For the majority of us, our teenage years were spent in the pursuit of trying to be, think, and act cool. Unfortunately, a lot of the decisions we made are holding us back in our adult life.

The hardest part about shedding these boyish thoughts is identifying them in the first place. You have lived with these ideas, preferences, and preconceptions for so long they just feel normal, they feel right. The problem is when you made these choices, you were a naive child. You had no idea what you were doing in life, and were in no place to be making decisions for an adult man.

There are countless things I could write about in this article, but I am going to stick to the most important ones. These are the ones which if you find yourself thinking “but I like it that way” or “but that’s just not how I want to do it”, then you need to understand that this is the entire point. Everything listed below is a mistake, plain and simple. The first step to fixing a mistake is admitting you’re making it.

Your clothes are supposed to fit

Either you were a big kid trying to hide, you were a pinner trying to look bigger, you were wearing your older brother’s hand-me-downs, or you didn’t want to look like a preppy. Regardless of the reason, just about all boys grow accustomed to wearing clothing much too large for them.

I’m not telling you to go metro and wear nothing but skinny jeans, I’m telling you to buy clothing that fits. Men do not walk on their pant legs. Men do not have their sleeves over their hands. A shirt with buttons is not supposed to be baggy, and it should probably be tucked in.

You have spent your whole life trying not to dress like a grown up. But now you are a grown up, so act the part. If you want to hold on to some of your childhood style, that’s just fine. You can wear t shirts, shorts, and sneakers. But just make sure they fit, and are clean.

You have hair and a face

A while ago I was showering with a girl who asked me if I had face wash and conditioner. I told her “I’m a guy, I don’t own that shit.” I instantly recognized what I had said as being one of the stupidest things I have said in a long time.

You have hair and you have a face. You should probably start taking care of them. But you should take this even further. Here is a list of all the things you should have in your bathroom, some are for you and others are for the girls you have over. Afterall, you don’t just want to be a man, you want to be a great man.

My favorite body wash.

My favorite body wash.

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Manly body wash (whatever smells good to you)
  • Girly body wash (as lightly scented as possible)
  • Face wash (unscented, gentle)
  • Tweezers
  • Q-tips
  • Lots of toilet paper
  • Wet wipes/baby wipes
  • A hairbrush
  • Hair elastics
  • Makeup remover (or virgin coconut oil)
  • Extra toothbrushes (soft)
  • Aspirin
  • Safety Pins

Spend enough time with girls at your house and I can promise you all of these things will come in handy. Maybe not every time you have a girl over, but at some point a girl is going to ask you for one, or a few, of the things on this list. So have them. It’s not expensive, they don’t take up much room, and just that you thought to have these things matters.

A boy’s ‘clean’ and a girl’s clean are not the same thing

I would be a hypocrite if I told you your place needs to be spotless at all times. But it really can’t be too far off. While it’s okay for your place to be a bit out of sorts, it’s not okay for it to be dirty.

You can have a few dishes next to your sink, but it’s not okay for your sink to be over-flowing with them.

This is a dealbreaker.

This is a dealbreaker.

You can have your stuff strewn here and there, but it’s not okay to have garbage (of any sort) just laying around.

While you should try to always make your bed, it’s not terrible if you don’t. But it’s not okay to have unwashed and stained sheets.

Most of all, if you only have time to focus on one room, you need to make it the bathroom. A dirty bathroom is a deal breaker for most girls. If your bathroom is below a 7/10 on the cleanliness scale, you are failing.

Part of your place being clean is the smell of your place. If your place stinks you have already lost. There is no excuse, and no way to get around it. It’s not okay for your place to smell, and you shouldn’t even own any aerosol cans designed to make a place smell better. If you are using a can to mask a bad smell, you are failing. If you are looking for a way to make your place smell better, more manly, pick up some cedar cones and it will smell like a delicious campfire in your place in no time.

Men smell like men

Women are attracted to smells. Just think of all the time women spend thinking, buying, sharing, and smelling perfume. They do this because they like things that smell good, and they want to smell good too. If you want girls to like you, you need to smell good to them.

Step 1: Shower, every day or close to it.

Step 2: Wear clean clothing.

Step 3: If you own any scent in a spray can, throw that shit out.

Step 4: If you still think Axe is a good idea, grow the fuck up and throw it out.

Step 5: Buy deodorant that works, and wear it all the time.

That’s the basic list. These are not optional. But if you really want to be a man, it’s time to start understanding the finer points of cologne. If you do decide to wear cologne, the first step is understanding that it’s not a statement. The only people who should be able to smell your cologne should be those who are close enough to touch you.

The smell of a cologne will change depending on who is wearing it. You are going to have to figure out what works for your chemistry, and when you do you it will be your secret weapon. For the most part you want to entirely avoid anything you can buy in a department store. Head to a perfumist (google that shit). They will be much cheaper, and they will help you pick out something good to start.

If you follow these four tips, really take them to heart, you will start to notice other things from your childhood bleeding into your life. It’s not a bad thing on its own, you just need to be objective in assessing if it’s holding you back in your adult life. If not, no worries. Never be afraid to be yourself, just always work toward putting forth the best version of yourself.

Other How to be a Man Articles