I know some pretty awesome guys that ladies tend to love. Basically, they’re handsome, fit, successful, smart, and emotionally stable. I asked them what traits or behaviors they loved most when it came to a date. Here were their ten (mostly universal) answers.
“James” is definitely what most women consider a catch– a very difficult catch. He’s had loads of beautiful and amazing girlfriends and he’s broken many hearts along Dating Lane. He finally married “Yolanda.” What made Yolanda wife material? Without hesitating, he answered that she is the smartest girl he’s ever dated. Yolanda does not have a doctorate degree, I observed, nor has the cured a disease, or advised world leaders on how to finally achieve peace. But, says James, she knows a little about everything. She is well-read, intellectually savvy, and can hold a conversation on just about any meaty topic. “I could talk to her for hours,” James said. “It was incredibly sexy.”
Lesson: You don’t need to be more educated than the next girl, but it’s not a bad idea to know a few things happening in the world around you. It makes holding a conversation a lot easier, and that is typically a good thing.
“Sam” opines that many women he’s dated are too concerned about ruining her hair or makeup, making a fool of herself, or generally “letting go” that they are no longer fun. “I finally met ‘Abby’ and she was the most adventurous woman I have met,” he said. “Abby will go swimming in the ocean with me. let me teach her how to surf, she is a better snowboarder than me, and will eat almost anything that she hasn’t tried before. She is fun and I’ve done many new things because of her, like go to a ballet, visited museums, and traveled to several national parks.” I couldn’t wait for our next date because she was always up for trying something different or new. She’s now my girlfriend and we are really happy together.”
Lesson: Many men care less about physical perfection and far more about a woman who is confident and interesting. Pitch the idea that your eye makeup might smudge and go have fun. If he’s not suggesting it, you should set it up– like go horseback riding, take a nature hike, or even walk homeless dogs.
3. Shares the expenses
My longtime guy-friend, Paul, is wealthy and most women know it right away. He feels that, because of his money, women take advantage of him and he’s tired of it. “Trips, dinners, movies, you name it, almost no woman has ever offered to pick up the tab. It’s not that I can’t afford it, but if we’ve gone on several dates and she won’t even offer to buy me a drink, I’m done,” he says. “Women who do this show me that they’re thoughtless, that the relationship is all about her. A lifetime together would be draining. After one very expensive divorce and a wife who wouldn’t lift a finger, I’m not doing it again. I’m looking for someone different, and these women are hard to find (at least for me).”
Lesson: Never “assume” he loves (or is even able) to pay for every date. At a minimum, consider offering to pick up the tab.
4. Acts “normal” around his children
Sam shares a story about one woman “Carol” that he dated several times. She started asking to meet his children. “I have a ten-date policy,” says Sam. “Prior to that, no woman meets my kids. And, if after ten dates I think she might be a keeper, I may be comfortable with a casual meet-up.” But with Carol, she was overly insistent, putting on the hard-sell that she was girlfriend material. Sam finally introduced her to his sons and she was overly nice to the point it was uncomfortable for everyone. “She brought them gifts, laughed too much, and asked too many inappropriate questions. It was odd. After a third outing together, she started getting bossy, chastising my six-year old for putting his gum on the top of a plastic cup. It was our last date.”
Lesson: Refrain from asking to meet his children, let him bring it up. When (and if) you meet them, let a relationship develop slowly and over time. And, for goodness sake, do not try to be their mother. Let him parent his kids, not you.
5. Shows interest (but not too much)
“Barney” has had many dates come on too strong and show too much interest which, he reports, is a major turn-off. “I love a girl who will text or call me once, maybe twice, and then wait for me to respond. More than that, she appears desperate and potential stalker material. At that point, I make myself scarce.” Barney has funny stories about women, one who sent dozens of texts and phone calls before stopping. One dropped off a dinner at his house (he wasn’t home so she dropped it off on his doorstep) and had flowers delivered to his office.”After maybe a dozen of unanswered texts, did she really think that delivering stuff to Barney’s home and work would make him all of a sudden want to see her again? Hardly– he wanted a restraining order.
Lesson: If he isn’t calling or texting you, as hard as this may be to accept, he doesn’t want to see you. It’s time to leave him alone (forever).
6. Won’t have sex too fast
Several guys I know have said this: Any girl who has sex too early in the relationship has just killed it. “If she’s having sex with me this fast, she’s having sex with other men, too, and that is a deal-killer,” says one of my guy friends. And women should never equate sex with a commitment.
Lesson: Be cautious when it comes to having sex with a new man. At a minimum, know that “sex” is “sex” and not a sign that you’re alter-bound. In fact, you can’t even assume he’s not sleeping with countless other women either. If you’re ok with that, proceed; if you’re not, having sex before you know where the two of you stand is a bad idea.
7. Has her own life
“Women who have a job, friends and hobbies is far more attractive than one whose life depends on me,” says Barney. “There was one girl who never turned me down for a date. I wondered if she had nothing going on but me. She was boring and too available so that was pretty much the end of ‘us.’ I just wish she had told me no a few times.”
Lesson: Never let a man feel that he’s the only thing in your life. Most of the men I know like women who are busy and have commitments and interests outside of him.
8. Financially independent
Paul says that several women have flat-out told him a variation of “I have worked so hard [during my marriage or after my divorce] that I am tired. I deserve someone to take care of me.” Paul adds, “I don’t know if it’s because they know I have money or they say this to every guy, but I am not going to purposely date someone who is looking for a sugar daddy.”
Lesson: Most men I know don’t expect a woman to be independently wealthy, but having a job that provides for her basic needs is important. Men looking to rescue a woman are often co-dependent and not so emotionally healthy; in these cases, you want to avoid them, not purposely look for one.
9. Accepts him for who he is
“If she tries to change me, I want to run,” says Sam. “I cannot stand anyone who’s a nag.” One of my guy friends dated a woman that he was really “into.” That is until football season and she confessed that she hated the sport. On Sundays, when he settled in to watch a few games, she tried to make other plans for them. One day, she gave him an ultimatum– a game that he was going to at a friend’s house or her. It was an easy choice– football won.
Lesson: If you don’t like (or respect) him as he is, don’t try to change him. Either join him, do things apart, or end the relationship. Most important, be honest– don’t portray yourself to like and accept some things when you really don’t.
10. Rarely talks about other men
Mostly all the men I talked to agreed on this one: a woman who talks incessantly about other men she is dating, or about her ex, is really unattractive. “Either the guy is perfect, in which case she’s trying to tell me that I have competition (no thanks), or she’s saying he’s an asshole and will likely say the same about me some day. I’m not interested in talking about other men, at least not in the early stages of dating.”
Lesson: There are many topics to talk about on your first several dates. Other men isn’t one of them.