1. Make sure your skin is smooth and hairless, or let your body hair grow like a garden weed. I truly believe any guy who would not date you because you have hair on your legs (which, by the way, grows there on its own; it's not like you asked for it to) is a pile of dirt with a trash can for a soul.
2. Show him how intelligent you are and if he gets freaked out by that, walk. At some point, movies and TV told us that when we meet a guy we like, we need to hide how smart we are because otherwise guys will get intimidated. Why would you want to be with a guy who gets validation from thinking he's smarter than you? Gross.
3. Always look completely put together, even at the grocery store, or look like a normal human woman who just needed to pick up some freaking coconut water without putting on eight layers of contouring makeup. The idea that we all have to look perfect 24 hours a day because The Guy might be around the corner is way too exhausting and also, my face without makeup is my face. If The Guy doesn't like my face, he's not The Guy. Especially because face-wise, it's pretty solid. And if you love wearing makeup, please show me how to do a cat-eye that doesn't turn into a smeared hot mess by 3 p.m. because I am still unclear on that.
4. Laugh at his jokes—if they're funny. I am so serious about this one. The whole "men love it when you laugh at their jokes" thing? Well, we do laugh at their jokes when they make any good ones. But laughing at the jokes that aren't funny is just encouraging him to continue believing he's being funny when he is not. Skip.
5. Smile a lot to show you're interested, or don't smile that much because you're not a big smiler. I know smiling makes you more attractive, but it's like the laughter thing. If something wonderful happens, you smile. Maybe it's a small smile, maybe not, but it still happened. You don't have to go above and beyond to pretend you're happier than you are just so he'll think you're extra-cute.
6. Wear revealing clothing or modest clothing, depending on what makes you comfortable. I feel really comfortable in short skirts and crop tops. Not because I'm trying to be sexy or some crap; I just feel cute like that. But you might feel better when you're super covered-up. Both are great! And the right guy will completely dig it. Change nothing.
7. Let him win at games sometimes because eh, you feel like being nice, or compete so hard his man-brain hurts and he sees you as the superhero you are. I much prefer the latter, but if you feel like doing the former because you want to throw him a bone now and then, fine by me.
8. Learn how to cook, or continue not knowing how to make anything but rice cakes. My recipe? Step 1: Open package. Step 2: Question life decisions because rice cakes are not that great and you know it. Enjoy! It's totally fine to want to learn how to cook, if you want to learn, but I have never had someone who didn't want to date me because I am a horrible cook. Maybe this is because I generally am attracted to people who know how to do that so I don't have to, but still.
9. Love every inch of your body the way it is, or continue to have a complex relationship with it. I hate hearing people tell me to love my body. I get it and I agree with them, but also it's OK if you don't love your body yet. This is such a process for all women and wherever you are in that process doesn't make you any less lovable.
10. Watch so-called "guy movies" only if you genuinely want to watch them. Don't feel bad that you can't get into Star Wars or The Godfather. If you happen to love those movies because you love them, keep loving them! But if you're trying to pry your eyes open while you half-watch them because you think if you don't no man will ever think you're cool, please, please skip that. Also, plenty of dudes love Pitch Perfect. Just sayin'.
11. If you want to mention your exes or other painful past experiences early on, mention them. If he can't handle the fact that you've been hurt before or once loved someone else or have had some really intense stuff happen to you, it's better to say what you want to say and know right now that he can't handle it. One day, you'll meet someone who isn't fazed, I promise.
12. Don't hold back on any part of yourself so you seem less weird. I proudly flaunt all my weird. I have long conversations with my kitten where I do both of our voices, I write songs about my roommate partying super hard even though he hates parties, and sometimes my laugh makes me sound like a child who's had too much sugar, and I tell every guy I'm into all those things. Maybe I'm lazy, but I just figure if a guy sees all that and is psyched, we're going to be great together. Because I'll definitely be this weird until my death.
13. Talk about politics on the first date if you want to. I know people say not to do it, but those people have probably never wasted their time with someone they thought was great until he said, "Well, I just think feminists are angry for no reason" on the third date and then had to walk home in the rain because he had driven us there.
14. Wait for him to ask you out again, or text him ASAP because you can't wait to see him. When I get excited about someone, something inside of me always says, "Oh my god, calm down, you stupid weirdo," but then another voice comes in and says, "Fuck that! I almost never like someone. I'm going in," and I personally love that voice a lot more than the other one, but it's your call which one you listen to. Both make very good points.
15. Stop worrying who's going to get the check. You can let him get it or you can split it or you can pay for it. This used to be something that worried me to such a ridiculous extent until I realized what actually mattered was how I felt about the person and if I felt like they treated me well in general. A guy can get the check every single time and still not be right for you.
16. Let him come to you, or go to his doorstep and tell him you're into him. If he's the right dude, whichever one you choose will be the right choice. Plus, any guy who is disappointed because he wanted to ask you to come over and make out and now you just saved him a trip because you're already there is weird, and I do not understand him.
17. Have long hair or short hair or no hair at all. The whole "men love long hair thing"? Great! Don't care. Call me crazy, but the guy I'd want to date is more into the fact that I am kickass than the fact that the hair on my head touches my butt a lot.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.