Whether it happens after the first date or the fifteenth, bringing a date to your apartment is nerve-wracking. Are they weirded out by the socks on the floor? The fine layer of scum on the shower tiles? The giant LEGO collection? Some of the hardworking folks at the Apartment Therapy Media office took a break from their day jobs to give us the lowdown on what your dates are really thinking.
A simple question — what's the first thing you notice when you go to a date's house for the first time? — quickly turned into a rapid-fire Slack chat that I wish you all could've been part of. Here are some of the highlights.
1. Is it clean?
Andrew: I notice if the bathroom is clean. If it smells.
Ashley: Is there laundry everywhere, dust, dishes in the sink, is the bed made?
Ariel: Definitely dishes.
Carrie W: If they have beard shavings in the bathroom sink.
Nora: Cleanliness and do they own more than two flat pillows.
Liz: Do they have more than one utensil/bowl/plate.
Carrie W: Presence of hand soap in the bathroom.
Nancy: Yes! So important.
Carrie W: Where they put your coat — floor, on the bed, actual coat hook or stand.
Grace: Coat hooks!! Also key hooks, towel hooks.
Chris: All the hooks. -10 points for command hooks.
2. Do you have books?
Chris: I look at the books.
Ashley: How they organize their books/DVDs.
Bryan: My roommate and I each keep a stack of books on our nightstands for this exact reason. Haha.
John Waters (unfortunately, he doesn't work at Apartment Therapy, but these are some of his best 'words to live by') : If you go home with somebody and they don't have books, don't fuck them.
3. Does it look like a college dorm?
Carrie W: The type of things they have up on the wall, i.e. movie posters not in frames. And if their TV is on a makeshift stand.
Grace: Video game consoles. Like one is fine I guess, but multiples are... a head scratcher.
Andrew: Magic eight ball
Carrie W: Lava lamp
Ariel: Bean bag
Grace: Abbey Road poster
Andrew: Bean bags are cool, you are wrong Ariel.
Nora: A Papasan chair esp. if it's, like, denim.
Nancy: I would be all over someone with a Papasan chair.
Nora: Does he have a Magic the Gathering card set out in the open?
Is his mom home?
4. Any suspicious smells?
Carrie W: If they have a pet, does it smell? If they don't have a pet, does it still smell?
Chris: I get grossed out when pets watch you get to know each other.
5. Is there a... printer?
Adam: Do they have their own printer?
Chris: That's something I like in a man. A printer.
6. What's in your fridge?
Carrie W: The contents of their fridge.
Ariel: Food selection... some people have very strange foods.
Like only condiments and French toast.
Chris: I like a discerning after-dinner drink game — like a proper nice whiskey.
Nancy: If the only beer they have is Bud Lite, that's a bad sign.
7. Red flags:
Ashley: Photos of other girls.
Grace: Random pieces of other girls' jewelry is a "watch out".
Chris: Wilted houseplants really jar me. if you can't take care of an IKEA cactus what can you do?
Chris: Yankee Candles is minus 20 points. In gay land, anything with that fake Drakkar/Abercrombie fragrance is a real "watch out".
8. Are you trying a little too hard?
Ashley: Do you also provide a spare i-Phone charger? +5 in my book.
Anna: Oh that's controversial — I think guys who have too many amenities for sleepovers are a bit of a red flag.
Ashley: Well don't keep it OUT. Just have it available.
Anna: I don't know, it's on the bubble.
9. And finally, the bedroom:
Carrie W: -100 points for college plastic drawers as a night stand.
Grace: Having a nightstand in general is a huge win.
Nora: A million extra points if there's a lamp on it.
Bryan: What about a standing lamp next to the nightstand? Is this acceptable!?
Amanda: Not if it's one of these.
Carrie W: The size of their bed (just saying).
Adam: I have a confession:
When I moved to NY my first bed was a twin I found on the street.
Carrie W: Get out of here.
Nancy: But did you have a printer??