Attention all bachelors, this one’s for you. You’ve all been there: you take your date for a night on the town and then suggest a drink at your place to seal the deal. All engines are a go until, suddenly, your date picks up and leaves because of a “family emergency” or “work e-mail” that really can’t wait. Being the gentleman you are, you nod understandably and lean in for a goodnight kiss only to realize that your date is already half way down the driveway. What happened?
You know that women are complicated (we all know women are complicated) but what you don’t know is that – brace yourself – women who seem interested one minute and then leave without so much as a peck on the cheek are not, I repeat, not trying to lead you on. They may have been genuinely interested in you, until that is, you brought them home.
In an effort to shed some light on the situation, we’ve asked ten women to tell us what exactly turns them on, and off, once they step foot in a guy’s den for the very first time. Are you listening? Pay very close attention, in fact, you might want to take notes. When it comes to apartment etiquette, here are some tips that could ultimately make the difference between ending the night with a candlelight dinner, or breakfast in bed:
Ditch the routine
Think you’re being smooth by lighting those candles the minute she walks through the door? Think again. “If he’s got a smooth routine: music on (especially via a remote), two glasses of wine with a chilled bottle on standby, low lighting, etc. I would wonder just how many times he’s done this exactly.” Did you write that down? Women appreciate mutual discomfort; if they’re the only one wandering out of their comfort-zone, the radar is bound to start signalling red alert.
Women get freaked out if it seems like you’ve re-enacted this scene more than once before a la the Dirty Dancing move pulled by Ryan Gosling in Crazy Stupid Love.
Your date will notice if there are things in place solely for the purpose of impressing a women: “I know so many guys who only own two wine glasses, because the only time they get used is when they bring a woman home. And then there are guys with extra t-shirts on hand just to give you the next morning. Those are all warning signs to me that this guy does not want a relationship, he wants to get laid.”
Women have a sixth sense when it comes to whackos, weirdoes, players and creeps. Be honest, if you’re looking for a relationship with no strings attached, just fess up – you might be surprised to learn that some women like the wild ride just as much as you.
Clean up your act… and your apartment! But don’t overdo it.
Back to the whole “women are complicated” bit. According to the women we spoke with, you’re in big trouble if you’re house or apartment is too dirty, or, too clean.
Most women we spoke with agreed that walking in to find a home layered in filth (specifically dirty laundry strewn about, a toilet caked with skid marks, and unwashed dishes littering the sink) “merits a 180 degree turn and exit”.
Why, in this day and age, is cleanliness so high on the priority list? If you want a chance to be a knight in shining armour, take the time to clean your chainmail, and while you’re at it, put the toilet seat down and maybe do something about the smell—you know, the stuffy, overslept, I haven’t done laundry in a month and “I eat dinners out of a cardboard box” kind of smell. It’s gross. Use Febreze, that’s all we’re saying.
Unfortunately, it’s just as bad to be overly tidy as it is to be lathered in filth. From alphabetized book shelves to pointing out exactly where your date is allowed to store her shoes, if you’ve got a hang-up, try to introduce it slowly or be prepared to make allowances.
Women want to know that there is room in your life, and possibly your closet, for her and her idiosyncrasies, so try not to take up all the space in the room. If you know you’re overly particular about one or two things, warn her beforehand so she’s not entirely taken off guard.
Other things to avoid include:
- Living with parents
- Owning only one pillow (that seems rather selfish doesn’t it?)
- Having an empty fridge
- Displaying religious relics and other bizarre decorations or toys on walls or shelves
- Owning strange pets (spiders, lizards etc)
Don’t panic. We won’t leave you without a couple hints to have her eating out of the palm of your hand. After the women were done telling us what freaks them out, they were more than willing to offer up some signs that let them know you’re a keeper. Score some easy points with your day by following these pointers:
Keep a well-stocked book shelf
As one of the women we spoke to put it: “I always scope out his book collection, it clues you in to how much training he’ll need if things do work.” Women love smart men and even dumb women love the idea of smart men (luckily for you, they’re easy to fool). Know your audience and stock accordingly.
Display some family photos or art pieces on your wall
Give your date a glimpse into your private life by scattering pictures of family and friends throughout the apartment. This lets a woman know that you value those close to you and that you’re not a loner, which unfortunately, can be a major turnoff.
Display ongoing projects
Show off your personality and let a woman know that you have interests outside the relationship by leaving evidence that’s hard to miss. Whether it’s a woodworking project, an unfinished painting or a soccer ball left in the hallway; displaying a passion for a particular hobby makes a woman wonder if that same passion can be applied in other corners of the house.
Buy some groceries
Having no food in the fridge is a major turnoff and expresses both a disregard for health and an inability to cook (it may not be true, but it will be assumed). Prepare something in advance in an effort, at the very least, to have some snacks ready for when your date comes to call. Don’t forget, if she looks in your fridge, she’s bound to notice whether or not you have to ingredients to make her breakfast the next morning. Bacon, eggs, coffee; bon appétit!