RED FLAG GUYS: WHAT MAKES US RUN

After turning the microscope on the ladies and showcasing some of our less desirable behavior, it’s only fair that I now share with you the red flags that females look for, too. One good turn deserves another. Though there are countless indicators that you may not be the one for us, let’s start out small with these as a jumping off point. Something tells me this will turn into a recurring feature.

How You Treat Your Waiter - Men who feel that a social hierarchy exists within interactions involving service industry employees are woefully misguided. Just because someone is serving you lunch or topping off your coffee doesn’t give you carte blanche to be rude. If you look down your nose at your waiter, lose your patience or subject him to unnecessary abuse while he’s in your service (unfair – he’s a captive until you pay your bill), this shows us that you lack the single most basic human trait, but the most important one – respect.

Drugs - I know, I know, I sound like a bad After School Special, but it has to be said. I’m not suggesting that everyone be Straight Edge, I’m not talking about flagrant drug abuse, and my own definition of what’s really a “drug” is exceedingly liberal – just for the record. But, if you barely know a woman and you unabashedly blow rails of coke in front of her, you might want to figure out her comfort level with it first (some girls don’t mind, and to each his own). Try cracking this door a bit before you kick it wide open. Also, if you pack a bowl and smoke it while you’re driving and we’re a passenger in your car, this says you have no qualms about putting us in danger. Not exactly the message you should want to send, sorry.

Family Estrangement - I’d never pretend to understand what goes on between individual family members, so this is not a blanket statement but rather comes with the disclaimer, “There will be exceptions.” Perhaps the distance is justified, in which case ignore this rule. But if it’s just plain, “I never talk to my parents ever,” or “I haven’t seen my siblings in years,” this is generally alarming to us, because if you can be that way with blood relatives, what’s to stop you from being that way with us?

Cheapness - Do you pay with things in change? Do you squabble over every last dollar when splitting a bill? Do you never spend any money on gifts and gestures because you think it’s wasteful? You’ve basically just taken yourself out of contention for long-term potential in our minds. There are many traits women can tolerate, but being cheap isn’t one of them – trust me. If I had a dollar for every time a girl told me she hated that a guy was tightfisted, well…I’d have enough money to never have to pay for things in change. Being cautious with your cash flow is admirable, being miserly means all bets are off.

How You React To Crying Babies/Children - Obviously no one enjoys the sound of crying babies or tantrum-throwing children. Especially if they’re not your own. But, how you react to these disturbances tells us a lot. If you roll your eyes, make rude comments under your breath or worse – to the people causing the ruckus – this shows us that you’re not tolerant. Babies cry, kids do loud, unpredictable, things – that’s just the way it works. If you can’t take it, we may not be able to take you, either.

If You Don’t Ask Us Anything About Ourselves - Never showing any concern for what’s going on in our lives is a big sticking point. We care about what you’ve got going on, and we hope that you do, too. Of course there will be times when it’s all about you, but in the getting to know you stage, if you don’t seem to care where we grew up, what we do for work or even how our day went, we’re going to read that as lacking compassion. Next contestant please…

How You Treat Our Mothers/Grandmothers - No one says you have to adore family members that aren’t your own, but it would be nice to know that you have some regard for the people who helped make us who we are today. Having a conversation with our grandmothers or helping our moms put on their coats may be simple gestures, but they mean a lot. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The man who brings my mother flowers for no reason may just have to marry me right then and there.

It’s not a complete list, but it’s fairly comprehensive. Ladies, if you want to jump on top of the pile feel free to send additions to misswingman@gmail.com. And for the men, if you’d like to plead your case for any of these, the floor is yours and I’m all ears – comment or email, whatever’s your pleasure.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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MR. MANNERS: MOVES THAT WILL UP YOUR STOCK IN OUR EYES

We learned all of the really crucial things in grade school: the Golden Rule, sharing, and most importantly – manners. No one is a bigger proponent of instilling good behavior and values into men (well, into everyone really but let’s start with the guys) than yours truly. If you fail to see the value in brushing up your etiquette skills just for the sake of decorum, perhaps you’ll respond to this claim: Do it because it could get you laid.

That’s right, polite is sexy. Polished is down right hot. This stems from the idea that it’s such a rarity to find in men these days (well, north of the Mason-Dixon line at least). No matter what your motivation, a well-mannered man is a huge turn on for us. So if you want to up your stock, I suggest you add these moves to your repetoire.

Sure, opening doors for people and pulling out our chairs is lovely, but it’s also pretty standard. The man who gets my attention is the one who stands up when a woman approaches or excuses herself from the table. Any man who doesn’t rise to his feet for an introduction is also missing an opportunity to make us swoon. It’s a thoroughly thoughtful gesture.

Another adorable move? Offering your seat to someone on the subway or train. Whether it’s a pregnant woman, elderly person, child or just someone with a stroller, whenever I see a guy insist that someone take his spot, his sexiness factor goes through the roof.

Likewise when a man apologizes for using foul language or saying something crass in the presence of a woman, it shows that you regard females differently than everyone else, which is refreshing. I’m not suggesting that you watch your mouths all the time – I swear like a sailor, after all – but the simple gesture of saying, “Excuse me, I’m sorry” to us can be enough to score you a phone number or maybe more. If this sounds like a stretch, believe me it isn’t – I’ve seen it happen more than once.

And finally, an even lesser-used but off-the-charts chivalrous move is walking on the outside of a woman while on a road or sidewalk, thus shielding us from oncoming cars. No one’s saying you have to take a bullet for us or throw your body at all potential safety hazards (this is hardly the age of knights in shining armor anymore), but we like when a man makes us feel safe. Even if we say we don’t need it, we love feeling protected.

Have a signature move that always impresses? Or want to share an instance where one of these moves worked in your favor? Send it to us, misswingman@gmail.com, we’ll pass it along. Until then, mind your P’s and Q’s, boys. ETIQUETTE WINGMAN

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Pick Up Pointers: Grocery Store Edition

I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I used to frequent a grocery store that was twice as far away simply because hotter men shopped there. I’m not proud of it, but I’m not alone either.

Fact: Grocery stores are excellent places to pick up women. Think about it – single girls are easy to spot. Couples tend to do this errand together, thus annoying the unattached and reminding single females of their solo status. She’ll be the one wearing her cutest gym clothes and fresh makeup, trust me.

Also, there are no less than a million items savvy male shoppers can use as an excuse to strike up a conversation. Don’t know how to pronounce a word like “Quinoa?” Ask the cute girl next to you. It’s a disarming ice breaker. Not sure what the difference is between whole wheat and multi-grain? I bet she’ll know. Don’t know how to tell if a cantaloupe is ripe or not? There’s your in – just don’t use it to make a bad joke about her melons, that’ll get you slapped.

If you’re shopping at store that sells alcohol, like Trader Joe’s, ask her if she can recommend a good Merlot or IPA. Seeking help or an opinion sets you up as harmless in her eyes, and if she thinks you’re cute she’ll keep the conversation going. Not feeling clever but prefer the chivalrous route? Offer to help us carry her groceries out after checkout. Any girl will appreciate the gesture, and you can ask for her number in a less public setting.

The trick is to relax and be yourself. Women are like horses and dogs, we sense fear. Nothing could be more mundane than a trip to the store, so all you have to do is be the bright spot and you’re golden.

The downside? You run the risk of exposing your atrocious eating habits to the world (a cart full of frozen pizza and beer screams “bachelor”), plus you’ll likely be working your charm around other people within earshot. A good litmus test of her mindset is to smile at her to see if she smiles back. If she holds eye contact and returns your smile, she’s into you. But if she smiles quickly then makes a beeline to another aisle, she’s just being polite.

Either way, supermarket love connections are possible, I’m convinced. Next time you’re cruising the aisles and someone catches your eye, go for it. You might come home with more than just milk and eggs. If it goes awry, don’t sweat it. Just switch to another store. In another neighborhood. Where no one knows you. ETIQUETTE WINGMAN

 

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