Monday, December 15, 2014

Your Home's First Date

You’ve finally met someone who might be worth keeping. Everything is going well until you visit his home or he visits yours. Suddenly, the relationship takes a turn the other way. Return texts are few and the dates dry up too. What happened?

Your humble abode did not pass the relationship test. Your home has to put on its best face too for the initial meeting. Think how you’d feel if your date showed up in smelly gym clothes. A casual invite occurs after cleaning.

Home Turnoffs

1.       Sloppy. There’s a difference between a jacket on the couch and dishes everywhere and an unmade bed.

2.       Unsettled look. When there is no sign you’re staying. Lack of curtains, wall art, even real glasses as opposed to those souvenir restaurant cups.

3.       Signs of previous visitors of the opposite sex. This could be anything from hairpins, shoes, clothes, toiletries. It doesn’t matter if it belongs to your sibling. She won’t ask, she’ll assume.

4.       Smell. This is hard for people because they are used to the way their place smells. You may have to ask a friend to scent test your place. Anything from bacon, pets, stale smoke, or the locker room stench has to go. A thorough cleaning with a lemon or pine scented product will help, but room deodorizers and candles are good too.

5.       Location. This may not be something you can help. Because let’s face it, you aren’t going to move.  This is more of a female issue because if she feels unsafe, then she’ll not want to stay over.

6.       Pets. Do you have too many? Is your canine vicious? Is your date allergic to cat dander?

7.       Children. Did you mention you had any? Is your child or children in your date’s face?

8.       Roommates. Often your roommate can be a deal breaker. Perhaps your roommate likes embarrassing you or decides to make a play for your date.

9.       Smoking. Your date might be aware you smoke, but it’s an entirely different experience to step in an area steeped in stale cigarette smoke, not a pleasant one.

Home Upgrades

1.       Wall art. You can in mix some photos of you doing fun stuff.

2.       Plants. Go with fake if you can’t do real. Not too many or it starts to feel like a jungle. Green is relaxing.

3.       Wastebaskets in the bathroom. Women appreciate this touch.

4.       Soap by the sink. Full roll of toilet paper on the spindle, preferably not the cheap brand.

5.       An actual sofa as opposed to chairs, which allows the two of you to snuggle while watching a movie.

6.       Clean, coordinated sheets and fluffy pillows.

7.       Boxes of tissues scattered throughout the living room, bedroom, and bathroom.

8.       Actual dishes. You can pick up glass dishes anywhere from Target to the Dollar Store. No reason not to have a couple along with real flatware. Plastic dishes, glasses, and especially forks signals you’re not a grownup.

9.       Clean matching towels in the bathroom. (You only have to have one set in the beginning.)

10.   Food in the fridge. Something besides beer, condiments, and takeout containers. It’s nice to be able to offer your guest a snack or drink.

11.   Lamps. The good thing about lamps as opposed to overhead lighting. It’s more flattering to your skin tone and the use of appropriate dim lightning sets the scene.

 The home visit is a positive step forward, but it can also be a research time for your date. He or she may be doing a little investigation work. Is there any sign of hobbies or interests? Could be checking for signs of a significant other still in the picture. (This is where the answering machine can be a killer, although most people have voice mail.) Could be you bragged about a telescope or a huge movie collection. It helps if you actually own an item you bragged about; otherwise, everything else you mentioned will appear to be a lie.

The home visit doesn’t always seal the deal either. Don’t invite someone over too soon. It would be a shame to go to so much work and end up dumped. Unfortunately, many people instead of working on the premise on what is good about the person work on what is wrong.

It’s possible, your potential sweetie could decide after spending time in your home that the two of you could never work because you have atrocious taste in art or have carpeting as opposed to hard wood floors. Don’t sweat it, because if all it takes is a crystal bell collection or ceramic dragons to scare him off, then he was looking for a deal breaker. Someone who likes who you are won’t mind floor coverings and will find your collections unique because they are part of who you are. 

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