As much as we try and deny it, home decor can be a huge deal-breaker when you're dating.
I thought that dating in my 30s would mean I'd finally get to say goodbye to the days of sleeping with guys who considered a tower of pizza boxes a kitchen island, however I've discovered that as you mature, unfortunately the homes of the people you date don't necessarily mature with you.
There is no bigger disappointment than meeting a sexy and charming man, only to discover when you go home with him that his apartment looks like the set of the movie Half Baked.
"I'm still getting laid, so why does it matter what my apartment looks like?!" you ask.
Because it does. Seeing a man's home for the first time bears almost as much weight as the first time you have sex. Awkward first time sex I can work with, however brushing my teeth in a bathroom sink that looks like it's growing a new species, I cannot. As adults, we all have the responsibility to not be disgusting.
Yes, it's likely you'll still have sex even if your apartment looks like it was styled by the Unabomber, however if you're looking to keep someone around for more than one night (or at the very least spare yourself from becoming one of those stories that she tells her friends over drinks), ensuring your space is clean and inviting will only help your love life.
1) Bedroom: A recent study revealed that the average man only washed his sheets 4 times a year -- a statistic that literally made me cringe in horror. Clean sheets are must -- especially if you're hooking up with more than one person on a regular basis. Secondly, if your sheets have seen better days or are (god forbid) stained -- it's time to ditch them. Invest in some high thread count linens and keep them clean. Same goes for your pillows.
Because no one likes to feel cramped or roll over only to smack their face into a wall, choose a bed that has ample room for two people and if you can, centre it between two walls to facilitate sleep and sex.
Make sure that you have a nightstand, or something similar to discretely stash bedroom essentials like condoms, lubricant and sex toys. Want to make a good impression? Always, always keep condoms on hand. It not only shows that you're responsible, it means you're prepared for anything that might happen.
3) Kitchen: The rule of thumb here is keep it clean. Crusty, dirty dishes piled up in the sink act as a bad omen of what we might find in your pants. A couple of quirky coffee mugs can be endearing, however if you plan on cooking a romantic dinner or making breakfast in bed for your beloved (which you most certainly should do!) invest in matching dishware. Try and think like you're James Bond (the ultimate ladies man.) Do you think Mr. 007 would serve his lady friend a glass of ice cold Pinot Grigio out of a commemorative plastic cup he scored at McDonalds in 1986? Of course not - and neither should you.
4) Bathroom: If you want to make the people you're dating feel at ease, the bathroom should be kept clean and sanitary: no moldy stained towels, oozing products, beard trimmings, or ex-girlfriend's beauty products lying around. If I'm more afraid to touch your soap than go without, you're doing things wrong. With that said, my heart has been known to beat a little faster for men who stock, fresh, fluffy towels.
5) Living room:
If you're no longer a college student and gainfully employed, the living room should be a comfortable space to hang out in. It should also contain actual, real furniture -- no bean bag chairs, dilapidated futons need apply. Trust me, very few women want to make out on a couch that looks like it was pulled from the side of the road. Instead, invest in furniture that you like and that is comfortable to hang out on.
If you've kept your bedroom simple and neutral, the living room is a great place to showcase your personality while adding some warm touches to your space. A well-stocked bookshelf, souvenirs from your travels, personal photos, framed art, a musical instrument, a throw blanket for cuddling -- anything that shows your personality -- is always welcome.
Even if we're just planning on hooking up with you, it's always comforting to get a sense of who you are as a person before we do the need. On the flipside, if you're trying to create an air of romance and sex appeal, consider ditching any items that look like they belong in a college dorm room.
Whether you're looking for something serious or not, when it comes to dating and love, your home is like your calling card. It's all about showing your personality and that you're an adult worth getting to know.
The question is, what do you want your space to say about you?
MORE ON HUFFPOST: