By¬†Romance Recovery’s¬†Johanna Lyman for¬†GalTime.com

Listen up guys everywhere –¬†I’m tired of hearing that nice guys finish last. ¬†Women, at least emotionally mature women, want a man who is nice, not a jerk. ¬†They just don’t want a doormat.

Think nice, not passive.  Doormats are no fun to date, but most women want to see their friends (and themselves) dating a nice guy.

To help you guys understand the difference, I came up with a list of things a man can do– nice guy or not– to finish first.

1. Act confident.¬†If you don’t believe you can get a date, you definitely won’t. ¬†But remember, confidence doesn’t mean arrogance and it doesn’t mean you’re self-absorbed. ¬†How do women perceive confidence, you ask? ¬†Smile and maintain good eye contact to start. ¬†I don’t mean stare her down, or give a smoldering, “I know you want me” look (that’s not nice). ¬†Just be direct and open. ¬†Your eye contact should say, “I’m interested in getting to know you better, I’m curious about you.” ¬†Put your drink down between sips (sips, not gulps) rather than holding onto it like a pacifier. ¬†And use your body: lean in every once in awhile for more intimacy. ¬†Just don’t forget to pull back again to give us space. ¬†Non-sexual touch is great too: rest your hand lightly on her forearm after a laugh, or give a shoulder nudge to emphasize a point.

Related: Do Nice Guys Always Finish Last?

2. Ask her questions about herself.¬† This is a no-brainer for the nice guy, because you are genuinely interested in her. ¬†If you’re not a natural nice guy, this is the best tip you can get for your money. ¬†Women can’t stand it when men are so self-absorbed they only talk about themselves. ¬†We want to know about you, but we also want to know that you remember we’re real people, not just a piece of meat.

3. Stop trying so hard to please.¬†It’s ok if we don’t agree on every single thing. ¬†We want to know you have a spine of your own. ¬†Have a strong opinion about something and let us know about it. ¬†That doesn’t mean you aren’t open to a differing opinion, but it’s ok to “agree to disagree.” ¬†I’ll give a small example: when we ask where you want to go for dinner, have an opinion. ¬†It’s irritating to hear, “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” all the time. ¬†I’m sure you think the same thing; you’d rather hear our opinion, even if you disagree. ¬†Here’s a clue: both men and women think that someone who knows what they want out of bed will also know what they want (and not be afraid to tell us) in bed, and that is sexy as hell.

Related: Four Biggest Mistakes MEN Make in Bed

4. Make her laugh.¬† Even if it’s at your expense once in awhile, the number one aphrodisiac for women is laughter. ¬†Think improv, not knock-knock jokes. ¬†Life is pretty funny all by itself, so you don’t have to be cracking jokes all the time. ¬†Nice guys are great at self-deprecating humor, so just be careful not to overdo it. ¬†It’s even ok to gently poke fun at her once in awhile, as long as it’s not a joke about her personal appearance. ¬†Seriously guys, no matter how confident a woman is, jokes about her appearance are always taboo. ¬†Consider it our Achilles heel.

5. When the time comes, be the sexual initiator.¬† I know you don’t always want to be the one to initiate, but biologically women are hard-wired to expect men to initiate sex. ¬†Especially in the beginning, don’t be afraid to grab your woman and plant a juicy kiss on her. ¬†See #1 on the list; confidence is a huge turn-on. ¬†You can look for clues about how you’re doing without appearing too eager to please. Here’s a clue: voice inflection is key. ¬†“Do you like that?” is wimpy; “Do you like that?” is not. ¬†The first implies she might not like anything you’re doing, while the second (said with confidence) implies that she likes it all and that in particular.