1. A little confidence goes a long way
I used to date a very sweet but shy guy who laughed every time he felt uncomfortable. That awkward laugh made me feel pretty uncomfortable as well. A little shyness can actually be a nice quality in a man, but if it’s crippling, try to find ways to get it under control. Instead of being overcome by anxiety, your date will probably appreciate you disclosing your shyness – and you’ll feel a lot more at ease. Keep in mind that if she agreed to the date, she’s obviously somewhat interested. Try taking your date to a place that you know and where you feel comfortable. Ask her questions and find commonalities. Approach her as though she’s a friend; this will help you to relax and be yourself. Check out this guru if you’re after more advice on how to conquer your shyness.
Go somewhere casual, convenient, and trendy. For an evening date, a bar is a good option. For a day date, a café is always nice. This is much less pressure than going to a restaurant. And starting a date with a couple of drinks or coffee gives you the option to have a meal or snacks afterwards, if things are going well. I was once taken to ten pin bowling, which was a nice touch, because I knew he’d made an effort to think of something different. Mini-golf is a good idea too.
3. It’s an important date so don’t be late!
Never be late to meet your date. No woman wants to be sitting alone in a bar, waiting for a man to appear. It’s incredibly rude, and it shows us that we’re not a top priority for you, and that you’re not all that interested. During the dating phase, you’re still being sized up, so a faux pas such as this could lose you another date.
4. Don’t mention the ex
NEVER talk about the dreaded ex on a first date. In fact, it’s best to leave this conversation for a time down the line when you’re closer to relationship territory. I don’t recall anyone ever telling me, “Oh, it was such an amazing date! We talked about his ex, which was super interesting and didn’t make me feel uncomfortable at all!” It’s actually pretty disrespectful and incredibly awkward. Remember, you’re on a date with a person who made an effort to spend time with you and get to know you. Don’t drag your past into the future. Instead, keep conversation light and always be positive.
5. Be nice!
The worst date I ever went on turned into a bar crawl, during which I was dragged to a series of progressively seedier bars. At one point, my date insisted we play pool – despite my adamant protests. This turned out to be a bad move on his part. He was about 6ft 5”, so I never saw the top of his head until he bent down to line up his cue and there was no hair up there – revealing that I’d been grossly misled about his age, which turned out to be 38. I was 22 at the time. The moral of the story? Be nice to your date, and don’t insist on doing things she doesn’t want to do. And never lie about your age!
6. Shut up and let her talk
The worst dates I’ve had were with men who loved themselves too much. Show interest in your date by listening to her and making intelligent and entertaining conversation. Don’t spend the main part of the date subjecting her to your narcissistic ramblings, because I guarantee she’s not interested in hearing your autobiography at this stage. Be sure that you’re asking questions and engaging your date. Don’t interrupt her or speak over the top of her, and don’t be the only one leading the conversation. Pay attention to whether she’s interested in what you’re saying, AND LET HER TALK!
7. Have some manners
This is a tough one, because all women think differently about manners and chivalry. Personally, if a man holds a door open for me I see it as a sign of good manners. On the other hand, I once had a woman tell me that she was deeply offended when a man offered her his seat on the bus. In most cases, a first date is too early to know your date’s thoughts on sexism and various feminist movements. But this is no excuse not to be well-mannered. Tell your date she looks beautiful, be polite to staff, tip generously, offer to pay, and open doors (unless you know for sure that she’ll become enraged).
8. No distractions
Your date should have your undivided attention. That means no checking your watch, no looking at your phone, and especially no texting or calling. And this should go without saying, but never ogle other women while you’re on a date. If you asked or agreed to spend time with this person, then you should show her some basic courtesy and respect. You won’t get many brownie points for being distracted by things that are apparently more interesting than your date.
9. What about the bill?
Don’t expect to split the bill. Every woman has a different opinion on this. I like to split all the bills while dating. Some women like to take it in turns to pay. Most of my female friends expect their date to pay during the dating phase, and especially on the first date. Remember, if you ask a woman on a date she is essentially your guest, so it’s not bad manners for her to expect you to pay. That said, the bill is generally a bit of a game, with each party insisting on paying. If your date offers to pay, it’s polite for you to offer a second time. If she still insists on splitting the bill, don’t push the issue. Just go halves.
10. Be on the lookout for sparks
If you’re not feeling it, don’t kiss her and don’t tell her you’ll call. If you felt the sparks flying, tell her you had a great time and ask her if she did too! The best dates I’ve had always ended with him asking me if I had fun and if I want to see him again. Being informed that you’ll be called just comes off as obnoxious. And if you do intend to call her, don’t play games. Just pick up the phone the next day and call or text her.
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