” I instantly thought, “Wow, I could marry him.” (Of note: I am a rare and extreme case, as I’m seeking an immediate husband, but you get the picture.)
Worse yet, don’t offer up evil criticisms. Another on my hit list was a tall jerk who didn’t know how to say anything nice. One night, to test him, I wore an inappropriately fancy dress to a casual restaurant, curled my hair and put on my largest faux-diamond earrings. I was certain this ridiculous outfit would elicit a reaction, but…nope. What’s more, that same evening he referred to my master’s degree as a waste of time. That statement solidified it would be our very last date, and provided the rationale for the voodoo doll I later made of him (jk, jk).
4. Don’t talk about how hot other girls are.
I cannot speak for all nations as, in the words of the man mentioned directly above, I’m “not well-traveled.” However no woman in the history of the United States ever thought, “How intriguing that my date just told me he would bang the waitress. I’m far more interested in him now.”
On the onset, don’t give details on how many people you’ve slept with, or how sexy your ex was. You may believe this makes you appear to be a desired specimen and one the woman would kill to be with. Really though, it just makes you look like a dumbass.
5. Change your sheets regularly like a normal human being.
There is nothing aside from road kill that grosses me out more than dirty sheets.
6. Don’t be overly sensitive/clingy/order girly drinks within the first several dates.
I’m grouping all of these together as I imagine them going hand-in-hand. It’s a long-time belief of mine that getting male attention is better than a suntan on a winter’s day, but when I can’t make it through a yoga class without 30K “I miss youuu”-esque texts, it appears we’ve crossed a very scary line. And if I’m not texting back and you’re sending me sad face emojis, I might have a heart attack. I know these boundaries may seem confusing. Look at it this way: It’s one thing to be in tuned to a woman’s emotions, but quite another to cry at an Adam Sandler movie.
Also, the drink thing. I’ll clarify this as to not offend those sensitive ducklings. I’m mostly concerned with this in the first few dates when I’m expecting to be out with a man, and instead I’m stuck at dinner with what must be his pubescent teen brother. You should not be ordering a piña colada, because 99.99% of the time our first dates will not occur at an all-inclusive Cancun resort. Don’t get me wrong (looking at you again, sensitives), this alone will not be a deal breaker. But let’s try – even if just for the time being – to be a man, order yourself a Jameson drink, and talk about tools or something.
7. Hold. The. Door.
I don’t believe chivalry is dead. I see men all over the place holding doors for their ladies. You don’t have to go to the extent of opening car doors, but at least be somewhat of a gentleman. Because to be frank, there is a guy out there that will hold a door for her. And when you feel a knife in your chest as you see them skipping hand-in-hand out of Starbucks with their chai lattes and hearts in their eyes, don’t tell me I didn’t warn you. ;)