Maybe when you were a kid, you thought all you needed to do to impress women was to be a star quarterback or to play guitar in the band. Perhaps as a young adult, you believed that to arouse the ladies, you needed a fancy car or a corner office. Now that you’re fully grown – let’s hope — you realize that the women you want to attract aren’t impressed by bulging muscles, the letters after your name, what you own or how much money you make, but by the quality of your person. A woman of distinction isn’t solely concerned with your achievements; she’s carefully observing how you carry yourself in the world. With this in mind, here are 15 tips to becoming a more well-rounded human being, and impressing everyone — men and women alike.
1. Understand complex social issues
Racism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia, intersectionality: the buzzwords of the times all revolve around basic human rights and the struggle to extend them to marginalized groups. Educate yourself, broaden your perspective, and you’ll demonstrate a deep understanding of today’s world, and your place in it.
Mark Twain is famed for having noted the value of travel in building a wholesome, charitable worldview. Don’t just leave your block or even the country. Get off the resort and go experience how people who don’t look like you live. Few things are sexier than a well-worn passport.
3. Learn another language
Nothing is worldlier than being multilingual. As long as you’re visiting exotic places, learn to speak with people in their native tongue. When you get home, slip in a foreign word or phrase now and then, and you’ll add a dash of je ne sais quois to your aura.
Even the prettiest talk rings hollow if you don’t back it up with action. Show you care about lives that don’t impact your own by giving time and attention (and money) to causes you genuinely care about.
In an age where everyone is vying for attention, be the person who patiently hears what others have to say. Don’t interrupt, don’t talk over people: Conversation is more than just waiting your turn to speak.
6. Hold space
While you’re listening, remember: it’s not your job to judge, your place to opine (unless asked), or your responsibility to fix things. The ability to offer a safe space for vulnerability is a pathway to true intimacy.
7. Improve your vocabulary
Five hundred years after his death, Cyrano de Bergerac is still renowned for having won the love of fair Roxanne, not for his formidable swordsmanship or undeniable courage, but for his winsome wordplay and sword-sharp repartee. Remember: Conversation is foreplay. Words will always touch places where hands can’t go.
8. Write a letter
Forget texting, sexting and email. Buy stationery. Procure a fountain pen. Compose a letter, one worthy of keeping under a pillow in your absence. Dab it with a dash of cologne (if you wear it). Stamp it and snail-mail it. When your lover discovers your missive amidst the subscription renewals and bills, you’ll have made an indelible memory.
9. Curate your culture
Everything you need to know about a man, you can discover from the books he reads and the music he listens to. You will be judged on your library—physical and digital. Read and listen to the classics, stay up to date on what’s current and worthwhile, and you’ll add breadth and depth to your personality.
10. Walk on the outside of the street
Some might question the value of chivalry in this modern age, but there’s no replacement for basic manners. Open doors. Pull out chairs. Stand when a lady leaves the table. Walk on the outside of the street, and you’ll never have to tell anyone you’re a gentleman.
11. Refine your sense of humor
Fart jokes are for Nickelodeon. Life is challenging, and few things demonstrate your ability to face adversity more than a quip and a defiant smile. A woman who laughs in your presence is telling you she’s at ease. Remember the words of cartoon bombshell Jessica Rabbit about her husband Roger: He makes me laugh.
12. Be kind to animals
One hundred years ago, the pinnacle of manhood was the image of Teddy Roosevelt on safari, posing triumphantly over his latest kill. Fortunately, this version of toxic masculinity has (largely) gone the way of the dodo. Animals are great judges of character: No woman will trust you if her dog doesn’t.
13. Know your way around the playground
Whether or not you’re a parent, few things gauge your character more accurately than your ability to interact with children. Whether it’s (appropriate) horseplay, observing a game of Minecraft, sitting in on a tea party, or reading a bedtime story, treat little ones with the same humanity as your peers, and you’ll show your ability to connect with your own inner child.
14. Tip well
Ignore the fact that every woman you know has someone in their life who’s spent time working in a service related industry. The hard-working people you depend on to provide you hospitality depend on gratuities. Treat service people with dignity. Demonstrate your generous nature. No one likes a cheapskate.
15. Balance charisma with character
The greatest seducers of all time were all powerful charismatics. Unfortunately, charisma doesn’t require a moral compass. Without qualities like honesty, loyalty, integrity, and modesty, charisma can be disastrous. The ability to identify these qualities and their relative proportion to each other is key, not just in seduction but in securing healthy, stable, sustainable relationships.