Let's be honest. No woman is that open minded when it comes to men. Take my mum, for example. Back in the day, if a man was 5 minutes late for a date, she would simply leave. In her opinion, if a guy isn't on time, he simply doesn't care enough. Harsh, but kind of fair. As you may know by now, I have had some experience in the relationship department - enough, I think, to make some sort of list about what I will tolerate, and what I just won't. And so, I have created the Ten ComMANdments (see what I did there) - a list of criteria that I live by when choosing that 'special someone' (barf). For your enjoyment and amusement, here they are, in all their uncompromising glory...
1. Thou Shalt Make Me Laugh
As you may have gathered from my post on Unlikely People I Find Attractive, a man's looks do not feature heavily in the equation. Granted, if you look like the Elephant Man, you might have some difficulty, but if you can make me chortle - and I mean real, hearty, belly-holding laughs - you are at least in with a chance. There is nothing more attractive to me than a sense of humour. This stretches from laughing at yourself when you walk into a lamppost, to witty repartee over a large glass of wine. I don't take myself too seriously, and therefore neither should you.
2. Thou Shalt Be Taller Than Me In Heels
I'm 5"7 and a half (yes, that half-inch counts). Not very tall, you might argue, but you just wait until I put my favourite 6-inch heels on. We'll see who's laughing then. My second ever boyfriend was an inch shorter than me. He might have looked the same height as he had a serious mid-2000's quiff going on, but his low stature prevented me wearing heels for a year. I was so outraged by this that I have made sure I never dated anyone who was shorter than me in heels again. You might be Brad Pitt, but if you're only 5"8, you are out of the running my friend. Harsh, but let's be honest, even Rod Stewart looks a little down-trodden when he stands next to Penny Lancaster.
3. Thou Shalt Be On Time
Maybe it's genetic, maybe it's been ingrained in me over years of motherly man-bashing, maybe it's just fucking annoying. If I have got my ass out of bed and made myself look more than mildly appealing, I expect you to be on time. I don't care whether that extra 5 minutes allowed you to complete the latest Assassin's Creed, or enabled you to cure cancer - if you're not there at the time we agreed, woe betide you. I might not get up and walk, but mark my words: you will pay. In this life or the next.
4. Thou Shalt Be Able To Hold A Conversation
A few years ago, I had a brief fling with a heart-breakingly handsome guy. Unfortunately, his good looks did not make up for the fact that he could only talk about two things: himself, and football. This might have been alright if he had climbed Mount Everest, conquered the Amazonian rainforest, or trekked across the Sahara. But his achievements only reached as far as the university pub scene. There were only so many stories of the same format I could tolerate before he had to go. While your stories of pint-chugging and late-night kebabs might fascinate your male friends, I'm sorry, but I require something more substantial.
5. Thou Shalt Love Music
Whilst this might sound quite open-minded, I assure you, it's not. As you might have gleaned from listening to my Tuesday Tune Tapes, I am quite the discerning music lover. So if your perspective of 'loving music' is singing along to the latest One Direction song in your Nissan Micra, you need to get out of my sight. Immediately. Play an instrument? You have my respect. Like going to gigs? Proceed to the next level. Think David Guetta is music's answer to Jesus? No. Just no.
6. Thou Shalt Not Disrespect Your Exes
I once saw a film in which a guy called his ex-girlfriend a c*nt. The girl replied that she could't keep going out with him because one day, she might be the c*nt he was referring to. No matter what they have done to you, respect your exes. Presumably, you didn't go out with them because they were a bitch to begin with. Therefore, they're probably not a bad person. Being bitter isn't attractive; just because it didn't work out does not turn that girl into a she-devil. Similarly, be wary of any girl that refers to all their ex-boyfriends as twats, bastards or dicks - they are probably psycho and in dire need of a therapist.
7. Thou Shalt Not Dress Embarrassingly
I'd like to think I'm quite open-minded when it comes to men's fashion. However, if you are over 20 and still wearing your school leaver's hoodie, trousers that permanently rest below your ass, or crocs, you will not be hearing from me any time soon.
8. Thou Shalt Make An Effort With My Friends & Family
As all clued-up men may know, if you're in with the friends, you're in for the long-haul. For girls, their friends' opinions are of the utmost importance. If you come to their house and snort cocaine off their kitchen table before stopping to introduce yourself, chances are you're not going to last very long. Same case applies to family. If you're a girl, you want to get friendly with your boyfriend's sister/s and mother. If you're a guy, it's the mother's opinion that ultimately counts. You're never going to win over the Dad, no matter how hard you try - he's always going to regard you as the bastard who's trying to deflower his daughter. The mother, on the other hand, holds all the sway. Charm her, flirt with her, talk dirty to her - a happy mother equals a happy relationship.
9. Thou Shalt Not Be Overtly Romantic
We've all seen the John Cusack scene with the boombox held high. While those kind of shenanigans might work in the movies, it does not work in real life. You just end up looking like a tool. Poetry, long letters written in a feminine scrawl, or self-penned songs may sound lovely, but I can assure you, if that shit happens to you, you will cringe out. Hard. I do not want a man standing outside my window serenading me. I will pretend I don't know you and call the police.
10. Thou Shalt Love Sushi
Because if you don't, you're frankly quite odd and I don't want to know you.
What are your comMANdments?