Road Map to the Perfect First Date

by Brett & Kate McKay on December 13, 2009 · 130 comments

in Dating, Relationships & Family

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So, you’ve decided to stop hanging out with women and start dating them? Bully for you! Now you must take on that ever-intimidating first date.  While a first date can be a road fraught with obstacles and snafus, when you have the proper guide, you can make it go off without a hitch. To help you not only get through your first date with a woman, but also enjoy it, we provide the following road map.

Prelude

getting ready

Plan. Women are suckers for a man with a plan because it shows you have initiative, can think ahead, and aren’t shy about taking the lead. Don’t punt and ask her what she wants to do. Be a man! You’re the one doing the asking, so it’s your duty to come up with something that she’ll enjoy. When a woman is with a man that has a plan, they feel they can relax and really enjoy themselves.

Clean the car. If you’re picking her up in your car, give it a nice cleaning before the date. First impressions matter big time on the first date, and women will check you like a drill sergeant at bunk inspection. Many women will use the cleanliness of your car to gauge how you carry yourself in the rest of your life. If you have empty 32 oz Big Gulp cups, old clothes strewn out in the back, and food crumbs everywhere, your date will assume your house is even messier and that you’re generally a slob during the rest of the week. Not a good first impression.

Also, you might not notice, but your car probably smells. Leaving sweaty gym bags or Saturday morning’s fish catch in a car causes odor to build up in the upholstery. Spare your date the olfactory torture by airing out your car and spraying it down with Febreeze.

Just give the car a quick wash, vacuum it out, and wipe down the vinyl. It will probably take an hour or so, but you’ll be left with a car that will impress your date, even if it’s a 89′ Honda Civic.

Get some cash. Stop by the ATM and pick up some cash. It’s good for greasing palms during the evening, but you’ll also need it to pay for parking and other incidentals.

Dress up to show respect. Dressing up not only leaves a good first impression, it’s just plain respectful. It shows your date you thought enough about them to put your best foot forward. When you show up in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, it’s like telling your date, “Eh… I had nothing better do so I just came over in what I was wearing.” Even if you’ve planned a casual date, put on something dressy casual. No need to bust out a tie. Go for something like a pair of jeans, a button down shirt, a corduroy blazer and a nice pair of boots (shined, of course).

Call her and tell her exactly what you’re going to do on the date. While you might not think about getting ready for your date until a few hours before you pick her up, a lady likes to plan ahead and think about what she’ll wear and how she’ll do her nails.

Show your date that you have some gentlemanly forethought by calling a few days in advance and telling her exactly what you plan on doing with her. This will help her decide how she should dress and make herself up. Women really dislike being dressed inappropriately for the occasion.

Moreover, by knowing what you two will be doing together, your date will feel more comfortable and relaxed which results in her having a good time. Wait for the surprises after you get to know each other better.

The Pickup

man-opening-door-for-lady

Be on time. As my grandpa says, “A gentleman never keeps a lady waiting.” Arriving late shows disrespect and only creates unneeded anxiety in a woman. If you’re running late because of unforeseen circumstances, call your date and let her know your estimated time of arrival.

Also, don’t show up too early. In my experience, women will use every available minute they have to get ready. Don’t piss your date off by showing up 15 minutes early while she’s still in her bathrobe. You’ll only embarrass her because you caught her without her best face on and now she’ll feel pressured to rush getting ready because you’re sitting on the couch. Trust me. That’s not a good way to start off the date.

Come to the door. Only a jackass would honk.

Immediately compliment the way she looks. Most women spend a lot of time and dough prepping for a first date. Let her know that you appreciate it by complimenting her. Don’t hesitate to do it, either. It should be the first thing you do when you walk into the house. Suggested compliments: “You look stunning!” or “That dress looks marvelous on you.”

Open the car door for her. Show your date some old-fashioned chivalry by opening the car door for her. Offer her your hand for support as she slides into the car. Ensure all arms and hemlines are safely inside the car before you shut the door.

The Drive

drive

Instead of music, try talking. Remember: first dates are for getting to know a woman. There’s no better way to do get to know someone than by talking with them. The radio can act as a crutch to avoid awkward moments of silence. If you have music on, both you and your date will probably do more listening than talking. Force yourself to converse with your date by leaving the music off.

If you play music, play it softly and keep the list classy. AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long” or Sir-Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” are not appropriate. Stick with some classic jazz or crooners like Frank Sinatra or Bobby Darrin. The music is pleasant, warm, and doesn’t distract from conversation. Remember to keep the volume down so you can hear each other talk.

Oh, and don’t play NPR either. Sure, it will make you look “smart” and “enlightened,” but talk radio will kill the conversation between you two. Make a date with Terry Gross when you’re alone in the car and stuck in traffic.

If you’re taking a cab… you should open the door for her, give the cabbie the directions, and pay.

The Date

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No movies. We said before and we’ll say it again: the point of a first date is to get to know the person. You can’t do this while you’re both staring at a movie screen.

Keep it simple. You’re not proposing to her, so there’s no need to go overboard on the first date. Keep the first date light, fun, and romantic. You can’t go wrong with dinner and an evening at an art museum. Both activities allow you ample opportunities to talk and get to know each other.

You Pay. No questions. If she offers, just smile, say, “It’s my pleasure,” and hand the waiter your card.

The Door

out_of_car

Walk her to the door. You want to see that she gets safely into her place, and it’s just plain chivalrous. As you walk to the door, offer her your arm. It’s a non-threatening way to initiate body contact without seeming like a perve.

Make your move? There’s no hard or fast rule on whether you should kiss on the first date. Just remember that women put a lot of meaning into a kiss, so don’t go for it if you don’t plan on pursuing a relationship. You just risk confusing and hurting your date.

But if you feel like a kiss is in order, go for it. She might give you her cheek, but that’s alright. Just roll with it and play it like it twern’t nothing. There’s always next time.

You can never go wrong with a hug. Unless it’s a side hug.

Don’t go into her house. First, don’t ask if you can come in. It’s just sleazy.

If she asks, decline. Why? It shows you’re a gentleman, and she’ll respect you even more. More importantly, it’s anticipation that creates romantic sparks (this is why chicks are nuts about those Twilight books). Leave her wanting more.

Follow-up

followup

Call her the next day. We’ve all probably heard those dumb rules about waiting a day and then a day before calling a woman you took out on a first date. Forget them. Just call the next day. Thank her for a lovely evening and if things clicked for you two, ask for a second date.

If she’s not there, leave a message thanking her and ask her to call back. If she doesn’t call back within 48 hours, give another call. If she still doesn’t call back, learn to take a hint and pursue other options.

And absolutely under no circumstances does a man text, Facebook or Twitter their date to follow up with them. Be a man, pick up the phone, and give her a call.

Any other first date tips? Share them with us in the comments!

{ 128 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Evan December 14, 2009 at 12:35 am

Wow, great post. You pretty much nailed everything. But here’s a question-should a man bring flowers on a first date? I’ve always been confused on whether this gesture comes off as romantic to women or seems too over the top?

2 Brian December 14, 2009 at 12:42 am

Evan – it all comes down to your style. If you can pull off the flowers on the first date, awesome! I know someone who kisses girls’ hands (very Victorian-era) when he meets. It totally works for him because it’s part of his style. So, if you think the flowers is part of your style, your comfortable with it, and you’re not trying to “buy” anything bygiving the girl flowers – go for it.

3 Joseph B December 14, 2009 at 12:57 am

Nice post! I have to say one of the most important (and hardest) things to do is to plan a fun but relaxed date. My wife loved it when I would pick her up with a whole date already planned and in mind–and she still does. If you’re having trouble planning and are acquainted with the girl’s friends, it never does any harm to do a little reconnaissance.

4 Patrick December 14, 2009 at 1:17 am

Awesome. Been thinking about asking a girl and it has been a little while. Great tips and reminders.

5 Tom December 14, 2009 at 1:49 am

I wish I had read this before Friday, my first ‘first date’ in a long time. Mistakes were made. There are many good pointers here. I’d note, though, that these are all good ideas for each and every date and that it is probably never too late to start applying them.

6 Peter December 14, 2009 at 2:39 am

Excellent advice!. I have a first date tonight and will certainly be putting some of this into action, especially the having a plan/taking the lead element. Even If i’m not too sure I will just have to act confident!

Thanks Again

7 Douglas December 14, 2009 at 3:17 am

Now if only you had some assistance on that one step that first leads one to be able to make use of this article.

8 Al December 14, 2009 at 3:57 am

I think this entire article is spot on, and if followed to a tee the date should go very well and if it’s a match, you’ll know it and things will progress. The only thing I would change is the recommended car music. Yeah, classic, but unless your date is 60+ years old, it may come off as a little cheesy and you’d be better off sticking with something subtle in the genre you usually prefer.

9 Joshua December 14, 2009 at 4:36 am

I love this article! But there’s one thing I disagree with. “Call her and tell her exactly what you’re going to do on the date.” How did you get a date without telling her what you’ll be doing? Never ask for an ambiguous date. A real man asks a woman if she would like to go to a specific event or place with him. Never ask for a date without a plan first.

Also on the complimenting your date section. I once received some good advice. Never tell a woman that she “looks good in that dress.” Say “that dress looks good on you.” To a man it’s the same thing, but to a woman it’s the difference between an insult and a compliment.

10 Michael December 14, 2009 at 4:39 am

Dare I say that this advice should work for you even (or especially?) if you’ve used “pickup” skills to secure the date. (They’re not just for one-night stands!)

Al, I think the best idea would be to make a mix CD of songs you think she might like – you could even give it to her as a gift at the end of the date! I know that for me, musical taste is a make-or-break factor in a woman: if she doesn’t like my taste in music, I probably won’t date her long.

11 David Scott December 14, 2009 at 7:38 am

I think there’s a third date rule that you have to kiss on/by or else she has to give you the “let’s just be friends” talk.

12 Jon December 14, 2009 at 8:28 am

I’d be wary of declining an offer to come inside. Sure, the lady might see it as uber-gentlemanly, but she also might see it as a snub. I’m not saying you should sleep with with a woman on the 1st date (I don’t think you should) but there’s nothing wrong with lingering for a cocktail or an extended goodnight kiss, if the invitation is sincere and you can get home safely without hanging around too long.

13 Ryan December 14, 2009 at 9:07 am

What, no ‘Bronx Tale’ test???

14 cara December 14, 2009 at 9:52 am

Am I allowed to comment on here despite my lack of a Y chromosome? I’m going to assume yes since you’re all gentlemen, right?

Re: the Bronx Tale test (lol)… i think that’s been outdated by the advent of automatic car lock openers (insert actual name of device here).

15 Walker December 14, 2009 at 10:02 am

Great advice. Just remember, when it comes to holding doors, it’s ladies first except on two occasions: revolving doors and taxi cabs (so she doesn’t have to push or slide across the seat. Great post Brett.

16 Tyler Tervooren December 14, 2009 at 10:09 am

Ok. I’ll be completely honest.

My girlfriend picked ME up on our first date. I didn’t have a car at the time and actually had planned our outing by bus. She ended up offering to drive instead and I agreed.

How’s that for classy?

4 years on and I guess I must have done something right.

The rules here are classic, as they ought to be. But dare I say that rules are made to be broken? No rule is hard and fast as long as you’re thoughtful, gentlemanly, and sincere in breaking it.

17 Justin December 14, 2009 at 10:13 am

I think this date advice is stellar if you’re taking someone out who you know just a little bit and are aware that you have a base level of chemistry with.

If this is someone you’re meeting for the first time from an online dating site like Match.com, you don’t want to plan a whole bona fide evening with someone you don’t know if you vibe with. In this case drinks or coffee is fine. Being in good communication and being on time are still VERY important. If you find after the coffee or drink is going well you can offer to take her out to dinner then to deepen the connection.

As far as paying for everything on the first date I usually and wholeheartedly agree. But, at this particular time in my life I am in very lean financial straits and I recently experimented with going “dutch”. I once met up with woman for drinks I met online for the first time. The drinks lasted for about half an hour and then I asked if she’d like to get some dinner with me. The place I had in mind was very inexpensive. I then said to her, “Say, do you mind if we go ‘dutch’? I’m on a very limited budget right now due to work issues.” She said that was fine and off we went.

This behavior requires tuning into your own intuition and doing a cost-benefit analysis but, in these very hard financial times, I think it’s really important we consider re-assessing the definition of a date. The question I’ve been asking myself lately is, “If I don’t have enough money to take a woman out, does that mean I shouldn’t try to date at all?” I’d like to think not.

Perhaps you (Bret and Kate) could do a post on this very topic? Like, “How to be manly when out of work”

18 Frank December 14, 2009 at 10:41 am

I agree with everything in this post except for the “don’t go in the house” portion. Chivalry is one thing, but if she asks you to come in, then she has decided that she she likes you enough and wants you to come in. By declining, you aren’t being gentlemanly, you are being paternalistic. Women have the right to decide whether they invite you in, and if you turn them down, they might think that you are not interested. I have made the mistake of being “too gentlemanly” in the past, and the women were confused.

As an alternative, I would propose that you do go in, if asked, and that you only stay for a short while. That still keeps them wanting more and still sends a clear signal that you like them as much as they like you.

19 Johnny the Freemason December 14, 2009 at 11:08 am

Amazing article, and 90% of it I failed to do on my first date with my wife. Thank god she likes ‘em a little clueless!!

20 Ted December 14, 2009 at 11:16 am

I think this is wonderful advice for a young man. He treats the woman like a lady, shows her to a nice time, makes a great first impression. Then he gets to listen to her talk about all the men she’s had casual sex with who didn’t take her out on dates…….and feel like a chump. In the days before women’s liberation and the 60′s this article would be spot on. Today I think it’s outdated, sad to say. And that’s not a negative reflection on this article, but on the sad times in which we live.

However, I have a friend who has a 15 year old son to whom I will pass this on. He’s young. Hopefully he can land himself a nice girl early in his life and never have to experience the disappointment in the romance department that I have experienced.

21 F.E. Castleberry December 14, 2009 at 11:26 am

Very solid advice. Definitely a conversation that will play out with me and my sons when they hit the later teen years.

To Justin—If you don’t have the money to date…you shouldn’t date. Maybe make some sacrifices in other areas in order to free up the money to take a girl out. I just know that going dutch can become habit forming and after awhile, the woman rarely gets to be treated…treated like a lady for that matter. I do understand your plight, I do. If you can’t create the financial margin then it might be best to go back to hanging out with women where going dutch is the norm.

22 MatchGirl December 14, 2009 at 11:46 am

First, thank you for this great post. I wish every guy I dated would adhere to (or at least be cognizant of) this stuff!

Second, to Justin, I think you can still be unemployed and show a gal a great time. Instead of taking her for cocktails or dinner, take her to an art gallery and coffee. One of the best first dates I ever had was a picnic in the park – the guy was a grad student at the time and low on cash – he picked up some sushi and a bottle of wine and we sat on a blanket and ate and drank and chatted until it started to rain and then we went to a nearby bookstore and walked around, looking at books and getting to know each other a little better. He planned the date (most important!) and he paid, but he didn’t drop a lot of cash (it didn’t matter) and we still had a great time.

23 Mesothelioma December 14, 2009 at 11:48 am

The calling was always the question for me. Trying not to be too anxious while still having a polite follow up. With such assurance of the next day helps put that to rest.

24 Adam Rogge December 14, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Come to the door. Only a jackass would honk

Classic and very true. If any boy comes to pick up my daughter and honks, I guarantee she won’t be leaving the house with that young man.

25 Brett McKay December 14, 2009 at 1:19 pm

@Douglas-

The post linked to at the very beginning has some pointers on how to get to the point of getting a date-but my advice can be easily summarized: find a girl you’re interested in, pick up the phone, and ask, “Hello, would you like to go out this Saturday?” Simple as pie!

@Al-
I think playing old crooners and such, if you personally like them, is a good way a gauging a girl’s personality. If she digs them, she’s usually your sort of cat. It’s like the gentleman above who does the hand kissing thing. I think the majority of girls would find it majorly nerdy, but find the girl who does like it, and you’ve found a girl who’s right for you. Of course if the old time crooners music doesn’t match your personality, than it might not be the right choice.

@Joshua-
A woman who would be insulted by “You look good in that dress,” would be a woman far too sensitive for my tastes.

@Michael-
I really like the mix CD idea-a very nice touch.

@Justin-
I agree with Matchgirl-you just have to come up with really cheap, but creative dates. Like pack some sandwiches and go for a hike. Or get some bagels and go for a bike ride. And there are always lots of free events going on around town. I wouldn’t ask a lady to go dutch for the first few of dates-it will convey that you’re some combination of cheap/poor/unchivalrous. A creative date will convey that you’re well, creative. And that even if you’re out of the work, you’ve got the kind of chutzpah to find your way back to a job.

26 Nick December 14, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Great job on this article Bret and Kate! I wholeheartedly agree with every aspect of the date that was touched on. To Justin, I have to agree with Mr. Castleberry. When going on an unromantic outting with a girl you have been friends with for a while going “Dutch” is usually acceptable. While going on a first, or second, or third date with a woman you are interested in becoming romantically involved with, it is not. Rather than not pursueing the girl at all and taking the chance that some other guy might steal your chance away ask her to hang out with you. Maybe invite her to watch a movie with you at your apartment or go fishing with you on the weekend. In my experience doing friendly things with a girl you have just met rather than romantic things is often much more affective at forming a bond with her. Plus, it gives you a chance to learn more about her and find out if she’s the type of girl you want to become involved with and spend your money on.

27 Steven December 14, 2009 at 1:47 pm

I think what’s really important is being honest. You’re not trying to show the woman someone you think she’ll like, you’re being yourself and if she likes YOU you’re on the right path. If she likes some persona you created to impress her, you have failed.

I think this is why so many relationships fail. You’re playing a game to score, not trying to find compatibility.

28 Sean December 14, 2009 at 2:05 pm

Excellently written article. More men should follow such simple, time-tested codes of conduct. It always makes me a little mad when I see a guy taking out a girl in his every-day clothes, not opening the door for her, etc. Women shouldn’t accept such un-chivalrous behavior! ;-P

29 Mel December 14, 2009 at 2:16 pm

This is all good advice, but kind of surprising that it would come as news to anyone!

To Nick, I would say it’s true that you should take care of the costs of your first couple of outings with a girl you are interested in, I’m not sure a movie at your apartment would necessarily be a great first or second date choice. A little too intimate with someone you don’t know. If I were just getting to know someone, I would be reluctant to go hang out on the couch at their place. ‘Outings’ is the key word here. Go somewhere, do something.

30 Mel December 14, 2009 at 2:27 pm

As an addendum, the concept of the man paying on the first couple of dates relates to the fact that women still earn less than men (around 75 percent at last count). So if you’re struggling to pay the bills, it’s best to assume that your date isn’t any more flush with cash than you are.

Also, she might have already been asked on a few dates in the last month or two – imagine if all the guys who wanted to spend time with her also wanted her to pony up for half of whatever activity they’d chosen! How embarrassing and disappointing would it be for her if she had to turn down dates because she wasn’t sure if she could afford them?

Paying for the date is paying for the opportunity to get to know someone in a relaxed situation. If that person is worrying about the cost, they’re not relaxed. So if you’re on a tight budget, choose an activity that fits into your budget, not one you assume she can afford too.

31 Yousif December 14, 2009 at 2:33 pm

My tip is be spontaneous is what you do, even if it’s not the first date. Compliment here, for example your walking side by side and you think she looks absolutely stunning. Then take a moment when the conversation ended, say it sincerely and continue walking as if nothing happened.

32 Terry December 14, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Good article! It doesn’t hurt for old married guys to follow some of the advise given here as well.

Also, consider giving the young lady a kiss on the hand as you end the date. A classy way to end the evening which also shows great respect.

33 Troy Riggle December 14, 2009 at 3:45 pm

Great article! I’ve forwarded this to both of my daughters to let them know what they should expect from a real gentleman…not the “dudes” they date.

34 Jim Beidle December 14, 2009 at 4:10 pm

Another great article full of good advice that I wish I’d known thirty-some years ago. I feel Brett and Kate make a great team to bring us pertinent information like this. Thanks!

35 Sgt. Joe Friday December 14, 2009 at 5:08 pm

No! You DO NOT bring flowers on the first date. Nothing says “desperate” like going overboard that way, and for nearly all women that’s a big turnoff. Keep the expectations low – at least for starters – and you’ll be much happier.

36 Tim December 14, 2009 at 5:08 pm

What is meant by a “side hug” ?

37 Matthew December 14, 2009 at 5:50 pm

Come on, seriously??? I’m all for being a gentleman but girls don’t want to date their great-grandfather. Unless you’re 60+ yrs old, taking out a lady you met at the retirement village, playing crooner or jazz music in your car on your first date will turn a girl off faster than telling her you still live at home with your mom. Clean your car, dress decent, shave, pay etc… absolutely, you don’t want to come across as a bum. The obsessive calling ideas just makes you look a little desperate. Play it by ear, unless you’re a complete social idiot, you’ll know when to make a call or not to.

38 Kate McKay December 14, 2009 at 7:04 pm

Yes. Seriously. I actually found Brett’s taste in old crooners and swing music to be incredibly attractive. It was a sign not only of his love for 40′s music, but his affinity for the values of the time. It makes a guy seem really attractive. Seriously. I would give it a try before you knock it. Dimes to donuts the girl will be the opposite of turned off.

39 frgough December 14, 2009 at 7:49 pm

To those of you showing disdain on crooner’s music. Let me relate a little story.

I had a habit of playing classical music very loudly in my apartment complex, along with a mix of other types of “high brow” music. Phantom of the Opera, etc.

Not only did no one complain about my musical habits, I was a subject of intense interest from a number of women. Other guys noticed and one even came to ask me for advice on the types of classical music to play.

Of the women most interested, one asked me out, and another knocked on my apartment door and introduced herself because of the music she heard coming from my apartment. We were married three months later and have been happily married for the past 19 years.

40 Michael December 14, 2009 at 9:08 pm

@Matthew: a million or so Americans bought Michael Bublé’s latest CD over the past month, and he’s a “crooner” by any stretch. Sinatra-type music goes in and out of style – Tony Bennett had an MTV special in the ’90s and if you’ve ever watched “Swingers” (a classic guy movie) you’ll see a subculture there that hasn’t really gone away.

I expect someone raised in hip-hop or metal to think it’s “grandma music,” and if you met the girl at a club it’s probably safe to assume she’s not that into it, but a TON of women (and guys) like or at least respect Sinatra-type music.

Plus it has the feature that there’s no auto-tune.

41 Jordan Harbinger December 14, 2009 at 9:43 pm

Love the article. There’re some nuances in there that could backfire for some of us guys. I’d recommend anyone serious about amping up their dating game to check out PickUp Podcast. It’s a show where a dating coaches dish and it’s entertaining as well as educational.

Rock on AoM!

-Jordan

42 J Miller December 14, 2009 at 11:51 pm

Great post! My one addition would be along the lines of some of the other comments in regards to flowers. I would always attempt to take a small hand bouquet of flowers they liked or a single rose of appropriate color (see awesome cut out in the AOM book). If not on the date, send the next day as a follow-up. Either way, I always had the name of my local florist in my cell. Again, great post.

43 Sir Lancelot December 15, 2009 at 2:23 am

Great points in general, but, like others, I disagree with the bit about being invited in. Inviting a man in is a hard step for as woman to take. She will probably be thinking “I hope he doesn’t think I’m a slut if I invite him in”. If she makes that leap of faith that’s because she really likes you. If you say no she will feel mortify and she will believe you think she’s a slut. The genrtlemanly thing would be to accept the invitation, have a drink and then politely part company, not to reject the invitation. That would just be awkward.

44 Sir Lancelot December 15, 2009 at 2:24 am

Sorry that should have read, “she will feel mortified”.

45 Sir Lancelot December 15, 2009 at 2:36 am

By the way, never, ever “go Dutch”. You don’t need to take her to an expensive place, if she knows you’re unemployed she’ll understand that, but never make her pay for her meal. She doesn’t need you for that. If you have to sacrifice buying the latest videogame, do it.

46 James Cassell December 15, 2009 at 4:12 am

I shall keep this advise in mind.

Thanks for all the great articles!

47 on the other side of the pond December 15, 2009 at 1:40 pm

I think this is awkward.
Road map for a date? Come on, are you a robot?
Frank Sinatra? FRANK SINATRA!??!?!
Better to keep off the music and put it on if she asks for it, and let her choose beetwen a lot of cds…
Rules for kissing?
Do you need that kind of things?
Flowers?
Be a MAN and you don’t even need to date her.

48 HeidiAphrodite December 15, 2009 at 4:02 pm

@ the other side: “Be a MAN and you don’t even need to date her.” So, it’s a “date to get laid” philosophy you espouse? ;) Most women prefer the “date to begin a fulfilling relationship” philosophy.

Shows like “Blind Date” have ruined real dating–a date shouldn’t just be a night of convincing a woman to have sex with you, it should be a couple of hours of getting to know a woman as a PERSON, and not just whether or not the sex is worth the price of dinner.

I have no patience for men like that, which is probably why I don’t go out much. I’d rather stay home than waste my time with someone who only wants to get into my pants. :)

49 Frank December 15, 2009 at 5:13 pm

I find a lot of this insulting and disappointing. Why do I _have_ to be the one paying and planning etc? Are you saying a woman’s time and attention is for sale? Are you saying she can’t afford to pay for it herself? Are you saying women are incapable of planning? I would actually find it refreshing if a women would ask me out, planned the entire thing, and payed for it.

If I want to go on a (first, 2nd or nth) date with a woman, it is because I want to get to know her better, or because I like her company. I would expect her sentiments to be similar. So why is it that I am expected to put in more initiative and/or money then she is? Do I have to prove myself to her? of course I do! Does she have to prove herself to me? Equally so! If we (men and women alike) are in any shape or form emancipated, why is it the expectations are so skewed? Why are we men expected to carry the torch, and why are women expected to follow?

I say no more! I say plan your first date interactive. Propose to go hiking, but let her pick the spot. Offer to bring lunch, and let her bring desert.

I like my first date to be what I expect out of a relation ship. Something balanced, codependent and emancipated from social norms, expectations and restrictions.

A REAL man can follow, as well as lead.

50 on the other side of the pond December 15, 2009 at 6:08 pm

I totally agree with Frank!

I’m ashamed that Heidiaphrodite (lol) totally misunderstood my opinion.
I’m not saying “you can have all the women you want with no effort”, as a skewed perspective suggest.

I’m saying that there are not fixed steps, and even the same idea of “dating” seems like a ritual dance of apes more than a way of knowing someone.
Be less dogmatic, your life will improve ;)

51 Matthew December 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm

Kate et all, thanks for the feedback. I’m not knocking crooner or jazz music, in fact I own plenty myself. My point was that if you’re really reading this post for dating advice you’re probably not the hipster that can pull off crooner music if it’s not already your thing. Be true to your own style otherwise you’ll come off like a fraud (aka. dork).

52 Brett McKay December 15, 2009 at 8:17 pm

@Matthew-

Are you saying that if you’re the kind of guy who can pull off crooner music than you’re not the kind of guy who reads dating advice? Why are the two mutually exclusive? But yes, if it’s not your thing, then you shouldn’t force it.

@Frank-
Dating is simply the modern expression of age old mating rituals. Biologically, women have always had the upper hand in being more selective in who they choose to be their mate and father offspring with. Women sought out the men who were the alpha males in the tribe. Males thus had to prove their value to them in order to be chosen. Much of this value did and does lie in a man’s ability to provide for the woman and her potential offspring. Thus, the man paying for the date ritual evolved as the modern way to prove this value to the woman-he is in essence showing that he is financially stable and a good provider. And taking the lead and taking the initiative show that you are a man with much testosterone, and thus again prove your value to the woman. If men valued a woman’s ability to be ambitious and be a provider, then the dating ritual would be different. But such is not the case. (Have you ever heard a man say, “Dude, that chick over there would be a great provider!). Dating simply mirrors biological truths. These biological and cultural rituals evolved over tens of thousands of years. In these liberated times, you can surely decide to ignore them, but I can guarantee that you’re dating life will suffer.

53 Timbo December 15, 2009 at 9:07 pm

I gotta disagree with you, Frank. Planning, paying and whatnot is important for showing her you’re in control. I feel like this role is best suited for allowing us men to express are best manly qualities: chivalry, caring, and most of all, confidence. I think you’re missing a central element: attraction. Yes, you mainly want to get to know each other, but besides being similar and compatible, if that turns out to be the case, I feel like elements discussed in this article (i.e. classic male behavior, man-pays-and-plans, etc.) work to show your manliness, shows her respect, and works to earn attraction. Things can develop from there, perhaps into a relationship if things are right.

Of course, this is just how I see things. Ultimately there are popular tips and guidelines, but no rules for dating, so whatever works for you, go with it. But I disagree that men taking this role is insulting. For all men are expected to do, what about women? They spend 10 times as much time and effort on looking good than guys do, especially for dates. Basically, it’s a balance between the sexes as well.

Lastly, I just want to say that this system of classic gentlemanliness does absolutely come with a number of responsibilities, but that’s why i love it! It challenges you to be better and lets you feel more manly in addition to helping you grow as one.

54 Timbo December 15, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Brett, you conveyed what I was trying to say better, I 100% agree.

55 Frank December 15, 2009 at 9:28 pm

@Brett
Sorry, but that is a pretty flimsy excuse for macho BS… Historically there was little “dating”. In the days of old the biggest scariest mofo got the girl he wanted because everyone was afraid of him, including the girl! Later the rich guy got the girl because her daddy told her it was a good idea. Dating, and women having any real choice in their mates is a far more recent evolution then “tens of thousands of years”. Dating, as you describe it, is actually quite young. But all it is, is a play, a “civilized” way of saying the same old thing. “I am stronger, I am better”. It still objectifies women. And I will have none of it!

If there is one thing we have it is our intelligence. If we can not break free from misconceptions and silly “rituals”, then what are we? If we can not let go of what is, and try for what should be, why bother?

So will my dating life suffer? In quantity it surely will. But I never considered quantity important when it came to dating…

56 Brett McKay December 15, 2009 at 9:59 pm

@Frank-

No one is saying that dating is tens of thousands of years old. I’m simply arguing that dating is the modern way the differences in our biology are acted out. The things that have attracted the sexes to each other are ancient. Men are stronger than women, why should you be ashamed of that? And women are attracted to that strength. Are you saying that you fight against being attracted to woman who are pretty and have nice hips and nice boobs? Because that’s your biology talking! Actually you must fight against being attracted to women altogether, because that objectifies women!

Not taking the initiative and showing some leadership in a relationship will not only hurt the quantity of women you date, but also the quality. Even a woman who is as liberated as they come will eventually lose her attraction to you and wish you would man up.

This blog holds the position that not all rituals are silly, simply because they’re rituals. Some traditions are worthy of being preserved because they work to the happiness of both parties. This blog also holds that distinctly masculine characteristics are not something to be ashamed of and want to break free from. Thus all in all, it’s decidedly not a place for you.

57 Russell December 16, 2009 at 3:22 am

Well, contrary to what the rest of you think, I really disliked this article. And although I realize this article is provided for free, I’m going to openly criticize it because I think it, and other like it, do a real disservice to most men. Here’s why:

Whether it be to get laid, or to find that really special someone, most men have a deep and longing desire to be successful with women. Yet truth be told, most men really suck at it. Of the 30-or-so friends I’ve known over the last decade, I can name probably 3 that had any real and consistent success with women. But yet I see way too many of these “dating advice” articles – “remove spinach from teeth” “abstain from belching” – masquerade as some recipe, or in this case “roadmap”, to the dating/mating experience. “Follow these rules boys and you’ll have the perfect first date!”

Bullsh*t. The authors of these articles invariably have no real understanding as to what is attractive to women, and they miss the essential point of any date. And this article isn’t an exception.

The purpose of any initial date is to get a woman attracted to you. Period. If you don’t think so – if you think its about finding “chemistry” and “commonalities” and other happy hoo-ha – seriously consider whether you’re going to get limp on a hottie because she doesn’t share your passion of model railroads and metal detecting. Get a grip. Until you get a woman genuinely attracted to you, you’ve no say in the mating dance whatsoever. Until that point, she chooses. Not you. You simply can’t ‘next’ a woman who doesn’t want you.

But here’s the real rub. Follow an inane article like this – that is, really show off just how incredibly polite, thoughtful, and sweet you can be – and you’ll find yourself dejected and alone at the end of the date surfing internet porn. Or worse yet, reading more articles like this trying to figure out what went wrong. Any man who’s been on an actual real-life date intuitively knows this to be true – although I expect many won’t have the balls to admit it. They’ll blame it on “bad chemistry” or other such crockery.

Women are attracted to real men, not some wussboy who does what Mama said. No woman is ever attracted to a man simply because he complimented her, showed up on time to a date, or had the ‘right’ music playing on his stereo. Observance of social ettiquette is only the hallmark of a man; it doesn’t make the man. Women intuitively know this to be true. So should you.

So what are the traits of a real man?

Well for starters, the real man follows the rules of social etiquette, not because he wants to impress some girl he barely knows, but because their observance is a reflection of his self esteem and self respect. He shows up on time for a date, not because he’s trying to get laid, married, or whatever hidden agenda you care to name, but because he’s a man of integrity and he keeps his word. And he never apologizes for his taste in music nor worries that his date might dislike it. And the real reason women are “suckers” for a man with a plan is because such a man is in charge of his reality and he takes responsibility for his own fun. The girl he invites is simply lucky enough to be along for the ride.

Be the man a woman wants you to be – not some sissy boy with Bobby Darrin on his 8-track following the “no farting” rule – and you’ll get plenty of women. No need for “chemistry”, a shared love of Devo, or articles like this. Oh, and an extra bonus: You’ll get the girl even if you like ACDC, forget to open her door or give a compliment, or violate any of these other sissy tips being touted as gospel. Even the fact that you acted on your desires as a man and accepted her proposition to come in – as if this is a serious issue for most guys out here – she’ll still respect you in the morning.

You can even send them a message on Facebook too.

58 Sir Lancelot December 16, 2009 at 5:20 am

You know, sometimes I’m starled by the fact that, when you do a simple thing like holding a door open for a woman or showing some modicum of consideration for her, you know, sissy stuff like that, she will look at you with a smile on her face as if you were some sort of knight in shining armor. On those occasions I ask myself: ‘Can the really be that low that such simple gestures are so rare’? Well, judging by some posters on here, I must say the answer is yes. In a way it’s depressing. On the other hand the existance of oafs like them who can’t tell the difference between a real man and a 5 year old boy just makes it easier for the rest of us, so what can I say, belch on, guys!

Incidentally, I’m a police lieutenant, former military and former amateur boxer among other things, and I don’t feel my manhood diminished by being a gentleman. Quite the opposite.

59 lando December 16, 2009 at 6:59 am

This is a great article. I was wondering if maybe you could do a post on activities for a first date? The choices really slim down once the cold weather rolls in in the northeast, and I feel like the only things to do are the movies, dinner, or go to someone’s house.

60 Mr Miyagi December 16, 2009 at 10:42 am

Can’t completely agree with the planning it out and letting her know exactly what you’ll be doing on the date. Some of the most memorable dates I have had were times when we just got together and let things happen as the night progressed into early morning hours. Especially if you’re out in big cities, you will always have something to do. I think women like the unexpected too, that sense of mystery and danger when you just surprise them and take them someplace they’ve never been, but also being confident, respectful, and a good conversationalist will score you points no matter where you are at. Worst dates are the ones at greasy, smoky bars. Take a girl to places that make her feel like a woman.

61 Eddie December 16, 2009 at 11:35 am

Great article! There are gentlemen and obviously there are major pricks in this world. Let’s see who not only gets the girl but keeps her!

62 Russell December 16, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Yes Sir Lancelot, but the gratuitous reference to your occupation and past lives serve only to illustrate my point. “Chivalry” alone is not enough.

Women are attracted to men who are police or military because the very essence of their occupations is to act with confidence and authority, take charge in chaotic situations, and put themselves in the line of fire with discipline and self-control. In short, they are taught to exhibit qualities of real (read attractive) men. And those qualities come ringing through when such a man walks, talks, or simply orders the Happy Meal at McDonalds.

Yet you think it’s because you bought her the pink begonias. Right.

63 Jack December 16, 2009 at 3:21 pm

Is this thread dead? I hope not, have a question for y’all.. Any advice on how to handle the situation when you take a girl out and then are not interested in it going farther?

A while back my aunt set me up (reluctantly) on a blind date. The girl was very sweet, and cute, and I had a good time.. But the fact was I wasn’t interested in a relationship with her.

I hated to be rude, but I also wasn’t going to jerk her along or confuse her. So, I just didn’t call her or talk to her again.

Probably not the best way to handle it, but not sure what else I could have done. Any advice, for future reference?

64 lando December 16, 2009 at 5:28 pm

check the archives, i think that there was a post on that subject a few months ago

65 matt December 16, 2009 at 5:44 pm

why wouldn’t you want to go in if invited. isn’t that the whole point of going out on a date in the first place?

66 Timbo December 16, 2009 at 9:22 pm

@Jack

I feel like you handled it alright. It was just one date, so not contacting her again, she got the message that it wasn’t going to work out and she, as you, could move on. If there were more dates, I would think a little explanation would be in order.

67 Sir Lancelot December 17, 2009 at 3:28 am

Absolutely right, Russell, but strangers know nothing about me, yet they respond postively to gallantry. I agree with the basic point that what you do should be result of who you are and not just acting on a tip list, but you have to start somewhere, and knowing some things are more acceptable than others is not a bad palce to start.

68 Brady December 17, 2009 at 4:37 pm

I teach high school & collage age kids and I am constantly amazed and what the girls say happens on dates. I have never heard a girl complain that a guy was polite and acted like a gentleman. I’ll tell you what they do complain about: jerk perverts who think they (the girl) will like some guy with no class. You will never go wrong being a gentleman, never.

69 Bella December 18, 2009 at 8:05 am

Seriously, I would loooove to be treated like that.

“Women really dislike being dressed inappropriately for the occasion” – so true! Yeah, the clothing might be just a little bothering, but remember, we might choose heals.. So hiking or strolling makes a big difference.

And, while sexist sounds bad, gentleman rules… So, all Cary Grant-wannabees: carry on!!!

70 tlw December 18, 2009 at 8:43 am

There is this woman I’m interested in asking out. We’ve known each other for about two years in a business relationship, but we’re not coworkers. I do think being discreet is important for her, but there always seems to be someone else around when we’re together which makes asking her out in person difficult. Would calling her on the phone and asking for the first date be OK?

71 Mike December 18, 2009 at 7:12 pm

No way tlw. I have been with my wife for 13 years and when we met, she was with her friends. Before I left, right in front of them, I asked for her number and a good time she was available for lunch together. GO GET WHAT YOU WANT!

72 tlw December 19, 2009 at 8:10 am

Mike,

Asking her in front of her friends? I have no problem with that. Asking in front of our business associates? I don’t think that would work out so well.

But there comes a time when I’ll have to do it, damn the consequences.

Thanks for the advice!

73 Ian Lottis December 20, 2009 at 1:48 am

Lots of good tips in this article! Thanks so much!

74 trs December 21, 2009 at 7:31 pm

It’s pretty interesting to read the comments from guys saying how foolish the advice is! Take it from a woman, it’s right on the mark.

Regarding declining an invitation to come in… yeah, there are some women who would be offended that you’re not taking her up on the invitation to boink her on the first date… but those women should be extinct anyway. It never hurts to be a better man than to accommodate a slut.

I would strongly second the advice to let a woman know your plans for the evening. We need to plan what to wear. Will we be inside, or should I bring a wrap or a jacket?

I once went to meet a guy (online dating) and we planned to meet at a local watering hole. So I put on a cute top, rockin’ jeans and the really awesome high heeled boots I bought earlier that week.
On the way to meet me, he changed his mind and wanted to walk in the park nearby. Nice – but realize you are asking me to sacrifice the 3-inch heels of my brand-new boots. Jerk.
My heels were ruined by the stone aggregate surface. And the guy wasn’t worth the price of my boots.
I’m totally game for a walk in the park – even a hike… but TELL ME THAT is what you want to do – and I’ll wear the proper dang shoes!!

Now you’re going to complain that women shouldn’t wear shoes they can’t walk in. But I ask you to realize that narrow heels sink into grass… it’s tough to walk long distances. If you’re taking me to Jazz in the Park, I’ll wear flats or wedges so I don’t get stuck in the lawn – so I’d like to know ahead of time. If you are planning a surprise… glance at your lady’s shoes before you leave her house and say – “You might want to wear something you walk on sand in.” so she doesn’t ruin her Manolo Blahniks at the county fair.

My boyfriend, after 2.5 years is finally starting to pick up on this… he knows I can run better in heels than I can in sneakers — but in sandals, well, I have to walk a bit slower.
On the other hand… he is so proud of my hustle in the airport!!

75 Nik December 24, 2009 at 8:25 am

Great advice. I think the best point of the article is the one about calling in advance and telling your plans. I can also say from experience that a woman must know what she’s doing most importantly because of shoe choice. Plus, I cannot imagine how impressed a woman would be if you showed that kind of foresight and initiative on a first date. I am going to guess less than 5% of guys are that courteous and thoughtful, so big points.

Here are my only quibbles. As mentioned above, in the car, play whatever music suits your personality. You’re better off with something not too intense, but crooner music would probably come off as contrived for most people. Go with something on the classier range of what you like. I am sure you could pull off good hip hop or rock with a little forethought.

Also, as far as paying, you should definitely make a strong move to pay, but if you can tell that she is legitimately offended, offer to pay for the first date and say that she can pay for the second. If she is still annoyed, just split it with her. Some women take this very personally, and the last thing you want to do is project an image of a close-minded macho man. I still absolutely believe in treating a lady, but I don’t think it’s an unbreakable rule, depending on the woman you are with.

76 David December 26, 2009 at 11:52 am

My only problem is the last part. Being Deaf means that I usually email or send a letter instead of calling. I text a lot as well, but it is harder to establish rapport. But I am going to invest in a TTY system, it will come in handy for other things, like job prospects.

77 Harry December 27, 2009 at 9:10 am

I love the old-timey style of doing things,but I have to question it sometimes. I’m 19,chivalry to the degree you described is a foreign concept to most girls my age,it seems like they would uncomfortable if anything. I’m fairly certain they won’t want to go to a museum either.

78 Jason Dyck December 27, 2009 at 5:28 pm

You know, this might be designed for first dates, but it was spot on for me. I have been married for several years, and I have been looking for ways to start pampering and courting my wife again. Constant courtship is something I learned both from my father and several men in my church, but I had not realized the attention and effort it can take to maintain with job, school, and children added to the mix. This was the perfect help to get my brain ticking in the right direction again. It’s surprising how much of this used to come naturally and can get lost very quickly with neglect. Thank you for your help!

79 Kirri December 27, 2009 at 10:11 pm

@Harry

You’d be surprised how many women your age want to go to museums but don’t think anybody they know would like to go with them. If it’s something you’re interested in, go for it. If she still doesn’t seem all that interested, brush it off and try something else. But it’s definitely a classy option, and I have to say, I’d be well impressed if any of the guys I dated wanted to go to a museum!

80 Rich December 28, 2009 at 12:24 pm

@Harry

When I was 19 I needed to go to a museum for a art class I was taking. I did not want to go alone so I asked a girl I kinda knew to go with me. I never intended it to be a date but I followed all of the rules above because I think manners are important. A few days later I learned that she was really interested in me. I told her I just wanted to be friends and am still friends with her. I had some failed dates with girls I liked after that and realized that I was not acting the same way as I had with the previous girl.
I think that if you are 19 the girl knows it and does not expect an expensive night out for the first date. Plan a more casual night. I also think if things are too structured it may throw off a girl that is 19. In this case, when you call her give her an idea of what you want the date to be but don’t make it seem like you have the night all planned out.
I may be wrong I have had more failures than successes. But only the successful dates matter.

81 EJ December 28, 2009 at 4:04 pm

Dating rituals are only necessary because men don’t know how to interact with women like they’re real people and boys are brought up to think of girls as an alien species. This type of model treats women like dolls or children. It’s really disrespectful–would you, a man, want to be treated like this on an outing? If not, why do you think women would?

Successful, long-lasting, egalitarian relationships can be built on “just hanging out”–and that can include going to dinner, a movie, or a concert too. The important thing is that during this process, you both talk to each other, get to know each other well, and learn to see each other as equal, complex human beings while still being attracted to one another. And, you know, if equal and non-infantilizing relationships don’t do it for you, then you should probably call your local BDSM club. Or see a psychologist.

82 EJ December 28, 2009 at 4:08 pm

Regarding the first part of my comment–the parts I object to are things like telling her exactly what you’re going to do, opening doors, paying for her, walking her to the door, not going into the house/declining on principle if she asks, things like that. Treating her like a child. The things you wouldn’t like if someone else tried them on you. Not, for reference, going out somewhere nice together and enjoying conversation; that’s great.

83 Angela December 30, 2009 at 4:14 am

As a woman in her early twenties, I must say, this article is spot on. Of course, being yourself, confident, and relaxed is the most important thing when on a date, but these tips should help a man to relax and show that great confidence in who he is.

As far as declining a woman’s offer to come in, I agree that a man should ALWAYS decline on the first date. Remember, that time spent lingering at her front door is awkward for both parties. Some women are unsure of how to emphasize to a man that they’ve had a great time and aren’t just saying that. So, they offer him coffee and before you know it they’ve done something they’ve regretted or didn’t intend to do. Just because she invites you in, doesn’t mean she actually wants to have sex with you. Don’t put her in the situation of then having a man in her house, because having him leave THEN is even more awkward than at the door. There’s a lot of pressure on women, even if you don’t think you’re pressuring her, so be a man and respectfully decline that invitation. If you like and want to pursue her, leave her no doubt that you’re still interested, but a man doesn’t need to have sex with or even kiss a woman on a first date to do that. Any schmo can do that. My personal favorite is to look her in the eyes, take her hand, kiss it without breaking eye contact, and say good night. Trust me, it leaves an impression, and us girls will be telling our friends about the romantic guy we were with last night.

And for those who think that opening doors, paying, chivalry, etc. are demeaning or objectifying to women, I’m a little insulted. Being chivalrous doesn’t mean that I can’t pay for something or that I can’t open my own door, and suggesting that it insinuates that is idiotic. Chivalry is a man’s gift to a woman, and it’s FREE!, and does a lot more to impress a girl and says a lot more about the man than dinner at a fancy restaurant.
Think of it this way, if every time you gave someone a birthday or Christmas present they thought it implied they were poor and couldn’t afford their own cashmere socks then it would be a sad and silly world we live in. Of course I can open my own door, but doing so for me says that you are considerate of other people and are showing me respect. Chivalry=display of respect.

Oh, and Frank Sinatra and his like are what women swoon over. It’s all about the music and they way they where their hat.

84 Meg December 31, 2009 at 8:51 am

@Frank, this site is pro-gender roles, if ya haven’t noticed yet, so there’s that. Wish there were more guys like you around these parts, honestly, and fewer PUAs/chauvinists (same coin different sides). Less evo psych would be nice, too, considering most of it is just cute little stories with no basis in actual science, but Christmas has come and gone so it’s a bit late to start compiling a list. ;) Keep it up and don’t let the troglodytes discourage you.

85 Robin January 7, 2010 at 12:10 am

@Russell & @Sir Lancelot
You are both a little bit right and a little bit wrong. Yes, manners don’t make a man. Yes, women are attracted to the military types — because of the take charge demeanor, confidence, etc. Yes, women (or most) love everything that is espoused in this article. But NO, none of these individually spell success.

Russell, if I went on a date with Sir Lancelot … and I had accepted it in the first place because I was attracted to him due to his “man with a plan” persona … but in the course of that date, I learned that Sir Lancelot was nothing but a grunt, another ordinary “hoorah” who thinks he is a man because he’s got BDUs and stripes on his shoulder? Well, then there is not going to be a second date. However, if Sir Lancelot shows that he is more than just a squared-away soldier, but also a gentleman with manners straight out of the 1940s — well, that soldier/airman/sailor/marine is getting a second date.

So the lesson here, fellas, is that us, ladies, like to be with someone who doesn’t just talk the talk (ie do the correct manners at the right time/place), but we want someone who backs up those manners by actually living like a man — which as @Russell said, starts with integrity, honor and some good old fashioned character — and a solid, hard work ethic to boot.

That’s my two cents … and btw, dates with Terri Gross are the best! lol

86 A.M. January 10, 2010 at 6:35 pm

Excellent article. As a single and dating young woman, and a progressive feminist, I find this refreshing. The bottom line is that men and women ARE different, and they need different things in order to be content and to feel valued. I’d like to assume that any man I date is fully aware that I am able to pay for my own meal, open my own door, etc., but chooses to do those things for me as an act of courtesy and, well, manliness. It’s very true that women are attracted to men who aren’t afraid of being a little assertive (not aggressive), and who are able to demonstrate their interest by taking care of her, whether it’s for a lifetime or just for the evening. Women will almost always respond in kind (I do, anyway) by reciprocating in ways that men appreciate.

87 Azri January 11, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Boys don’t be offended if we don’t want a ride. I have never let man drive me anywhere that wasn’t either my father or a friend. Too many psychos. Plus if the sparks aren’t there it’s easier to cut things short and go on our merry ways.

But the advice is good. Being a girl if a man who had manners like this I’d be thoroughly thrilled.

A side note one thing this guy did was he wanted me to text him to make sure I got home okay. I thought that was sweet. But yes call don’t use technology for the second date.

88 Desmond January 12, 2010 at 10:45 pm

Haha nice post there man, you covered almost everything, and not using technology on the second date seems like a good idea too.

I too have an entry on the first date dos and don’ts for men and women, you can check it out here!

First Date Do’s and Don’ts for Men : http://datingrulebook.blogspot.com/2010/01/dating-rule-6-what-women-dont-want.html

First Date Do’s and Don’t for Women : http://datingrulebook.blogspot.com/2010/01/dating-rule-7-first-date-dos-and-donts_08.html

89 Eleanor January 26, 2010 at 7:33 am

Hey guys, I actually found out about this site because my boyfriend reads it regularly. While an art museum or soft jazz may not be for every woman, it would certainly be something I would be interested in, and many other women too, I expect.
I want to say that this website is really useful and I guaruntee that most women will appreciate the care and effort that a man goes to to organise a date like this. Give it a go, guys!

90 Shawna January 29, 2010 at 10:44 am

I’m a woman (fairly successful, independent and can take care of myself), and I approve of this article. Take it from the few women who have commented that they love the “gentle-manly” stuff. Get it? A nice blend of gentle + manly is the ticket here, fellas.

Women like a man who can take charge of a situation. Period. That goes for dates. A man doesn’t have to plan every date he ever has, but don’t put it on your gal to ALWAYS come up with plans. It gives off the impression that you don’t care about her or the relationship, and if you do care and are just having trouble in the creative department, check your city’s local events for different things to do or get some help from family or friends. She’ll appreciate the effort and seriously, if a woman digs you, she’s not gonna care if your planned activity for a first date is not her usual cup of tea. She’ll enjoy spending time with you and getting to know you better. And you, in turn, will get to know her better which should give you a whole slew of ideas for future dates.

On a side note: The one tiny gesture I love is when a man puts his hand on the small of my back to guide me through a door or through a group of people or in the case of when my boyfriend first did that: walking over ice. This was before we started dating and that one subtle gentlemanly move made my heart flutter like nothing else.

You don’t need to change the essence of who you are to be a gentleman, but just enhance yourself with some initiative and chivalry. It’s sexy. Plain and simple.

91 Khaliela February 4, 2010 at 6:02 pm

Now if I could only find a man that actually DID this!

Fella’s a good way to guarentee you won’t get a second date is to try to get into her panties on the first.

92 Craig February 6, 2010 at 1:37 pm

As a long time date / relationship coach, I give you a hearty AMEN! Dead on and well written.

I can’t tell you how many guys I have worked with that lack these common sense rules. I especially thank you for the call the next day part. I don’t know who made that stupid rule of waiting 72 hours or 48 hours… stooopid ;-) If you like her, call her the next day and by the way, if she doesn’t answer – YES, leave a message, I would add one other thing, call with a reason in mind.

If you want to ask her out again, leave a message and say something like, “hey, give me a call back, I wanted to ask you something.” Leaving it open ended like that will peak her interest and even if she was only marginally impressed, it gives you an opportunity to make another good impression. Just don’t be dishonest or manipulative.

I have helped many, many men find a mate, but remember one rule – NEVER EVER EVER lie to a girl, she will find out and in due time, it will diminish her esteem for you if not kill the whole thing.

93 Sarah February 9, 2010 at 12:52 am

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for this article! I agree with every single tip presented. Unfortunantly, my generation of men ( I’m in my early 20′s) were not given the tools or the advice that is as solid and truthful as the advice in this article. As a result, passive-agressive men have formed, and I don’t know a single woman who finds “passive agressive” men attractive. It seems like men are somewhat confused by the mixed messages of the feminist movement ( She’ll want to pay for her OWN coffee, and I don’t want her to think that I might think she is incapable of opening the car door!) and the “modern” perspective where “dating” is simply a sport and hobby without a purpose and an intent. Women want men with purpose and intent, and when you throw chivalry in the mix…. your odds are good gentleman :)

94 Shane February 16, 2010 at 10:15 am

The NPR comment killed me – I’ve made that mistake too many times to count. But not intentionally. It’s just always on in the car, so I only turn it down if someone else gets in. Even if it’s my date. But then it always ends up distracting me while I try to create conversation, and then there isn’t conversation…

But then again, Terry Gross does a better job of conversing on our dates than my actual date – even when I attempt open ended questions. I had one girl who literally gave ONLY one word answers to nearly everything. It drove me insane. I even attempted a second date, hoping she was just nervous. No change. So I gave up.

95 Ms. Rocky February 17, 2010 at 10:52 pm

I’m a girl, and I like to bring flowers.

96 Ms. Rocky February 17, 2010 at 11:00 pm

Also, I think miniature golf is a great first date idea!! I creates conversation, and a liitle competition never hurt anybody…

97 Renee February 25, 2010 at 4:44 am

This article was interesting. I must say, @Russell – you do have a point, that women like real men. The problem with most dating articles is that they don’t acknowledge that there are many sides to a person.

A man doesn’t JUST have to be a gentleman. He can be a gentleman AND a bit of a cave man :P there needs to be a balance to maintain passion and excitement through the years. Which reminds me of Clive Owen’s character in the movie Closer….

Plus, seriously, if a man is always a ‘gentleman’, that gets boring. Women just want to be taken every once in a while :) still – that’s doesn’t mean men shouldn’t be gentlemen, there just needs to be a balance, and he should know which personality to use at which time.

Overall, I think this article was great! I’m not 100% in agreement with the point about the messy car though. I understand that men think and operate differently to women, so if they have stuff strewn everywhere in their car, well, it shows they’re a man really, because he’s not focusing on keeping things tidy, but rather, maybe work, sports, or just moving on to the next challenge, for example – as the masculine energy frequently does. If a man is too clean, it’s kinda weird…. :S (but that’s just me!)

98 Miranda February 28, 2010 at 7:58 pm

hey boys, when I read this I was so happy with it as any girl would be to see guys still want to chivalrous thank you!! I know for a fact this would help any man on a date, I would be swept of my feet if a guy did all this for me!

99 SenoritaHollywood March 19, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Perfect advice ! Music sets the mood and Frank Sinatra would set the scene perfectly for me ! My current boyfriend did 99% of what was recommended here on our first date and I was pretty smitten with his sweetness and thoughtfulness, it spoke volumes about him as a man ! Of course, the first date is just an introduction and getting to know him and his quirks and nuances is an adventure in itself, but without the right behavior ont he first date, there would not have been a date #2 !

100 John March 28, 2010 at 9:44 pm

Don’t bring her flowers (or a flower) on the first date. It may seem sweet, but it’s more likely to be perceived as clumsy, confusing or overly forward. Exception is if you are going to an event where she requires a corsage, in which case you are obliged.

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