Men love to impress women. Let’s put it even simpler: Males love to impress females. It happens all the time in the animal kingdom. Whether it’s a moose beating down a rival, a peacock showing off his feathers, or a mudskipper demonstrating how high he can jump, the animal kingdom is rife with examples of males doing their darnedest to impress females.
Humans are no different. Competition is fierce, and to attract the best mate, we need to put on our own impressive displays. That being said, there’s a right way to go about it and a wrong way. Most of the things guys think will impress women aren’t the right ways. Or, rather, they’ll attract the wrong type of women. Let’s help you make sure you’re doing things that are going to benefit and not hurt you.
How to Impress Women in Person (#1-3)
Most of the interactions you have with your dates will be in person, as it should be. So you should know what gets their motors running. I could write an entire book on this topic, but for now, I just want to cover a few basics. If you can do these three things, you’ll be well on your way to finding your next girlfriend.
1. Present Yourself Well
Let’s start with the cold, hard truth. Looks matter, but they don’t matter as much as you think. What matters more is your image, your style, and how you present yourself to the world. If you saw you on the street, what type of person would you think you are? In the business world, you’re taught to dress for the role you want, not the one you have. The same rule applies in dating — you want to dress to impress.
You don’t necessarily have to wear a tie all the time, but do your best to look nice as often as you can.
This doesn’t mean you need to be in a three-piece suit or dress head-to-toe in Gucci. What it means is you need to project the image of someone who cares about how they look. We all have good days and bad days, but imagine there were two versions of you: one with five-day-old scruff, jeans with a stain on them, a wrinkled shirt, and no belt; and another with a freshly pressed shirt, jeans without frayed cuffs, a matching belt and socks, and sneakers that were not falling apart.
Which look do you think will impress the ladies more? Unless you just came back from volunteering for hurricane survivors, it’s not going to be the first one. One tip my mom, a former model, taught me that I want every guy to take to heart is, “Always be a little overdressed rather than a little underdressed.”
2. Treat Strangers With Respect & Kindness
Jessica Sargus, a lawyer and MMA fighter (and my eighth-grade girlfriend) offers, “Being kind and engaging on a genuine human level with those who are in a socially or economically less powerful position is huge. Speaking to wait staff with respect, telling a homeless guy how nice his dog is and handing him a couple of dollars, asking children their opinions on something and really talking with them about what they think. If you’re genuinely considerate of those around you, it’s really impressive.”
Holding the door open for her and other people, asking the bartender how his or her day is going, giving a homeless person a dollar — these things are not only kind but impressive.
This tip is one I cannot stress enough. A man is judged by his deeds, not by his words. Kindness is consistently listed as a trait women are looking for in a man. I know that not everyone is an extrovert who goes around telling everyone how great they are, but you’ll interact with other people when you’re out on a date. A few simple words to your cabbie or some questions to your bartender shows your date that you’re interested in others and not self-absorbed in your own world.
To practice this, start complimenting one person every day. It could be someone walking down the street, Alice from HR, or a friend in your group. Once you start doing this, and see the great results it causes, I guarantee you’ll want to do it more.
3. Have Passion & Ambition
This isn’t the type of passion that graces the covers of Harlequin Romance novels. It’s not melodramatic passion that’s looking for a reaction. It’s not Fifty Shades! It’s passion for passion’s sake. Two things that come up a lot are the subjects of being unemployed or living at home, particularly post-Great Recession. It’s OK if that’s where life has you at the moment. We’ve all been there or somewhere like it, and it’s definitely not a deal-breaker.
But to overcome it, you need to let her know what you’re doing to change that. Maybe you’re starting your own company. Perhaps you’re getting an MFA in drama therapy. It could be that you’re saving up to buy a house. The point is you’re passionately going after what you need to fix your situation. You’re ambitious and looking to better your situation. This is sexy. That daring attitude and a drive for self-improvement will make the ladies take notice.
Whether you’re passionate about carpentry, painting, running, or anything else, striving to expand your horizon and improve yourself is attractive to women.
“But I’m an actuary,” you tell me. “How can I be passionate about a job that bores me?” Any woman can also understand the need to make a living, so if you’re not passionate about your work, what else are you passionate about? What’s your hobby? What type of events do you search out? What are you more knowledgeable about than 95% of the population? If your answers are “Netflix, bar crawls, and NFL stats,” you might need to develop another interest.
The most exciting people in the world are those who, when you talk to them about their passion, they get all excited, their eyes light up, and they start getting animated, talking faster and faster. When someone has a passion, it also insinuates that they have drive, understand sacrifice and hard work, and strive to improve themselves. All very impressive!
How to Impress Women on the Phone/In Conversation (#4-6)
Holding a conversation and being engaging can be scary and seem out of reach for some people. When you’re talking to someone you like, you may get nervous, stutter, or, worse, speak in monosyllabic sentences. Since women are usually more talkative, the average guy is just trying to hold his own in the conversation. The thought of actually impressing her through your vocal magic is usually not at the forefront. However, we talk a lot to each other — we should use this time to benefit us as much as possible as well.
4. Ask Follow-Up Questions
There are so many fallacies men are taught growing up. “Happy wife, happy life.” “Anytime a girl offers sex, take it. You never know when it may come again.” And the one that pertains to this topic: “Just ask her a lot of questions. If she gets to keep talking about herself, she’ll have a great time.”
So men will sit there and just fire off question after question, zoning half out during her answers, hoping if he asks enough questions, he won’t have to talk himself. This serves no one. One of the easiest ways to impress her is to show that you’re listening, and the best way of doing that is to ask follow-up questions. When we respond to any question, we’re usually only giving the cliff notes version. If they want to know more and ask to know more, we’ll go into more detail.
Send her texts letting her know she’s on your mind, and always ask follow-up questions to show you care about the “why” of her answers.
Impress her with your desire to learn more about her. If she answers your question and says “Well, I went to undergrad at the University of Miami and grad school at Drexel University,” don’t just move on to the next question or topic. Go deeper. “What was it like living in the tropics? Why did you decide to go back to school? What was the best party you went to in school? What teacher inspired the most passion? What assignment did you kick ass on the most?”
All of these are great follow-ups. In fact, you should train yourself to ask at least one follow-up question to every answer she gives you, you’ll show that you’re interested in the “why” of her answers. That will impress her!
5. Be Open
I am so open that I move into the oversharing category — my therapist tells me I have boundary issues in that I have no boundaries. But the advantage of this is everyone feels comfortable around me because they know exactly where I stand and where they stand with me.
There are a few ways to become more open. First off, be more trusting. In New York City, especially, people get jaded and closed off quickly to protect themselves. I would always risk getting walked on or used every once in awhile to offer up trust easily and quickly. Don’t resist life.
If you don’t want people to judge you, then don’t judge them. Give people a chance to be themselves and honest about their feelings, and they will do the same for you.
Another way is to be open-minded and curious. Embrace new experiences and the fear that comes with it. If you’re curious about the world and actively feed that curiosity, life will present a myriad of options to you.
One of the most important parts of being open with others is not being judgmental. People want to open up to each other and bare themselves. The only reason they don’t is fear of getting burned and broken. Show her you’re accepting, and don’t judge her for her likes or actions.
The minute you belittle or make fun of something in her life is the minute she starts shutting down parts of her. People tell me everything because nothing shocks me, and I’ll never judge them for it. When she feels she can be her true self with you, she’ll want to be around you always.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Make Fun of Yourself
Everyone has scars. Whether they’re physical scars or emotional scars, no one gets through life unscathed. The most confident people in the world will open up and show you these scars because they know it doesn’t lessen who they are. Anyone trying to hide their scars or who always appear to be perfect is basically pushing the impression people have of them in the opposite direction.
Imagine two types of people who trip and fall off a curb while walking. One gets up, brushes himself off, doesn’t meet anyone’s eyes, and hurries along pretending it never happened. The other one laughs, gets up with a rueful headshake (looking at others as if saying “Oops, I’m an idiot! LOL”), and continues on his way. Which of these two do you think is more impressive to a girl?
Laugh at yourself when you do something embarrassing — it’s way better than getting upset or shutting down because you’re worried what she’s thinking about you.
Another thing I’ve come to realize over the years is the more comfortable you are telling stories where you don’t come out looking that great, the more times you can tell stories where you do come out looking good. No one likes that one friend who seemingly never has anything bad happen to them. People just start dismissing anything they say. But if you’re telling a girl you just met about the time you literally stopped the music when you walked into a party by accidentally knocking over the sound system, she’s going to give much more credence to the story about how you saved someone from drowning.
How to Impress Women For & During Sex (#7-9)
Let me start off this section by saying if anyone had figured this out for sure, they would be a billionaire with a never-ending stream of hot, sexy action. Even after thousands of generations, we’re still trying to figure this out. What one woman likes another hates. That being said, I can definitely give you some general pointers on traits that will be welcomed by the vast majority of women.
7. Be Confident
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know — it’s always about being confident. But there’s a reason confidence comes up so much. It works! Confidence in bed isn’t about acting like a porn star. Confidence is having surety in your own decisions. So if you decide that you’d like to try doggie style, go for it! Grab her, flip her, and tell her you need her and this is what you’re about to do. That way, if for some reason she doesn’t like or want that, you’re giving her a heads-up. And if she does like that, she’s going to love the openness (see number 5) and the fact that you’re talking a little dirty to her.
I know people tell you to be confident all the time, but it really does work — whether you’re at the office or in bed with a woman.
Yes, as I’ve mentioned, everyone will have his own style and likes. But sometimes a confident mistake is hotter and more impressive than a weak success. I had a girl get (understandably) pissed at me because I ripped off her very expensive bra. But it’s 20 years later, and she still laughingly brings it up, so I think even though I screwed up, I impressed her and was possibly the only one who has done that.
One last tip that’s also worked is if you do decide to rip off a part of her underwear, use it to tie her up or tie her hands together. I pretty much guarantee you’ll be the only one who has done that!
8. Ask Her What She Likes
Everybody likes something different. Your last girlfriend might have loved your helicopter impression that morphed into the Swedish Rollercoaster. Your next girlfriend might be totally different. The one thing they have in common is they both are impressed with you checking in with them to see if they’re enjoying themselves or want something different.
We all have different things that turn us one, so every now and then ask her what she likes in terms of kissing, foreplay, and having sex. She’ll definitely appreciate it!
This isn’t to say you should be asking and checking in every minute. That’s annoying, seems clingy, and will definitely kill the mood. When you’re doing something, ask “Do you like this?” She’ll let you know right away if she does. Instead of asking “What do you want?” ask “What would you like me to do for/to you?” It’s the same question, but when you phrase it in a way that shows you want her direction so you can please her, you’ll definitely impress her and keep her coming back for more.
9. Give Oral
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it a thousand times more: Men. Must. Learn. Oral. You just have to! I don’t care if you’re squeamish, don’t like the smell or taste, or couldn’t care less about doing it. Do you think women enjoy every aspect of giving oral? No. You do it because you care about the other person and enjoy making them happy.
If you want her to go down on you, you should go down on her. And you should want to! A lot of men don’t care to try, but if you’re enthusiastic about it, she’ll be impressed.
Most guys don’t want to take the time to learn how to give oral, so if you can at least do it with gusto, you’ll impress her. If you actually get good at, it will get out (women love to talk), and you may suddenly start getting approving looks from her friend group. My last girlfriend had never had an orgasm from oral. I gave her five in one night. We’re married now.
Impressing Women is All About Being Genuinely Interested in Them as Well as Being Yourself!
Women love to be impressed, as do we men. So any girl who tells you she doesn’t like it when guys try to impress her is pulling your chain. It’s just that the neckbeards and ‘roid heads are trying to impress her in all the wrong ways. Cultivate a few of these tips and practice them at speed dates or at bars. You’ll never get better if you don’t practice. Eventually, they’ll become second nature and you’ll be one impressive mofo!
Hunt Ethridge is Chief Marketing Officer of LiveDatingAdvice.com, co-founder and senior partner at International Dating Coach Association (IDCA), and the senior coach at New York Dating Coach. You can follow him on Twitter (@huntforadvice )as well as his website www.HuntForAdvice.com.