I know women are supposed to be mysterious, but allow me to lift one of our seven veils. We are taught—by a parent or hard knocks—that men will only want us if we make ourselves almost impossible to get, that men must engage in epic derring-do before we accept their affections. But you know that myth about women deciding about men within 5 seconds? Well…
But have we made the inexorable yea-or-nea? Are men sunk before they hit the water?
Breathe easy, fellas. We do make a decision in that tiny window, and here’s another mind-blowing fact: most of you are a Maybe. Don’t believe me? Here are some completely unsubstantiated numbers:
5-Second Summation of Hotness spectrum: Out of 100 Men
Low End – No (aka ‘no way Jose’, ‘not in this world or the next’, or ‘get off me loser’):
3% due to poor or non-existent hygiene
3% due to limp handshake
3% due to creepiness
Mid-Section – Maybe (aka ‘decent’, ‘normal’, or ‘just something about him’):
90% due to following basic rules of social interaction, engagement in moderate hygiene, and tolerable handshake of socially acceptable length (length allowed to vary if subject is visibly nervous).
High End – Yes (aka ‘oh baby’, ‘wolf whistle’, or ‘humminahummina’):
1% due to combination of above-average stature, symmetry of facial features, broadness of shoulders, warmth of smile, engagement in regimented hygiene, no signs of nervousness, and firm handshake of socially acceptable length.
I know right??? So why do so many Maybes find themselves hearing no? Because those first five seconds are not what sway us. They are the receptionist at the corporation of Head, Heart, and Hormones, LLC. We see a guy, and if those five seconds are a go, we take the candidate to the partner who will respond first. Does he tell a funny (and tasteful) joke? Head will see you in her office. Does he open the door, help with a heavy load or provide assistance of some kind? Heart will take that meeting. Does the touch of his hand make her tingle? Hormones will clear her schedule.
But like any well-run company, all of the partners must agree. Take that nearly-unheard-of 1% guy. Sure Hormones is ready to hire him, but Head says ‘He was so rude to the waitress.’ Hormones doesn’t get to make an investment that could ruin the company, because Head knows that if the candidate mistreats people in general, he will inevitably mistreat her. So just because he got interviewed first, it doesn’t mean he’ll be hired.
That’s where the 90% have great power. One foot is already in the door, as outlined in the Mid-Section above. The next step is to appeal to one of the partners, preferably Head or Heart. Eventually all three will review your qualifications, and all three will have to agree. But Head and Heart have a strong influence on Hormones, more so than the other way around. Hormones can be all sizzle and no steak. She talks a good game, but she will always go with Head and Heart. And as much as Head and Heart will do damage control, Hormones won’t care about the mess she made – that mess being you.
So take heart, keepers of the Y chromosome. Just like in the job market, what you do, how you present yourself, and the appropriate handshake will get you places. It doesn’t mean that all women will fall for you. Just know that you have a better shot than you think.