I got the email the morning after our second date: "You looked beautiful last night," it said. "I love your smile, your hair, the way you smell." I had deliberately worn jeans and a plain sweater. My hair might have looked okay -- not a rat's nest, anyway. I wore no perfume. So maybe a tad overkill, but the man had already made it known from the second he slapped his corneas on me that he found me physically appealing.
That said, he was nice and intelligent and actually paid for the meal (you'd be surprised how many men don't want to), so I decided to go out with him again despite not feeling any tsunami-like waves of sexual attraction. But I wasn't looking for that anyway.
If it's anything I've learned, it's that tsunami-like waves of sexual chemistry after knowing someone two minutes leads to nothing but trouble. I was looking forward to trying to figure out if I actually liked a man as a human being. As someone I could, you know, actually envision living with for the next 20 or 30 years.
I had hoped that I'd find a guy who might be looking for the same thing, but guys being guys, they pretty much notice absolutely nothing but your looks for the first few dates -- possibly the first few years.
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The truth was, I had simply stopped caring about guys complimenting my looks. What had that ever gotten me? I was still single.
So after I saw the email about my beauty, my hair, my smell, blah blah, I decided to thank him -- after all, he's only doing what society trains men to do, focus on women's looks -- but then I asked him, "By the way, I'm wondering if anything I said interested you? In other words, is there something about me that's not physical that you enjoy?"
I'm still waiting on the answer.
Guys, there probably are women who are absolutely bowled over when you compliment their looks. Maybe not -- even this guy warns men not to compliment women on their looks. But I bet there are many like me who are wondering if you've noticed anything else -- felt any kind of a sincere emotional connection. Don't fake one if you didn't. But if you did, mention it. Believe me, halfway attractive women already know they're attractive. You don't have to tell them. What they don't hear often is genuine feedback about how you felt about her as a human being.
Again, don't LIE. This isn't about getting a woman into bed (she's very much on to your tricks). But if you like her and want to see her again, I'm willing to bet that saying, "I really enjoyed your thoughts on fiscal policy" will go a lot further than complimenting her hair. Just make sure she actually said something about fiscal policy.
Do you like compliments after dates or do you like to hear something more substantial?
Image via Michael Bader/Corbis