We see it in movies and television shows all the time — when it comes to catching the attention of a love interest, women are definitely willing to go the extra mile. Whether it’s finding a new hairstyle, picking up a new flattering outfit, or staying a little longer at the gym, we will do whatever it takes to put our best foot forward.
And there’s nothing wrong with that — as long as engaging in these activities also make us feel better about ourselves. After all, the best impression we can give is to be truly, genuinely confident and happy.
Still, the art of flirting and dating can feel like a game sometimes and, as I’ve told my clients and students over the years, it can be easy to get caught up in trying to impress the object of our affection. It is during these moments that we can make bad decisions and, ultimately, come across seeming desperate and foolish. In the vein of self-help books such as He’s Just Not That Into You and Think Like a Lady, Act Like a Man, here are some things that you should never do to impress a man.
Dumb yourself down
During the course of a conversation with a guy, he might start telling you a story, or facts that you already know. Maybe it’s a bit of celebrity news or sports history. Whatever it is, there will be times when you will quietly allow him to “educate” you about something with which you are already familiar. It’s a small courtesy to just let him finish without interruption, especially if it’s about something trivial. You don’t want to seem like a know-it-all, right?!
There’s always that fine line, though, between being a generous, gracious listener and misrepresenting your own level intelligence. Never give into the trap of dumbing yourself down in order to impress someone or make them feel smarter. It is far more interesting for a man to be able to talk to you about a wide variety of topics. Be proud of your worldliness and savvy. You want to be with someone who is attracted to your beautiful, capable mind as well as your dazzling smile!
Pretend you’re not hungry
There are people out there who genuinely get full from a great salad or small bowl of soup. If your hunger is satisfied by an appetizer-sized portion, by all means, respect your body. The same advice applies to women with a more voracious appetite.
For a variety of reasons, some women think that it’s attractive to eat very little on a date. Maybe they want to seem like they are health-conscious. Maybe they don’t want to seem like an expensive date. Maybe they want to give the impression that they are watching their weight. None of these are valid reasons for pretending you are less hungry than you are.
If you have agreed to share a meal, let him see your real appetite. Chances are he will be relieved to not have to eat alone. Plus, you don’t want to risk being hangry — that’s definitely not impressive!
Wear layers of makeup
These days, it feels like you can’t escape videos offering tips and suggestions for applying makeup. Kylie Jenner has become synonymous with tutorials instructing fans on how to make their lips look fuller. For decades, women have made money selling cosmetics through Avon and Mary Kay so, clearly, it’s an industry that is not going away anytime soon. In fact, more than ever, it seems that women are turning to fake lashes, no-smear lipstick, and other products in order to put on their best face.
On its own, there’s nothing inherently wrong with wearing makeup. If it helps boost a woman’s confidence, why not wear a little mascara and lip gloss?
There’s a difference, though, between enhancing your facial features and completely reinventing your face. Men have weighed in on this issue too. Many feel that, when it comes to makeup, “less is more.” There’s no need to apply layer after layer. Let your natural beauty shine through!
Abandon your dreams
It’s a beautiful thing to have dreams and aspirations, especially when you work hard to attain them. All of your life has been leading you to this very moment. Over the years, you have experienced things that have shaped and defined the vision you have for your future. A passionate, driven person is very attractive.
No two people are alike, although, compatibility is important in a relationship. Sensing that, you might be tempted to downplay the things you are trying to achieve. Don’t do that to yourself! If he’s the right guy, he will want to know about and support your goals. Your dreams are a huge part of what makes you who you are, so why would you want to hide or abandon them? If he doesn’t like your plans, you should ditch him before giving up on what you want out of life!
Get breast implants or plastic surgery
We may not always like it but we are the products of our parents. Truly, there’s only so much that we can change about our appearance without intervention. Still, there are people who have genetic conditions or pronounced facial features who feel more confident after small corrective procedures. These decisions are deeply personal and should be based solely on a desire to feel better about themselves.
Truth be told, society puts a lot of pressure on women to look a certain way and you may struggle with developing a strong self-image. These feelings of insecurity can be compounded if a guy seems obsessed with swimsuit models and comments on the fact that you have “small breasts” or a “crooked nose.”
No matter how appealing a man might seem, undergoing plastic surgery to try to impress him should never be an option. If he’s worthy of your love and affection, he will love you exactly as you are!
Give up your friends and family
Our support systems are usually made up of a combination of family members, friends, and even co-workers. Who we choose as our squad is entirely up to us — as it should be. This group of people will never be perfect, and conflicts will arise with them from time to time, but most of us are capable of identifying the ones who will be there for us when we need them.
If the guy you’re interested in has a problem with the people in your life, it can complicate things. Still, you shouldn’t automatically distance yourself from your friends and family just to make him happy. If things don’t work out, you will need their support to get through the tough times!
Act like one of the guys
There’s this real trend right now that seems to suggest that men want women to act like “one of the guys” in order to fit in with his friends. Sure, it helps if you share some of his interests, but you can still like sports, video games, and craft beers, for example, and be distinctly a woman.
If you happen to like “guy things” and don’t feel like you’re forcing yourself into some stereotype, great. If, however, you feel like you’re pretending to be something you are not just to gain acceptance from him and his inner circle, you need to stop right away. It won’t work in the long run because it’s not real. Why would you want to build a relationship on false pretenses anyway?
Have sex before you are ready
You might meet a guy and feel instant fireworks. After just a few hours of talking, you find yourself already fantasizing about ripping his clothes off. As long as the feeling is mutual, you are an adult and free to make your own choices. Most of the time, though, things move a little slower and, really, it’s probably for the best. Sometimes, one person is ready for intimacy sooner than the other and the only thing they can do is be respectful while patiently waiting.
He might make some moves and let you know that he’s interested in taking things to the next level but, if you aren’t feeling it, don’t push yourself. Never have sex with someone just to impress them. Not only are you betraying your own needs, you could end up ruining a potentially viable relationship. Rather than risk resentment and hurt feelings, wait until the time is right so that you can both enjoy the experience and start your intimate relationship the right way.
Be yourself — always!
It’s completely normal to want to be appealing to the opposite sex but it shouldn’t come at the expense of your dignity, well-being, or sense of self. Ultimately, you, exactly as you are, should be enough to catch the right person’s attention.
It’s true that romance always involves a bit of a chase but you’ll end up running in circles if you misrepresent yourself to please someone else. Truly, the best way to impress a man is by being confident and comfortable in your own skin.