Before You Bring Her Home: How to make your place girlfriend-friendly

Cleanliness does not equal consent, so why scour your apartment before a big date? If she likes you, she won’t care about scuzzy floors, moldy dishes, and yellowing sheets, right?

WRONG, you self-indulgent swain. Don’t confuse laziness with “being yourself.” Effort is a vital element of success, and not being ratchet beyond recognition is an integral part of the complex human mating game.

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I loathe maintaining pristine sheets but love burrowing  into a freshly made bed. Should you be lucky enough to get a girl in your bed, ensure she returns with clean, matching sheets. Jam nightstand hodgepodge into a box and hide it.

Laundry

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Laundry is my least favorite chore, a prolonged drudgery I am putting off as I type. Yet, you must MUST handle that cloth cluster fuck before a girl comes over and silently judges you. I have a girlfriend, and I still hide my laundry when she comes over, because I don’t want to distract her with my filthy rags. You gotta put your dirty laundry away. Or clean laundry. Laundry strewn everywhere isn’t a deal breaker, but it’s a quick fix that demonstrates your maturity. Plus, you never know if you’ve got a clean person on your hands. Clean people look like regular people except they are judging your clutter.

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Dimmed lights are the best for building extreme levels of comfort. It gives you an instant relaxed vibe and helps with her feeling more comfortable around you. Use lamps, not overhead lighting, to create ambiance without dimming light fixtures. Note lumens, not just wattage, when shopping for a light bulb that won’t illuminate your glaring flaws. The less lumens, the softer the light and the better you look. Put lamps on side tables, plus one in the kitchen or hallway to illuminate any inevitable walks to the bathroom or kitchen.

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Vacuum and Swiffer. If your date goes well, she’ll be walking around with bare feet. Some girls are weirdly sensitive about not having dirt between their toes. Humor them.

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Walk into the front door of your apartment, stand still, close your eyes, and take a deep whiff. What do you smell? Scent is a crucial part of your date’s first impression of how you live.

Febreze, Glade plug ins, and incense are three subtle, cheap ways to make a good impression vis a vis nose.

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Touch is another oft-forgotten aspect of good housekeeping. Sticky, spattered, countertops are nasty and inspire suspicion: “What is this gunk?”  Spray counter cleaner over every available surface, leave for five minutes, and vigorously rub down. It takes less than 10 minutes and will prevent your date from shuddering.

Sidebar: I swear to God, I can smell moldy food from inside a shut fridge. TOSS IT. Then take out the trash. Wash and put away the dishes. No one puts away the dishes anymore, particularly my roommates, but it takes 60 seconds and de-clutters the kitchen.

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Clean your toilet. It’s so easy. She may not notice a clean toilet, but she’ll sure as hell notice a putrid crapper. Then, take out the bathroom trash; so many people have overwhelming bathroom garbage cans, it’s like putting your used q-tips on a plate for house guests to peruse while they pee. Intimacy breeds contempt.

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Everyone loves a night cap. Stock your refrigerator with artisans pale ale for a tasty beverage that relaxes, not obliterates. A chilled whiskey back up in the freezer is very Mad Men, very high functioning alcoholic, very my type. Be more like Don Draper.

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Beware of greasy, pungent, crumbly, messy or garlicky munchies. If you’re thinking chips, stock up on blue corn tortilla chips and fresh guacamole. If she’s got a sweet tooth, toss cookies or mini ice cream sandwiches on a pretty plate and set it in front of her. Hunger + Anger = Hangry = not DTF and noticing your dumb laugh.

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Have a chill playlist pre-loaded on Spotify before you leave for your date. Then, mood music will be one thoughtless click away. Super smooth. Just like you. Press play, snuggle up on the couch, and casually mention “You love [her favorite band that just so happens to be song #2 on playlist]” and she’ll be like “Omg, you’re such a good listener! Take off your pants.”

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Vacuum the goddamn dog hair off your goddamn couch so she doesn’t acquire a fur coat mid-couch coitus.

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Leave a couple magazines, a coffee table book, and a bookmarked copy of something intelligent you are reading on the coffee table. When you’re bopping around being a good hostess (see below), she’ll have something to look at other than the dust bunny that got away. A dust bunny will always get away.

You’ve scanned the perimeter, dazzled your date, and finally ushered bae into your humble abode. Now what? Maybe you know already, or maybe you have anxiety and roam frantically like a hyperactive dingo when under pressure to be cool. I don’t know your life. If you can take it from here, grand. If not, follow the simple script I have laid out below.

When She Arrives

Offer to hang her coat/bag. Make her a drink and bring it to her, setting your own down on the coffee table. Dim the lights, play the music, grab the snacks, and sit next to her. Then (and this is the super crazy part) ask your date questions about herself and listen, really listen, without dwelling on what club comeback you’ll spout when she stops talking. Listening is magnetic.

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This article was first published August 26, 2015. 

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