Men’s Health published a list of 40 Ways to Make a Woman Swoon (there’s actually 41, but my Mom might read this). I am ambivalent about 9 of the suggestions, give a flat-out no thank you to three of them, and the rest (with some caveats) are a-okay.
So. Here are my thoughts on the list.
1. “Ask her to dance.” If she’s attracted to you, absolutely.
2. “On windy days, brush wayward strands of hair from her eyes and mouth.” ABSOLUTELY. This is an overlooked male move in my opinion. However, if badly executed, it could be awkward (fingers in nose or mouth) or dangerous (eyes). But if well-executed, that’s Cary Grant smooth right there.
3. “When she’s coming down the street, across the room, or up the stairs to meet you, walk toward her as soon as you see her.” As with number 1, she really should be attracted to you.
4. “Kiss her between her shoulder blades when she turns her back to you to go to sleep.” Standard move, and should be. It’s like the ballet of the “Swoon” world. You have to know this before you can move on to different styles.
5. “Put your arm around her when you introduce her to your friends and family.” Ambivalent.
6. “Grasp her hand when a scantily dressed, beautiful woman walks by.” Ambivalent. Actually…bordering on insulting. It’s like, “We both know that was beautiful, but I’m staying here. I ordered the soup and sandwich before I heard the specials, but it’s okay. I’m stickin’ with my choice.”
7. “Call her when you’re feeling sad.” Ambivalent.
8. “Kiss her eyelids.” Another underappreciated move. Less tricky than brushing hair out of eyes. Quality move. Should be standard in everyone’s repertoire.
9. “Ask to see a picture of her when she was a child.” YES. I don’t know what it is about girls needing you to see them as an adorable child, but count me in that club.
10. “Wash her from head to toe in the shower.” Again, she should be attracted to you…
11. “If she’s crying on the phone, go over to her place. Immediately.” Good standard practice. I don’t know if it’s “Swoon” worthy, or if it’s more something good boy and/or girlfriends should do…
12. “Stand her naked on a sturdy chair and…” I ellipsed the end because of 2 reasons. 1. My mom sometimes reads this. 2. It doesn’t matter what I cut out. I don’t want to stand naked on a chair for ANY reason. What is this, a bad sorority rush? Are we going to circle my physical flaws with a sharpie? So a big ol’ NO on number 12.
13. “Occasionally call her by her first and middle names.” Ambivalent. She’ll been impressed if you know her middle name, initially. But then she’ll think, “Okay, Dad…”
14. “Buy her your favorite rock album of all time on vinyl.” Ambivalent. It’s a little doorknobby for me. I mean, okay…so we both have the album now…. Certainly the reaction won’t be the intended one if she does the same for him.
15. “Order coffee for her, remembering exactly how she likes it.” Yes! Although, I can’t say I wouldn’t swoon if someone I loathe entirely did it, either. If you bring me coffee the way I like it, we’ll get along just fine.
16. “Undress her and put her to bed when she falls asleep in the car.” Yes. I’m talking standing ovation yes. This is, I don’t hesitate to say, a no fail move. If it does fail, then in the words of Wayne Campbell, “It was never meant to be.”
17. “Mention your upcoming anniversary before she does.” Ambivalent
18. “Send her something in the mail. Anything.” Again, yes…absolutely. But I get just as excited when Zappos sends me something in the mail.
19. “When she’s feeling insecure, stare into her eyes and tell her there is no one in the world who could be as right for you as she is.” Of course. I feel like this should be on the “HOw to be in a relationship” list. But still, I suppose it’s worth repeating.
20. “Call her just before you get on the plane.” AND after you land. AND after you’ve reached your destination or “she” is going to have to take a xanax.
21. “Pick her clothes up off the floor.” With a smile. They should have added “with a smile.” Because otherwise it’s open to interpretation. What if he adds “Pick her clothes up off the floor begrudgingly” or “Pick her clothes up off the floor while saying, Jesus Christ, this shirt is enormous!”
22. “Try desperately to make her laugh when she’s feeling down.” No, because now she’s feeling down AND feels like she has to laugh.
23. “Touch her arm when you leave the table to go to the bathroom. Touch her again when you come back.” Ambivalent…maybe even creeped out? In my case, I would likely say, “What?!”
24. “Take her to see your favorite sport live. Pay more attention to her than to the game.” Anyone that knows me just laughed out loud, BUT hear me out. I give a yes to this one. I would only add, “If they lose, the car ride home still has to be fun.”
25. “Shave just before you see her. She’ll notice.” OH yeah. She will. She’ll notice. I can’t even make a funny quip here. It’s just such a “man” thing to do. Love it.
26. “Hug her when she gets jealous. Hug her hard.” Now. Let me say this. I’m jealous when it comes to other people’s success, parts in a show, bodies, homes, etc. Not when it comes to other women, generally speaking. Now. That being said, I love a good hard hug. So bring ’em on. Jealously not required.
27. “Worship her breasts.” I would have added “so to speak.” I don’t think we need to build an organized religion around them. But knowing that you’re a fan is a-okay.
28. “Give her jewelry.” Again…sure. But also tricky. I don’t know if anyone remembers when Janice bought Chandler that gold watch… jewelry buying can go awry. So I’ve heard. My man knows how to purchase appropriate and tasteful adornments. Also…some women don’t dig jewelry. I can see how a jewelry purchase could be misconstrued. In fact…if you’re not confident about this, I may even avoid it for awhile.
29. “Hand her two towels when she gets out of the shower. (The second one is for her hair.)” Again, my Mom could do this and I would be just as thrilled. But it’s a nice gesture. Particularly from my Mom, actually. “The rest of us get by on one towel! Why can’t you?!”
30. “Ask her specific questions about her work.” Sure. Whatever. I mean, you could take out “work” and put in “hobby” “pursuit” “thoughts on Medieval medical practices…” The girl just wants to know you care about what she thinks.
31. “Keep her favorite cereal on hand.” I’d like to take out “cereal” and insert “liquor”, Alex.
32. “In the middle of a conversation, tell her you love her.” Of course.
33. “Send her very expensive flowers when you screw up.” I’d like to edit a bit. Take out “expensive” and put it “tasteful”. Remove “when you screw up” and insert “any ol’ time.”
34. “Take her to a cabin with a fireplace. Build her a fire.” Assuming you aren’t breaking and entering, this is a standing ovation move. Very Frasier Crane goes away for the weekend (minus the hijinks.)
35. “Moan her name when…” (Re: ellipses, see #12) and also we’re getting into personal preferences here, but I wouldn’t go around assuming this is what every woman is into. Also, as any sitcom can illustrate, make sure you’re thinkin’ straight.
36. “Read her a story when it’s her turn to drive during a long road trip.” Sure! I would even add, “Tell her a story after you’ve tucked her in.” But please see #21 for appropriate interpretations. Also, when searching for reading material, at least in my case…avoid the magazine selection from the bathroom.
37. “Offer to fix something in her apartment that you realize is broken.” I hate to sound like a broken record, but you could be my mailman and I’d be happy to let you repair things around my apartment.
38. “Notice when she’s wearing something new.” Maybe… If you genuinely like it.
39. “Kiss her hand in front of your most die-hard bachelor buddies.” Ambivalent. Hopefully he’s man enough for this not to be an action of note. And hopefully he doesn’t hang out with latent homosexual frat boy douchebags. (I am fantastically lucky, btw, that I adore my man’s friends. Not a latent homosexual among them.)
40. If she’s too stressed to want sex . . .
a) Draw a bath for her.
b) Give her a full-body massage.
c) Ask if she wants to wrestle.
I ask you…are we getting tongue in cheek at this last one? Or is this the actual belief of the author that she’s so stressed she just has to…wrestle? ANyhoo, oh hell, give it a whirl! Let me know what she does. “Darling, while I massage your shoulders, a bath is being drawn as we speak. After, I shall bring you a glass of wine. Offer you chocolate, and then put you in a half-nelson as you drift off to sleep…”