Advice | December 20, 2016 9:00 am

What Women Want. Seriously. We Asked.

10 real, live, sex-having women on the little things that work

Throughout history, men have done some pretty stupid things to impress women.

Pretending to like Love Actually. Carrying purses in public. The Trojan War.

But impressing a woman is easier said than done.

It’s not flowers. It’s not being nice to her mother. In fact, it’s not one thing at all.

So while we can’t give you a magic formula for winning hearts, we can offer this: the thoughts of 10 real, live, sex-having women on things men have done to impress them that actually worked.

Zosia, 32, Print Manager
Coupled up and annoying everyone on the train
“Remember things I’ve told him. Pay attention. Helping coordinate and plan.”

Eve, 29, Real Estate Broker
Got this boyfriend
“Cooking. Anytime I’ve had a guy cook for me, they’re so sure of what they’re doing. And it’s adorable because you know it’s the one thing they’ve cooked for years.”

Frances, 32, Creative Consultant
Married and stoked about it
“Following up on a something I mentioned. Like: I mentioned X, so he took the time to look into it further, and then provided his thoughts/reactions to X unsolicited. It is impressive and flattering that he would take the time to do something like that.”

Layla, 31, Graphic Designer
Living happily in sin
“Fancy dates always work. So many dresses and nowhere to go! If a man wants to give me the opportunity to dress up, he might just get lucky. Presents and flowers are also appreciated.”

Lily, 27, Marketing Coordinator
My Facebook says “Single”
“I love it when a guy has a passion that requires commitment. I’m really into a man that has survival skills and can build things. And MAJOR bonus points if the first thing you do in the morning is turn on NPR instead of music.”

Peggy, 32, Production Coordinator
Oh-so married
“Treats my friends and family well. My boo has always been a charmer and I always thought he was doing it to make me happy. But when a good friend of mine got knocked around by her then-fiancé and my fella got really invested in helping her get out of the relationship, I fell more deeply in love with him than I even knew possible. He didn’t have to get involved or stick his neck out, but I had the good fortune to find out that’s just the kind of guy he is. Oral sex also works.”

Louisa, 30, Marketer
Single as f***
“Literally nothing. It’s all a sham. Kidding(ish). I’ve definitely had these gorgeous grand gestures that were nice on paper, but they were textbook and out of the box. Much more impressive is when a guy does something — even if it’s small — that says, ‘Hey, I see you and I’m thinking of you so I did this for you, not so I can feel like a hero.’ That’s a big deal, and way harder to find than it should be.”

Julia, 30, RN
I’m really into him
“Compliments me on something that doesn’t involve my looks.”

Melanie, 29, PR Executive
Relationship Status
“Pauses in the middle of sex to go down on me for a bit, and then right back into intercourse.”

Otto, 35, Magazine Editor
He’s the still point of my spinning Earth
“Have a plan. Be kind to strangers. Give me space. Lend a hand without being asked. Ask me to dance. Dance well — or fearlessly, that works too. Smell nice.”

Victoria, 26, Artiste
Single and satisfied
“I’m always impressed by a man who takes initiative when it comes to making plans. Whether it’s picking a restaurant for dinner or a whole weekend of activities, it shows that he’s proactive and invested in making sure that I have a good time. Letting a man take the lead on planning a date can also provide some solid insight into who he is and what his interests are, especially early on in a relationship.”

photo credit: Carin Baer/AMC