We asked 1,000 guys what makes a date look good – they came up with one thing | Amber Madison

We asked 1,000 guys what makes a date look good – they came up with one thing |  Amber Madison

A friend of mine almost canceled a date with a guy because he woke up panting. He came over to my apartment freaking out: “How big is it? Is that all you see when you look at me? Make up an excuse to cancel?”

If you’re like many women who follow dating advice, the first thing you focus on before going on a date is how you look. What shall I wear? Should I put my hair up? Juice? Half up? Would wearing high heels be sexy or too high maintenance?

But that effort is best spent elsewhere, because more than likely, how you look isn’t going to be the make-it-or-break factor in whether or not a guy likes you.

Think about it: if he was attractive enough to date you, your looks won’t be the issue when he meets you. And learning how to make a guy like you is part of understanding it!

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Instead, on first dates, think about: Do we have anything to talk about? Am I enjoying my time with him? Do I think you are intelligent? Does it look cool? Would it fit into my life?

You’re probably not thinking, “Oh… it was just a little warmer last time I saw it.” It’s hard to believe, but it’s the truth.

How do I know? Because I traveled the country and interviewed over 1,000 guys about sex, love and dating for my book. Are all guys an a-hole?

Here’s what they said when I asked them, “What things turn you off on a date?”

  • 34 percent is bad conversation
  • 16 percent bad manners
  • 35 percent bad personality/attitude
  • 14 percent other
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The things you talk about on a date are a guy’s chance to get to know who you are.

It’s no surprise, then, that bad conversation was one of the most common complaints.

Bad conversation also includes girls who talk too little or too much, talk only about themselves, or reveal too much. (Typically, what guys thought was “too much” was talking about ex-boyfriends, ex-relationships, or the deepest emotional drama.)

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Guys also didn’t want to talk to a girl who seemed to have no idea what was going on in the world and could only talk about superficial things (e.g. celebrity gossip). Overall, they wanted the dating conversation to flow like a “tennis match,” with both parties contributing and asking questions about each other.

When we think of guys, we tend to conjure up images of beer sipping, burping, farting, or a host of other “uncivilized” traits. So it might come as a surprise to see “bad manners” on your list of dating options.

But they’re not talking about using the wrong fork, elbowing the table, or using the word “suck.” Bad manners that turn guys off include being rude to servers, checking your phone, just expecting a guy to pay and thank you if he doesn’t.

While the definition of “bad personality or attitude” can vary from guy to guy, many guys have complained about girls who are haughty, materialistic, have no sense of humor, or seem stupid.

The “other” category included excessive drunkenness, smoking, and general incompatibility. A few guys in this category mentioned physical things, but what’s surprising is that those physical things almost always had to do with your mouth.

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Bad breath, dirty teeth, and chewing with your mouth open were all things that put guys off! Ironically, with all the time we spend dating, probably the best investment is a good toothbrush and some mouthwash.

When a guy takes you out on a date, he’s looking for the whole package! He already knows what you look like. (Even if it’s a blind date, there was probably some pre-meeting Facebook stalking.)

Sure, you want to look nice, but don’t stress too much about it. You might not be having a good hair day, but don’t let that ruin your mood on the date, because it’s your mood that a guy will pay attention to. How you look on a date is not as important as you think!

Knowing this, when my boyfriend tried to cancel his date because of a fling, I told him he was ridiculous and that canceling would turn him off more than a spot on his face. Also, the zicer wasn’t really that big and the restaurants are dark.

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Amber Madison is the co-founder of Peoplism. His thought leadership has been featured everywhere from The Today Show to MTV to NPR, as well as in Fast Company, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek and more.

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