Whether she admits it or not, every woman carries a list around in her head - a checklist, that is, for evaluating men. I'm not talking about the is-he-marriage-material list. I'm talking about the would-I-ever-consider-dating-him list. These are two very distinct lists. Passing the preliminary pre-dating list gets a guy in the door. Passing the marriage-material list moves a guy into the house.
I'm sure every woman has her own variation on the factors on this list. But, I am willing to bet that most women have lists very similar to my own. A friend and I were recently discussing my list, and I got to thinking that it would be a good public service announcement to all men. Perhaps there are several of you out there who are not aware of the list. Well, here you go. Learn something.
There is probably no specific age requirement when looking for men, but men around the same age tend to have similar interests and life experiences. Personally, I have dated older men and tend to be attracted to men who are older than I am. However, I am not looking for someone who is my father’s age. That just creeps me out a little bit. So, when I’m looking at someone’s age, I usually evaluating within the 25-45 age range.
This is a big factor for me and for many women. With all due respect to short men, I just can’t see myself dating one. I’m 5’8" and I absolutely prefer someone who is taller than I am, even if just an inch or two. I think it’s sort of a girl thing - I don’t know many women who want to be perceived as bigger than their mates. Sorry, short guys . . . I just don’t want to feel like an Amazon.
This category covers a lot - hair on your head, hair on your face, eyebrows, and body hair. Of course, no uni-brows. And please - no trying to cover up baldness. If you are going bald or already bald, it’s just much sexier for you to be comfortable with it and not try to cover it up. A good haircut is a necessity. I’m not saying it has to be done by a fancy salon, but something that fits you and your face.
Facial hair also depends on the person. Some men can carry off facial hair; some can’t. Full scraggly beards scream "UNKEMPT!" Moustaches alone scream "COP!" Pencil thin line beards on men with fat faces scream, "I’M TRYING TO DEFINE MY NON-EXISTENT JAW LINE!" You are not fooling anyone, guys.
Two basic requirements for teeth - clean and all present. If you are missing a tooth, get it fixed and come back later. If you are missing more than one tooth, I think you have other underlying problems that tell me to stay away from you. Straight teeth are also preferable, but as long as you aren’t a snaggletooth, you are probably fine. A subcategory here is good breath. If I’m evaluating you on my list, it means I might consider dating you. If I am considering dating you, I might consider kissing you. However, if you have bad breath, you are not getting through my initial evaluation.
Price doesn’t matter. I frankly don’t care where you bought your clothes or how much you paid for them. What matters is whether they fit you well, indicate a personal style, and fit the situation we are currently in. I love a man in a well-fitted suit. However, if the suit has not been tailored to fit you specifically, you might as well be wearing a wife-beater and tighty-whities. Whatever you are wearing, it needs to fit the situation. Don’t wear dress slacks to a BBQ. Don’t wear a T-shirt to a nice restaurant. And, for god’s sake, don’t wear a tie with a short-sleeved dress shirt.
Ah, men’s shoes. The shoes probably are the biggest factor to switch a guy from dateable to undateable. Again, they don’t need to be expensive. But they do need to be appropriate for the situation and your clothes. If you are wearing a suit, the shoes better be clean and polished. And, if you are wearing sandals, please evaluate your toes. Long toenails are really, really disgusting.
(7) Earrings and/or Tattoos.
Some guys can pull these off, some can’t. It all stems from knowing yourself. I love a well thought out and well placed tattoo. However, I’d think twice about a guy who has some other woman’s name tattooed anywhere on his body. Talk about the elephant in the room, jeez. Why not just invite the ex into bed?
Earrings are a general no-no unless you are rock-star famous. Same with other jewelry. Shiny bracelets or necklaces say "CRIMINAL" to me. Plastic watches are equally as bad - they say "I HAVEN’T STOPPED BEING THAT NERDY LITTLE BOY YET." Don’t get me wrong - nerdy men = kinda sexy. Nerdy little grown-up boys = sad. Pinky rings, well . . . need I say more?
Again, the price and brand are not what most mature women are looking for in a guy’s car. In fact, if a guy has clearly spent an obnoxious amount of money on his car, it leaves a woman wondering where she will fall in the rankings and thinking it will probably be below the car. The car is evaluated for one thing - is this guy living within his means or trying to be something he’s not?
First, it is important to have one. Second, remember that some women are not looking for men to support them, particularly women in their 30s. Us 30-somethings can support ourselves just fine, thank you. I make a pretty decent living and really don’t care whether you make more or less than I do. But, just like I don’t expect you to support me, I don’t expect to support you. (This changes, of course, when the relationship becomes a committed one, depending on each person’s circumstances. However, for the initial evaluation process, you’d better have yourself a job.)
Sure, the way they physically look is important, but that’s not really what I look for. When I look at your eyes, I’m looking to see whether you make good eye contact with me. Listen, I deal with a lot of shady people, scam artists, and liars in my line of work. The one thing these people have in common? They won’t hold steady eye contact. Whether shifty-eye-ness stems from low self-esteem, criminal thinking, or general loserhood, it will get you booted off my list instantly.
Have I dated guys that don't meet all of the factors on my list? Sure. But after spending the last 20 years dating off and on, I've learned that this list can come in pretty handy.
Statistical inference and the morning weight room
17 hours ago