Look in the mirror, son, you’re not a kid anymore. All of those bad habits you got away with when you were a preteen, they don’t fly now, not at work, not with your friends, and especially not with any women you’re dating. At Aspiring Gentleman, our raison d’être is to help you look and feel great, so listen up. These are things which you may be doing, and which may be killing your chances of a second date, or even getting a date in the first place. We expect that you’re only guilty of one or two (most of us are), but if you’re guilty of all of them, well, that sucks.
- Kill bad breath
Coffee, pizza, garlic, onions, protein shakes*, really any kind of food which hangs around in your mouth for way longer than it should is bound to send her reeling. You might not be able to smell it, but believe us, other people can. With mouthwashes, mints and gum available pretty much everywhere, there’s really no excuse for bad breath.
*Protein shakes are a massive problem when it comes to bad breath. You’ve heard of protein farts, well, pop open your shaker ten minutes after drinking what’s inside and take a whiff — yeah, your breath smells kind of like that.
Want to know how to kill bad breath? Look for sugar-free mints and gum, brush regularly, and if you can get by without garlic, then do so.
- Ditch the soul patch
The 90s are done, man, and while we’re always up for a Keenan and Kel or Fresh Prince throwback — maybe even the odd Backstreet Boys revival — the soul patch needs to go. Please, just think about this for a minute, how would you like to kiss someone with a tiny, moist patch of hair under their lip? It probably tastes like soup, too, you know.
Do women hate soul patches? Yes, absolutely. There’s no upside to owning a soul patch. They’re gross, and the only guys still sporting them are Fred Durst and Pitbull. Is that who you want to be?
Of course the manliest way to get rid of that unwanted tuft of hair below your bottom lip, is by shaving it with a top quality straight razor (otherwise known as a cut throat razor)? Nothing will impress the ladies more than explaining how you use a razor sharp blade to shave every morning!
- Cologne: How much is too much?
The answer is, ‘more than one or two spritzes.’ Cologne is meant to complement your own natural scent, to offer the suggestion of a well-groomed man. Wearing too much cologne says, ‘I don’t know how to use cologne, I’m insecure about something, and maybe my personal hygiene isn’t all that great, either.’
Where to apply cologne
The idea that you should apply cologne to your pulse points is kind of a myth. You’re not some kind of sex beacon, whose blood pumps so hard your skin gives off waves of smell every few seconds. The best place for your one or two spritzes of cologne, is anywhere women might come into contact with you (women you’re dating, presumably, not all women.) That includes mainly the neck and chest. Stay away from the wrists, man, you’re not your grandma.
- Too much pubic hair, bro
Some pubic hair is fine, so is none at all if that’s what you and yours are into, but overgrown pubic hair is almost always not ok. A sea of hair is not nice to look at, touch or feel, plus, it traps smells and frankly, makes you look smaller than you actually are. No good for you, or her.
- Dirty fingernails are a turn-off
If you thought about everything your hands touch in a day, all the stuff that gets trapped under your nails, you wouldn’t put those things near your mouth. Survey after survey has revealed that women look at a guy’s fingernails as a mark of cleanliness and attractiveness way more than you might think. Why, after seeing you (or seeing evidence that you have) put your fingers in your mouth and chewed off the nails, would she want to kiss you? It’s common sense.
Bitten fingernails are also a hotbed for infection. If you’ve never had that hot, painful feeling in the end of your finger, good. If you have, it’s because you’ve been biting your nails.
- Dry, cracked skin
If it’s a medical issue, that’s different, and seeing a dermatologist is of course the best route to start with. Dry, rough hands and skin caused by weather, exercise and not using the right products, however, is a problem which could be turning women away.
Callouses caused by hard work are likely to set off feelings of admiration, but your partner is unlikely to enjoy the feeling of running her hand over an alligator, or a mummy. Moisturize as soon as you get out of the shower, to help lock in precious moisture and keep your skin soft, supple and touchable.
Water — Free. Drink more of it.
Keeping yourself in good shape when it comes to personal hygiene, is really just a case of thinking about things from your partner’s perspective. Would you want to kiss that? Would you be ok with something which smells like that? Would you want to sleep next to that for eight hours a night? If the answer is no, then spend a bit of time, and do both of you a favor.