A few weeks back I had a great time working on an upcoming "Man in the Street" feature for Marie Claire. We asked women what makes a guy dating material, and the most common answer was: someone who has it together, and has goals/ambitions.
"Having it together" goes beyond the mental aspect. I've realized that women can take one look at me and size me up as someone who doesn't have it together, and may have no ambition. My disheveled appearance could stand some adjustments. Here are some elements that I should work on to look more "together":
I walk around as if I'm auditioning for the lead role in a Nosferatu remake. My shoulders are rolled forward, and I'm hunched over. I can't tell whether I'm tired, too relaxed or what. But there's one thing I do know, women like tall guys. I'm cheating myself with my bad posture. If I stand up straight, I'm 5'11" (well, 5'10 and .99999999 inches); nothing to write home about, but it is over the average for the American male (5'9"). I should take advantage of anything above average about me. Standing up straight will also make me look more confident.
You've read about my moth holes in my clothes, but there are other places where holes pop up...
Assuming that women don't notice my shoes is naïve, considering their love of all things shoe-related. I get everything I can out of a pair of sneakers. Plus, I'm too lazy to go out and buy new ones. My current sneakers are literally wearing away to nothingness. I could act as a visual aid for one of those old guys telling stories about the Great Depression: "in my day we used cardboard boxes for shoes." My friend Margaret, the other day, stuck her finger into the bottom of my shoe and struck foot! She declared that my porous shoes were responsible for my bad luck with the ladies. If only it were that simple...
This "hair" refers to cat hair. You know you're in trouble when someone takes a look at you and asks: "do you have a cat?" I'm always running late, so I don't have time to apply the lint roller before I leave my apartment. Cat hair has a mind of its own and silently floats around and attaches itself to important spots on clothing.
I chew my fingernails to the hilt. In addition to being a dirty habit, it makes my hands look terrible. My fingernails are so low that people sometimes cringe when they look at them and ask me how bad it hurts. We all know I'm an anxious person, but wearing that anxiety on the outside in the form of jagged/bleeding fingernails is not going to attract many women. I've been trying to kick the habit for a while, and when I do maybe I'll look like I have my life together more...or at least I'll look like I'm not eternally nervous.
It never occurred to me that women might see me and think I don't care how I look, and then make the connection to me not caring how my apartment looks, and not caring about my life-goals/aspirations. I've let my apathetic attitude permeate my appearance, and that's not good.
Things are going to change. The other day, Margaret forced me to buy a wallet. So, I'm no longer walking around with random cards in my pockets and forgetting/misplacing certain cards (like that easy-to-fake paper social security card that is impossible to replace). The wallet is a symbol for me pulling it together. All of my cards, once allowed to roam free, expanding away from me like a little universe, are now neatly organized in one place. As Margaret says: "No girl likes it when a guy buys them a drink with a balled up wad of bills."
Would you ever consider a guy who has holes in his shoes, or cat hair on his person? What's the most important thing on my list I need to work on? Do women make the connection between a guy's appearance and other parts of his life like apartment, aspiration, and having his life together? Are any of these things on my list deal breakers for you?