Some time ago (before The MANChild Swagga officially launched) I spoke with a friend about a co-worker knowing that his wife was an amazing woman from the first time he laid eyes on her. I never went into details about what specific character traits made her so amazing, but later, my co-worker was able to sum it up very simply:
“All that really matters is that she was amazing to me.”
That brief exchange led me to think about the little things that men pick up on about women and subconsciously check off in their signs of a great woman list. Of course, a great body and pretty face help us poor visually-stimulated creatures, but there are plenty of non-physical factors that I tend to take note of in a good woman and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that mental checklist. So here are a few observations—in no particular order—of how a female can earn brownie points with me, and probably many other men.
1) OFFERING TO LEAVE THE TIP
I know some of my younger and more frugal male peers may say otherwise, but nine times out of ten, I expect to pay my date’s way when we go out. It’s just how I was raised. Even still, the key word here is expect. There’s nothing wrong with a woman that at least offers to leave the tip, or does a trade off and offers to pay for the movie while I pay for dinner. Even if pride won’t allow me to accept (sometimes), just that simple gesture is enough to show me that this woman is a considerate individual and conscious of a brother’s economics and not just looking for a free meal so she can save up for a new pair of shoes. NOTE: She has to make this offer on multiple occasions, not just the first date, for the gesture to officially register in my book. Otherwise, I’ll just assume you read this and figured you could front on the first date.
No, I’m not talking about the caveman mentality of me-man-and-women-must-do-housework kinda dishwashing. I’m speaking of scenarios where I just made dinner (or breakfast, if I’m lucky) and a woman takes it upon herself to get up and wash the dishes of her own free accord. Again, even a simple offer to do so can earn her brownie points, too. I know that I often do the same thing when I’m at a lady friend’s house for dinner. In fact, there was a time I did that for a chick I was really feeling and we didn’t even eat. I just happened to notice she had dishes in the sink and washed them just because.
3) SENSE OF HUMOR:
If she has a good sense of humor and loves to laugh most of the time, this is a big plus. Her willingness to have fun and play around, pillow fights, air hockey battles, bowling, play wrestling, dancing, and singing are among some simple examples. Life is not that serious all the time so we must learn to drop our corporate grown-up act occasionally. We are all still children.
5) THOUGHTFULNESS/REALLY LISTENING
This one is a no-brainer. I always hear of girls (and guys) trying to go all out with a gift or over the top outing, but much like the other things in this post, there are plenty of small gestures that go a long way. A woman that actually listens to her partner (guys, this goes for you too) means a lot. But I’m not just talking about listening to what someone says and commenting, but taking note of key things in the conversation and making them a reality. For instance, there was a time I was conversing with this sister I was seeing about wanting to build my wine connoisseurship so she went out and bought me a wine tasting book. Not only was that a thoughtful and inexpensive gift (in a good way), it showed that she really listened to things I cared about and was proactive.
There’s just something about a woman that can cook. Not saying she has to be Martha Stewart of the kitchen, but to the old adage of the way to a man’s heart being through his stomach often rings true (well, for the most part). While not a 100% tried and true rule, for the most part, a woman that can cook can keep her man happy at home. But the real bonus of this sign is the woman that is willing to cook for you when you’re sick. One time I was bedridden for a week, and while my mom and friends dropped off food and made store runs for me, this one sister came through and cooked a full meal for me from scratch. Definitely a good look that was greatly appreciated, and showed the heart of a person that would be there for you no matter what.
If you haven’t noticed by now, unselfishness is a common theme here. So any woman that exhibits signs of being giving, from her time to her grub, has the potential of being a good woman in my book. In regards to food, I’ve seen that happen in the reverse where one person refused to share a small portion of their meal with their date, and in my mind that registered as, “she/he is really selfish and doesn’t truly care as deeply about the other person as they should.” I think there was a scene in The Brothers where one of the female characters judged how much a man was into them by seeing if he was willing to part with the last bite of his meal. Sharing is caring.
This is the classic test from Bronx Tale. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll remember when Sonny schooled Calogero, aka C, on how to gauge a good girl after you open up the car door for her and let her in: “If you walk around the back of the car and look through the rear window and she doesn’t reach over and lift up that button so that you can get in: dump her. Cause that means she’s a selfish broad and all you’re seeing is the tip of the iceberg. You dump her and you dump her fast.” This one is a rare to enforce nowadays with automatic locks, but if it’s applicable, a chick that does leans over to do that shows her unselfishness and what she’s willing to do for her man.
When times are hard even the strongest man needs someone to lean on. So a woman that can step up when you least expect it is a definite plus, because you need that female (well, people in general) in your life that are willing to help out without you even asking. One of boys threw a house party one time and had mad people over. As the night was winding down, I noticed there were a handful of sisters that stepped up and started cleaning the kitchen and putting food away for him. He wasn’t dating any of them, they were just people that came to the party like me, but recognized that my homeboy would be up all night cleaning the mess up by himself and just did what needed to be done. Each one of those sisters showed the level of their character and displayed distinct signs of being good women.
The most important sign of a good woman is complements. No, not compliments with an “i” as in you look good or have the biggest Johnson in town, but complements with an “e.” Someone that just makes you a better man. She complements your flaws and completes you. I’m talking about that X factor where the chemistry is just there and when she’s around you feel that you can do anything. She’s your lover, your confidante, and ultimately your friend.
Fellas, I hope you know that this list goes both ways, and ladies, I hope y’all were listening and taking notes.