Second, your indifference to the final tally suggests you’re irresponsible or, worse, a show-off. (You should have double-checked the total quickly, said our survey respondents.) Finally, your tip was insulting, according to 36 per cent of them. (Give at least 20 per cent on a first date, in case she notices.)
So three strikes and you’re out. Perhaps you’re thinking, Screw her. I won't use money to impress women. But you’re missing the point. Your money didn’t do you in; how you wielded it did. But if you take our rules to the bank, you just might be able to take her back to your place, too.
1. Understand your earning potential.
Women aren’t interested in men who earn less than they do. In fact, 41 per cent admitted they actively seek guys who earn more. Precisely zero told us they prefer to earn more than their men do. “There’s still a stigma attached to men who don’t contribute at least equally,” says Mari Adam, a certified financial planner.
This doesn’t mean, however, that you can date only within your tax bracket. “Know exactly where you want your career to take you and how much you can potentially earn along the way,” says Adam. “Having confidence and a plan will appeal to any woman.”
Why is your earning potential so important? A majority of single women - 53 percent - told us they’re looking for a man who can single-handedly support the family for a few years while she stays home with the kids. And another 25 per cent would feel more secure knowing the family doesn’t need her salary to make ends meet.
2. Set specific long-term goals.
You’re lying in bed, engaging in pillow talk, when the conversation turns to the future. Seventy-eight percent of women are hoping you’ll say, “I'm saving up to buy a house in the country someday.” Only 16 per cent want to hear “I'm planning to retire a millionaire by age 40.”
“It's sexy when a man has a specific vision for his money,” says Adam, “and the patience to wait for it.”
As for that very manly goal to “live fast, die young and broke, and leave a good-looking corpse,” women aren't buying it. In fact, 98.72 per cent don't want to date you.
3. Come clean about debt.
The average guy has 8,562 skeletons in his financial closet, in the form of credit-card debt. Revealing your little secret to a potential mate isn’t a deal breaker, but timing is key. Nine out of 10 women would rather you put off that talk until you're dating exclusively. “Once the relationship becomes serious, tell her, 'This is my situation, and this is how I'll pay it off,' ” says Mary Durie, a certified financial planner.
The women in our survey agreed. One said, “As long as he takes his debt seriously and is trying to pay it down, I'll stick with him. That means he shouldn't be suggesting really fancy dinners. Spending time with me is better than spending money on me.”
4. Lose the status symbols.
Seventy percent of women say the hottest men are those who “spend wisely,” compared with 19 per cent who say they are attracted to big savers and only 8 per cent who say they like big spenders. The biggest money-related turnoff: a man who's a walking logo.
“Seeing a man flash his money suggests he's more interested in the present than the future,” says Durie. That's a problem for women. Half of those we surveyed said a man with money is attractive because the “feeling of financial security is sexy,” not because “money brings a sense of adventure to a relationship” or they'll "be able to enjoy the finer things in life.”
So how can you let a woman know you're doing just fine financially without coming across like a show-off? “It's wise for a man to be frugal and live within a budget,” one woman told us. "But I'll know he has money if he can just let loose for a day.”
5. Be clear about the present danger.
When we asked women to name their most romantic gifts ever, only 25 per cent mentioned jewelry. At the beginning of a relationship, presents should be simple and inexpensive, said 89 per cent of those surveyed. In fact, during the first month, no gift should exceed $100, said 97 per cent.
As for what to buy, our women were unanimous: Aim for that elusive combination of thoughtful and unexpected. Said one, “Once, a guy gave me a very cool vase and promised to keep it filled with flowers. And he did.”
Said another: “At the end of our first date, my boyfriend filled my gas tank so I couldn't use 'no gas' as an excuse not to see him. It was cute, surprising, and memorable.”
6. Show your many generous sides.
The ideal man donates more than his money. He gives his time as well, whether it’s to a local soup kitchen or Habitat for Humanity. Almost 40 percent of the women said this is an important trait in a man. By contrast, only 11 per cent said writing checks to a charity is appealing.
And while you're helping those less fortunate: Tipping your waiter or waitress 25 per cent is a major turn-on, said 57 per cent of respondents. Who knew?
7. Keep your hot stock tips to yourself.
Financial knowledge is sexy in a man, according to 60 percent of the women. But only 42 per cent want your advice on money matters. That's because they don't need it. “Women are often better investors,” says Durie. “They rarely make rash decisions.”
In fact, University of California researchers analyzed 6 years of investment data and found that the portfolios of single women earned 2.3 per cent more, on average, than those of single men. And according to the National Association of Investors, all-female investment clubs have historically earned 24 per cent annually, but all-male clubs gained just 19 per cent a year.
“If anything,” says Durie, “men should be asking their girlfriends for tips.”
This article was originally published on MensHealth.com