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  • Writer's pictureMarni Jameson

Guys, Is Your Place Date Bait? Gals Share Biggest Turnoffs


“I need your help,” my good friend Susan texted from the Denver airport. She was dashing off to visit her son in Los Angeles. He needed emergency decorating intervention.


Austin, a 29-year-old data analyst, was doing well for himself financially, but his apartment was a barren den of neglect, to put it nicely. His excuse: He’d been busy and was hardly there.


Suddenly, that was a problem. See, there was this woman. He liked her and wanted to have her over, but he wisely realized his place wasn’t exactly date bait. He needed his Mom. (Cue the angel chorus.) My friend was on the next plane.


Shortly after she landed, we were FaceTiming. She showed me around the apartment. Oh boy. This was the moment we were made for. The color scheme, if you could call it that, was dark gray and black with touches of brown. His bed was the same old double mattress he’d been dragging around since college. The only place to sit was on a dirty blue sofa he got for free from Facebook Marketplace and dragged home by stuffing it in the back of a friend’s SUV.


Although he had a nice television and several computer monitors, the place had not one piece of art, not even a plant. Even he described it as pretty much exactly like his place in college.



“It’s disgusting,” Susan said. “There’s no place you’d want to sit. He doesn’t even have a tea kettle.” That was about to change.


Susan helped him pick a new ivory sectional sofa, an ottoman, throw pillows and a throw blanket, as well as a new queen mattress and fresh bedding. They dialed in a color scheme of rust, teal and cream. They ordered 10 or so pieces of seriously cheap abstract art from TEMU that went with the color scheme and hung them with magnetic frames, which don’t put holes in the wall. (Total cost for 10 pieces of art and frames came to under $200.) They threw in some plants.


Afterward, I called Austin, whom I’ve known since he was nine, to ask what he thought about the transformation.


“Mom has been wanting to makeover my place for my entire adult life,” he said. “I’d been resistant. That was partly a combination of cost and the fact that I didn’t care that much. But now that I have a bit more money, I figured it was a good time to have a place that looks like I’m an adult.”


“What’s the biggest difference?” I asked.

“I’d never used a top sheet before, but Mom convinced me to use a top sheet.”

“Can’t disagree.”

“And I’ve never had a throw pillow in my life.”

“And what’s this about a girl?” I asked.

“Yeah, I was dating this girl, and I was interested in maybe having her come over and I wanted to present myself as an actual person.”

“As in a good prospect?”

“Yeah, but that relationship has kind of fallen through,” he said. “Still, I’m really happy with the apartment. Mom was right. It’s nice to come home to a place that’s comfortable.”

“And you’ll be ready when the next girl comes along,” I added. “Any on the horizon?”

“I have a few in mind. For now, I’m just playing the field.”

“What advice would you give other bachelor’s in the same boat?”

“Adopt my mother. If you can’t do that and you don’t have an eye, then find a trusted friend or relative who does to help you. It’s definitely worth it.”


Moms. We know stuff.


As it happened, while this makeover was going on, and just in time for Valentine’s, I received the results of a new survey from Redecor, a real-life design simulation game. The survey elicited frank responses from over 3,600 women about what in a man’s home would be a dating dealbreaker.


Here are some of the domestic don’ts that ranked high on the ick list:

·      75 % of survey respondents would end the relationship if the guy didn’t have clean towels.

·      48 % cited beds on the floor without a proper frame as a put off.

·      45 % said holes in the comforter were a nonstarter. (Seriously? Who are these slobs?)

·      35 % found plastic utensils and dinnerware a turnoff.

·      33 % would walk away if the place had no window coverings.

·      30 % gave club lighting, such as lava lamps, neon signs, and black lights the thumbs down.

·      23 % said no sofa, no deal.

·      Other relationship repellants the women reported included blankets as curtains, an ex-girlfriend’s toiletries in the bathroom, and, I couldn’t make this up, a coffin as a coffee table.

·      To this list, as Moms who know, Susan and I would add: Put the toilet seat down. Both of them. Every time. Take out the trash when its full. Replace the toilet paper roll when its empty. Put your dirty laundry in the hamper. Don’t leave dishes in the sink. And for heaven’s sake, use a top sheet.

CAPTION: Date Ready — (Before) This busy bachelor’s apartment was hardly a place he could bring a date to. (After) Then his mom helped him give it a makeover. Photos courtesy of Austin Beane.

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18 mars

Marni, We had the pleasure of 'meeting' when you wrote a column about our Forever Home designed by Michael Graves. It's been a joy following you since then. You write wonderfully and your advice is spot on! Keep it up. We need you!

Bob Thacker and Karen Cherewatuk

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