When it comes to dating, there are some very specific and perhaps slightly random “icks” that we women will simply not stand for.
And the thing is, they are very simple to correct – but many of you menfolk are completely unaware that you are even doing them.
So, after a disastrous date that was ruined by one of these very icks, I’ve decided to don my fairy godmother wand and sort it out, once and for all.
If I’m being completely honest, I’m doing it for selfish reasons, because I cannot go on one more date with a guy who makes one of these very common errors.
Let’s start with the first one that I was faced with recently. I’ll set the scene for you …
It’s a weeknight and I’m sitting across from a very attractive man.
His body language is telling me he is keen. His shoulders are facing me front on, he is leaning in and looking actively engaged, he’s giving me a big, beautiful grin and everything is going gloriously.
Until I catch an undeniable pungent smell in the air.
It smells like a mixture of old, sweaty gym socks and rotting food. He lets out a big belly laugh, and I get another strong waft. Oh god. It’s his breath.
And this isn’t just an “oopsy daisy I’ve eaten garlic” breath. Nope. It’s a “hmm … I think you should probably go to the dentist and get that checked out” breath.
It’s so bad it’s making my eyes water and I’m attempting to hold my breath so I don’t breathe in any more of this hideous scent.
Now, full disclosure, bad breath is my absolute worst fear. Worse then getting eaten by a shark. I am known for carrying a packet of gum, Listerine tabs and breath spray in my handbag, in the car and in my desk drawer at all times.
I honestly shudder at the thought of someone chatting to me and getting a smack in the face of bad breath. So, to be sitting across from a hot guy and facing that very dilemma was highly annoying.
So embrace the mint. And perhaps make flossing a non-negotiable morning routine like I have.
The next “ick” on my list is speaking with a bogan/rough accent. Pronounce your vowels, people.
It doesn’t matter where you were brought up, a well-presented sentence will get you so much further than a “yeah, nah” attitude.
Extra points if you can lower your voice. Think Russell Crowe in Gladiator vibes. That man sure knew how to pull a sentence together.
Next up, bad hygiene. It is so ridiculous that I even have to state this, because it really should be obvious, but before you leave your front door, do a quick checklist: do I have deodorant on? Have I brushed my teeth? Have I put on some nice perfume or aftershave (this is a MUST).
You would be surprised how many people forget the simple things when they’re distracted by first date nerves. So embrace your hygiene.
Once again, extra points if you remember to wash your bed sheets. Who knows, you may very well get lucky, and nothing says “marriage material” quite like some freshly cleaned sheets.
The next “ick” is slightly niche, but must be included, because a surprising number of men don’t even notice they’ve done this – make sure your clothes don’t smell like you’ve left them in the washing machine for too long.
True story, I know a guy who is newly divorced – and being new to the “wash your own clothes” game, you can tell he constantly forgets to take his washed clothes out of the machine.
They always have that stale, musty scent to them that is not cute. Hang them on the line as soon as they’ve gone through a cycle or pop them in the dryer. It’s such a small yet important detail.
My final “ick” is one many men mistakenly do and it’s a surefire way to c**kblock yourself. It’s ranting on and on about yourself and forgetting to ask your date any questions.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m super chuffed to hear all about your career accomplishments, and sure, I’ll take a look at a picture of the fish you caught last weekend – but throw a girl a question from time to time.
And that, dear friends, completes my list of “icks” that are very easy to fix.
Now head out on a date with fresh breath and a good attitude. We women will thank you for it.
Jana Hocking is a columnist and collector of kind-of-boyfriends | @jana_hocking