Taking this up from where we left off the last time, here's the rest of what could be a veritable lowdown to the kind of man today's woman wants.
Be a good listener — As vehemently as she may deny it, a woman adds drama to her life just to get attention; she may intentionally get things complicated just to get noticed. When this happens, try to understand and listen to what she has to say. Women want men who remember their stories. And respond and react. Not question and argue. Just respond. Even an inane/ clichéd question such as ‘Do I look fat?' would require a sincere answer (go back to last fortnight's ‘say the truth…nicely' here). But if it's too much for you to handle, then just politely tell her, and pray she understands.
Be presentable —You don't have to look like you just came from a photo shoot. Be clean and presentable. At least. Hygiene is a lot more than a quick shower and generous perfume-dousing. Don't wear a man-scarf if it makes you look more like ‘Rangeela' Aamir than ‘Ghajni' Aamir. Well-fitting, clean, ironed clothes are good enough. Memorise this list of absolute no-no's. Nose-picking, teeth-picking, loud burping , scratching, phlegm-rattling coughing, windpipe-grating coughing, nail-chewing, toothpick-chewing…
Be cool — Oh no, not the scarf. Definitely not the scarf. Being cool is a state of mind. It is about not feeling pressurised to be someone else. It is about being real, knowing your flaws and doing your best to put your best foot forward. It is about being easy in your skin and not resorting to attention-seeking/panicky/chauvinistic gimmicks to seize the day.
Be nice — Now there's a quality that's so under-rated, it could give water a run for its money (ever realise how much we take water for granted?). Niceness begets niceness. Being nice to people, animals and yourself, will only get the world to be nicer to you. Lose that road rage, call a plumber instead of blaming the Building Association for your leaky flush tank, plug an iPod in to your ears when you know the queue is going to take hours to shorten. There's such a shortage of niceness around, that a woman who knows better will take a guy who's just plain nice, if not anything else.
(A fortnightly column on relationships)