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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.