Somewhere between shooting hoops on the playground in junior high and walking down the aisle as a grown man, you must find a way to balance your need to be a guy with your need to settle down with the right woman. You might be lucky enough to already have sorted out what to do and what not to do when dating women. However, a few hints here and there never hurt anyone, and your relationships with women can only benefit from putting some extra thought into your dating approach.
You can't judge a book by its cover, but your date probably will if you don't put some effort into your physical appearance. If you show up on your first date in flip-flops and a hoodie and she's wearing a nice dress and heels, she'll instantly think you didn't believe she was important enough to at least put on some nice jeans and a decent shirt and pair of shoes. Remember the details, too. Think showered, shaved and ready to make a stellar first impression.
You can't rely on your looks alone if you hope to move beyond that first date. You'll need to keep the conversation rolling smoothly. Current affairs, family, travel, occupation, recreational interests and hobbies are all ideal topics when you are first getting to know someone. Stay away from rants about your ex-wife, your religious and political views, the fact that you're a mama's boy, discussions about your drinking escapades, and your desire to quit your job and live in a yurt. Avoid talking about previous dates and exes altogether. Your current date doesn't want to hear about them, because it draws attention away from you two getting to know each other. Keep your conversation focused on your date by asking questions that aren't too personal.
Above all, be a gentleman. Arrive on time for your date. This shows you understand her time is important. Open doors for her, help her with her coat and pull out her chair. Compliment her appearance without going overboard. She wants to know that you like her for more than her looks. Offer to pay, but don't insist on it if she wants to pay her way. Be polite to the people around you, too, such as waitresses and doormen. When you're kind not only to her but to others as well, you show your date that your chivalry is not just an act. As for a goodnight kiss, don't expect it, but listen to her body language to know whether a kiss is appropriate. If she turns away from you and reaches for the handle on her car door, it's not going to happen. If she looks at you with anticipation, go ahead and kiss her.
After the Date
If the date went well and you want to see her again, tell her before parting ways that you enjoyed your date and that you will call her --- but only if you plan to do so. If you didn't click, say goodnight politely and walk away. Follow up in a timely manner--within a few days--with dates who interest you. If you wait too long to set up the next date, she might think you aren't interested and will make other plans -- and you might find yourself bumped off the calendar.
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