What Men Really Want: 10 Things You Think Impress Him, But Don't

ESSENCE.COM Aug, 02, 2012

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Prada, Fendi, Gucci, blah blah blah. In the majority of cases he has no idea what kind of bag your toting around, and to be honest, he couldn’t care less. He just isn’t that interested in what kind of heels you’re wearing — if he likes you in heels at all. It isn’t about the name on the label but the presentation that attracts him. How you style yourself says a lot about who you are, and if you look like a walking billboard for a luxury brand, that tells him you value status over substance.

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Don’t leave the date hungry because you ordered a salad to avoid being a little messy with your meal. He’s going to order what he wants and you should too. I know you’ve heard this one before, but when I’m out, I still see women at nearby tables munching on appetizers while their date devours a steak. Order that cheeseburger, ladies — you know you have a taste for it. If you get a little sauce on your chin, just wipe it off. Or better yet, let him. Just try not to talk while chewing: no one’s ever impressed with that.

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If you really aren’t that interested in his favorite football or basketball team, that’s fine, he’ll live. But if he takes sports seriously, and you’re mixing up players’ names, cheering for the wrong team’s plays and constantly asking “you should know that” type questions during the game, you’ll be annoying, not endearing. He’d rather you just keep it real from day one: “Hey buddy, I could care less what ‘King James’ is up to on the court.” Case closed.

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It won’t be your many degrees that make him fall for you — it’ll be your brain and your charm. Now, don’t get me wrong. He’ll love that you’re a highly educated Black woman — that’s impressive and attractive, and you shouldn’t be afraid to say it — but if your degrees are all you can and want to talk about, that won’t get you far. Avoid making that the epicenter of all your dinner conversations. A man will be more interested in you demonstrating practical application of the education you have obtained than nonstop bragging about what you studied and where. Flaunting your MBA will only tempt him to go M.I.A., I assure you. He’ll view it as you celebrating yourself at the expense of emasculating him — this equals arrogance in his book.

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The only thing worse than a bad joke is the person who shamelessly pretends to laugh out loud at it. Giggles are sweet. Pretending he amuses you when he doesn’t will only make him feel lame. Men aren’t perfect; we know when our moves aren’t so smooth. Allow your interaction with him to be a true testament of your feelings about that particular moment. This is best for both parties.

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There is something sexy about a focused, ambitious and career minded woman. (He loves that about you, I promise!) But when you mix business with pleasure to early on in the relationship, that’s a problem. You define the job; don’t let it define you. After all, it’s you he’s after not a new career. If he wanted to spend three hours sorting through your co-workers’ office drama and your boss’s “many issues,” he would stop by your job any put in an application. Change the subject!

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These days long hair, big butts and flat stomachs come a dime a dozen. Show him you’ve got more to offer than a great figure. Men who are seeking substance won’t be fazed by all those goodies on display. There’s nothing wrong with a woman accentuating her curves, but remember there’s a thin line between tempting and tacky. He doesn’t want to show up for a date and find out he’s meeting Nicki Minaj.

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Yes, we do want to hear your life story. No, we don’t want to hear it all in one night. From a man’s perspective, being forward is always appreciated, but telling us everything about you upfront can dampen his attraction. Cultivate a little mystery and keep his imagination active.

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Ever wonder why men seem to approach you when you “think” you’re looking your worst? (Think: Sweats and a ponytail.) Sometimes we are more attracted to you when you are in your most natural state. Beauty is beauty and it cannot be hidden. We appreciate the small things and you don’t need to wear a full face of makeup to earn our gaze. Tone it down and turn him on. Save the sexy, sassy glam for a big night out. We’ll appreciate it more.

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A man may indulge and exploit your willingness to give up “the goods” before he has earned it — it’s true. But, it’s what that says about you that will land you on his “call, don’t text” list. Men are excited by the chase; don’t make it too easy for him. He will smile when you flirt heavily, but what he’s really thinking would make you cry. Impress him with your commitment to your values and ability to be exciting outside of the bedroom.

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