Believe it or not, loaded questions based on subjective language won't produce the most reliable set of data to make sweeping generalizations about female automotive preferences. All these surveys are right on one thing, though: As a woman I don't care what you drive. I care how you use it.
The poll in question was commissioned by AnastasiaDate, which appears to be some kind of meet-a-Russian-ladyfriend site, yet its silly findings got spread far and wide with conclusions I wouldn't have drawn from the responses to the questions they asked.
Jezebel's headline - "Women Quite Possibly Hate Your Stupid 'Sexy' Car" was tame compared to other coverage on the matter, such as theNew York Post's incendiary "Forget a Porsche, Drive a Prius if You Want to Attract the Ladies."
How did they arrive at the idea that a Prius is the key to partnered bliss? By asking questions about "exotic," "fast," and "expensive" cars. Here are some nuggets via the New York Post:
A Harris poll commissioned by dating site AnastasiaDate found that a majority of women associate fancy cars with negative character traits: 56 percent view men who drive exotic or fast cars as being showoffs or arrogant, and 17 percent perceive them as being insecure.
And 37 percent of women think men who buy expensive cars are compensating for a lack of "something."
Let me poke some holes in this, "I used to be pre-law"-style. Those are all very subjective terms.
A GAZ M20 Pobeda might be familiar to the lovely ladies on AnastasiaDate, but I'd certainly call it an exotic. I've never seen one of those, ever. Shoot, if you ask me, an RS4 Avant is an exotic, too. It looks like a nondescript compact station wagon, and much sadness and gnashing of teeth is had over the fact that we don't get those here.
And what was the definition for "fast?" My definition of fast ("150 is kind of neat") and my mother's ("Can you slow down?") are two completely different things.
Furthermore, a lot of cars look or sound faster than they really are. C3 Corvettes. My Porsche racecar. All fabulous trolls of the automotive universe.
So, while the Russian-Bride-O-Matic-commissioned poll did gather some conclusive data on perceptions of various vehicles and their owners, to say this means we automatically hate flashy cars is a far stretch. Rather, I think a more accurate headline would've been "Most Women Really Don't Care What You Drive."
This was the most telling line of them all when it comes to the oh-so-burning question of "will this car get me chicks?"
Only about one-fifth of women say that they have found a man more attractive after seeing the type of car that he drives.
Well, there's your answer: NO. It won't.
I may be up in my ears in broken 944 parts, but when it comes down to it, as long as you respect my hobby, I'll respect that your idea of a fun time is a night of D&D with your bros, chauffeured there in some hand-me-down "I don't care, it runs" car from your mom.
I suspect that the one-fifth of women who claim it actually matters have either had a bad experience with an ex with a fancy car that influenced their response, or they fall under the lovely categories of "fangirls" or "gold diggers." That first group is valid: ex A had car B and was a showy dingleberry of a human being. The last two you likely wouldn't want anyway, unless their fangirlism aligned with your fanboism and thus, you can both troll NASIOC together happily ever after. Awwww.
That brings me to the questions they should have asked: what do women actually care about when it comes to your car? Let me give a few ideas for the future pollmakers of the universe so they won't end up with the somewhat sexist "hurr durr, girls like shoes more than your car" tripe we've come to expect from these sorts of things.
I touched on this earlier with the fangirl match-made-in-heaven example, but really, you're likely with someone who likes some of the same things you do. If that's doin' trackrat things with your friends, congratulations, you hit the car guy jackpot and your vehicle is a built-in opportunity to do stuff together.
If that's something else, say, yarn-bombing kayaks, you probably need to make sure you have enough time away from Project Car Hell to go do some of that together. Don't blow your yarn budget on car parts for yourself, either. Relationships need some kind of sacrifice from both parties, and maybe fixing that blow-uppy turbo can wait another month if it means you'll have a little extra for doing stuff together.
Respect for Personal Space
Not every interest is going to be a shared one. If she has no interest in your vehicle whatsoever, use the time to regain your sanity. Both of your sanities. I never understood how couples who seemed to be JB-Welded to the hip can stand it. If she wants to run off and do something you're not into, that's prime time to play with the car.
Don't enter into a one-sided relationship that demands all of your time and doesn't respect your own needs, hobbies and interests. I got a bit offended at a commenter on the Jezebel article who mentioned "making" her significant other sell their awesome project car. I'm sure there was more to the story than a short comment could describe, but I'm of the opinion one party shouldn't "make" another give up something they love. Two-way street here. I respect your broken pile of BMWs, you respect my over-the-top collection of vintage stuffed animals. Deal? Deal.
Time to Spend Together
Most of the horror stories I hear about "car guys" seem to be describing a different issue altogether: a time issue. Guys who didn't manage their time well enough to have time to spend on the car AND the girl.
If most of your time is spent tinkering with a vehicle, you're probably best off with someone who shares that interest. If you're madly in love with someone who isn't, you're going to have to plan your time a little better to allow time to spend together since you're going to need private time with a hunk o' bolts in a shed.
Or better yet, get her into tinkering with some vehicle, too. MORE OF US! MORE OF US! Mwahaha.
Make Sure You're Both Happy
If your life-long dream is to buy an Exige and you're with some high-maintenance pady who constantly complains that she can't get in the car without having a miniskirt-induced wardrobe malfunction, you're probably both pretty miserable. (And that's probably not the best match, either.)
Since your car really doesn't matter when it comes to attracting the ladies, buy what makes you happy and suits your needs. Don't try to flaunt it as "this sweet lifted bro truck is going to get me laid!" because that won't work. Don't tell tall tales of vehicular domination because that really won't work. Just buy what makes you happy.
If one of you is miserable, you're inevitably both going to be miserable. Good relationships aren't built off of a material possession, be it a car, a huge stone or whatever. They're built off mutual respect.