My mother has pledged unlimited funds to help me acquire a nice girlfriend. What should I do?
September 20, 2011 9:41 AM   Subscribe

My mother has given me the go-ahead to spend all the family money I need to help attract a nice girlfriend. What are some fun things I can do?

Some background:

I'm 25, in the Boston-area, and my family is Chinese.

My mother has told me “男人不壞女人不愛” - if the boy isn't bad, the girls won't love him. She’s also given me full access to the family money (there’s enough) to do whatever I want to help me find a girlfriend (or girlfriends!).

Has anyone ever been in a situation like this? What can I do with the opportunity?

I really don't wish to debate the ethics of using her money or not... I've already decided that I will... I just want to know some interesting things that one could do with some extra money to meet some interesting women!

Thanks for all of your suggestions.
posted by mnop to Human Relations (75 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
New clothes, gym membership, cosmetic work such as tooth whitening if needed.

Your own place if you don't have it.
posted by By The Grace of God at 9:43 AM on September 20, 2011 [14 favorites]

How do you define "nice girlfriend?"
posted by Miko at 9:44 AM on September 20, 2011 [6 favorites]

It seems to me that the answer to this question largely depends on what kind of women you want to attract. If this was me, I'd use the money to attend a good college.
posted by dpx.mfx at 9:44 AM on September 20, 2011 [27 favorites]

I don't understand... do you mean like taking girls on dates to fancy restaurants, or getting a girl in a "sugar daddy" situation where you're paying her living expenses, or like buying escorts/foreign brides?
posted by brainmouse at 9:44 AM on September 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

Just what kind of girls are you hoping to meet with this endeavor?

Questioning your motives here aside...

1. Get a personal trainer.
2. Go to a nutritionist and start eating well.
3. Develop some interesting hobbies.
4. Spend some time and money donating to people in need.
5. Visit some incredible places so you have interesting things to talk about.
6. Invest in a good, solid wardrobe of clothes that help you look put together, not flashy.

Focus on improving yourself physically and personality-wise. Avoid large purchases like cars, houses, etc. Those are status symbols and as soon as you don't have them, the girls I think you may be looking for may drop you.

Good luck!
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 9:45 AM on September 20, 2011 [9 favorites]

Fund a women's-studies scholarship.
posted by box at 9:45 AM on September 20, 2011 [31 favorites] membership, going out to bars and buying ladies drinks, speed dating.

This assumes you want to attract a girlfriend who wouldn't only be attracted to you because you drive a nice car.
posted by supercres at 9:46 AM on September 20, 2011

My mother has told me “男人不壞女人不愛” - if the boy isn't bad, the girls won't love him.

Your mom is awesome.

1. Get a motorcycle.
2. Personal trainer and get huge.
3. Go on interesting excursions with your friends and talk to everyone.
4. Take the best girl on interesting excursions, marry her, then make sure you two pass on your mother's wisdom to your future children.
posted by michaelh at 9:46 AM on September 20, 2011 [12 favorites]

I am assuming you are already going to school and preparing for a responsible adulthood. If you aren't, spend the money on that because it will pay a large dating dividend.
posted by michaelh at 9:46 AM on September 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

Make yourself interesting by:

Taking classes
Going to cultural events
Getting some awesome hobbies
Going traveling

most importantly, get your own place and your own job. Seriously will help you out.
posted by Think_Long at 9:47 AM on September 20, 2011 [9 favorites]

TRAVELLING - go on your own backpacking for a year. You'll meet a lot of interesting people and you'll come back with amazing stories.
posted by moiraine at 9:48 AM on September 20, 2011 [7 favorites]

I don't know if you realize this, so I apologize if this sounds insulting, but do NOT use the money directly as bait (flashy car, overly-fancy dates, etc.) It attracts pretty much the worst type of person.

As far as new clothes go (and assuming you're not entirely sure how to dress well) ignore that "peacocking" bullshit that has sprung up like goddamn kudzu this last decade. If you don't know how to dress well, don't get your advice on how-to-get-with-girls websites and books. You have money, so you can pay for someone to teach you how to dress well. It sounds a little weird, but if you don't know what you're doing, it's no different than getting a trainer at the gym. And when I say "well" I do not mean "in a way as to attract women." I mean "well" as in making you look like a well-dressed man for any occasion.

Also, just remember: your travel stories, your interesting hobbies, and everything you have done and will do will not inherently make you an interesting person so do not depend on your experiences to refine you on their own. Use the opportunities to explore yourself and be the best you that you can possibly be. Don't end up being the guy with a life of stories who doesn't know how and when to tell them.
posted by griphus at 9:53 AM on September 20, 2011 [30 favorites]

Take Moiraine's advice. Quit your job and figure out how to travel on a shoestring for a long time. Walk as many places as you can, use public transportation when you can't walk. Sleep in hostels and meet people in interesting places while learning language and how to be independent. Eat anything that looks interesting and edible. Live with a host family for a while while dishwashing or something. You will get more fit from all the moving around and varied diet, you will acquire lots of interesting skills, and you will have all kinds of stories, which will make parties you attend more interesting and give you more things to relate with to other people.
posted by Slitherrr at 9:56 AM on September 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

I have a wealthy friend who engages in what I call "gentleman hobbies"--really expensive classes in which he learns to do cool things. He meets a lot of new people and has plenty of good conversation starters (though he is still looking for a nice girlfriend too, so YMMV!). The first two are actually his hobbies:
1. Glassblowing
2. Paragliding
3. Kiteboarding/surfing/windsurfing
4. Scubadiving
5. Sailing
6. Skiing/snowboarding
Obviously these activities will have a certain culture, and sometimes a type of person, associated with them. You may have to experiment a bit to find what you like.
posted by janerica at 10:04 AM on September 20, 2011 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: Wow, so many great responses already!

@Miko: nice girlfriend = sexy, smart as a whip, takes care of herself, emotionally mature

@brainmouse: I definitely don't want to fund a golddigger or escort. I'm wondering how I can use this chance to set up more interesting and exciting situations than I've had in my life so far to date.

@These Birds of a Feather: Thanks for all the suggestions (I especially like the volunteering one) & it's good to know what to avoid! What’s the best way to find a good organization or good people to volunteer with?

@box Awesome suggestion. got any others?

@griphus how do I develop my storytelling skills? I do think I have a lot of interesting experiences but it's always hard to find a relevant time to speak out

Several people have mentioned travel. Got any good suggested destinations?
posted by mnop at 10:07 AM on September 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: @Slitherrr: I have a pretty awesome and interesting job (9-5) and I have no plans on changing that anytime soon, but someday I could take some vacation!

@janerica: Good to know I'm not the only one out there! But what does this tell me when the really interesting guy is still single?! :(
posted by mnop at 10:12 AM on September 20, 2011

how do I develop my storytelling skills?

When you're meeting people on the road, actively listen to them, and not just the plot of the story. Think about what makes the stories they tell so exciting (or, on the other hand, so boring.) It's rare that you'll get into a "gather ye round" situation that people will just tell stories during. Rather, it happens spontaneously. If you're in a group setting, pay attention to the others around you as well as the person speaking. Why did they speak up? Who is getting the laughs? Whose stories make everyone shut up an listen? Who gets asked tons of questions? Who can never finish a story because they get interrupted?
posted by griphus at 10:14 AM on September 20, 2011 [7 favorites]

how do I develop my storytelling skills?

Take a good creative writing class and give it your all. People who write well have an almost guaranteed foot in the door in any online contact. Even if you're not a talented writer, you will learn to avoid clichés and seek more direct and sincere ways to express yourself, both in writing and in speech.

Good luck!
posted by Dragonness at 10:19 AM on September 20, 2011

Here's a place to find volunteer opportunities.
posted by bananafish at 10:20 AM on September 20, 2011

But what does this tell me when the really interesting guy is still single?! :(

That just having money and interesting hobbies doesn't make you a catch.

That even if you are a catch, you still have to kiss plenty of frogs.
posted by canine epigram at 10:20 AM on September 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

Is your mother going to be upset if your new GF isn't Chinese? If so, I'd suggest taking a good long trip to LA, where the ethnic Chinese population is big, varied, and from what I can tell--lots of great-looking, interesting, accomplished women.
If not--sky's the limit! I agree with the advice about getting in shape, styled, having hobbies and interests, and developing your personality so that you're not just a catch, you're a prize.
posted by Ideefixe at 10:26 AM on September 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

if i were you i'd go back to school. it sounds like you already went to college, but if you went to professional or grad school of some sort, then you'd be setting yourself up to actually have disposable income (well, depending on what you do.) I guess what confuses me is the idea that you're going to attract women with this money that isn't your own which at some point, you'll have to stop relying on. I agree that you need to watch out for "gold digger" types but at the same time, a smart girl will presumably be setting herself up to make a living too and taking your earning potential into account when deciding whether you'd be a good match.

plus, having disposable income as a grad/professional student will set you apart from the pack anyway! since most of us are broke or at least on a very tight budget. i agree that you don't need a ton of money or need to be flashy. just dressing well and being able to pay for the occasional date will go a long way. i'd much rather date a guy who's in school and has enough spending money to have some fun than a guy who simply works and has a bunch of money to blow. i guess, though, that's because i'm still a student- but at your age, the type of girls you're looking for are likely to be students too.
posted by GastrocNemesis at 10:27 AM on September 20, 2011

Significant donations to cultural organizations (like the symphony) will attract the attention of the staff/board and will get you invited to various events where you will stand out because you're under the age of 65 which leads to meeting people with eligible daughters as well as supporting a worthy cause.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:31 AM on September 20, 2011 [5 favorites]

Clothes make the man.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:32 AM on September 20, 2011

nthing school if you're not already a graduate. Possibly master's if you are. I think I should point out that experience tells me it's not that girls are attracted to 'bad' boys, they're attracted to confident boys. Sure, some of them like the sense of danger, but just as many like a down-to-earth, practical and honest guy, just so long as he's not too timid to get off his ass and approach them.

In short I think the best things you can use this money for are building your education and your confidence. Travel is a great idea for the latter - go out, get some experience of the world, and make sure you don't need to call home for help - living and travelling independently is a huge confidence builder.
posted by fearnothing at 10:36 AM on September 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

Use that money to make yourself interesting. Take classes in, well, whatever the hell you're interested in, whether that's academic or athletic or just fun activities. You live in Boston, where there are kazillions of interesting things to learn and do.

Buy useful things for your house and person. Decent linens, kitchenware, appliances, furniture, a good suit. Consult with a personal shopper to make sure you're buying things that fit you and look great. Replace your socks and underwear! Learn to use, take care of, and organize everything. It's not the money spent that appeals to people, it's having your shit together. Learn to cook, and practice regularly. Take lessons if necessary.

Invest! (You'll have to speak with someone who knows anything about investing. I don't.)

Make appointments with your doctor, dentist, any necessary specialists. Get stuff checked out.

Most of the things that will increase your appeal to women are just things that will make you a more generally interesting, mature, well-rounded person. It might help you to think of this as a personal-development mission, not a girlfriend-finding mission. That way, you'll be able to enjoy everything on its own merits and pursue the things because you personally see value in them, which is way more attractive than doing a bunch of awesome-sounding stuff just for the sake of finding a girlfriend.

Oh, and one more thing: buy a small wastebasket for your bathroom, if you don't have one already, and make sure it has a lid. Any female visitors to your place will be silently grateful for it.
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:38 AM on September 20, 2011 [4 favorites]

I know it's a stereotype, but I don't know a single woman who isn't attracted to men who are capable in lots of arenas. A guy who who knows how to fix a car/fix a computer/sail a boat/build a fire/dance a waltz/cook a meal/fix an earring/do first aid/stand up for people who need it/ is very appealing.

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
- Robert A. Heinlein

posted by small_ruminant at 10:39 AM on September 20, 2011 [32 favorites]

For God's sake get a good haircut. Not a flashy haircut, a good haircut. Any haircut that costs less than $40 is not a good haircut.
posted by bq at 10:40 AM on September 20, 2011 [4 favorites]

@mnop Does your job let you work remotely, or are you tied to location? I mention being nomadic because all the moving around has dual-benefit (as long as you're not driving it), by forcing you to walk around and get fit while forcing you to adapt to contexts and acquire interesting stories in the process.

That said, if you're limited to vacation time and have money, Moscow is an amazing city for acquiring stories and talking to women (for one thing, the male to female ratio is in the male's favor, thanks largely to high male mortality), especially if you're okay with lots of drinking. Unfortunately, your time frame makes really diving into a culture harder to do, but my general feeling without any empirical support is that being immersed means learning culture, which means acquiring empathy, which means better communication skills.

@fearnothing captures another aspect of my sentiment on this. Becoming independent and learning interesting things in context transfers a lot of confidence, and confidence is a major component of attraction.
posted by Slitherrr at 10:42 AM on September 20, 2011

First of all hang out a lot with Hemingway
Spend some time fighting bulls in Spain
You should go three rounds with Archie Moore and Sugar Ray
So damn scary you won't mind the pain

Be ringside at the Rumble in the Jungle
Make friends with Hunter S. and Jackie O.
And when they shoot poor Bobby down, you wrestle Sirhan to the ground
Love your friends and miss them when they go

You should write a book or two and start a magazine
Even if it never makes a dime
You should swing out by your feet above the circus ring
At the very least throw parties all the time

Time and tide will never care
Not so far from here to there
We just go

So enjoy yourself, do the things that matter
Cause there isn't time and space to do it all
Love the things you try, drink a cocktail, wear a tie
Show a little grace if you should fall

Don't live another day unless you make it count
There's someone else that you're supposed to be
Something deep inside of you that still wants out
And shame on you if you don't set it free
posted by jenkinsEar at 10:58 AM on September 20, 2011 [7 favorites]

Wow, great mom! Here are my suggestions:

- Get some nice clothes that fit right
- Buy at least 3 pairs of shoes
- Spend some money and get a nice hair cut (get your hair cut by women, preferably by someone who understands Asian hair)
- Get some contact lenses
- Buy a nice car, preferably a coup

When going on a date, go to restaurants that serve nice cake.

Another suggestion is to perhaps ask your mom and her friends for help finding young women to go out on dates (as would traditionally be the case). The more dates with different women the better, because that way you can discover if you are compatible.

This approach may seem a little weird to American MeFites, but your mom's heart is in the right place. Just make sure you date women who like you for "you", rather than your money.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:02 AM on September 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh, as an aside, learn a social dance, or several, like salsa, bachata, swing, blues. Ladies love it.
posted by Slitherrr at 11:05 AM on September 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

I don't understand the school suggestions. A college degree is plenty - and going to graduate school means long lonely hours, being poor, and having little time for relationships. Be very cautious with this suggestion.

If you have money to spend, invest it in yourself. Buying things impresses no worthwhile person. Example: A love of motorcycles is more impressive than any single bike. A passion for building is more important than any object you've made. A skill, like cooking, goes further than any bullshit knowledge of the best restaurants.

Love, passion, skills, confidence. You can use money toward these things but don't blow it on years of schooling or expensive objects.

A cooking class is better than a lit degree.
The ability to fix a motorbike is more attractive than the ability to talk motorcycles.
Cooking a great meal is better than buying one.
Being a badass is better than being milquetoast.
posted by fake at 11:06 AM on September 20, 2011 [25 favorites]

Oh rock on, sorry for jumping to conclusions. I'd say just read the news to find something to invest in. What moves you, you know? For me it's the articles about world hunger and poverty and animal abuse. They make me want to do something so I do. Read a little and then look for ways to give back. I'd date you in an instant if I knew you were committed to a cause you really believed in. :)
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 11:21 AM on September 20, 2011

Yes, learn to sing, dance or play a musical instrument. Being very good ar karaoke will in fact get you a lot of women. Similarly, so will being a standout dancer at a club.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:22 AM on September 20, 2011

I think if there is a interest that you have that you haven't pursued due to money you should go for it. In that respect I think school might make sense. Who knows - the money might make it possible for him to do that without being broke and if say literature was his passion vs. cooking that might be money better spent.

I'd say use a bit of the money to make sure you look good for dates and update material things that might make dating go smoother. Then I'd say spend some for learning new skills and gaining new experiences, classes, travel etc. as these will still be valuable later even if you don't always have the family money. Use a bit to get out a meet more people.
posted by oneear at 11:28 AM on September 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

Is there anything really fun that you've ever wanted to learn that takes time and money to learn or do? Sailing, dancing, photography ... ? Do that. Being an interesting person doing things in life will attract the right people. You may attract a girl by wearing nice shoes or whatever, but to keep her around you need to be happy and interesting.
posted by yarly at 11:34 AM on September 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

Whatever you wear, drive, talk about, do -- they should be things that you like or care about. A male friend of mine asked his sister to teach him how to dress... he looked much better with nicer clothes, but they were clothes that he could continue to wear and feel comfortable in.

Also, be friendly and talk with every woman you meet, even if she's much older or younger, married, not your type, etc. Make eye contact. Don't save your good impression for women you'd like to date.

Ask yourself what you'd like to be better at, and then improve those things. Having money can help you get there... and when you and your nice girl are together, you'll continute to enjoy the changes.
posted by wryly at 11:59 AM on September 20, 2011 [6 favorites]

I've been dirt poor for about a decade. When I went from money to poverty I lost many friends ("she's too much of a drain", "she isn't trying"....) but I did keep a few. And the ones that I kept I know were true friends that would be with me even when I truly had nothing at all to offer them aside from my friendship.

Now it seems I've come into money. I certainly am going to follow "The Grace of God"s suggestions regarding clothes, gym and dental work. But the thing is, at 54 , I now realize that I really can't tell anyone about the money because if I do then I have no idea if they are liking me for me ... or the money.

I am older than you and have experienced something that I hope you never have to experience. If you use your money to attract a partner you will never ever know if that partner is attracted to you or to your money. I am also here to tell you that fortune is fleeting and a true friend is worth more than all the gold in the world. Consider your next steps carefully.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 12:08 PM on September 20, 2011 [12 favorites]

As someone who works with a lot of wealthy people, some people just have this vibe to them that makes people think they are important. It has to do with clothing, the way they present themselves, and attitude. You can buy new clothes and you can shed a million pounds, but the attitude is something you have to gain.

You can be flashy with money and attract a lot of the wrong people (who will be fun in a fleeting manner) but having an attitude that people admire and respect will have lots of desirable women want to meet you. It takes time, but you can do it.
posted by darkgroove at 12:21 PM on September 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

you need a wing-man. and the wing-man has to understand his role.
the wing-man's job is to break the ice. he has to do whatever stupid or annoying thing it takes, so that you can talk to the girls.

if there is a group of girls, one guy can act like a fool, and spark the conversation - but his chances of getting anywhere are greatly diminished by the fool he acted to break the ice.

find a good wing-man
posted by Flood at 12:31 PM on September 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

I realize this is coming from a completely different cultural perspective, but I'd encourage you to challenge some of your assumptions. You don't need to adopt some bad boy persona or be Mr. Moneybags to find a healthy relationship. (Which is good actually, because having mom fund your 'find a girlfriend' exploits? So not bad boy.)

Unless you're looking for an escort, mail-order bride, or a future as a sugar daddy there's no straight line from get money --> find interesting woman. Adjust your mindset from using these funds as girl bait to using them as an unexpected windfall to enrich your own life. Find out who you are, what you want and what's important to you outside of who you want to attract. Identify your personal goals and work towards them. 25 is really young - I would argue too young to be looking for a life partner.

Spend your time now investing in yourself as a person, not a bank account. When you have more to offer than financial security, you'll be much more attractive to potential girlfriends. Good luck and I hope you find what you're looking for!
posted by Space Kitty at 12:46 PM on September 20, 2011 [3 favorites]

Spend it on anything that helps you to develop emotional intelligence and/or relationship skills, such as therapy and/or workshops on interpersonal communication. That way, you can ensure that whoever shows up will a) be right for you, and b) stick around.
posted by chicainthecity at 1:24 PM on September 20, 2011

Get a properly tailored suit or two. Have your shirts made for you. Google "bespoke tailors Boston." Maybe get a good pair of handmade shoes. In my field, I see many young men your age wearing cheap, off-the-rack suits. It tends to make them look a bit schlubby. The difference between "a suit" and "a quality suit that fits properly" is subtle to other observers, but you will feel it immediately. You will notice that you have more confidence in a suit that fits you correctly. In formal settings, you will feel less uncomfortable or out of place in a proper suit.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:37 PM on September 20, 2011

Also, read, develop a skill or hobby, learn about food, learn about wine, and if you're still living with your parents- for god's sake, move out.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:41 PM on September 20, 2011

Speaking as a Chinese female well-acquainted with and surrounded by young well-off Chinese menfolk, there's nothing more squicky to me (personally) than seeing excessive amounts of money thrown around on flashy consumer goods, especially when that money is very obviously family money and especially if those goods are bought for attention-seeking purposes. In terms of first impressions, it makes me think that person can't earn anything on his own and is merely riding along on the family's coattails, even if it's not true.

Spend the money on things that interest you - if you can afford it and like nice cars, go for it! But take a mechanic's class too and learn how to take care of them and tune your own engine. Demonstrate actual depth as a person with likes and dislikes, not just someone who buys things because he wants to meet girls. Someone suggested buying a motorcycle above - try a riding class to see if you actually like it first. You may fall in love with it, you may not, but at the end of it you'll know. (If, for example, you buy a Ducati Hypermotard to be a 'bad boy' and end up not riding it anywhere, I would probably gnash my teeth and cry because what a damn waste of a gorgeous bike that would be.)

If you're doing things or going to classes specifically to meet women, the smart ones will smell it on you a mile away. The ones aiming for an easy mark will smell it too, but they'll be zooming in for the kill. Explore what you like. If you find something you're passionate about, be it a specific cause or hobby, you'll meet interesting women along the way who like the same things you do.

Also, buy a suit. Get it tailored. Suits are awesome and make you the same.
posted by zennish at 1:41 PM on September 20, 2011 [19 favorites]

A buddy told me about a sort of summer camp for young single adults. You basically pay to go away for a weekend to enjoy the company of others and drink and eat. I don't remember much about it, but he had a great time and got a few dates out of the experience.
posted by jander03 at 1:43 PM on September 20, 2011

Also, buy a suit. Get it tailored. Suits are awesome and make you the same.

I discovered the secret of a friend of mine who looks great in all his thrift store finds, btw. Turns out that awesome 1965 Hawaiian shirt looks MUCH better when it's tailored to fit afterwards. You get all the coolness that is thrift-storing, without the uncoolness that is clothes fit for another era.

Unless you've lucked out and your body shape magically suits that era's (usually low-end) fashions. The high end, designer labels rarely end up in Thrift Town, though occassionally it happens.
posted by small_ruminant at 1:47 PM on September 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

You are a 25 year old man in proximity to Boston (a college city with oodles of women) and your parents are throwing money at you in hopes of you getting a girlfriend? Unless you've been raised like a veal, you should have one by now. Or you just aren't into females.

Make sure you are attracted to women before you go through a whole bunch of money trying to get one.

Your parents seem awful desperate if they are giving you a blank check to find a girl and I assure you the moment you get one, they are going to lean on you to get married and squirt out grandkids. Make sure this is what you want. It's 2011. Get out of the closet if you find yourself trapped in one.
posted by Renoroc at 2:14 PM on September 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

A good friend of mine once said "you have to be the person you want to date". In all arenas- intellect, emotions, ambitions and so on. Identify what kinds of activities, qualities, interests, etc. move you and then get out there and do them. Volunteering? Mountain biking? Dancing? Politics and causes? Spend your money on finding and cultivating passions and you'll find interesting folks out there doing too.
posted by Queen of Spreadable Fats at 2:26 PM on September 20, 2011 [4 favorites]

Get out of the closet if you find yourself trapped in one.

Huh? There's nothing in the OP's post that suggests he's in the closet.
posted by ms.codex at 2:28 PM on September 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

You're looking for - sexy, smart as a whip, takes care of herself, emotionally mature. So be sexy, smart as a whip, takes care of himself, emotionally mature.

sexy - well-groomed, nicely dressed (lots of good advice above), quietly confident (not bragging). Also, kind, generous, and smiling.

smart as a whip - well-educated, well-read, knowledge of public affairs. It sounds like you have a B.A. Do you read books and magazines? Try to read a book a month or so, and subscribe to a couple of good magazines.

takes care of herself - in good physical condition. Gym, and trainer if needed

emotionally mature - self-supporting, emotionally and financially.

Do you want to find a girl to marry? Because if your heart's not in it, you're more likely to find someone who will marry you for superficial reasons. As a woman, a guy who's parents are funding his search for love would make me wonder about his emotionally maturity. Your willingness to spend a lot of Mom's money would not make me feel more respect for you as a potential partner.

There are coaches who will help a person get better at dating.
posted by theora55 at 2:28 PM on September 20, 2011 [3 favorites]

In a quick poll of female single friends, we tried to rank different male characteristics by their undesirability. The number one undesirable was "child molester", but the second was "Mama's boy", followed by "parolee" (with the caveat, "well, it depends what he was in jail for").

Never mention this deal with your mother to a prospective date, and cultivate an air of independence -- you get along well with your family, but they don't control you. Live on your own and do your own laundry and cooking.

No woman wants to be wrestling with a dude's mother for his attention (as with pigs: it gets you both dirty, and the mother likes it).
posted by benzenedream at 3:30 PM on September 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

A flattering haircut;

Some flattering clothes that you feel comfortable in (emotionally comfortable as well as physically comfortable);

Some sessions with a clinical psychologist who specialises in relationships talking about what you want out of a relationship, how to express interest in someone you like, and relationship skills.

A woman worth being in a relationship with won't choose you because you drive a fancy car or eat at expensive restaurants.

She'll choose you because you are funny, witty, compassionate, kind, thoughtful, considerate, interesting, a fascinating conversationalist, well-read, knowledgeable, enthuthiastic about life and your goals for the future...
posted by Year of meteors at 4:03 PM on September 20, 2011

are you creative at all? - art classes will be fun, make you interesting, and have lots of women in them. Or if you are interested in music - start a band, or get involved in music promotion - promotion is really good for meeting people, an you will have a hell of a leg up if you have some cash to spend on it. manage a band, start a club night, arrange a music festival. Make a crowd of people have fun and you will be the most popular guy in the room.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:08 PM on September 20, 2011

Do all the cool stuff everyone's suggested, and then find one of those secret, high-end, discreet matchmakers.
posted by thinkpiece at 4:08 PM on September 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

How do you define "nice girlfriend?"
posted by Miko at 9:44 AM on September 20

I think if he didn't say "nice" there would be a more direct solution here.
posted by knoyers at 4:39 PM on September 20, 2011

posted by imalaowai at 4:51 PM on September 20, 2011

Personal trainer? I've started to discover that exercise is linked to physical confidence and attractiveness, which is an interesting fact.

Otherwise save the rest of the money so you can go to interesting concerts/festivals/clubs and buy drinks for yourself and girls.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:21 PM on September 20, 2011

you need a wing-man. and the wing-man has to understand his role.
the wing-man's job is to break the ice. he has to do whatever stupid or annoying thing it takes, so that you can talk to the girls.

if there is a group of girls, one guy can act like a fool, and spark the conversation - but his chances of getting anywhere are greatly diminished by the fool he acted to break the ice.

find a good wing-man

Is there a service that rents out wing-men?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:26 PM on September 20, 2011

These self-improvement suggestions are great, but start with flowers for Mom.
posted by Sunburnt at 5:32 PM on September 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

Spend money on things that make you feel happy and self-fulfilled. If you only do stuff to find a girlfriend and don't actually do it for you first and foremost, 1) anyone who is not totally into the superficial is going to see through it; 2) when you don't meet a nice girl you are going to feel like you wasted your mom's money with nothing to show for it. If you've grown more confident and interesting while spending the cash, you'll be okay even if you don't find a partner right away. I think adventuring is a great suggestion: you should quit your job and travel through X country for a few months. Stay in hostels and meet other people.

Really really think about the person you want to be in the future, not the things you want to have.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:05 PM on September 20, 2011

Regarding volunteer organizations - is a great organization and you'll meet lots of cool people and help with various events/NPOs
posted by KogeLiz at 6:14 PM on September 20, 2011

Actually, i find I like nice boys. Not "Nice Guys" (TM), who are generally wretched people, but actually kind, considerate, thoughtful guys. And I'm a black-leather-wearin' girl with a couple of tattoos and silly dyed hair. If I and all my friends like nice boys, I'd say the odds are that many nice girls of all stripes feel the same. The "bad boy" aesthetic can be nice, but unless you're looking for some kind of creepy doormat-thing who won't leave even though she should, don't internalize that too much.

I agree that you need to be more concerned with improving your skills and knowledge in areas that interest you personally than being flashy. The flashy thing is not likely to assist you in finding a decent relationship which will last. Yes, when I met my husband it was nice that he took me out to dinner at good-but-not-idiotically-costly restaurants. But his car was a total beater, he lived in an older house with a roommate, and the most important part of our early dates was the conversation. Yes, he has long hair. But he was an actuary. Which is really not a Hell's Angel type of career. What did I like about him? He was intelligent, funny, sweet, respectful, and generous. As well as good-looking. And, while I don't think I'm any great prize, he seems to feel that he was as lucky to end up with me as I feel about ending up with him.

Feed your hobbies and interests. That's what will get you a girlfriend you will actually like. Though it is true that dressing nicely helps as well. Fond as I am of leather pants, I'm also a sucker for a nice dress shirt. (And yes, you can have both!)
posted by Because at 7:12 PM on September 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure how money will help you learn not to think you can or should buy a personality, let alone women, but if you can figure that out, then that's what you should spend it on.
posted by cmoj at 7:49 PM on September 20, 2011

Nobody else is going to say it, and it's probably dodgy, but maybe pay for one on one dating/PUA coaching?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:08 PM on September 20, 2011

Response by poster: Thank you all for the responses so far, I'm really happy to read the suggestions you've had.

Getting a personal trainer sounds like a solid step to take. Does anyone know how to find a good one?

Volunteering also sounds good, although I've not had much time to figure out what causes I believe in.

And getting better at expressing myself is a thing I want to work on. I've had many experiences but it's very hard to relate them to others. A lot of the time I feel like it's so hard to explain where I'm coming from, or how to take people through a story, or to understand where others come from, even though I really want to get through. More tips in that regard would really help.

@Slitherrr I'm tied in place for the next few years unfortunately.

@benzenedream, @KogeLiz, @bananafish Thanks for the tips!

@michaelh, @KokuRyu, @Sunburnt Yeah, mom is pretty awesome

@zennish & @KokuRyu thank you for the Asian perspective, I really do think there's a big cultural element to this thing and I'm glad that at least some Chinese girls find the focus on pure materialism exasperating.

You all have restored my faith in humanity- not a single answer has been "sure, become a bad boy." It's all been "become a better person." Guess there's no way to cheat the process, unless you all aren't trying hard enough. Thanks to @thinkpiece @box @TWinbrook8 @jander03 for more creative suggestions too!
posted by mnop at 8:10 PM on September 20, 2011

Second zennish's comment.

The standard 有房有車有工作 (owning a car/house and having a job) won't hurt if you don't have those already, as long as they aren't ostentatious and obviously from family money. Basically, show that you're independent, especially if you're an only son. There is a common preconception about Chinese mothers being over-involved and super-critical about their son's relationships. My friends jokingly/not so jokingly make symapthy noises whenever one of us is dating a Chinese 'only son'. So don't mention your mother too much--I would have replaced 'mother' with 'parents' or 'family' in your question.

My interpretation of 男人不壞女人不愛 is the guy exuding confidence, knowledge, and passion, all of which can come off as being a little arrogant or 壞. So spend money on cultivating those things in yourself.
posted by jyorraku at 8:13 PM on September 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

The problem with attracting women with money is that it attracts the kind of women that are attracted to money.

If you want somebody to like you for the strength of your character, your good looks, and your charming personality, well, that's what you're going to have to use. If you don't think you can compete on those, the good news is that money can open up the opportunities which can help you develop those things. The bad news is that it's a slow, long process.

Use the money to become the best you you can be. Confront your fears directly by doing the things that you fear. If you're not physically active, become physically active. Know that self improvement is the sum total of small day to day decisions.

Good luck, dude.
posted by Comrade_robot at 8:13 PM on September 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

I'd suggest that you also take a look at this thread. Although you didn't specify your personality in your thread, I suspect that you're an introvert. That is just based on my experience interacting with Asian guys. Not all of them are shy, but they are more likely to be on the shy side compared to non-Asians.

Also, do you have guy friends who have girlfriends or had girlfriends? Get their input and see if they can give you some suggestions. Maybe have them be your wing-man and have them observe you "in action", so to speak. If your body language or words are off-putting to women, your guy friends can help point them out to you. Sometimes we do things unconsciously that we don't realize. Also, your guy friends' girlfriends will have single girlfriends. Every girl in their 20-30s will know at least one single girl. Either have them set you up or, if you don't like that idea, either try to host some gatherings and ask your friends to bring other friends or say yes to all your social invites, even if it's hosted by someone you don't know very well, because that's where you're likely to meet other people, including single women!

You didn't ask for this in your thread. But I want to offer this advice anyway. Your mom sounds like a very traditional Chinese mother. You need to leave your parents out of your dating life, I can't emphasize that enough. I'm also Asian and my parents are traditional too, so I understand where your mother is coming from, and it sounds like your mom is anxious for you to find a girl, and I suppose, get married and pop out grandkids. But seriously, if you don't leave your parents out of your dating life, even if you meet someone, your parents are going to be nagging constantly and put pressure on you to get married. You don't want that external pressure to affect your relationship in any way, especially if you bend to that pressure and get married to wrong person in a whirlwind romance. I've seen that happen. Don't make that mistake.
posted by wcmf at 2:52 AM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

Regarding hiring a wing man: I'm not sure if there are any services for that, but if OP is in Boston, there is a wing woman service in town. Not a recommendation, just something I've heard advertised.
posted by pie ninja at 4:12 AM on September 21, 2011

A lot of these are super awesome! Obviously, people like a well dressed healthy looking potential SO, but a mind is what seals the deal. you've said you are interested in improving your conversation skills- which is a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful idea!

What's going to make it easier to tell stories and chime in when about your own experences in social situations is confidence! Getting involved with activities that you are interested in and just rocking them is a great start. If you always kinda wanted to learn to build boats or ride horses or do historical re-inactments- learn tons about it and just win at them. Getting on the road to being the kind of person you think is interesting does just awesome shit for your confidence.

Secondly- the art of conversation can get a little sticky. taking a couple improv classes can help, you have to fall on your face a couple times to know what works and what doesn't- and Improv can help get you to the point where falling on your face isn't so scary.

Using the money to make yourself presentable is great. Using the money to do things that will put you in a lot of contact with ladies is great. it seems like you have a healthy understanding of this money more as way to remove barriers rather than a direct road to a relationship, so have a good freaking time!
posted by Blisterlips at 8:56 AM on September 21, 2011

Totally agree that using the money to gain skills and become a person who's capable of and interested in lots of different things is going to be far better than using it to display wealth or class or grownup status toys or whatever. So yeah, go travel unusual places, learn to cook or fix things or make things with wood or glass or draw or take a martial arts class or dance class or take up an instrument or join a team sport or make movies or go sailing or rock climbing or camping or something. Will serve you well in ways future lack of wealth or moving etc. can't take away from you, not to mention as said above people will like you for you (make sure whatever cool things you learn/do you WANT to, stay true to yourself of course) as opposed to your flashy car or the whiff of promise you can give them things/money.
posted by ifjuly at 11:35 AM on September 21, 2011

Sorry, no advice, but I want to say: this is hilarious. Please start a blog about it. And give us the link to it some time down the road.
posted by kitcat at 2:25 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

I totally agree -- blog it, start a novel, write a screenplay, this is hilarious.
posted by thinkpiece at 4:15 PM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

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