1. Bold confidence
Maybe I’ve been watching too many old movies but guys always seemed a bit bolder back then, while women have always been characterized as contrary and coy. And I know it’s not universal to suggest that men aren’t bold (because in many cultures, men still exhibit this in spades) but I do think guys have become so lackluster and timid about dating. From a heterosexual woman’s perspective, one of the top qualities a guy can display is being bold – coming up to a woman you don’t know and asking if you’d like to get to know her, taking initiative in dates, going in for a kiss, etc. Be bold gentlemen, be bold.
Remember when guys used to plan ahead to take you out on dates and didn’t just shoot you a text making some vague plan about meeting up one day of the week? I barely remember it but it did used to happen. (Fine, it still does happen but it’s rare.) See, a lot of the time people believe that being thoughtful means having to spend money or do something out of the ordinary. In reality it’s the little things like walking on the outside of the street, listening to what interests you and incorporating said interest into your next date, that makes a huge difference. Being thoughtful is about putting in a little effort and showing the person that you’re really interested in, that you are really interested.
Why is everyone so afraid of a phone call? Well, I know the answer to that – it’s because texting and emailing and facebooking is so much lazier. Not to mention the perfectly calculated and contrived messages that people can come up with in place of real, imperfect, sometimes embarrassing slip-ups you that have when you’re on a phone call with someone. And it almost feels like participating in these texting games and mini textationships has become so normalized that you have to, even when you don’t want to. These days, I’m considering telling guys I don’t have texting so if they want to reach me, they’ll have to call.
4. Being straightforward
A moment of silence for the guys who don’t play games. The guys who tell you straight up, “I like you.” Or even, “I’m not interested.” Although the latter sucks, it will still always get you respect from the girl you’re courting. Because leaving people in a state of romantic purgatory where they have no idea whether to give up or try harder or know how you really feel, is tragically far too common, but still unfair. I know there’s this notion that “If you have to ask, there’s your answer,” but human beings have this insane ability to hope against all odds. Being straightforward cuts out the crap and most women will respect you for it, no matter your answer.
Sometimes I wish mobile phones weren’t invented. I know that’s a huge statement to make but people live on their phones and it’s a combination of worrying and disgusting. We’re to the point that when most people have to interact in real life, they are still never too far away from having to constantly check what’s going on elsewhere. But to the gentlemen who don’t even look at their phones when they are out with you – I want you to know that you are prized treasures, mini-gods among mere men, and you deserve all the love and affection life can bring.
6. Good dressers
I will never believe the clothes make the man. But I will also never believe that people shouldn’t at least make an effort when it comes to dress. Nobody is saying that you have to be in Sunday’s best all the time. Nobody is saying you must follow fashion trends. But I can honestly say it is an absolute turn off to see an otherwise good-looking guy continuously dress sloppily or like he’s just given up hope on society. There are actual services where you don’t even need to go shopping guys – someone will pick out clothes for you! And yes, a man who knows how to kill it in a suit will forever have many a girl’s heart.
7. Handy guys
Yes, I know this is bordering on old gender stereotypes and everyone is “offended” by this or whatever. But you know what? I don’t care. I don’t mind it when a guy asks if I can cook (because I can and I would happily do it for ANYONE who wanted to eat). Society is just going to have to deal with the fact that some of us find guys attractive that are good with tools and heavy lifting and all of that jazz. I my opinion, these kinds of guys are also dying breed which makes them all the more attractive when you find one.
8. Being protective
I know how some people feel about this word, and I understand it can cause a ruckus. But I think many women do still want a guy that makes them feel safe, a guy that “defends their honor.” Like many women, I’ve had the displeasure of being the center of attention by some guys catcalling or heckling at me in a very public and sometimes sexually suggestive way. But I’ve also had the pleasure of a few gentlemen who whether they knew me or not, confronted the guys or made me feel secure by letting me know they’ve got my back if anything goes down. And you know what? It’s always hot.
9. Being respectful
As someone who is generally upfront about not participating in hookup culture, I can tell you first-hand it has sometimes been met with on the one hand, guys whose sole purpose becomes getting the “forbidden fruit.” And on the other hand, guys who will label you a prude and get you to change your mind. And then there are the respectful guys – the ones who actually will respect whatever you wishes are, and will treat you how you want to be treated. These are the good guys, and they are the guys that you always want to keep seeing.
Yes, the c word. It was bound to happen. I get that there has been a lot of baggage associated with the word. I get that it sometimes insinuates to guys that women want all of the joys and none of the pains of dating and relationships. But one thing I know is that both people in any relationship have to be gracious and generous. For guys, this includes the good-old fashioned chivalrous acts such as walking a girl home, actually coming to her front door to pick her up rather than texting, “I’m here,” walking on the outside of the sidewalk, opening her door, etc. Notice how many of these things are free? Yes, women can open their own doors and do all of that. But when guys do it, we notice. And it indicates to us that you’re the kind of gentleman who deserves the very best lady we can be.