What’s most attractive to women? It’s not those biceps, that butt, that car, or even your wallet. There’s something even more important—your reputation.
What is a reputation? It’s the public consensus about your character.
If you’ve got a good reputation or want to build one from scratch (or from past blights) here are some tips for the care and feeding of the most important factor in your dating arsenal.
Nothing ruins your reputation like being dishonest.
You don’t owe a casual hookup your whole truth and nothing but the truth. You have a right to privacy, and you don’t have to admit that some jeans make her butt look fat.
We’re talking about general honesty. If a woman thinks your penis is small, for example, you don’t want her to be TOO honest.
But you want to be able to depend on what she tells you overall, and you want others to be able to believe you too.
Be the kind of person who follows through on commitments, takes the high road, helps vulnerable folks across the street, carries your mom’s groceries, takes a stand against racism and sexism, occasionally gives to charity, and takes care of his health and his family. Don’t steal or take what doesn’t belong to you, whether property or an idea or credit for an action.
You don’t have to become a saint—just the basics will do.
Be Polite and Considerate
By communicating with general civility and clarity, by being thoughtful and considering how your behavior might affect someone else, by putting others’ needs on par with your own if not ahead of—you’ve got this. It doesn’t take much.
Resolve Your Past, Your Flaws, Your Sins, and Your Weaknesses
No one’s perfect. But if you brag about your worst qualities and never say you’re sorry, no one’s impressed.
Your hookups and lovers might find your worst qualities endearing if you have an open, candid attitude. If you’re always late, for example, letting her know you work on that in your professional and personal life and still come up short tells her it’s your personality, not her, and that you aren’t proud of inconveniencing her.
If your sins are much bigger it can be tough to turn your reputation around. You’re still human, and dating is possible—lots of women have big problems too. The best you can do is show people that you are going to all of your probation check-ins or AA meetings, and you’re not trying to hide the truth.
Love the One You’re With
It doesn’t matter if you’re in a marriage or a thirty-minute casual encounter. The man with the best reputation in dating is the one who makes his current partner feel like a million bucks.
Even if it’s just for tonight and there are no strings attached, focus on who you’re with. Don’t expect us to have great memories of fucking you if you keep checking your messages for whoever might be waiting next in line.
Let Her Down Easy
Be considerate about how you turn someone down. Even if she’s at fault, don’t let your emotions or anger get the best of you. Word gets around.
If you’re not attracted to someone, or chose one partner over another in moving forward, it can be very difficult to let them know. It might feel easier not to answer her calls or to make up a story about moving to Spain to look after your grandmother. Don’t. Women talk.