Look Me in the Eyes

I’ve had my Yahoo! email address now for over 13 years. This is only mentioned because I spend a fair amount of time reading Yahoo’s cheesy headlines. They have a lame way of sucking you in with their news blurbs. It’s likely to be a heading about dating, your money, city rankings, celeb gossip, or some outdated viral web video. Today’s gem: 5 Reasons Why You Guys Are Still Single (with an emphasis on men)

1. Eye Contact
2. Eating habits
3. Toenail grooming
4. Order “everything on the side” at a restaurant
5. Assuming you’re going to strike out

These are the five things that will make or break it? I will concede two of them: Eye Contact and Assuming You’re Going to Strike Out. Naturally you want to make eye contact with your date/partner. That’s seems pretty obvious to me. I did receive great advice from a college girlfriend. She told me I had wandering eyes during face-to-face conversations. You know what, she was exactly right. I did, and still do to some extent, but now I’m aware it’s happening. Eye contact isn’t only applicable for dating, it also works wonders in the workplace and while social networking.

Assuming You’re Going to Strike Out — confidence goes a long way. It manifests itself in the way we walk, talk, eat, write up a blog post, lecture people about their use of emoticons, etc. I’m guessing most of us can spot a confident person a mile away based on how they carry themself.

Eating habits, toenail grooming, and food ordering? Do people hold this against someone? I am sure there are many guys with not so great eating habits. To blow them off solely because of those habits, hmmm… that seems a bit unfair. Toenails? Come on, that’s like judging a woman based on her toenails. Oh, I mean… um, yeah toenails. I’d guess most guys wouldn’t stop dating a woman because of a silly ingrown toenail.

Please discuss this amongst yourselves. Are these five on track? Turn this aroud, what are 3-5 common pitfalls women do to keep them single?

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About lessinges

Seattle native, discovering life! I like ice cream, cold cereal, and The Amazing Race.
This entry was posted in Egan Wants to Know, Grown-ups, Opinionated, Science, Vanity is Overrated. Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to Look Me in the Eyes

  1. This is what happened:
    The yahoo people were having office chit chat and started talking about why guys are single. They came up with number 1 and number 5, agreeing whole-heartedly about those points and giving back slaps to the person who came up with them. Then someone said, “You know … this should be a feature on Yahoo! Why don’t you come up with three more, since, you know, you can’t have a list with just TWO things on it, and publish it by the end of the day.”
    And that “genius” couldn’t think of anything else and that is when toe nail grooming, eating habits, and ordering habits were born.
    Notice how they put the big guns at the beginning and at the end of the list?

  2. Gwen says:

    Eating habits? Oh yeah. I’m always amazed that the guys who slurp and slosh and huff their food have managed to find wives at all. But then I rejected a guy once because his calves were too big. I know! Jesus! Could I have been more shallow?!? At 20?!?! Good god. Some of it just comes down to chemistry, though. You like what you like, for whatever biological reason you don’t understand.
    I read somewhere once that the human animal uses smell to determine whether a mate is genetically compatible. The use of the Pill, however, has depressed the kind of hormonal scent clues that we are programmed to use to pick partners. Some scientists speculate that this is why the divorce rate skyrocketed: people choose bad partners b/c their smelling sense has been compromised by the Pill. Then, once they get married and stop using the Pill, they realize they are incompatible biologically, and their brain makes up reasons to get out of the bad union.
    Or something like that.
    It sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Just crazy enough to be partly true.

  3. Chris says:

    Lack of confidence and/or self-esteem plays a big role in the inability to look someone in the eyes…I know this because it is something I learned about myself.
    I also learned that Tequila, when blended properly in a perfect Margarita (hey, let’s face it, any quantity of alcohol) is a great cure for the problem hwoever is doesn’t compensate for any other reason/problem – I learned that too.
    They say with age comes wisdom, at the very least, knowledge.

  4. alexa says:

    i mean i’m all for nice toe nails but it’s not usually a deal breaker.
    and isn’t it women who order things on the side?
    yahoo is so odd.

  5. Amy says:

    This may come as no surprise, but eating habits are important to me. You are what you eat. I want someone whose eating habits aren’t going to send him to the grave early.
    I should also mention that TOO MUCH eye contact is a bit freaky. I don’t like it.

  6. JLee says:

    I think for women it’s revealing too much about their life, (baggage etc) complaining, getting too close too soon, jealousy, and not having enough confidence.

  7. Kailyn says:

    Yep, eating habits are indeed important — both how a guy eats and what he eats. For me a deal breaker is a guy who is unwilling to try new things.

  8. I don’t know about eating habits keeping someone single, but I once went on a date with my husband (at the time boyfriend) and another couple and when the other guy ordered the same thing as I did (with the same exact thing on the side) I definitely noticed. Not in a bad way, just that it was interesting that I found my “food match”. He wasn’t someone I’d be interested in, and we were both with other people already. Really my story doesn’t have much at all to do with your post but it does mention food and eating habits so it isn’t as off track as I sometimes get, right?

  9. SM says:

    With guys thinking it’s cool and OK to wear flip flops and mandals all the time, toenail care is essential. While I haven’t dated for 10 years, I can imagine how much of a buzz kill it would be to look down and see nasty-ass toes on your date. Definitely wouldn’t want to put out because the whole time you’d be thinking about those things accidentally touching you in some way.
    Seriously – chicks think like this. And now that I think about it, that might be why some are still single.

  10. A definite turn off for me is when a guy gets all controlling about who I can hang out with. Most of my friends were guys when I was in college. I had one boyfriend that ripped the phone numbers of all males out of my phone book. That did not fly and I broke up with him because of that and some other controlling stuff he tried to do. I’ll spare you the long stalking restraining order story that I should have known was coming and just tell you the end part. I have not seen him in over 15 years. I should have known by his extreme jealousy that it would turn out badly.
    But the opposite is not great either. My husband is the most UN jealous person I have ever met. I could probably send naked pictures to someone and he’d be all “well, if that’s what you want to do it’s your choice and your body”. I would never do that of course, but it would be cool every once in a while for him to show just a tiny bit of jealousy. I think I am off topic again. I’m going to swim now so I stop oversharing on your blog.

  11. thistle says:

    footcare, definitely an issue for me…i am the anti-foot fetish queen…someone shows me ugly feet, and i run screaming. CanNOT handle It. NOT.
    filed under Probably Too Much Information About Me

  12. furiousball says:

    as someone who is newly single… I freakin’ love it.

  13. egan says:

    Essentially Me – I would agree. The middle ones are bait for the list. “Men, are you single? If so, maybe you ought to care for your toenails a bit better”.
    Gwen – this Pill dating theory sounds like something NPR would discuss in a 20 minute blow by blow story. The alternative is no pill, happiness, lots of kids, and then sorrow? No that doesn’t sound right.
    Chris – I’m sure age does bring wisdom, but I’ve also met some very mature younger people. Tequila does weird things to people, but we can’t throw it in the mix. Alcohol is a wild card.
    Alexa – I would agree with all you said. I’ve never once known a guy to order more than one thing on the side. I mean that. Toenails are toenails. Are people really so shallow that toenails are a dealbreaker?
    Amy – yes, very intense eye contact is annoying. It feels fake and gives me the chills. I think the posts talks more about how a guy eats than what he actually puts in his mouth.
    JLee – I think you nailed the turnoffs in women, seriously that’s a great list.
    Kailyn – I get what a guy eats, but would you consider that a dealbreaker though? If the guy thinks the Atkins Diet is the shit, would you kick him to the curb? Just asking. The article talked about more about how a guy eats vs. what he eats.

  14. Eunice says:

    #4 is classic “When Harry Met Sally.” Ordering food like this presumes a level of “high maintenance.” VERY annoying.

  15. churlita says:

    I don’t get the weird shallow reasons. I agree with your two and I would add (speaking strictly for myself): Being disingenuous (I hate feeling like I’m being played), being a cranky old poop (which could be an older guy thing), and being obviously disrespectful. I’m sure some guys would find my liberal use of parenthesis a deal breaker too.

  16. egan says:

    Tori – so do you and your hubby have similar food tastes? Is that necessarily a good thing? I’m just asking. I know I pretty much eat anything and my wife is a vegetarian. So far it works out pretty well. I even use utensils when eating. I’m so domesticated.
    SM – really though? Toenails are a complete dealbreaker? Great guy, nice job, good sex, fun family, shitty toes… he’s history? That seems sort of wrong. Maybe it’s the soccer player in me that knows my toes aren’t pretty. Who knows.
    You got this one right though! Your final sentence declaring that this is how women think, that’s brilliant. If you’re so damn picky that bad toenails are a dealbreaker, I think a long stare down in front of a mirror is in order. Seriously. Nobody is perfect. Toenails for most guys are an after thought. We put socks over them and then put shoes over the socks.
    Tori – yes, the jealousy thing will do anyone in. Nobody wants a jealous partner. That gets old fast and creates many trust issues. Your comment about your spouse and his level of unjealousness does raise an eyebrow. I see where you’re going with this one. Perhaps he needs some eye contact coaching?
    Thistle – ugly feet? Alright, I’m going to leave it at that after my rant above. I honestly don’t get that one.
    Furiousball – wait, you’re loving the five tips? Do you find them at all useful? Next time you dine out are you going to use your fork instead of raising a tilted plate to your mouth? Sorry, I guess this list seems so common sense. It’s like saying, place your keys in the ignition to start the car.
    Eunice – I wondered if anyone would bring up the Harry Met Sally aspect of number four. I get how that could be annoying. I’m not entirely sure that’s typically a guy trait, but I see what they’re saying. Dealbreaker?
    Churlita – yes, I hate the way you use parenthesis, we’re history! Well, we’re not dating so you’re off the hook. I’m right there with you about this list. Are we encouraging shallow behavior with this list of five things a man can do? I feel bad for the single man who believes this list is his ticket to relationship bliss.

  17. meno says:

    I’ve met you, for reals. I think you are cute and i didn’t notice any problem with too much or too little eye contact.
    Of course i’m not looking for love either.
    But yeah, crappy table manners are gross.

  18. Nilsa says:

    When I was in the dating scene and a guy would treat wait staff rudely at a restaurant. Or was a bad tipper. It was mostly definitely a signal that it was our last date. Decency to other humans ranks very highly on my list, for sure.

  19. egan says:

    Meno – you’re saying very kind things about me. I’m glad our two meetings have been good. I have some issues chatting with food in my mouth. I really have improved my eye contact and I thank you for confirming this. I thought we made a great love connection.
    Nilsa – yes, that’s a huge turnoff. If I was dating a woman who treated the waitstaff like shit, it would either be the last date or pretty close to it. There’s no excuse for that. I say the same about random phone calls. Some think it’s cool to treat telemarketers like shit. Really? It’s just a way they pay their bills. Be cordial and say thanks, but no thanks.

  20. My husband and I don’t necessarily eat the same foods. He eats way more crap food than I do and it doesn’t bother me or affect me in any way. I’m not the police of him, thank goodness, because he does a lot of things that I wouldn’t/don’t do…I think we talked about this before though didn’t we? The littering sometimes (not often), putting things back when in line at the checkout but not putting it back correctly. Little stuff, but stuff I wouldn’t do.
    I didn’t think anything good or bad when the other guy ordered exactly the same thing as me, it was just something I noticed because it was surprising. I guess it was surprising enough that I remember it this many years later and think of it when you talk about dating. I wasn’t even dating this guy and having the exact same food order stuck out in my head so much that I wrote about it in a comment. I’m not sure what that says about me though!
    I just thought of another one. Oh I am reading the comments now and I see that Nilsa beat me to it. I think it is important to note how the guy treats other people. Not JUST wait staff, but anyone. Does he lie to people? Does he cover for his cheating friends? Does he tell his parents what they want to hear rather than what is true? That says a lot. I think it’s all common sense though. If they think it is ok enough to do to someone else, why would you expect them not to do it to you.

  21. ms chica says:

    I get these general headlines on hotmail too. It’s like the Men’s Health Editors run out of things to between the shallow struggling actress photo shoot and the mandatory beer pong meeting.
    This list is a cheezy way to trivialize complex issues/
    #1 is a confidence indicator. Too little eye contact, low self-confidence. Too much eye contact, too intense, scary.
    #2 It isn’t so much what a guy eats, but how he eats, and though good table manners are important, that’s not what I’m referring to. Does he really enjoy his food? Does he taste every bite, or is he eating like a guy who is late for flight? The guy who takes his time, and enjoys pleasures of the palette, will be a great lay. The guy he orders skinless chicken an wolfs it down, will be a one trick pony in the sack. Look for the guy who shares his food, or better yet offers you the tastiest morsels.
    #3 Not a deal breaker per se, but an indicator of the ability to care for oneself. Personal grooming is important, it indicates your concerned about other menial tasks, like clean sheets.
    #4 High maintenance. I think this mentioned already.
    #5 Low self confidence, basically restating the first point. Apparently confidence is that important.

  22. mez says:

    I could see myself committing a crime of passion against someone who pissed me off with their eating habits. Don’t get me wrong, I’d already have to be in a shit of a mood but slurping, chewing, lip smacking, swallowing, talking with mouth full etc would drive me over the edge and into insanity.
    I don’t think I really care about the other ones (personally, I think #5 was invented by pop psychologists who want to sell self help books and #1- how does this explain stevie wonder having relationships? #3 and #4 are just ridiculous).

  23. mez says:

    I’m addressing the reverse on my journal

  24. egan says:

    Tori – there’s nothing more important than how people treat one another and especially customer service individuals. Those pet peeves of yours are valid with your hubby. Definitely not dealbreakers, but littering… oh, that’s huge for me. I can’t take littering. I’m going to look away.
    Ms. Chica – I’m beginning to think you write for Men’s Health. This is spot on the stuff I used to read in that mag. The covers always have a couple numbers, one for the abs and another for getting more action or losing weight. Guys only care about their abs and sex. Yes, clean sheets are important. Hygiene could easily be a dealbreaker. Confidence is very very important. You have to say that because otherwise they’d be encouraging unmotivated hacks.
    Mez – so I would love to have lunch with you and test you. Nah, I wouldn’t do that. The eating in front of others business takes some time for us guys to master. Were not so couth. We’re basically cavemen with clothes and better gadgets. I am glad you feel my pain on this list. I honestly feel bad for any guy who read this article and decided to make some adjustments.

  25. The Grunt says:

    Eye contact is essential, so long as you don’t freak the person out by staring at them intensely.

  26. justrun says:

    Maybe the toenail thing is a sign of decent personal grooming? Like if you aren’t clipping them, what else aren’t you paying attention to? I know, you’d think guys would have figured the head-to-toe thing out by, say, 30. You would be wrong.

  27. Logo says:

    Eye contact, you are right~ HUGE. You have to do the Little Red Riding Hood thing though, not too big, not too little, juuuuuust right.
    Eating Habits? Well, eating habits and bathroom habits can be serious deal breakers, ok, especially if someone tweaks you just wrong. I think they were filling space in the article but there could be some legitimacy to this.
    Toenail grooming~ This, to me, should be a portion of the larger section, Please Groom Yourself, and Act Human. Some people, seriously, they need to take a class or something. For the love of all that is holy! There is a difference between soccer feet and guy who are disgusting, nuff said.
    Ordering everything on the side…seriously, ANYONE who does this needs to stop. If you don’t want to freaking eat it, don’t order it! I know some people will feel that is a controversial stand on the matter, but seriously, one per customer, ok? If you ordered your salad dressing on the side then just man up and eat the sauce on your damn chicken. If you want it your way, go to Burger King. The waiters and waitresses, chefs, restaurant managers and owners can all mail me my pay off later.
    Assuming you will strike out~ Yah, single guys should stop that. It’s not helpful.
    As for women? I think the five things would be:
    Know who they are and accept themselves as an individual. Oh, and maintain their individual identity even in a relationship.
    Expecting a boyfriend to behave like a girl and conversely, excusing selfish behavior as masculine behavior.
    Believing a guy is, or will be, more interested her than he indicates he is. Nope, he doesn’t realize you are the best thing to ever happen to him, move on. If he is not blowing you away right now? It is not going to get better.
    Um, that is all I have right now

  28. Medio Pomelo says:

    Dirty fingernails and teeth are the first things to put me off. Toenails would probably come close second. And shoes. Oh yes. I could never date someone with certain taste in shoes…So, a guy with decent taste in shoes but lousy toenails would probably get away with it as long as the shoes are kept on.

  29. Matt says:

    I’d say the confidence thing covers all the rest. If men are confident, they will clean their toenails, and they will be happy with their masculinity and not try to overdo it with grunting, crotch-grabbing, and overeating. They will also look you in the eye, giving the appropriate blink (or wink!). Likewise, women who are self-confident will go to the rest room by themselves, pick up the tab every now and then, and eat their normal, healthy amount when they go out to eat.

  30. mez says:

    wow, how much sense does Matt make??!!

  31. egan says:

    The Grunt – I couldn’t agree more. Eye contact is key as it shows you can listen and know how to minimize awkward gazing.
    Justrun – I’m sure you’re right about the grooming thing and 30 year old men. Some guys are just really late bloomers, but I suppose you can afford to be picky.
    Logo – you’re a wise woman. I like your tips for woman as far as remembering who they are and to stay true to themselves. Don’t become a couple when you date, keep your hobbies. I’m paraphrasing a bit here, but you get the idea.
    Do people really order all that crap on the side? I’m sure a very very small minority might, but to use that example as the kind of guy to avoid? That’s my whole beef with this article. It’s like when the airlines give directions on how to buckle a seatbelt before the plane takes off, except I’m sure they’re legally required to do so. Who doesn’t know to strap it “low and tight” across their waist?
    Medio Pomelo – so some guy who rocks your world with his humor, wit, hobbies, etc, but has bad feet might get the book? I just don’t see how this could ruin everything. I like how you’re willing to give him a shot if he wears cool shoes.
    Matt – ha, didn’t you tie it together nicely. Maybe put a red bow on this post and call it good? Seriously, this is a great comment. Confidence does really encompass so many things. The only problem is how do you get there if you’re not comfy in your own skin? That’s where it gets tricky. Winking, great one. Just no Sarah Palin winking!
    Mez – I know, pretty great summation. Makes me to learn more about him. He’s an artist so yeah…

  32. Kailyn says:

    I realize the article is about how a guy eats versus what a guy eats. And yeah, if there’s a certain kind of inflexibility in what they eat, then it could indeed be a deal breaker. I’ve dated guys who have a very fixed idea about what they eat. Thing is other things in their lives were just as rigidly routine as well. In my mind, there’s nothing wrong with at least a little spontaneity.
    Oh, and Logo is so right about bathroom habits. I once stopped seeing a guy because ummmm he wasn’t really into flushing.
    And that thing about maintaining one’s own identity? Over the years it has really irritated me to see friends forget all about it when they get into a relationship. Kind of like the guy I dated who thought that we should do everything together. I kept trying to tell him that it was OK if we sometimes had separate interests. He cried. I broke up with him.

  33. qt says:

    I have to agree with Matt – confidence goes a long way. HOWEVER – smacking of lips while eating? Been there, listened to it, definitely a deal-breaker.

  34. K says:

    Toenails, totally a big deal. Common Fo – look at those guys in the pool. Great bod, good dresser – terrible toes? What gives?? Kinda doesn’t make me want to see their living room.

  35. big bro says:

    grooming and dating hints? I was hoping this post was going to be about the Jonas Brothers!
    That one knows how to flatiron hair!

  36. Self confidence (or lack thereof)
    Egocentrism
    Too high maintenance
    dumbing down
    possesive/jealous

  37. Diane Mandy says:

    For men?
    What happened to
    Still living with mom at 30?
    Continuing to date the age inappropriate?
    Knowing sports stats back 30 years, but forgetting birthdays and special occasions?

  38. Dave Q. says:

    Exactly right about the “assuming you’re going to strike out” thing. Confidence is everything. And girls can sniff out low self esteem like a shark with blood in the water. Not attractive in their eyes.

  39. brandy says:

    I’m with you in regards to the confidence and eye contact thing. But, (this is when I’m going to be annoying), what really kills it for me is when guys are extremely over confident too. I find over confidence underwhelming and extremely annoying. Oh, and if you try and grab my boobs over lunch? Yeah. We should just put a fork in you because you’re done.

  40. Angela says:

    If I found out a guy I was dating had nasty icky toenails, in all seriousness, I don’t think I could date him anymore. I’m not saying he has to get a pedicure, but toenail fungus is NOT cool.

  41. egan says:

    Kailyn – okay, not into flushing the toilet and not into trying new foods is a big turnoff. I know I love chicken and stuff, but I’m pretty good about trying new stuff. That wasn’t always the case. Just ask my college buddy. I recall eating a chicken sandwich at a Mexican restaurant. Classy. The kiss of death in any relationship is a loss of (previous) hobbies.
    QT – smacking the lips while eating is a deal breaker? Oh man, it’s all making sense why I was single during high school.
    K – I know the folks you’re speaking of at the pool. I guess sometimes guys just sort of forget about their toes, I know I have. I haven’t been swimming in so long. Must get back in the pool.
    Big Bro – who are these kids? They aren’t touring with NKOTB are they? Maybe they should. Hey, do you remember a guy named Tim Fletcher? His mom is hitting me up on Facebook. She says hi.
    Princess Extraordinaire – are we talking about men or women in this list of yours?
    Diane Mandy – I love your sports stats thing for the past 30 years. That is so true. There was a time in my high school years when I could rattle off baseball stats like state capitals. Thankfully I grew out of that stuff in college. You mean living at home after 30 isn’t sexy? I need to tell my bro this.
    Dave Q – hello and welcome to my blog! Very true about the self confidence thing. Guys are equally good about spotting it in women. Got to watch out for the overly confident types though too, those are worse than shy folks any day. Thanks for the comment.
    Brandy – I love that you brought up the boob touching at lunch guy. I forgot about that guy. What a charmer. As I was saying to Dave Q right above, too much confidence can be a huge downfall. Worse in my eyes than a shy person. The cocky stuff gets old quick.
    Angela – welcome to my blog. Toenail fungus? What does that look like? I’ve had a pedicure in the past year. I still have sort of unsightly toes due to soccer. I should have them painted.

  42. Haley says:

    This is silly but somewhat true if you ask me! Especially #5, if you are afraid to strike out it is pretty damn hard to get a hit!
    As for the toenails, it depends on how bad and how early in the game they get busted out. First night together and you are subjected to nasty ass toe fungus then come on you should know better, but if it is past the first stages of a relationship a gental nudge in the proper toenail grooming direction is way more reasonable then a full on toenail break up 🙂
    GREAT POST!

  43. egan says:

    Haley – thanks for visiting my blog. I do think #5 is very true and is important for women seeking men. We notice the lack of self-esteem.
    Toenails are tricky, but it’s hardly something I think most guys give much thought. So maybe you don’t want to end with the average guy, I get that. I would also hate to see a woman limit her dating pool solely based on a commonly overlooked task like clipping their toenails. Check his teeth for leftover parsley or something.

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