When you’re looking for good dating advice it’s best to get a mix of opinions and perspectives—sometimes you may go to your girlfriends, other times your mom, sometimes you’ll search online to see what the experts say, and then there are the times when what you really want is a guy’s perspective on how other guys think. That’s why we went straight to the source and asked over 3,000 men on the online dating site and app Zoosk to share their best dating tips for women from men.
From advice on approaching a man at a bar and writing your online dating profile, to what they find the most and least attractive, these guys spilled the beans about what they’re really looking for and what they wish women would do the most. Check out what they had to say:
Tip #1: Make the first move. Trust us. Men love it.
If you thought guys don’t like women to who approach them first, think again. An overwhelming 94% of men said they like it when a women makes the first move when they’re out at a bar or in a social setting, and 96% said they prefer it when a woman messages them first while online dating. So if you see a guy you’re interested in and aren’t sure if you should say hi or not, do it! The odds are in your favor.
Here’s what the guys had to say:
“Don’t be afraid to talk to us. In this modern age, men shouldn’t be expected to make the first move anymore. If you want it, go get it!”
“Some guys out there are really good guys and they’re the ones that might never approach you because they might think they don’t stack up to the other guys who approach you. It doesn’t hurt to be the first one to say something.”
“Don’t be afraid to make the first move. Some men want you to be docile, but they’re no one worth meeting.”
“Sometimes men are oblivious to the signs that women are attracted to and interested in them. Don’t be afraid to make the first move. Also, if you say you’re interested in a guy, then act like it. Call him, text him, and make him a priority by making an effort to spend quality time with him.”
“I’m introverted and a bit anxious when I spend time with a woman that I’m romantically interested in. At (what I feel to be) the appropriate times, I think of what I want to try (like when and where would be an appropriate and memorable first kiss), but worry about whether or not she will think I tried going too far too soon. That’s why I really like it when a woman makes the first moves. Like reaching out to hold my hand, leaning in for a kiss, wrapping her arms around me when she wants to cuddle, or anything really to let me know she’s interested. Knowing that you want me turns me on.”
Tip #2: Know that attraction is important, but honesty is too.
When asked what they value the most when looking for someone to start a relationship with, 33% of men said physical attraction but someone who’s honest and truthful was a close second with 31% of the vote. Other popular qualities men look for? A sense of humor and someone who values faith and family.
Traits Men Look for In a Serious Relationship:
33% – Physical attraction
32% – Honesty and trust
18% – A sense of humor
6% – Values faith
5% – Values family
3% – Is social and outgoing
2% – Is active and sporty
1% – Is ambitious and career-focused
Tip #3: Know what you want but be open-minded.
One of the great things about dating in the modern age is that, because of online dating, there are lot more options for a women looking for a serious relationship. If you know what you want in a man and in a relationship, you can go out and find it. However, it can be tempting to pass on a guy if he doesn’t fit the idea you have in your head, or to say no to a second date if you don’t feel butterflies right away. When asked what specific dating advice they would give women, a lot of men said they would ask women to slow down and keep an open-mind if a guy doesn’t meet their expectations right away.
Here are some thoughts from a few of them:
“Keep an open mind! You can’t know about a person after only one meeting.”
“Be open minded. A guy might not be exactly what you’re looking for but try and get to know him.”
“Go slow, take a chance, and try making friends with someone. If all a man can start off with is, “Hi.” don’t blow him off because he’s not blowing your mind. Have a little patience and give him a moment to open up. You could be ignoring someone that just needs a moment to get the little pleasantries out of the way, and could be someone amazing.”
“Don’t rush things, of course. Though we’re all looking for a special someone, it’s more fun when you don’t try looking for ‘the one’ but rather stumble right into them. I don’t want to frame someone I’ve just met as someone I can potentially be in a relationship with. I want to get to know that person first as a friend, and maybe discover there’s real chemistry that indicates a relationship is worth pursuing. I’m really just looking for a good conversation before anything else.”
“Be open to new things and kinds of men. You might be surprised.”
Tip #4: Talk about your hobbies and interests. Men want to hear about them.
When asked what they like to talk about in their first conversation with a women, most men said hobbies or interests. Other popular topics were family and general flirtatious banter. 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 men are more interested in getting to about you in a first conversation.
“Be yourself. Discuss things you find interesting, and find out what a guy finds interesting,” explained one man. “Discuss hobbies and what you like to do in your free time.”
What Men Like to Talk About:
37% – Hobbies/interests
21% – Flirtatious banter
13% – How the day or week is going
11% – Family
6% – Where/how we grew up
5% – Job/career or school
3% – Religion
2% – Current events
1% – Past relationships
Tip #5: If you’re interested, let him know.
Making the first move might not be your style, but the majority of guys stressed that you need to at least show your interest somehow. Guys can have a genuinely hard time gauging how you feel, so if you don’t send some definite signals or come out and tell a man that you like him and are interested, he’s probably going to assume that you’re just not that into him.
Here’s what the guys said:
“Good men are often afraid of coming on too strong or pursuing someone who isn’t interested . Be assertive and show your interest.”
“Most men are poor at picking up the subtle cues, so some explicit direction is sometimes needed to make those early connections.”
“Good men are often afraid of coming on too strong or pursuing someone who isn’t interested. Be assertive and show interest.”
“It is okay to show your interest for a guy you might find attractive. Most guys, like me, will not approach or even show interest unless there is at least some interest directed by the woman.”
“Be open and honest. Men don’t take hints very well, you have to be direct with what you want. If you expect a man to understand you, slight gestures don’t work.”
Tip #6: Let them know when it’s not working out.
There’s a reason being ghosted is something 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 turn you off. However, the vast majority of guys we talked to said they appreciate women who are open and 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.
One man put it best:
“I’ve had women I’m interested in express some interest in me, but after we learned more about each other, they explained why they didn’t think it was worth pursuing any further in a matter-of-fact, respectful way. To me, these are the most impressive, classy women that exist. Take the time to express that you’re not interested in a direct, compassionate way that provides closure to someone pursuing you, and don’t be mean if someone gets upset while you’re trying to do this. There’s nothing else a woman has ever done to me that’s as impressive as this, because they’re showing they believe that even someone they’re not interested in deserves to be treated in a way that preserves their dignity. When you’re not interested in someone and decide to communicate that indirectly via a cowardly retreat into slower responses and eventual silence, that’s very painful. What you’re doing is making it much more difficult for them than it needs to be, just to avoid a potentially uncomfortable interaction.”
Tip #7: Wondering what to say while online dating? Try hello.
When asked about what a woman should say in an online dating message, the most popular way to break the ice is just saying hi. After that, try telling a man what you like about his profile or what you first noticed about him—that was the second most popular way to start chatting. And, believe it or not, talking about yourself was a popular option too. Most men listed telling them something about yourself as the third best way to get a conversation going.
Men’s Favorite Way for Women to Break the Ice Online:
26% – Just say hi
22% – Tell me what she likes about my profile.
12% – Tell me something about herself.
9% – Anything, I don’t care what she says.
9% – Use a flirty pickup line.
9% – Ask a question about my profile or photos.
5% – Ask about the hobbies or interests in my profile.
5% – Ask about my day.
Tip #8: Leave the past behind.
Lots of us, both men and women, have had bad relationships or dating experiences that have hurt us or made us hesitant. It’s hard to overcome past pain, but many of the men we talked to stressed that it’s best the leave it behind you when you’re starting something new. When asked what they want to talk about with a woman for the first time, 40% listed past relationships as the LAST thing they wanted to chat about, and many named it as the main thing someone can do to turn them off.
“We’ve all (most of us) had bad/difficult relationships in the past. Leave them in the past. This could be a wonderful opportunity in front of you. Seize it!”
“Do not talk about your past relationships… it’s a big turn off. Everyone has baggage, but don’t let that drag you down.”
“Don’t bring a past relationship and it’s negativity into how you interact with me or what you expect from me.”
“Any anxiety/insecurities about a previous relationship have to be let go of.”
“Don’t judge your date, or associate your date, with any past relationships, whether they be former spouses, or recent past dates. We’ve all been hurt, lied to, or misled. Don’t project those experiences on your current date.”
“Dare to be vulnerable. Don’t let the past determine your present situation.”
“Try to start off fresh. Don’t expect your future relationship is going to be anything like your past relationships.”
Tip #9: Be who you are, not who you think a man wants you to be.
I know, I know, being yourself is probably one of the lamest pieces of dating advice, but it also happens to be true. When asked what women do that turns them on, different men listed different qualities. One man wanted a romantic, another said he wanted a woman who was into sports. Some men said they like a woman with a big smile, while others said they were looking for someone interested in being active and healthy living. In the end, being who you are and not who you think a man wants you to be, will serve you the best. And any attempts to pretend to be something you’re not, will backfire eventually.
Here’s what the guys had to say:
“Be yourself, eventually the real you shows through do you might as well start off with it.”
“Tone down on the overtly feminine stuff, a lot of men just want you for you, and not what society says you should be.”
“Be yourself. You’re not trying to win a man, you’re trying to find the right fit together.”
“Be honest about yourself to the guy. If you’re worried that will make you lose the guy, then he probably isn’t the guy for you.”
“I’m turned on when women are just themselves… showing the good, the bad, and the ugly.”
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 man’s perspective but it’s also good to remember that the advice is coming from one point of view. Though the advice men give is often thoughtful and honest, don’t forget to talk to your girlfriends too, see what your family thinks, or go see what the experts say. 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.