What’s the best way to approach a woman? What should you say? What shouldn’t you say? Do women still want you to pay on the first date? Do they still like it when you make the first move? With so many of the dynamics of how we date changing every day, sometimes it helps to get a woman’s perspective on what she thinks. That’s why we went straight to the source and asked over 3,000 women on the online dating site and app Zoosk to share their best dating tips for men from women.
From advice on how to send a first message online, to what they find the most and least attractive, these ladies let us know what they’re really looking for and what they wish men would do more often. Check out what they had to say:
Tip #1: Be who you are, not who you think she wants you to be.
When you’re trying to impress someone, it can feel natural to agree with everything they say, or pretend interest in a topic you really don’t care about, but according to these women, it can backfire. When asked what men could do better, a lot of women said they loved it when men were open and honest.
“Be yourself and never lie or stretch the truth about anything. It’s not necessary and will stop someone from getting to know you or getting close to the true you. We all have imperfections and actions we’re not proud of but it makes us who we are.”
“Don’t say something to make me happy that you don’t actually mean. Know what you want and mean what you say.”
“My piece of advice for men would be to be yourself, but always put your best foot forward. You want to be your most authentic self, but keep in mind first impressions are everything.”
“Just be yourself, don’t try to be someone you’re not. If you’re nervous, we probably are too.”
“Be open and honest about who are and what you want. It’s natural to want to be friendly and accepted, but it’s more important to be who you are and not mold yourself into the person that you think your love interest wants.”
“Be honest. Be yourself. Some people like nerdy while others like sporty. Oh, and walk away if someone says they aren’t interested. There are plenty of women who will like what you have to offer, just not the one that rejected you. So let it go and move on to someone who’s better for you.”
Tip #2: Talk about your hobbies and interests. Women want to hear it.
When asked what they like to talk about in their first conversation with a man, most women said hobbies or interests. Another really popular topic was simply chatting about how her day or week is going. But save religion or current events for later. Even though they’re great things to talk about once you’ve had a date or two, most women are more interested in getting to know about you in a first conversation.
Women’s Favorite Things to Talk About in a First Conversation:
36% – Hobbies/interests
20% – How my day or week is going
12% – Family
12% – Flirtatious banter
6% – Job/career or school
5% – Where/how we grew up
3% – Religion
2% – Current events
1% – Past relationships
Tip #3: Don’t move too fast.
All of us, men and women, are guilty of getting too excited about a new relationship and trying to move things forward too quickly. After being asked what their best piece of advice for men was, many women stressed the importance of slowing things down. Especially during the first few dates.
“If you want a relationship to last, don’t rush into things. Realize that some women need some time to themselves away from a relationship, especially if they are used to being on their own.”
“Try to get to know her first and see if you get along in general and have common interests.”
“Keep it light at first, but be honest about your feelings.”
“Recognize that when you ask a woman out the only thing you’ve established is that you are interested in her. If you want her to say yes, you need to make it your goal to get her just as interested in you. So be kind, be understanding, and above all be yourself.”
“Don’t suffocate a woman, but let her know you’re there for her.”
“Slow your roll! You may be looking for a relationship but if your expectations are too high or if you come on too strong, it will scare a woman away. Just take it slow, be yourself, and see where it goes. Slow and steady wins the race.”
Tip #4: Women are looking for a trustworthy man but also value attraction.
When asked what they value the most when looking for someone to start a relationship with, 37% of women said honesty and trust but physical attraction came in second with 22% of the vote. Other popular qualities women look for? A sense of humor and someone who values faith and family. (Which isn’t too different from what men want in a serious relationship.)
Traits Women Look for In a Serious Relationship:
37% – Honesty and trust
22% – Physical attraction
19% – A sense of humor
9% – Values faith
8% – Values family
3% – Is social and outgoing
2% – Is ambitious and career-focused
1% – Is active and sporty
Tip #5: Wondering what to say while online dating? Tell her what you like about her profile.
When asked about what a man should say in an online dating first message, the most popular way to break the ice was to tell a woman what you like about her profile. After that, women said just saying hi does the trick. But be careful, even though women like it when men say hi you may have a hard time standing out if it’s all you say. After looking into the data, Zoosk found that women respond less to messages that say hi, hello, or hey.
What Women Like to See In a First Message
29% – Tell me what he likes about my profile.
23% – Just say hi.
15% – Ask a question about my profile or photos.
9% – Tell me something about himself.
9% – Ask about the hobbies or interests in my profile.
8% – Ask about my day.
4% – Anything, I don’t care what he says.
3% – Use a flirty pickup line.
Tip #6: Manners and cleanliness matters.
Women brought up manners and etiquette a lot while describing the traits they desire most in a man. And, on the flip side, a lot of women said it turned them off when a man dressed sloppy for a date. What does this mean? If you’re a guy, a little extra attention to your hair, clothes, and general cleanliness can go a long way. Part of showing a woman that you care about her, is showing her that you’re putting in the effort to impress her. You don’t have to be into fashion or dressed to the nines to show a woman you’re trying for her. Sometimes all it takes is a shower, a clean shirt, and a shave.
A few specific things that turned women off:
“A man with a lack of manners, lack of etiquette, or horrible eating habits.”
“When a man talks too loud, or has bad table manners.”
“When they are rude to the staff at a restaurant.”
A few specific things that turned women on:
“A man who pulls out chairs and opens doors.”
“When a man looks and smells clean and neat.”
“When a man is calm and focused on our discussion.”
Tip #7: Wait to bring up sex.
When it comes to sex, everyone is different and everyone moves at a different pace. It goes without saying that a man should never pressure or push a woman into having sex before she’s comfortable (and vise versa), but many of the women we talked to explained that men should wait for the relationship to get more serious before bringing up the subject. And they definitely shouldn’t bring it up in a first message while online dating, or in the first conversation.
“Concentrate on getting to know the woman you’re with. Make that the priority, rather than concentrating on the physical side of a relationship.”
“If you want a relationship with someone be willing to build a relationship before bringing up the subject of sex. We may want sex too, but we also want to keep our self-respect and to be able to trust the man we become intimate with.”
“It turns me off when a man brings up sex in the first online or phone conversation. It’s great for some people but not for me.”
“Overly sexual flirty talk when I just meet a man, makes me uncomfortable and the wall goes right up.”
Getting physical is an important part of a romantic relationship. For some people, sex and intimacy don’t necessarily come hand in hand, so it may feel natural to have sex and discuss sex sooner. For others, intimacy and trust are a must before anything can get physical. Respect that the woman you’re with may think of sex differently than you do and adjust your behavior.
Tip #8: Be honest about what you’re looking for and when it’s not working out.
There’s a reason being breadcrumbed or ghosted are things so many people have had experiences and problems with. It’s hard to tell someone you don’t like them or to be honest about things that aren’t working for you. It’s uncomfortable and it can be tempting to take the easy way out and avoid confrontation. However, the vast majority of women we talked to said they appreciate men who are honest about how they’re feeling. It’s better to know someone isn’t interested in you, then to feel hopeful about a relationship that’s never going to happen.
“Don’t string anyone along if you’re not serious. State your intentions and see if you’re looking for the same thing she is.”
“Many men lie to avoid hurting a girl’s feelings. But what they don’t get is that the truth may not be what a woman wants to hear, but the the truth only hurts once. When men lie, it hurts every time we think about the fact that they chose to lie rather than respect us and just tell the truth.”
“If you’re not interested, that’s fine. But if you’ve been talking, emailing, or have maybe even had a date or two… if you want to break it off just say so.”
“Don’t disappear after talking for a few weeks, even if you know it’s not working. At least give a reason, not false hope.”
Like all advice, it’s good to take all of this feedback with a grain of salt. After all, it’s good to get a woman’s perspective but it’s also good to remember that the advice is coming from one point of view. Though the advice women give is often thoughtful and honest, don’t forget to talk to your friends too. See what your family thinks. Or go to the experts. Because when it comes to dating and relationships, there isn’t one solid answer, one way to meet people, or even one approach finding the one for you. Listen to what others say, be open-minded, and consider different perspectives. Then try things out for yourself and find what works for you.