6’ 2”, handsome, athletic and with the biggest, bluest eyes I’d ever seen, Matthew* was by far the handsomest guy in college. And he’d asked ME for a date!
At first, everything went well. We met at the railway station and travelled to a party where we could sit and talk. Travelling and sitting were no problem. It was also gratifying to note the envious stares of other girls as I entered the room on the arm of this magnificent hunk.
It was when he started talking the rot set in. The entire evening passed with detailed reminiscences of his every achievement, no matter how small - from his first day at kindergarten to the present. Mistaking my polite head nodding for genuine interest, he recreated every argument he’d ever won, every goal he’d ever scored and every compliment he’d ever received.
Did we ever go out together again? Not on your life!
Boys – if you’re looking for a genuine relationship with a girl, there are certain things you really need to know!
You may be the most wonderful musician/footballer/artist/IT wizard in the world but constantly talking about yourself is NOT the way to a fair maid’s heart, especially when you boast. Okay, five minutes explaining the intricacies of Windows 8 may be illuminating – 2 hours of it tends to drag a little!
The whole point of communication is that it has to be TWO-way. In other words, no matter how marvellous you are, shut up occasionally and listen to your hoped-to-be-girlfriend. The key to being interesting is being interested. One young lady called Melissa* sums it up beautifully: “Boys may be attracted to what they see, whereas girls are more attracted by what they hear.”
Jenny* values conversation more than gifts: “If a boy can hold a good conversation and encourage and comfort you with words...Wow! That’s attractive!”
Most of us can appear well-mannered on special occasions, rather like wearing a smart suit. But if courtesy goes back in the ‘wardrobe’ after your cousin’s wedding or that important job interview or whatever, your true nature quickly becomes evident to people around you. This is why you need to practice. Just like charity, kindness and consideration starts at home, so try being nice to parents and siblings and by the time you meet that special girl, good manners will come naturally.
Taking the initiative
Don’t play games. If a girl seems to enjoy your company (which, of course, she will if you take note of the first two ‘turn ons’) and you’ve developed feelings towards her, tell her. She’s not a mind-reader. Being genuine and upfront demonstrates maturity so, even if she’s not yet ready for romance, she’ll certainly respect you.
Rejection may be hard to take, but there’s no reason to get all heavy and emotional. After all, it’s not a marriage proposal, it’s just a date – and an overly serious approach may intimidate the girl. Okay, she may say ‘no’, in which case, just accept it with a shrug, keep it light and stay friends.
Keep muddy knees and stained T-shirts for the football field. And remember to brush your teeth after a night on the beer and Vindaloo. Girls like boys to be clean, tidy, fresh-smelling and stylish. Of course, there are girls who enjoy doing ‘make-overs’ on their boyfriends and as time goes by they’ll doubtless impress their fashion tastes on you! But if you want a relationship to get that far, remember: First impressions count.
Whether through shyness, not knowing what to say or sheer bad manners, personal remarks are a really big ‘No No’, especially when directed at a girl you hardly know. Telling her she looks like “You know, that woman in that detective series.....the one with the glasses” (especially when the actress is not so glam) will not endear you. Nor will questions such as: “Why do you stand like that?”, “Do you always wear trousers?” or “What are you thinking?” These are intrusive and controlling.
Even compliments can irritate. Says Andrea:* “I like a boy to be polite and never overly familiar. Rather than telling me I look cute or smell nice, he should be able to hold meaningful conversations and listen to what I say as well as expressing his own views.” Her friend Stella* agrees: “What impresses me is when a boy talks to me naturally, remembering things I’ve said and exchanging opinions.”
Some boys who have no trouble attracting girls may even make light of it, competing with male friends to see who can ‘pull’ the most and playing one girl off against another. Such games are cruel, can earn you a bad reputation and may scupper your chances in the future.
Girls are quick to spot a flirt, a young man who may flatter and suggest but has no real intention of forming a relationship. Flirts are untrustworthy, make unreliable friends and are viewed as poor marriage material. Says Amanda:* “It’s unattractive when a boy says something flattering which you know he’s already said to someone else a few weeks earlier.”
One danger of toying with a girl is making her feel you’re romantically attached to her. Asking for her mobile number creates expectations, which again is cruel when you’re not really interested.
“Boys don’t always realise how soon a girl can get emotionally involved,” says Alice*. “Most girls want to fall in love and any boy who seems kind and caring is a potential Mr Right.”
Sorry guys, but even if you look like Justin Bieber, have loads of money, or sport an impressive six-pack, there may be just one girl who doesn’t fancy you. In that case, dignify her by accepting her refusal without getting provoked or trying to pressurise her into a date. The more you try, the more she’s likely to resist – and may even come to view you as a stalker!
*Check out my previous blog “Dos and don’ts of dating – what turns boys off girls”