5 Things He’d Love To Hear…

Want to make him fall for you? The key is flattering conversation. Here are 5 comments that’ll make his day—and 5 that will drive him away.

By Robert W. Harris

on’t get me wrong: In general, men are in awe of women’s date-night conversation skills, which, hands down, are far superior to their own. Even so, though, you gals do still insert your stiletto’d foot in your mouth every once in awhile—or, conversely, miss prime opportunities to make a remark that would raise your stock in our eyes. Curious whether you’ve got the right choice phrases in your back pocket and whether you’re avoiding the bad ones? Hear’s the lowdown on what guys love — and hate — to hear on a date.

5 things men love to hear on a date...
“Then what happened?”
It’s human: A man likes to think that his life is reasonably interesting. And while interrupting him, changing the subject, or acting bored are well-known nails in the coffin,
Manners matter—and are sorely lacking in today’s less formal dating scene.
it’s not enough to just sit there, smile, and say, “Uh-huh” every few seconds. Actively egg him on with comments like “You’re kidding! What happened next?” or “Go on...” That way, he’ll know you’re genuinely interested versus just being polite.

“That’s pretty impressive.”
Maybe he placed in a local triathlon. Or got a promotion at work. Or figured out how to fix his air conditioner. Whatever he’s done, if he’s mentioning it on a date, he’s most likely proud of it—and if you feed his ego by applauding his efforts, you’ll make him feel like a king.

“Thank you.”
No doubt about it, manners matter—and are sorely lacking in today’s less formal dating scene. Tap into your inner Emily Post, and it’s sure to make you stand out. So, thank him when he tells you that you look pretty tonight. Thank him for paying for dinner. Thank him for walking you to your car. It’s so small a thing, but it’ll make a huge difference to him.

“What do you do when you’re not at work?”
Although a guy’s work might be of primary importance, he also has other things in his life that he values. Does he juggle? Work on his car? Play an instrument? With a little probing, a woman can hit upon hidden passions—and convey that she’s interested in getting a complete picture of him and not just what he does for his paycheck.

“I’d like to get your opinion on something.”
It’s the damsel in the distress call, and it’s pure catnip for men: That’s because we love feeling useful, and you seeking our advice definitely fits the bill. So whether you need tips
An hour paying attention to your date won’t kill you.
on buying a digital camera or how to handle a tricky situation with your boss, he’ll be glad to help. (He will be less eager, however, to comment on shopping, knitting or his dating past... but you knew that.)

...And 5 things men hate to hear:
“My last boyfriend...”
All we can say is, why? Why mention that your ex was a jerk? Why mention that you and your ex are pals? Why mention your ex, period? Whatever you say, all we will hear is, “I’m out with you, but I’m still thinking a lot about another man.” Although men like to compete, they don’t like to do it on a date with men who aren’t even in the same room.

“Do you mind if I take this call?”
Of course we mind. We won’t say we do, but we do. So unless it’s a dire emergency involving your kids or grandmother on her deathbed, let your voicemail pick up. Trust us, an hour paying attention to your date won’t kill you.

“So how do you feel about abortion?”
This type of question is known among men as a litmus test—a touchy topic that women raise to gauge whether we’re politically, morally, or spiritually on the same page as them (the death penalty, gay marriage, and the war in Iraq also fit the bill). Sure, we probably have strong opinions. But we’re not interested in getting into them with you, at least not yet. After all, this is a date, not debate club. Let’s have fun and save more heated back-and-forths for later.

“And then I found this cute pair of sandals...”
Granted, you and your girlfriends can spend hours gushing about shopping, shoes, and new hairstyles. But you’re not out with your girlfriends. You’re out with a guy, remember? And same as how we wouldn’t subject you to talk about stocks or our favorite sports teams, please, do us the same favor.

“How do you feel about having a family?”
Pop this question during those first few dates, and most men will assume your biological clock is ticking fast—and that’s not a good thing. It’s not that we don’t want families, many of us do—it’s just that we like to get to know a woman first. And we like to know you like us as more than just as a potential baby-making machine. After all, where’s the romance in that?

Robert Harris is the author of 101 Things NOT To Do Before You Die.

Read the other side of the story, “5 Things She’d Love To Hear,” here.

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