Friday, May 2, 2014

What Men Prefer Women Wear on Dates

The other day my friend remarked that she would remember 2013 as the year when she started regularly wearing jeans instead of dresses. I was actually somewhat surprised I didn't notice since I'd like to consider myself a relatively observant guy. But when I got to asking my male friends about what they like to see women wear, I found I wasn't alone. "Clothes?" one friend offered, somewhat unhelpfully, and then, "But sometimes no clothes?"
The bottom line is that there is no specific item men want to see a woman wear—on dates or otherwise. One friend mentioned that a girl's style should just be "proper for the occasion." If we're going out for fancy drinks or dinner, a cocktail dress is always nice to see. Jeans are great for dive bars and movies. Your work pants, though? Not so much. We don't necessarily want our date to look professional. There's something endearing about a woman who only has the slightest affinity for a sports team but wears their colors to a game. If a woman loves the team and is rabid about her favorite jersey, wearing the piece actually demonstrates loyalty.
There are a few things we don't necessarily want to see out on a date. For example: yoga pants. Those are for yoga and yes you look amazing in them but no they aren't for date night. Also, no Uggs. I have no idea why it turns so many of my guy friends off, but I'm in firm agreement with them; please leave those at home.
All of this being said, we men are simple creatures. One guy said, "Some sighting of skin: legs, neckline, chest, collar bone," is likable. But at the end of the day, the way a woman wears her clothes is much more important than anything else. We want you to be you. One gent told me, "I just want her to express her personality with what she wears; nothing too generic." If that means you're a dress woman and jeans are foreign, that's okay. If you immediately get into sweats and a tee when you're home, we won't hold that against you (unless you come to meet the family in them).
Men are attracted to confidence, not the perfect skirt. Be genuinely yourself, wear something you feel hot in, and we will likely agree. When you dress in a way that makes you feel sexy, you project sexy. And when in doubt, as one friend aptly put it, "A simple black dress would win the day for boy and country in most situations."

"My Date Had Gas" and Other Dating Dealbreakers

Merry, 22
“My date was driving us home when a dog jumped into the road. He swerved right into it and laughed. I think the dog actually lived—but our relationship died.”

Lori, 30
“Dinner with a new guy was going great until an awful smell started coming and going. We complained to the restaurant, but they had no idea what it was. Right before we left, my date used the restroom, and our waiter came up to me. He said he knew what the smell was—my date had bad gas, which was why he was taking so long in the bathroom. That was the end of that guy. I couldn’t believe he blamed the smell on the restaurant when it was him all along!”

Katie, 30
“My date showed up at my door with a shirt for me to wear. He thought it would look sexy on me. Creepy!”

Chana, 26
“I was on a date with this guy, and we decided to take the subway to a baseball game. Then, all of a sudden, he started talking dirty to me. He had a volume control problem, so everyone around us heard him. After he stopped the raunchy talk, he told me a story about his friend and herpes—loudly, of course. I’ve never been so embarrassed.”

Catherine, 29
“When a guy I was friends with asked me out, I thought it was strange that he gave me his number on the back of an ATM receipt. During our date, I found out the real reason: He said he searches ATM booths for receipts with large balances. Then, when he meets girls, he writes his number on the back so he looks wealthy. We definitely never went on another date.”

Most. Awkward. Second. Date. Ever.

How you dress for a date on which you plan to tell the person you're falling for that you have an incurable sexually transmitted infection? I went with sensible leather flats that would transport me back to my car quickly in the Los Angeles twilight, after his inevitable "I can't see you anymore"; plain gray trousers that would modestly sheath my thighs in his presence; and an old striped top with tiny moth holes near the collar and hem, faded and worn-out, like I'd surely feel later that night. Usually I'd put more effort into my appearance for a second date. I'd comb straightening serum into my hair and swab shadow onto my eyelids. I'd wear a shirt that didn't have holes in it, at the very least. But why bother? He was going to dump me anyway.
I was once optimistic about dating. Though never a 10 on the self-confidence scale (or even—let's be honest—a perfect seven), I had enough strength to believe that the right guy would overlook my flaws. My chronic lateness? No problem! My braying anxiety? Not so bad!
But HPV is different. It's not a personality quirk I can explain away or an endearing habit a man might learn to love. It's a disease, one with symptoms that range from embarrassing to deadly—in some cases, genital warts; for high-risk strains, the possibility of cervical cancer. Some treatments can even lead to infertility. And on top of that, it's contagious.
When my doctor first told me I had two strains of HPV, low-risk (the warts) and high-risk (the cancer causer), I was struck speechless. It was the day after my 24th birthday, and I shivered on the examination table, a paper gown across my lap, clenching my knees together as my cheeks flushed red. How had this happened? I could count my sex partners on one hand. Yet after a certain point, I had trusted each enough to skip using a condom. One must not have known he was infected. So there I was, stumbling out of the drugstore into the blinding afternoon light with an expensive tube of ointment in my purse, specially formulated to kill rogue skin cells in my body's most tender region.
For weeks after my diagnosis, I wallowed in a sullen bog. Given the numbers, you'd think that I wouldn't feel so alone: HPV is the most common STI in the U.S. Most sexually active adults get it at some point, with nearly 60 million women—38 percent of the entire female population—infected at any given time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But while 90 percent of HPV infections go away within two years and never produce symptoms, mine didn't. Small, whitish bumps mottled the inner folds of my vagina every few weeks, and my abnormal Pap smears led to two painful biopsies to study precancerous cells. I had to hum to drown out the sound of my gynecologist snipping off bits of my cervix with long, snub-nosed scissors. In the seven days until each of my test results came back negative, purple shadows formed under my eyes and I bit my nails down to the quick.
Prodded by friends, family, and my mother's polite request for grandchildren, I eventually worked up the nerve to start dating again. I filled out an online profile and soon found myself trading e-mails with a bumbling, sincere computer programmer named Mike, who admitted a weakness for Hello Kitty, chili fries, and rare birds. Near the end of our second marathon phone call, he said, "At this point, I wouldn't care if you had two heads." What about an STI?

6 Online Dating Profile Red Flags

From bad spelling to sketchy pictures on online dating profiles, lots of things will cause us to raise an eyebrow and proceed with caution—but there are a few red flags that have us scrambling to click the little X. We asked members of Marie Claire Ask & Answer — Marie Claire's online Q&A community for relationship, sex, and dating advice — for the online dating profile mistakes that have them running in the other direction. Here's what they said:

RED FLAG: Appearing sex-crazed.
"When guys emphasize they are looking for a woman that enjoys "intimacy," they mean, but don't have the honesty to say, sex," warns 1loohoo. Wanting sex isn't anything new—so don't panic that you'll never get laid if you don't pepper your profile full of sexual innuendo. Suggestive jokes can be funny and endearing once someone gets to know your personality a little, even on a first date...but before you've even had an email exchange, it just comes off as a little desperate and creepy.

RED FLAG: Cliché statements.
Clichés like "... likes long walks on the beach, going to movies, etc." are red flags, says two469. Who doesn't like going to movies? There are tons of regular, nice-enough people out there—but that's not enough to get you a date. You don't need to fly planes or travel to fascinating places in your spare time to stand out—just get specific. Instead of saying you like to read, talk about your favorite genre. Instead of just saying you like action movies, also 'fess up to your guilty-pleasure TV show. Whether or not your date shares your hobbies, you'll appear interesting. 7zebras agrees, saying "I absolutely hate when a girl says they are up for anything. That means that they are incredibly boring and are not passionate or into anything. They are willing to try stuff but only when someone else leads them too it...Boring!"

RED FLAG: Claims of being young at heart.
two469 says statements like "... have the heart and spirit of a seventeen year old." send her running. Why? It screams "Peter Pan complex." Let your silly side and sense of humor show in your profile without making direct statements about your mental age—it's a tip-off that you don't have your life together and will be a disaster to date.

RED FLAG: Non-solo photos.
"Photos with someone else who's WAY more attractive standing alongside" are a dealbreaker for chesterdad. Would you send a potential employer your more-qualified friend's resume along with yours? No. Don't do the equivalent on a dating site. You're advertising yourself, not your hot friend.

RED FLAG: Airing your dirty laundry. wudaddy is skeptical of "Those that say they're looking for a "real" person," saying "They themselves are usually fake." In fact, these sentences usually directly proceed what wudaddy refers to as "Several paragraphs worth of rants because of past failed dates/relationships." Statements like these are a red flag because they act as a flashing BURNED AND BITTER sign. We all have baggage—but if you're not over your last relationship, wait until you are before you start dating again, online or off.

RED FLAG: Your own red flag checklist.
"When she starts going off the deep end about her laundry lists of what is bad, the red flags go off and I think PSYCHO and run," pizzatroll says. Keep your own personal red flag checklist in mind...and off your profile. A checklist, especially one of "don't wants" rather than "wants" makes you seem demanding—in a bad way—and will scare off any potential matches.

5 Dating Tips I Wish I'd Followed While I Was Single

Dating advice from a married woman who hopes you don't waste as much of your single life as she did.
When I started seeing my husband, aka the first guy I wasn't embarrassed to tell my therapist about, I was gobsmacked to realize how much I hadn't known about dating before then.

In fact, I'd been going about being single all wrong. I didn't have very much fun at it, which is depressing since I didn't pair up until my 30s. Besides, so much luck was involved in my finding my match that there are probably more alternate universes where I'm still living solo than where I'm married.

I realize that my past experiences have made me who I am today, but I still wish I could go back in time and have a sisterly chat with poor, clueless, "younger me." I could've written three novels, started a business and hiked the Appalachian Trail with all the wasted time and energy. It's too late for me, but maybe you can learn from what I wish I knew then.

1. Finding a romantic partner is only one of many goals you can have at once. There's a difference between making something a priority and having an obsession. No one wants to be the Captain Ahab of the dating world.

2. When you like a guy, and your mutual friends have multiple anecdotes about him projectile vomiting after excessive drinking, you need to rethink the infatuation. You didn't like it when your godson hurled on you, and he was a toddler. 4 Signs You're Dating A 'Man-Boy,' Not A Man

3. It's not about getting someone to think you're good enough for them. It’s about finding someone you can stand to spend a ridiculous amount of time with. It's about finding the puzzle piece you fit with and the Ernie to your Bert.

4. Work on your gaydar. It'll make your life much easier.
5. Sometimes boyfriends have little annoying habits. And sometimes they have small behaviors that indicate a complete lack of respect. If you wouldn't let your friend's sweetie talk to her that way, don't put up with it yourself