“I’ve been out the game for so long” ….“It’s been a while since I’ve been on a date”. These comments sound familiar? Well whether you were married and suffered through a divorce, or worse, suffered the loss of a spouse and want to get back in the swing of things, it can be challenging. If you just never were lucky enough to actually go on a date, consider this your lucky day because I have some advice for the dating impaired. You can pay me later in cash or money order. These are just some simple no brainer rules for navigating through the world of dating – especially on a first date.
1. Be open minded
If you didn’t know the person beforehand and sought them out on a dating site or through a hook up from a mutual friend, you have to understand the meeting parameters. You may have to meet them in a neutral place so be prepare for that. I know some guys who have been offended by such a notion, but you have to understand she doesn’t really know you and may be uncomfortable having you pick her up at her home. Yes guys, most women aren’t comfortable with having a stranger knowing where she lives. You may even have to meet her somewhere and then go to the date destination or have to take separate cars altogether. All those options are okay. Again, just be open to all meeting and transportation possibilities.
2. Dress to impress
I’m not saying you have to take out your Sunday’s best, or go and spend hundreds of dollars on a suit, but you have to come correct. Unless you are going to a sporting event you are not to wear a jersey of any kind. Keep your apparel simple, but nice looking. A semi casual or casual attire would do fine. Jeans (not ripped, frayed, non- fitting), a button down shirt, and some shoes or fresh ‘tims’ would work. Slacks or dress pants with a button down shirt is always a plus for going out. The reality is if she’s taking the time out to look nice for you, you should reciprocate. And besides, you are going out in public anyway so you should always take pride in what you have on.
3. Be yourself
This one to me is always important. The worst thing you can do is come off being someone you are not, i.e playing a character. However, obviously if you have an extremely outgoing vibe or an off the wall personality (which she may like) you want to tone it down just a tad until you get that sense of comfort. If you are quiet and reserved or like to laugh and have that sense of humor so be it. If you are the uuhh..let’s just say ‘unconventional type’, you may not be very successful. For example, this brutha rightchea
4. Be on time
Look at this as a job and your payment is either a second date, a kiss at the end (which signifies she wants to see you again) or maybe, just maybe you get laid. 😉 So if you’re supposed to meet or pick her up at 7, be there at that time. If you do get there early, make it at the most five minutes. You don’t want to get there too early as you may come off looking somewhat desperate. Use that time to perform a last minute self check, i.e., a breath, hair, etc.
5. Have no expectations
To me this rule is so underrated. Look at it this way: if you go to a club and you are Joe Cool expecting to come out with numbers and perhaps a conquest by the end of the night, keep it honest with yourself. Your whole vibe is killed because you are going about the night trying to get every number possible and you wind up not basking in the moment of a nice outing. At the end of the evening, you leave with no numbers and no money because chances are you spent it all.
When you go on a date with a woman for the first time, approach it differently – with no expectations. Your only expectation should be to simply enjoy the time. Don’t go into the date thinking about whether you are going to see her again, and definitely not thinking of a night cap. You’ll end up trying too hard and run the risk of ruining your night. In the event things don’t work out romantically, at the very least you made a cool acquaintance and she may think of you highly enough to recommend you to a friend of hers (that may be even better looking than she).
6. Have a back up plan
“You know what, I know of this other place we can go”. That phrase should always be your ace in the hole. You never know what unforseen circumstances might occur.
7. Follow your instincts
If the date is going meh, then you can always find a way to end it early; no sense in torturing yourself right? As far as showing affection on the date, such as holding hands, leave that up to her to dictate. Keep in mind you are in pure gentlemen mode so play the part. Now if you’re crossing the street you can beckon for her while extending your hand to see if she’ll take it. If she does (which is a good sign the date is going well), don’t let it go unless you feel her grip loosen. Pick up on her cues at all times, and go from there.
8. Find the Right Venue
I’ve always had a notion of not going somewhere where the place can entertain the both of you and you really don’t get to know each other. In other words, a movie isn’t always the best choice for a first date. I’m not a real fan of going dancing on a first date (unless you can dance or are feeling adventurous. If not, don’t bother). Personally I don’t care about the two step.
A picnic is cool. Going for a drink and some appetizers, a latte at Starbucks, going window shopping at a mall, maybe even a walk somewhere nice are all great starts. Basically this is your time to get to know her and have some real good conversation without spending unnecessary amounts of money. And as a result you’ll come out of the date knowing whether you’ll have another.
Going bowling, billiards/pool, maybe a sports game is good, but only if she’s into those things. This rule is all predicated on how well you know the person, an example is if you both became acquainted beforehand.
9. Mind your P’s and Q’s
This is an extension of being yourself but remember you are the man of the hour (or several). Open doors, walk on the outside of the sidewalk, lend her your jacket if need be, and PAY for the outing. Even if she invited you, make sure you bring money anyway. A little chivalry goes a long way. Turn your cell phone off (or at the least leave it on vibrate) and only answer it for emergencies. Literally that’s it. Checking texts, your Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, sports scores are a serious no bueno (unless its Opinionated Male related of course).
If you like to indulge in liquor don’t drink too much, especially not more than she. You must not engage in any self incriminating conversation or ask if her if she’s having fun. If she is having fun you’ll know trust me. Keep yourself as mysterious as possible without being creepy or disingenuous as to who you are. Think of yourself as a magician, he never does all his tricks in the first act. He keeps you wanting more.
After the date, do not bring her to your home unless she asks (even then that’s still maybe); but DO NOT volunteer to do so. Once you drop her off, you will be given some indication if you’ll be invited in or perhaps given a good night kiss (see rule #5).
Another good sign: if she asks you to call her when you get home.
10. Call or text the next day
This is a way of gauging interest and thanking her for the evening. Just throw things against the wall and see if it sticks. You never know, she may suggest you all go out again or hint at another outing from you. Now if you reached your ‘goal’ and spent the night, don’t just get up and leave the next morning. From what I’ve been told from other men, breakfast for her is always a plus. After all, if she gave you ‘some’ the night before, the least you can do is that. It may sound cheesy but that’s always a good way of saying, “Thank you”.
So readers, what are your thoughts on these dating commandments? Do you have any of your own rules that didn’t make the list but should have? Share your dating do’s and dont’s. The floor is yours.
peace and happy turkey day.
01/15/19 Post title update. Originally entitled, “The 10 Date Commandments: Rules For Dating The Opposite Sex”