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Is Your Place Female-Friendly?


Quick—move the mags and sport sections out of the bathroom! Plus, other ways to make your pad ready for your date to drop by.

By Katherine Dykstra

verything was going so well! You and your new lady had already been out three, maybe four times! She reached for your hand under the dinner table! Kissed you during the movie! She even let it slip that she’d kept the weekend open in hopes of having a little more together time. And then screeeeech—you had her over for a nightcap and you haven’t heard peep from her since. We don’t need to connect the dots. Chances are, it was your place that made a bad (perhaps very bad) impression. To help you avoid this problem in the future, gents, here’s how to get your pad up to snuff.

Keep Vegas in Vegas
A photo of you and two bikini-clad girls might make the
Box up any pictures that suggest you’re a ladies’ man.
guys kiss your feet, but it will make a woman want to kick you to the curb. “I'm usually concerned if there are more photos of him and women around than of him and his guy friends,” says Shelly, 21, Los Angeles. It’s best to box up any pictures that suggest you’re a ladies man—or try hard to be.

Do: Frame photos of you and your family, or you spotting your nephew on the jungle gym. She’ll be wooed by your softer side.

Ditch the bathroom reading material
Keeping magazines in the bathroom begs her to form images of you reading… on your, um, throne. Not exactly what you want your woman to be thinking about when she’s powdering her nose. So trash or stash any men’s mags, sport sections, and comic books you have lying around the loo.

Do: Make her feel at home by adding some amenities: “Women don’t really wake up looking the way they do on dates,” says Ilaria Barion, who helps stage apartments to make a good first impression on the opposite sex. Adequate lighting, some nice, not-too-flowery soap, clean towels and the like will send much better signals.

Don’t be too put-together
So you’re forever indebted to your ex for making your space livable, but when she’s written all over your apartment, it’s hard for your new lady friend to focus (yes, it’s that obvious). So sweep your place for potpourri dishes, chenille throws, and stylish groupings of three candles. “And if you really love that painting over the couch, don’t tell your date that your ex picked it out—she just doesn’t need to know,” says Barion.

Do: Trust your own sense of style and add things that you like: a mask from your trip to Bali or a cool wine fridge. “Make sure you and your place match up, and if necessary, make sure to update the style just as you might refresh your overall look or haircut,” says Barion.

Tame your pets
Your four-legged friend might be the light of your life, but he can also come between you and your gal. “When I was single, I had a crush on this guy that I met through a friend. When it was finally time to go back to his apartment, there were three cats that clearly ruled the roost. I mean, they were all over him and vice-versa. We never spoke again,” says Kristin, 24, of Long Island, NY. Fact is, cats (and pups) can be stinky, not to mention dirty. “Your date might tolerate or even like your furry friends,” says Barion. “But be careful, most people can’t stand kitty-litter smell, pet hair on a black
Sweep your place of the potpourri and chenille throws your ex bought.
dress, and many don't love sleeping with a big dog in the middle of the bed.” That doesn’t mean getting rid of your pets (of course!): It just means making sure that they’re seen, but not smelled.

Do: Go over everything with a vacuum and/or lint brush before she shows, keep food bowls, chew toys and litter boxes out of plain sight, and make sure to keep Rover or Snowball’s favorite spots clean (read: odor-free).

Take a hard look at the loo
This seems obvious, but some guys just don’t get what a huge deal having a clean bathroom is. “We were seeing each other for awhile and I went back to his place. I went in to the bathroom and to my horror found the tub was filthy like no one lived there in 100 years: Hairs in all the corners and soap scum galore. The showerhead was rusty. Then I turned to the toilet. WOW! It was worse than the shower. I remember thinking: This guy is too much work,” says Liana, 34, of Staten Island, NY.

Do: If you have a hard time making your bathroom sparkle, hire someone to do it for you. It’s as simple as that. “She knows that if you don’t know how to take care of it while you are single, you won’t when you’re living together either,” says Barion. “Get a cleaning lady if you have to, but keep it clean.” Women really do notice, and it really does matter!

To hear the other side of the story, check out Ladies, Prep Your Place For A Date


Katherine Dykstra is a New York-based freelance writer. She once dated a man whose only furniture was an inflatable mattress. They did not last long.
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