Successful Dating Tips

For both men and women, dating can be an anxiety producing experience, especially in the early stages. This is even more true when hoping to make a good impression if you are very attracted to the other person. By following a few tips and using common sense, it's possible to make dating fun and increase your chances of getting to know someone better.

Dating Tips for Men

With heterosexual dating, many women still prefer to have men make the initial approach and take the initiative in planning the first date. Men score points by paying for the first date, although women may offer to pay their share or a tip. Consider some less common date ideas, such as an outing to an interactive museum or a jazz club. Recalling details in later conversations about what she says now can score major points for a man. While a passing overall glance can be flattering to a woman, focus the bulk of your attention on her face. If a woman walks by wearing spaghetti straps and a hand towel while you're out on a date, it may be impossible not to take notice, but try to avoid the swivel-head response. Smiles are always a good sign for the giver and the recipient. Lean in closer to create a sense of intimacy while you are conversing. Gentle touches convey attraction: the upper arm and small of the back (while walking together) are usually OK if your date is also attracted to you. Avoid touching sexually suggestive areas such as her thigh until you're sure she will welcome the gesture. At the end of a date, don't say "I'll call you" unless you mean it. Dating multiple people is fine as long as you are upfront about saying so. However, being sexually involved with more than one person at a time can be complicated at the very least. Safer sex and absolute honesty with all parties involved are musts. However, many women view sexual involvement as a sign of a more serious relationship and will form expectations accordingly.

Dating Tips for Women

Like it or not, many men are visual. The first impression you make on a man may determine whether he wants to date you again or not. This doesn't mean you have to wear stage makeup and step out in a slinky dress and heels for a blind date at a coffee shop. It does mean wearing a flattering outfit that gives a hint of your shape and a flattering hairdo.

Try to avoid badmouthing old boyfriends or complaining about your low-paid job. As you get to know someone, the time will come when it is appropriate to bring up serious subjects such as a chronic medical condition. In the meantime, try to give the impression that you have a grip on your life, even if it's challenging.

Smiling, direct eye contact, open body language and flirtatious gestures such as light touches on the arm are appropriate ways of letting someone know you are attracted. At the end of a date, a hug or a kiss (your choice) are equally appropriate if you want to see the other person again. Avoid overtly sexual conduct that could give someone the wrong impression. Also, you should not feel pressured to have sex if you are not interested.

Many men complain that dates seem to be more like interviews than a chance to spend enjoyable time together. It can be tempting to cut through through the niceties to figure out where a man stands, but it's a huge turnoff for many men if they believe their only value to a woman stems from his wallet or his pedigree as a potential sperm donor.

On the other hand, if you are interested in a light-hearted encounter rather than a serious relationship, that's fine. The same is true if you wish to date more than one person at a time. Just be completely honest and be diligent about contraception and safer sex.

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About the Author

Chris Blank is an independent writer and research consultant with more than 20 years' experience. Blank specializes in social policy analysis, current events, popular culture and travel. His work has appeared both online and in print publications. He holds a Master of Arts in sociology and a Juris Doctor.

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