What to Carry on a First Date: The Gentleman’s Arsenal

by Brett on May 19, 2010 · 181 comments

in Dating, Relationships & Family

The First Date with a woman is your chance to display your charming and chivalrous side. While most acts of chivalry (like opening a door for your date or helping her to her seat) require only your thoughtfulness, moments will arise when you’ll need a tool to assist in your kindness. Below I’ve included a short list of items I recommend a well-armed gentleman having on him during a first date (or any time for that matter) that will prepare him for any situation and leave his date impressed.


Before you head out on your date, slip a clean, pressed white hankie into your pocket. When your date tears up during the movie you’re seeing, she’ll appreciate the offer of a soft hankie. Hankies can come in handy in non-crying situations, too. If your date gets grease or food on her clothing, give her your hankie so she can clean herself up. Let her keep it when she’s done with it. First, it might have her snot in it. Second, when she does get around to washing it, your hankie will serve as a reminder of how awesome you are. She won’t be able to wait to go on a second date with you.


Nom nom nom. That garlic infused steak topped with garnished onions was delicious. But now your breath reeks to high heaven. Trust me. Your date doesn’t want to smell what you ate for dinner the rest of the night. Show some courtesy by popping a few mints as you step out of the restaurant.  You’ll only be increasing your chances for that first kiss. Your date will probably be looking for something to freshen up her breath during the date as well, so make sure you’re prepared when she asks if you have anything that will do the trick.

“Everything had its own little home, neat and tidy. The white linen handkerchief on the inside pocket. The little mints… A single key on a fob.” -Nancy Sinatra on the contents of Frank Sinatra’s pockets


It seems the whole world has gone plastic, but a gentleman should always have cash on him, particularly on a date. Why carry cash? Most parking places and some toll roads don’t accept credit and debit cards. When you pull up to the crusty old parking lot attendant, you don’t want to be scrounging around for change in your cup holder, or even worse, asking your date to pay. And you’ll want to take your date to a small, interesting restaurant instead of a generic chain place, and many mom and pop joints don’t take credit cards. Imagine your panic when the check arrives and all you have is a useless card. Also, even if the establishment does take plastic, you’ll need plenty of cash on hand to cover tips throughout the night. Sure, you can often take care of this with debit cards, but there’s something a bit more personal about greasing a palm with cold hard cash. Besides, most waiters I know prefer getting tipped in cash. Finally, stopping at a roadside stand for some ice cream is always a nice finale to a date, and once again, most don’t take cards. So stash some of that green stuff in your wallet.


When a woman has spent an hour or two getting dolled up for a date, she doesn’t want the effect ruined by stepping out into the rain. Stash an umbrella in your car, and you’ll always be prepared to keep her dry. If it’s raining during your date, keep your umbrella with you so you can always protect her from the elements. In those moments it’s not raining, an umbrella can double as a Bartitsu weapon to knock in a hooligan’s head.

A Sports Coat

The sports coat serves two purposes in a gentleman’s arsenal. First, jeans, a button down shirt and a sports coat is a can’t fail look to impress your date and help you look your best. Second, dressing in layers allows you to offer your jacket to a lady no matter what the weather or need for an overcoat. If it gets chilly at the museum or while strolling together at night, you’ll be prepared. The gesture of offering your jacket, in addition to simply being chivalrous, will score you innumerable points with your date; feeling cozy in your coat will make her feel closer to you. A sports coat also has handy pockets for your other tools; some even have special ticket pockets to stash the tickets for the show you’ll be seeing.

What other items should a man carry on a date? Share your ideas in the comments!

{ 181 comments… read them below or add one }

101 Adam May 20, 2010 at 11:57 pm

Nina – Why are you spending any time at all lecturing us “effeminate, prissy, little fairys,” when your husband clearly needs a hand?

Nina, please tell me that you came to this forum with a purpose other than to ridicule men discussing how to better themselves for a first date? Are you kidding?

It astounds me that someone who spends as much time with an incredible man such as your husband, that you choose to lecture a gathering of men who work to better themselves. There are for more deserving groups for your chiding then the group here. I assure you.

Do your husband and us a favor. Focus your efforts on forums discussing Jersey Shore.

102 Skip May 20, 2010 at 11:59 pm

How come nobody has mentioned cologne. I think after sundown only; never before. Nino Cerruti 1881, I think is a good choice. Don’t bathe in it; just a touch so she only gets a passing impression. Most of the women I go out with find it very satisfying. It is a sense you know.

103 Matty May 21, 2010 at 5:43 am

I suppose it’s always best to have a condom with you, but if you sex in the back of your mind on a first date, you’re already off to a ‘bad’ start and miss the point entirely.

104 Matty May 21, 2010 at 5:54 am

@ eps1on I don’t think those things are contrived. They’re only as contrived as you’d like to them to be. Being prepared for those ‘little’ incidents is kind of a staple of being a man. I agree too that spontaneity certainly does very well for relationships and chemistry thus it’s important to note that one does not preclude the other. In fact, it is because of preparedness that people men can spontaneous. They know they have their bases covered and because of that, they can slip into a new situation with relative comfort. Spontaneity without preparedness is simply recklessness.

105 Super Dave May 21, 2010 at 8:46 am

Pocketknives and small handguns do not travel well to sporting events. Just think about having to go all the way back to the car and stow your “gear”. I carried a pocketknife all of the time before 911. I have a “dress” small knife, a 4 function Swiss, a Swiss Tinkerer, and multi-tools. Now they stay on my desk, in my car, or in my checked baggage.

Be selective about being prepared. You don’t want to look like Bat-Man with a utility belt.

As for the KY debate, the authority Jenna Jameson said “never use it, always use your tongue”. Go ahead, rip this one up.

Help me out history buffs. A female revolutionary leader met with the Queen of England for peace talks. She may have been Scottish or Irish. The Queen gave her a finely embroidered hankie for her used. When the revolutionary finished with it she casually tossed it into the fire, the queen aghast! She said “it is unsanitary to reuse such an item”.

Lastly on the flowers debate. Flowers are meant as a gift when picking up a lady at her home. She leaves them there. Assuming you don’t come back and throw-down, it is a gentle reminder of how you value her time.


106 Super Dave May 21, 2010 at 8:52 am

More on the flowers: They are a timer to remind her that she needs to make a decision on the relationship. If she tosses them out before seeing you again, she has decided the same for you.

107 apprecionado May 21, 2010 at 12:23 pm

I, first, would like to applaud the men on this site for striving to be more put together. Some of these suggestions may seem too much for some, myself included — today’s dating is generally much more casual; however, I think that a middle ground between the überformal and the faded t-shirt is a very nice place to be (and date). There have been several interesting points discussed in this thread, and here are some female-oriented thoughts on a few of them:

Hankies: I have to agree with the other women on this one…ick. No matter how clean and pressed it appears, my only thought is that you, or someone else, blew their nose into it. If you offered me a clean, folded tissue, however, I would be most grateful.

Flowers: Allergies!

Cologne: Keep it simple and subtle. (See “Flowers” above)

Preparedness: Gun, NO! Swiss Army knife, yes (I carry one). Lip balm and mints, yes and yes. Please, please, please know how to get where you’re going, and be sure to let your date know the venue as well — if you show up in a suit and she’s dressed for Applebee’s, she’s going to be embarrassed (and put out that she has to go change).

Condoms: Yes. Carry them…just in case.

Now, for those of you making the erroneous assumption that any woman who has sex on the first date is a slut that gives it up to anyone — shame on you! Double standards are even more unattractive than bad breath and ratty t-shirts. Are there sluts out there? Of course! But don’t be too quick to label.

Do you have moral and/or religious objections to pre-marital sex? If you do, and you find your date undressing the both of you…it’s probably safe to assume that you didn’t start it and that you do, in fact, have a slut on your hands (and lap).

But if you don’t have these objections, and you find your date heading toward the bedroom, consider these ideas before labeling your date a “slut”:
1. She really likes YOU…not every Tom, Dick and Harry. The date went really, REALLY well…probably better than she expected.
2. Chemistry and good conversation are a powerful aphrodisiac. Did you two really click? Did the conversation flow easily and enthusiastically? Were you thinking that you couldn’t wait to see this girl again? Well…so was she!
3. Contrary to what they say on Sex In The City, there is no universal standard for the number of dates you should go on before having sex. Some know on date one, others need until date 12 or 50. Pre-marital sex is pre-marital sex…when you have it doesn’t change that.
4. It takes two to tango. If she’s a slut, then so are you. Stone throwing…glass houses…you get it.

Great dates are few and far between, and, usually, neither person wants them to end. Dinner conversation turns into walking around conversation or front porch conversation at 3am…and it only feels like 10pm…and you’re still not done talking, you’re enjoying it so much…and then the good-night kiss turns into the good-night making out and…

It’s VERY easy to get swept away by the Great Date High. So if you have one of the dates I just described, and you were really into the girl before….well, you know….then cut her (and yourself) some slack. Tell her you had a great time (because you did!) and that NOW you want to slow things down a bit and spend more time getting to know each other. She will appreciate it, and you won’t regret it.

108 Deltaboy May 21, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Nail file and hand lotion.

109 Rebecca May 21, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Just a quick note – haven’t read through all the comments, – there are a ton! but some girls are terribly alergic to flowers and strong colognes, so unless you know whether she is or not – err on the side of caution. skip the flowers, and be sparing with any scents.

110 Ronnie Pudding May 21, 2010 at 6:52 pm

“Steve in Maryland is right, if she has sex on the first date she is acting slutty.”

“I think carrying a condom smacks of an unmanly desperation.”

Such comments are obviously written by men who don’t go on a lot of dates. No you shouldn’t ASSUME you’re getting laid, but sometimes the chemistry’s right. It happens. So why not be prepared? Would it be better to look like you assumed you’d be riding bare-back? Or that she has a supply of prophylactics in her purse at the ready (which she well may, but don’t assume it’s the case)? This is the 21st century; presumably you are dating adult women who are modern and liberated enough to be unashamed of their libidos. And in the throes of passion, 99.999% of them will appreciate that you came prepared and will not take it as a slight. Condoms are essential.

Oh, and by the way, it should be CONDOMS – plural. For reasons that are obvious.


“Real men — like the one I’m married to — don’t hang out on internet forums discussing their wardrobes with other men — they have real jobs and families and real interests.”

“Real men have families? Really? Sounds like your “real man” is just a facilitator to your breeding impulses. I.e. an object. Stop objectifying us. And why on earth would your idealized “family man” need dating advice, anyway? Do real men – like the one you’re married to – have mistresses?

This column was a bit of light reading – kind of like the pap in women’s magazines e.g. Cosmo – intended to make single men not look like clueless schlubs. I don’t agree with the content, but its intent was well-meant, and aimed at SINGLE men. And believe it or not, there are a great many people – men, women – who are perfectly HAPPY being single. We don’t need families and screaming brats to give our lives meaning. Get out of the stone ages.

Further: That fact that we’re on the internet is PROOF that we have real jobs. Who do you think all these people on the internet are, soup kitchen vagrants? No, it’s the white collar work force.

111 Big Jay May 22, 2010 at 5:04 am

Ugh. The condom debate.

How’s this for an idea…if you BOTH decide to have sex, stop off, buy a pack, and go wherever. Bonus on that one is two-fold: 1) you don’t look like you were expecting to get some (aka can make her look like you think she’s a slut) and 2) you won’t be using the rest of the half-used pack that’s left over from your last score (if you go back to your place).

Remember, gentlemen don’t put out on the first date. (Not that I’ve always been a gentleman, LOL.) With that said, I’ve witnessed happy couples who bumped uglies on the first date, and others who waited that ended in open war.

I’m with the anti-flower crew too. I have found that most women find it to be overkill (at best) and creepy (at worst). However, there’s nothing saying that you can’t pick a flower on the date and give it to her. (Hell, you may need the condom if you do that one…LOL.)

Let the attacks begin!

112 Jay Kay May 22, 2010 at 11:39 am

Just when I decided there are no real men left in the world I find this site! I’ve had my own mental listed titled, “You are not a real man if….” for a long time. I’ll give you a few of them here:
1) You are not a real man if you color/highlight your hair. Ick! Vain men are so unattractive.

2) You are not a real man if you shave hair off of any part of your body. Men have hair, some more than others, but I’d rather have him hairy than smooth as a babies bottom!

3) You are not a real man if you don’t know how (or at least attempt) to fix/repair things. If the car breaks down and all you can do is call AAA, you probably won’t see me again.

That’s just a few, there are other more important requirements but I won’t list them all.

Yes, men should always open doors, hold elevators, etc. all the time, not just on dates.

I want a man who cares about his appearance but he doesn’t necessarily have to wear a sports coat. Being clean, neat and tidy are enough for me, I don’t need a fashion plate. Just dress appropriately. Oh, also, real men don’t go “squish” when you touch them. For God’s sake do a couple of push ups and some crunches! I think being overweight shows a lack of self-respect (and the same goes for the ladies).

I agree with some of the other comments, sex on a first date just made it a non-date, you’ve essentially just “hooked-up” I believe is the expression younger people use. I feel sorry for the younger generation of women, must of them have no idea what a real man is. Also, I think there is a level of intimacy you just can’t ever reach when you do something so special right out of the shoot. I think it’s rare for two people who have sex on the first date to have a lasting relationship. The younger generation is so into instant gratification that they’ll probably never know real intimacy. Also, I think that younger women are very confused about their role (as well as young men). The fact that women fought to have the right to control their destiny doesn’t mean we don’t want to be treated like women. I don’t want to crawl under my car and change the oil (even though I do know how to) anymore than he probably wants to scrub the toilet!

Well, I could go on and on about this subject but I’ll end it here.

Now, where can I find one of these real men?

113 Valerie May 22, 2010 at 7:57 pm

I love this post. It’s very true. I disagree with the other women about the hankie though – I think it’s a very good thing to have. I keep a pocket pack of tissues in my purse, but what if I run out? Or if my glasses get smeared?

I must also disagree on the flowers – they’re a little too cheesy on the first date, but very sweet a few dates later, if you’ve already found out which kind she likes. If you give them to her at the beginning of the date, it should be at a time when you pick her up (so definitely a few dates down the road) so she can put them in some water and leave them at home. Buying them near the end of the date if you pass by a stand is sweet.

On the topic of condoms: Keep ONE in your car. No lube, no toys, just one single condom hidden well in your car. When you start packing more than that, you’re going beyond “prepared” and getting into “hopeful.” I began carrying a single condom in my purse after one surprise incident involving a combination of cold medicine, alcohol, and a hunky friend of a friend. I don’t even KISS on the first date, and it wasn’t even a date. But sometimes things happen – especially if you have a lot of chemistry – and being prepared for something you have no intention of going for isn’t unreasonable.

Why in your car? Because 1.) it’s a rude and offensive if your date happens to find it in your pocket or it falls out 2.) if you have to run to your car to get it, it gives you more time to think through what’s about to happen and make a careful decision.

114 Nathanael May 23, 2010 at 1:53 am


I don’t go out on many dates (though once married, the line blurs a fair bit), but I almost certainly have much more sex than you do as you hop from date to date, hoping to get a woman drunk enough (and really that’s what “chemistry” means 9 times out of 10) to let you screw her.

115 Beau May 23, 2010 at 2:23 am

all you need to carry is her

116 Aurumgirl May 23, 2010 at 8:07 am

As usual, the advice in this article is first rate. I never see anything condescending in the behaviour of a person who strives to think of another’s comfort, whether that’s on a date or not. It’s just good manners, a good example of thinking ahead, and a way to make the whole experience pleasant and memorable, not frustrating.

I take it Nina is extremely young and also really angry with men. Lots of girls can be like that, I was like that when I was younger but even then I wished that many of my dates would have at least taken as much time as I had to prepare for the outing. Dismissing someone’s ability to plan well, consider others, and entertain you as “gay”, well, I do have to admit there are some real lessons straight men could learn from gay men about seeing women as people and not sextoys…but that doesn’t mean the opinion expressed isn’t silly and dismissive (not to mention homophobic). I don’t know what Nina’s complaining about, really; there’s nothing degrading about being respected, there’s no reason to believe that someone’s considerate actions towards you equals “creepy, scammy “luring”. It’s sad to think that someone really would prefer to be treated with disrespect so she can feel she’s not being duped by the person who disrespects her, and couldn’t care less about whether she enjoys herself or not while she’s with him. Anyway, dates with men who don’t care to be considerate, or properly dressed, or properly organized and prepared turn out to be pretty boring fast–hopefully Nina will pick up on this quickly and aim higher in terms of the quality of her companions.

The fascination with weaponry on a date is foreign to me. If I were to find out my date were carrying a gun, I’d really feel uncomfortable in his presence, and I think a lot of women would feel like he’s more of a threat to their safety than anything else. I can’t recall a date where even fisticuffs or using an umbrella as a weapon was necessary. I’m sure it happens somewhere, but I’m also sure it can happen during a date as it can during any other time. I go about my daily life without firearms, so I can expect to proceed without them during a date.

Finally: people who have sex with each other on a first date are not sluts or naturally scheming or shortsighted, not necessarily. Sometimes things go that way, people can be passionate about each other and feel drawn to each other–it’s not necessarily a failing, and so it is best to be prepared for your own protection as well as for hers. That doesn’t indicate your whole purpose for dating is to just get laid. God. Sometimes we’re even more prudish than the Victorians.

117 Real_Men_Wear_$450_Shoes May 23, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Umm, sorry, but Nina sounds insane.

Women want real men. And that’s what we give them!! And real men have nose trimmers, Chrono watches, and double soled leather shoes. And NOT $50 corrected grain garbage shoes from Payless. I bet her husband needs a haircut, has some cheapo $100 Seiko, and wears WalMart shoes with rubber soles. This is a total loser, and not a real man. My watch cost more than my car, and I had to take a partial loan for it, but the women know I am a powerful man now….. B/c who else has the balls to take a $5,000 loan for a watch. ME.

I bet he doesn’t even know how to match a tie to a shirt! Or that his shirt is too baggy. L-O-S-E-R !! I bet his suit sleeve doesn’t even show enough cuff. What a DUMMY !! Spare me the cancer stories, women don’t give a care about that junk.

I net he drives something “reliable” like a Camry. BAHAHHAH. This is how to spot a terrible dad to be! Women avoid Camry losers like the PLAGUE!!

Want to know how to spot a REAL MAN? He’s got extra towels folded properly for the day after you’ve fucked her silly. That shows that I have sex regularly, and that is exactly what women like. Guys who get sex. And that’s me. A REAL MAN,

118 Real_Men_Wear_$450_Shoes May 23, 2010 at 6:09 pm

The other thing extra towels indicate is that I can take care of a woman. This is what women need. Not some annoying blabbering about sick kids and aging parents. DUH!! That is why I bought 10 towels that cost me $50 each, that have special embroidering on them. I didn’t but the $5 WalMart crap that most suckers buy. This is a REAL MAN who can prepare and provide, and know he’s getting sex. This signals CONFIDENCE. I know all the strategy. And this hankie advice was GOLDEN. I will now buy about a dozen pocket squares, and will spend no less than $50 on EACH. How’s that for a REAL MAN?

Men, make sure the towel is ROLLED UP, and not folded. This is what makes you better than ALL the other man that are pursuing her. This will put you into the Husband/Keeper category. Take it from me. Real_Men_Wear_$450_Shoes and all the women know it, and this is wisdom that is 100s of years old.

119 Stroudjonl May 23, 2010 at 6:10 pm

These are all great ideas. You can’t go wrong with a sports coat, hankie, etc. However in my experience the most important thing to bring is, yourself. Being confident, without cockiness, will always score the most points with a true lady. Face it, nobody wants to meet your representative. Second, I can’t agree enough with a pen and a knife. You never know when the pen they give you to sign the check is going to be dry, or you may need to perform an emergency tracheotomy on the street…

120 Doug Lippert May 24, 2010 at 4:58 am

To the guy who wrote-

“My watch cost more than my car, and I had to take a partial loan for it, but the women know I am a powerful man now….. B/c who else has the balls to take a $5,000 loan for a watch. ME. ”

You’re driving a car that costs less than $5,000 but yet brag about your expensive watch, expensive towels and pocket squares. I think you like to pretend you have money. Just be yourself instead.

121 Sam May 24, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Wow, this is the Art of Manliness blog. A real man waits for marriage to make love to his wife. The condom remarks are just sad. For any of you Catholics out there (I know you are not all Catholics), have you forgotten the concept of mortal sin? and dying in the state of grace? All it takes is one slip. Be a gentleman, treat your date like a princess, and live in the state of grace, so that you can be truly prepared for marriage – which also entails a lot of self-control, by the way, whether you are Catholic or not.

122 J H May 24, 2010 at 3:18 pm

@ Nina:
“This really is just Godless and disgusting and objectifying”

If you think this blog is objectifying towards women, you may want to take a better look through that good book of yours.

123 David | Super Awesome Dating May 24, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Right on Doug, its not about impressing women at that point, its more about impressing other guys which is well a little pathetic.

124 Mavendetout May 24, 2010 at 3:59 pm

First, about me: I’m a polished gent in my early ’60′s that knows his way around a menu, wine list, and the bedroom. Married very happily but not a fanatic on the subject–nothing more off-putting than the yount ‘professional marrieds’ you meeet at cocktail parties all the time. Sexual conquests in the interim? Yes, all of very high quality and all generally long term liaisons that eneded smoothly. And, gratefully, never had any children. And the pleasure from THAT decision grows greater as the years go on. Now for my opinions, which you’d ALL do well to heed:
1. Condom? Yes. It’s simply the realistic thing to do. And no, ‘sluttiness’ does not apply, ever. The woman may present an unwise choice, but then, alternatively, I’ve had some fabulous first-date sex with some very quality women.
2. Firearm? The brain says ‘no’ but, again, ‘preparation’ is never unwise. So, be judicious, consider it carefully, and perhaps ‘carry’ if the date venue is a bit louche.
3. At sixty-something I do allow that ‘sport coat’ may be best replaced with ‘jacket.’ The jeans-with look is simply a new type of ‘dressiness’ if not formality and is just fine.
4. Cologne. After 6PM. And so little that it can’t even be defined by the term ‘splash.”
5. Flowers. I agree; young people today find flowers too soon to be odd. Reluctantly, I have to agree. A bit un-natural.
6. Again, the old saw is the most important: relax, be comfotable-cum-confident, and remember: the key to good manners is simply, simply assuring all around you–even the hot creature you want to bed–is never uncomfortable.

125 GT May 25, 2010 at 1:20 am

I think that it’s a great idea to bring crisp one hundred dollar bills on a dinner date.
When the check comes, especially if the check totals between $100 and $200, it’s a nice touch to simply put 2 one hundred dollar bills in the booklet the check comes in.
It’s a lot more impressive than throwing down a credit card–anyone can go into debt– and it a hard fact that you are spending money on her. Also, if the total with tip works out that you can just leave it at that and not get change… perfect.

126 captainmeta4 May 25, 2010 at 9:08 pm

I’d say leave out the condom, for two reasons

1: I’ve found that the most mature men are the ones who could lose their virginity if they wanted to, but save it for marriage nonetheless. Keep your pants on.

2: If something happens and its found, you’re hosed.

127 captainmeta4 May 26, 2010 at 11:45 am

To clarify point 1 above: I’ve noticed a correlation between people who choose to save their virginity, and maturity in other areas of life. I think this is because the things that permit one to get laid (hygiene, manners, etc.) are part of maturity. In addition, the things behind a decision to wait (self-control, personal responsiblility, etc.) are also part of maturing into an adult.

Point 3: If she’s worth investing into, she’s worth waiting for.

128 LarryD May 27, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Nearly 3 years ago after nearly giving up on dating, I was introduced by e-mail from to a most remarkable young Lady. After a brief period of writing and calling, we arranged to meet fo supper. Preparing for this first date, I did as I would normally do, After proper hygiene, I dressed in a white western cut shirt, kaki pants, ranger belt, boots, and sports coat. In my pockets, I carried my wallet with cash IDs, credit and debit cards, checkbook, calendar, keys, change, knife, and pocket pistol. YES, I can carry under LEOSA. In my vehicle, I had an emergency kit that would handle everything from bandages to sewing on a button. In meeting at the resturant, I greeted my date, held the door and chair for her, paid for our meals (even as she offered to dutch), generally paid attention to HER. We continued to date and we saved ourselves until after our vows were spoken. We have been married nearly a year and its still like a honeymoon. We both LOVE and RESPECT each other. She treats me as a King and i treat her as a Queen. Are we wealthy, NO. We are comfortable and frugal. We each are professionals we post Masters degrees. Treat her as a Lady. She desires not to act as a Lady, maybe you should decide whether to continue your relationship. You should always act as a gentleman, apparently a rare and dying specie.

129 art May 27, 2010 at 3:00 pm

@Valerie: The temperature inside of a car parked in the sun is enough to start breaking down latex in a matter of hours. It’s only a good place to keep a condom if you want it to break.

Regarding the handkerchief debate, I believe the rule is, “The one in your back pocket is for you, the one in your jacket is for her.” And the one in your jacket should be brand new, not just clean.

130 Milburn May 27, 2010 at 6:31 pm

Flowers on a first date are usually a terrible idea. It comes off as your dating “routine.” Get her flowers on the second date as a way of saying she earned them as opposed to you just buy flowers for anyone and everyone.

131 Robert May 28, 2010 at 12:40 am

Ok, most of the contradictions I’ve seen here are probably due more to a generational gap than anything else. First off, when a woman goes on a date, I have noticed that for some reason she has an expectation to go to at least 2 places during the course of the date, so have more than just dinner planned, even if it only stopping out for a drink or cup of coffee afterward. Personally, I would skip the whole dinner and a movie thing entirely for a first date. Not only is it unoriginal, but the purpose of a date is to talk and get to know each other better, and you can’t you really do much of that while you’re sitting in a movie theater for 2 hours can you? For the same reason I would avoid clubs… just too loud and having to yell back and forth over the music becomes obnoxious. I also avoid fancy restaurants, to me that should be reserved as something special for a later time when you have begun to date more regularly. On a first date, it just puts added pressure on most women and they feel guilty or like you are trying to buy their affections if you plop down $100 or $200 for dinner. I’ve found it best to keep things light-hearted and plan something fun and relatively inexpensive for the first few dates. It’s also a good idea to let your date know your plans beforehand so she can dress accordingly. As for attire, that depends more upon your age and what looks best on you and where you are going. Adopting a dress code that does not flatter you, and makes you feel uncomfortable will do more to harm you (and your confidence) than help you. Rule of thumb… shower, shave, brush your teeth, trim your nails, put on clean clothes. Look and smell clean, but not like it took you longer to get ready for the date than it took her. Clean your car and make sure it doesn’t smell like the funky gym socks you had sitting in the backseat for 2 weeks. Make sure you know where you are going, how long it will take you to get there, (considering things like traffic on that day or time) and then make sure you show up at her house on time. Truth is there is going to be a huge difference upon the kind of date you are going to have depending on things like your age, your personality type, blue collar/white collar, and the list goes on. Those things aren’t really what’s important, or what this site is truly about…. it isn’t about what sport coat you do or do not wear, it’s about being a man. Do your homework beforehand and have a plan (as well as a plan B), take care of your personal hygiene, be properly dressed for the occasion, arrive on time, have good manners and be chivalrous. One thing that should be mentioned though is that MAN is an important part of the word GENTLEMAN. Which means that while exhibiting good manners and being chivalrous is a great and honorable thing… ignoring or hiding the fact we have desires and are sexual creatures by being stoic, unemotional and unnatural is not. Showing a HINT (notice I said “hint” – meaning they are to be used like spices to add a bit of flavor, not as the main ingredients) of romance, passion and naughtiness (not to be misunderstood as being cocky or crude) could be the very thing that makes her see the potential for romance between you and agree to that second date, rather than just write you off as a nice new friend. Finally, to the guy who mentioned to do this earlier… never EVER ask a woman if it would be alright to kiss her at the end of the night. It will completely suck any romance out of the air and give her the impression that you are not a confident man. It is better to learn and understand women’s body language… she will give you clear signs to whether or not she wants you to kiss her goodnight.

132 Robert May 28, 2010 at 1:09 am


I understand that you have your beliefs and your moral convictions, that is fine, but I WAS a Catholic. It was the Catholic Church that taught me, first hand, that religion has always had more to do with increasing the power and profits of the Church, than it ever has had of spreading the word of God. I will forever be a Christian, but I will let the Bible and prayer be my guide in life, not the self-serving dogmas of the Church. So for the sake of argument and to keep things friendly around here, why don’t we leave religion out of the mix, and let each man find his own peace with God.

133 captainmeta4 May 28, 2010 at 9:02 am

@ Robert Yeah, dinner and a movie for a first date is unoriginal.The first date my girlfriend and I went on was to the aquarium in the city, We missed the commuter train, and had to wait 2 hours for the next one, but we took it in stride and used the time to get lunch and get to know eachother better. I apologized profusely for assuming that the commuter rail ran on the same schedule as the subway, and realized she didn’t care too much about my mistake. That was about 11 months ago and we’re still dating.

Moral of the story: Have some sort of a plan b, or at least have the ability to come up with one on the fly.

Though it’s preferable for no mistakes to happen on a first date, they do give you the opportunity to try to fix the situation and show her you care about providing her with an enjoyable experience.

On religion, as it relates the condom debate, I do think it’s worth noting that religious people (particularly the Judeo-Christian), should avoid condoms on dates, as they merely create temptation to stray from God. I, too, am also a Christian.

134 Rob May 28, 2010 at 9:50 am

All of these are great ideas, as a man should be prepared for ANY situation. Especially the condom. Keep the condom(s) in your car in a hidden area, since it is highly unlikely that you will be needing them while out at a movie or in a restaraunt. If your car will get toasty due to heat, then leave them at home if it’s the first date. Perhaps a fresh, plastic ice block or something to keep your centre console cool, since the only water that comes off of those is condensation. Snag one(or two if you want to be prepared for the 30-second jimmy if its been a while) if she invites you up to her place for a drink. Just because a woman wants to have sex on the first date does not mean she is a slut. Don’t allow the condom to go to your head and only focus on the possibility of using them, since your libido will get in the way of your charm. The tool itself isn’t the problem, its the man behind the tool. Christian or not, you should be prepared for any situation. With either a few of your favourite love-gloves (ones that fit properly, too. Don’t buy magnums if you can’t wear them), or a gentlemanly way of saying that you’re saving yourself for marriage due to belief.

135 Jim May 28, 2010 at 6:00 pm

I also carry a couple of band-aids and some advil. I have had an opportunity to offer these to many more women than I have a hankie.

136 Andrew May 31, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Contact lens case, isn’t the goal to sleep over if you can?

Clearly you guys are not viewing your dates in the proper light and just assume that the night will end with a pleasant exchange of goodbyes— and you going home alone.
Woman have come of age, and the old ways are dead… a first date could bring sex, or turn into an overnight, or long weekend together.
All men should be prepared for an overnight or extended weekend.
In the trunk of my car I keep an over night bag ( a small gym bag will do, but mine is leather and classy looking and can be proudly brought into her house if needed. It is equipped with the following:
With these items you could be ready for anything that happens, including getting over your hangover…

contact lense case – with fresh solution, extra condoms, small bottle of cologne, travel toothbrush/paste, nail clippers, hairbrush, anti-bacterial handie wipes or gel, clean collared short sleeve shirt in a classic solid color, 2 pair socks: white/black, swim trunks, high quality flip flops extra $20.00, first aid bandages, umbrella, baseball hat, aspirin, sunglasses, pocket knife – with applications for opening wine bottles or fancy import beers, and one fun item of random persuasion of your choice – for me its a frisbee ( a super cheap date the next day in a park after coffee and cake).

137 Andrew May 31, 2010 at 4:05 pm

I forgot to mention:
clean underware, underarm deodorant, a granola bar or pack of gum.

138 Martha May 31, 2010 at 4:56 pm

From a womanly perspective, flowers on the first date IS still grand. You really cannot try to hard to please a gal – we like being pleased!

If you need a condom on the first date – then what you really need is a decent date.

139 Jérôme Denis Andre June 3, 2010 at 1:59 pm

On the gun debate:

You do not need a gun. I live in Germany. Carrying guns is forbidden around here.
Notwithstanding – or perhaps this is why – we have one of the lowest murder-rates of the whole planet (!).

On the condom debate:

I am a Christian and I DO want to wait ’till mariage. (eventhough that will be quite difficult as being German – we have a much lower rate of christians than the US – and most of our christians aren’t bible-beliving).

But I also think that we – who want to wait – have not right to insult people who don’t want to for having differnt belives or other moral values. (!!!). I have friends who aren’t christians or christians (but not bible-beliving), of whom I know that they have [premarital] sex. Most of them are in long-term relations and NONE of them is to be called “bastard” or “slut”.

140 Sam June 3, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Robert – If you have fallen away from the Catholic Faith, I guess the part of my message that was directed to Catholics (and Christians insofar as they share in the truths of the Catholic Faith) was not directed to you, so you can rest easy. My catechism was different than yours, or I missed the day when they taught that “religion has always had more to do with increasing the power and profits of the Church, than it ever has had of spreading the word of God.” It is not necessary to spread that tired slander of the Faith in making your point that some men want to fornicate, and some men want to wait to make love to their wives. A true gentleman, I daresay, should prefer the latter, whether they are Catholic or not. In veritas, Sam

141 The Baltimore Chop June 4, 2010 at 1:43 pm

I know it sounds like a given, but you should bring a car on a first date.

I live in a dense urban area, and when I recently met a date at a place we could both walk to, I was glad I had my car when something went wrong and a ride to the hospital was in order.

Dates can often take unexpected turns for better or worse, and as much as I like seeing couples on bicycles or walking hand in hand, a car is necessary to have around on a first date.

142 Morgan June 4, 2010 at 5:13 pm

I would disagree strongly with the apparent notion that having sex is inherentely disrespectful to women. While we do strive to be gentlemen in all things, the simple fact that two people hit it off sufficiently to want to add a physical component to their date, be it first, second, or hundredth should not be taken as a moral indicator. Yes, we’re gentlemen, but this is not the1920′s. A woman is not a slut if she enjoys sex, and in this day and age, women can and do make that decision all by themselves.

Not everyone here is a Christian of some stripe. While I have respect for the faith of those that are, I am not, and see no need to be bound the strictures of a faith not my own. I also don’t think it makes me one whit less a gentleman because of that, nor because of my acknowledgement of a woman’s sexuality.

Of course, no gentleman would ever force or coerce their attentions on to anyone, be it date, friend, or other companion. But I see nothing wrong with two consenting adults enjoying some intimacy with each other if both desire it. And because of that, a gentleman should be prepared with appropriate items, such as condoms. I think we can all agree that only a cad would take a chance on getting a girl pregnant simply for their own pleasure.

143 Morgan June 4, 2010 at 5:55 pm


>> B/c who else has the balls to take a $5,000 loan for a watch. ME.

You have got to be kidding…

>> Men, make sure the towel is ROLLED UP, and not folded. This is what makes you better than ALL the other man that are pursuing her. This will put you into the Husband/Keeper category.

Yes, because all women dread men who fold towels instead of rolling them. I know there are entire mobs of women, armed with torches ,pitchforks, and rolling pins cruising the streets for men who fold their towels….

Here’s a clue. Real men aren’t defined by possessions. No one cares what kind of gigantic, expensive penis substitute you drive. No one cares that your towels cost $50 a piece.

A real man is responsible, thoughtful, attentive, careful, intelligent, disciplined, and confident. He assumes responsibility for his life and doesn’t get in over his head to buy things to impress people. That doesn’t show power, it shows shallowness and the inability to be financially disciplined. It shows that you care more about spending money to impress other shallow people than you do about taking care of your responsibilities. True power comes from self-control. It’s not about power over others, it’s about power over oneself.

144 Morgan June 4, 2010 at 6:08 pm

@ Ed Roberts

Per the Random House Dictionary, 2010, the definitions of “arsenal” are the following:

1. a place of storage or a magazine containing arms and military equipment for land or naval service.
2. a government establishment where military equipment or munitions are manufactured.
3. a collection or supply of weapons or munitions.
4. a collection or supply of anything; store: He came to the meeting with an impressive arsenal of new research data.

Therefore, the usage of the word fits within the norm, in particular the fourth definition.

145 Jen June 5, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Flowers are for serious dates not sex only and they should be brought to her house so she doesn’t have to carry it. Being an attractive woman does not mean they are used to getting things like flowers, its your intentions that should dictate what you bring. If you are serious about her then giving a small gift (flowers, wine) is ok.

Going to the door to pick her up is essential.

Cleaniliness, opening doors, umbrella in car, great ideas.

Don’t order the garlic because even breath mints can’t cover that up but still use the mints either way.

Cash is always good.

Condoms are for just in case.

No girl will want to use your hankie (gross), a fresh pack of nose tissues in the car is better.

Jacket is a good idea and yes check the pockets.

if you have ky jelly that means you were aiming for sex, not a good idea. I would think it weird if someone has it on them.

Silence the cellphone ringer that is just irritating. It can stay on but use for outgoing calls only.

A watch has nothing to do with being thoughtful. She probably has a cellphone too and so both of you have the time.

Spoons are unnecessary, even weird if you ask me, although I would never say it out loud. I would praise the person for the forethought but still think it weird.

As for a weapon, women usually need the weapon, not the man.

Dress nice for your personality type. I personally do not like jeans so it will tell me about your taste and if we might be compatible. Some women like jeans.

No stubble if you are serious.

Be genuine to your personality. if you shaved for her sake tell her she will feel special yet get to know you too. The date is to find out about one another, if you are pretending to be something you are not then it is like a lie. Tell her what you did for her so she knows it is not typical.

flashlight and multi tool pocket knife should always be in the car.

on your person on a date you just need money, cellphone and mints. Anything more, you will need a purse and be a bit girly. Keep everything else in the car.

146 G Shumway June 8, 2010 at 8:08 am

This is where Feminism ‘conveniently’ takes a back seat. In a world where women are equally as powerful as men, in practically all areas and walks of life, the rules of the dating game, never seem to change. Why can’t the roles in the dating game, be the same for both sexes? Why can’t we tear that stereotype down and start again?
After all, it is 2010 and not 1954 anymore.

147 Steve Plautz June 8, 2010 at 12:37 pm

I say just be prepared for anything and everything!
Make sure you are smelling good, Teeth sparkling white, and a smile on your face when you first see her to let her know you are excited for the night. The first words out of your mouth should be “Hi! Wow you look great!”

All of these will = P in V Guaranteed!

148 Kate June 9, 2010 at 4:40 pm

I know this comment was left a while ago, but…


Thank you, thank you, thank you for your incredibly eloquent defense of us so-called “sluts” (as we’ve been dubbed by some of you so-called “gentlemen”), who, on the rare occasion that we meet a man who so inspires our comfort and self-confidence, decide (to whatever extent, be it a single passionate kiss at the door, or a passionate act in the bed) to express that comfort and confidence physically.

Always, *always* have a condom, guys, and here’s why, though it might sound like a cheesy pun: Protection. Both for her, and for yourself. It’s as important as arming yourself with any other weapon.

Unless you go in for testing after every sexual encounter (because STIs can still happen even with a condom and the best of intentions), you can never be sure. And more importantly, unless you’ve already talked *very* intimately with this girl prior to your first meeting, you have no idea if she’s been tested recently. (And *please* always remember that admittance to an STI can as easily signal a rape victim as a slut.)

A single condom in the wallet signals caution and preparedness, not sexual single-mindedness, and chances are slim that she’ll have need to rifle through your wallet.

I think most, if not all, of us would agree that a man who rejects a woman because she declines to have sex with him before she’s ready is a man not worth her time, as it shows a complete lack of appreciation for everything else that makes her special and desirable. So I would say that a woman who accidentally discovers you carrying a condom on your person and thus finds you to be a cad (forgetting instantly everything else about you that has proven you to be otherwise) is not a woman worth your time.

149 Close June 11, 2010 at 7:24 pm

Lots of really great ideas here. But, if you’re on a first date, and want to practice the art of being a man and a gentleman, don’t bring condoms. Show her more respect by not going to bed with her on a first date, even if you weren’t expecting it, and the opportunity arises. If you’re worried you’ll make her feel bad, don’t, just end the night by asking her out on a second date. She’ll know you’re interested, and she appreciate that you respect her. More importantly, she be dying to see you again.

150 Jim June 13, 2010 at 1:37 am

No condoms, no expectations of sex on a first date, period. No real gentleman would have sex with a women on a first date, even in this day and age. In addition, any woman who would have sex with a man on a first date is no lady.

151 Daniel June 14, 2010 at 12:06 pm

First of all, great article.
Down to business. “Sex on the first date makes the girl a slut.” “Pre-marital sex is worthless.”
What outdated views! If two people feel a connection, there is nothing wrong with making love on the first date. It just means that there are two people enjoying a beautiful thing together.

Condoms should always be on hand. If there is one thing a Gentleman should always do, it’s move with the times while still maintaining some traditions, such as chivalry. In the 21st century, condoms are always necessesary just incase you really hit it off. Outdated, stuffy, even pretentious (looking at you, marital snobs) viewpoints are reasons why fewer men endeavor to be Gentleman nowadays, as well as why they are often looked down upon.

There’s no reason that two responsible adults should not make love on the first date. As a Gentleman of the 21st century, I know that this makes neither the woman a slut or the man a lech. I’m not saying that there aren’t sluts and lechs, that’s absurd. But I do believe some people here are making ridiculous blanket statements.

As a final note, the people quoting religion as a reason not to have sex may also want to read the passage about murder… You can’t attack one form of protection while slipping the other into a holster.

152 ctd June 17, 2010 at 12:09 am

Daniel et al,
Murder is what you are trying to STOP by having a handgun handy (simple display thereof is enough in 95% of cases). If you need it it’s because someone else forced the issue – not because you were itching to blow someone away. She’ll appreciate your preparation if so needed.

As for the condom, if you don’t want a baby then don’t make one. While pleasureable, the act is fundamentally about procreation, not pleasure.

And for the rest of it, we assume women appreciate a man prepared and stylish. It’s our reason for being: care for our woman.

153 Musashi June 18, 2010 at 9:35 am

A sport coast and jeans?! Really?! There are a LOT of women who thinks this looks silly and outdated, like you’re an extra on Seinfeld. Just be yourself, and dress in accordance with what the date is about.

154 Jonathan June 18, 2010 at 9:13 pm

Even if you subscribe to the view that sex on the first date is fine, women LOVE anticipating, almost as much as what they’re anticipating. And they love a good tease. If you really want the sparks to fly, hold off a bit first and savor the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

Most traditions aren’t out to spoil your fun – they’re traditions for a reason. This website is all about the tradition of being a gentlemen, yes?

155 Jason Keller June 22, 2010 at 5:37 am

There were many fine responses to this article. I do have an issue with one slight thing. Is it appropriate to wear a sport coat with jeans? I believe that there are men who could make this work, but most I see doing so are not those men. Unless you are %100 sure that a sport coat and jeans work for you, I would wear khakis or slacks. If jeans are appropriate for your date, I recommend a different outer garment.

156 jim June 22, 2010 at 7:30 pm

I always carry a pocket asshole with me. Just in case I need it.

157 jessi June 23, 2010 at 12:29 am

“As for the condom, if you don’t want a baby then don’t make one. While pleasureable, the act is fundamentally about procreation, not pleasure.”

As a young woman who wants neither children nor an STI, I appreciate a man with a condom, regardless of when or whether I choose to sleep with him. As it happens, I enjoy sex without the intention of procreation. Why can’t you have sex for your reasons and I have sex for mine?

How’s this for a rule of thumb: If you’re open to the idea of sex before marriage, carry a condom. If not, don’t. Gee, was it really that difficult?

Actually, I know many women who carry condoms in their bags– if you’re going to make a mistake, it’s better not to make two (not that sex is necessarily a mistake, but you understand my point).

And either way, you’re probably looking for a lady with similar intentions, so your choice isn’t likely to offend her.

And let’s say that having sex with a man on our first date does make me a “slut” and him a “lech”– so? Do sluts not want to be with gentlemen? Do leches not want to be gentlemen? No one is perfect, not even gentlemen; however, gentlemen do reserve judgment and strive to see the best in people. And women generally appreciate that. Perhaps some aspiring gentlemen would do well to remember the fundamentals before thinking about the details.

158 KP June 29, 2010 at 9:49 am

My 1911 was upon me on my first date with the woman I will be marring next month. And ‘old slab sides’ will be on me then as well.

159 Elle July 9, 2010 at 4:40 pm

I’m not entirely sure how I stumbled across this site, but I feel compelled to comment…

Regardless the obvious backlash against Nina, a lot of what she said is spot-on, IMO.

Hankies are gross. Aside from obvious sanitation issues, I also wouldn’t appreciate a grown man wiping away at me with his “hankie” as if I were a messy toddler.

Sport coat? Not unless you want to look like a tool. Or remind me of my father. A button down shirt and jeans are more than appropriate for a first date.

NO GUNS. Owning a gun, let alone carrying one on a date, is a deal-breaker for me. Not only am I morally opposed to gun ownership, the presence of a gun ALWAYS makes me feel less less safe, not more. I’d also seriously question your judgement for taking me to an area that you felt necessitates carrying a firearm. Regardless, the date would be over.

Condoms, always. In fact, both parties should carry condoms. There is nothing offensive about being prepared for SAFE sex.

The very existence of this article articulates why our generation doesn’t like to date (I’m in my mid-20s). Dating, for the most part, is outdated and patriarchal in nature. I personally find dates to be incredibly uncomfortable, unless I’ve known my “date” for some time already. Men who go around asking out any woman they find attractive, without having at least established the repore of friendly aquaintances, is creepy. So is wearing a sports coat, carrying a hankie or bringing a GUN on a date (you’ll carry a gun for “protection,” but not a condom? Creepy AND inconsiderate.).

160 John July 13, 2010 at 5:59 am

Regarding the firearm discussion – in my state (and many others) it is legal to obtain a concealed carry permit and carry a firearm for self protection all the time. It’s not about being in dangerous places on a date, but living in a dangerous world. If you normally carry a concealed weapon, continue to do so on a date. Not for “protecting her”, or “protecting yourself FROM her”, just for the same reason you carry one all the time. And KEEP IT CONCEALED – as in, don’t let her know it’s there. That crosses the line from “carrying” to “brandishing”. Don’t delude yourself into thinking that waving a gun around irresponsibly is gonna impress her.

As for all the women saying they wouldn’t want a guy to bring a gun on a date, and the guys saying “if she don’t like it I don’t want a second date” – you’re both right. Dating is about finding someone compatible. If your personal views on something like guns, gun rights, gun control…. whatever you want to call it…. are different, then congrats – you’ve weeded out another one and can move on. Pretty simple. Doesn’t mean either side is wrong, right, or indifferent. Its just another thing you would probably best know about.

161 Charlie July 24, 2010 at 6:51 pm

On a first date, if you don’t wear a sportscoat, make sure you bring a light jacket in your vehicle. Especially if you are going to the movies, she will be cold. I have found that bringing an extra pair of sunglasses is also a great idea. Never ever bring flowers, if it’s your style, bring one. One rose or tulip nothing else. If you want to class it up a touch, have a ribbon tied around it. The most important thing is to stay relaxed, if you are nervous and anxious, your date will be too. Make her feel at ease. If you have trouble staying calm, count your breath’s and slow them down. Focus on what she says and your breathing and you will relax. Once she gets to talking it wil be easy.

162 Mick August 4, 2010 at 6:53 pm

The best thing you can do on a first date is PLAY IT COOL. This means no flowers and no over-dressing, no super-expensive and/or fancy restaurants, and no over-eager, “fawning” behavior. Indulge in any of the above, and you are trying way too hard. Most women can see right through this. Carefully control what you say and let her do most of the talking. When you speak, choose your words carefully and above all, BE WITTY. If you don’t possess movie star good looks or have huge amounts of money to burn (which, let’s face it, most of us don’t), the quickest, surest way to impress a woman is by making her laugh. This often will take you right into her pants, as well, if you play your cards right! And never, ever press her to commit to a second date before the first date ends. This reeks of desperation! Give her time to go home and think about what a cool, witty, urbane gentleman you are, and how much fun she will have with you. Happy hunting, my brothers!

163 An English Gentleman August 5, 2010 at 5:46 pm

A gentleman always carries a packet of disposable tissues. This is to offer your date in case she needs to powder her nose, suddenly sneezes, or gets an eyelash trapped in her eye. If this last event does occur, consider yourself quite lucky: offering to help her search for the eyelash while you stare into her eyes makes for quite a filrty opportunity indeed!

164 Jackie August 6, 2010 at 9:01 pm

If I was to find out that the guy brought a condom on the first date, he would NOT get a second one. Period.

165 Nathan October 25, 2012 at 12:44 am

I am one of those from the “younger generation,” as one commenter termed it, and I am sorry to report that most of the “women” (more girls, I would say) of my generation are emphatically turned off by a true gentleman. I don’t get it. It seems that they don’t understand what a man is supposed to be or that they just don’t want a real man. Every time that I have tried to act in accordance with how the AoM recommends that I act, I am suddenly slammed in the face with rejection by an uncultured female. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have no intention of changing my ways because of these experiences–a true man holds fast to his virtues of gentlemanliness. However, I find it sad that there is such a lack of women who know how to be women, and to accept the advances of a fine gentleman. I kid you not, the last time that I attempted to give my jacket to a girl when she was cold, she was insulted that I thought she couldn’t “handle it.” How ridiculous! Similar experiences go for when I last tried to offer a handkerchief, open the car door on her side before walking around to mine, and even PAY FOR DINNER! What is going on? Perhaps, I am just seeing the wrong girls. Perhaps, the quality of girls–or their teaching, rather–has declined. I don’t know. But, if I am wrong then where in the world are the gentlewomen; the ladies?

166 Eric November 16, 2012 at 10:41 pm

In the unlikely event that Nina ever decides to visit again (or anyone with a similar view to Nina’s) I highly suggest looking at a certain article that conforms to the “real man” ideal that Nina described. That article is titled “The Baby and the Bathwater.” It helps to keep in mind that this article I’m referring to comes from The Art of Manliness AND predates the current article.
What I’m trying to say is that this website helps build manliness like someone would build a house. Things like virtues and integrity are the foundation: Absolutely central to build on that must remain strong. Things like what to carry on a date, on the other hand, are the furniture: Something nice to display your style but are not at all intended to replace a failing structure.

167 Church December 8, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Reading these comments, it’s nice to know that some men still are willing to have a little class, and disappointing to know that some women are still without it.

168 Zachary December 15, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Don’t forget the chap stick. Especially if you struggle with mouth breathing. Although, I strongly sagest tackling that dilemma beforehand.

169 Gerald December 26, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Just read the old comments…

Are there really people packing heat for a first date? In which warzone is the datespot?

Gun yes… but condom no.. if she wants to seduce on first date you just pull out the gun…or what?


“Perhaps, I am just seeing the wrong girls. Perhaps, the quality of girls–or their teaching, rather–has declined.”

It has, “women” under 30 today suffer often the same problem as men. They are just older children, and its not a white trash only problem.
But just dont try overdoing “good manners” to people knowing nothing about it, they cant appreciate it and youll only look weird to them.

170 Chris February 8, 2013 at 7:16 pm

The Condom Debate. I offer a challenge and a solution, do NOT have sex outside of marriage. I took and intend to keep taking this approach. As a result all of my ex-girlfriends and even my ex-wife respect me. Some of them have even intimated that they respect me more than their husbands because I held out. Many concepts of manliness are tide to discipline and self control. This solution offers both and has the bonus of building a two way street of respect.

171 Matt April 18, 2013 at 4:20 am

I think there is some major confusion about the whole condom ordeal. There is nothing wrong with always having condoms around, not my thing but its better than not using one and it certianly better than those horrible responses to the condom questions like “let me run to the store” or “No…goodnight, bye”.
But there is a way to have condoms. You can keep one in a jacket pocket or somewhere in the car, like that pocket behind the seat. Or some side compartment, do not put them in the glove box or middle compartment. See? Those are ways to have condoms. What you don’t want to do is be that guy with the magnum condom peaking out from the wallet or have it some other place where your date will obviously see it. Its a shallow move that anyone can see right through.

172 Dustin M. Wyatt May 24, 2013 at 10:48 pm

I think it’s entertaining to read things like this, and the comments they tend to garner, but ultimately the manliest thing to do is to just be yourself. If you don’t normally wear a sports coat or carry a hanky, it’s a little disingenuous to start carrying one just to impress your date.

Whether or not to carry a firearm is one of those things, again, that comes down to your typical habits. If you CCW everyday, then a firearm shouldn’t be a big deal… just understand that its unexpected discovery mid-date might freak her out, and bring an abrupt end to the date. It might not be a bad idea to invest in an under-the-seat lock-box, to stash it in during your date, if you carry every day.

This is my take on the condom thing. You need to make a choice. If sex is a hardcore no-go, and you’re committed to that fact, then you can skip out on protection for something that isn’t going to happen. If you don’t have a hardcore conviction that sex isn’t a possibility; then you owe both her and yourself enough respect and consideration to have protection in case you both decide to take it to that level.

I would question the emotional maturity of any modern individual, whether male or female, who made assumptions about the fact that someone possesses condoms. You wouldn’t assume that someone that owns a fire extinguisher intends to set their house on fire, or that someone with seat belts in their car intends to crash.

173 Tonija October 27, 2013 at 11:04 pm

As a woman AND a single mother of a teenage son I appreciate the range of articles here that help our men become the best versions of themselves. I think I would be totally turned on by a date with a man who possessed such charm and class. I am more impressed by the earnest desire to please, –the tender commitment to ensuring our complete comfort and the thoughtful respect conveyed in both the article(s) and some of the comments.than any wad of cash with large bills. I especially liked the part about not checking out other women in the presence of a date (or for the sake of manners) or any woman. I see so many men doing this and even making comments to others in her presence about how “hot” the waitress is while she sits there like an ugly piece of cold liver when she’s anything but. The way I see it, most adult men have seen a pretty girl before and unless they were raised on a deserted island may have even dated one or two of them. If they do not even posses the self restraint not to reveal themselves as boorish and immature not to mention discourteous then i will not bother my head with them again.

174 Holiday Heroine October 30, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Yes! :D Thank you, gents! Manners do matter.

I love seeing how everyone is trying to put their best foot forward. From covering condoms (you are an adult; make good choices. Additionally, do not ever push a girl into having sex with you… ever. This is so creepy and gross. Also, some girls (teens to early 30’s), although adults, are still learning to make good decisions to keep a healthy body and mind) to opening car doors (if she is offended, just note it mentally and go on being your normal, happy self) to hankies in the breast pocket of your blazer (Niles Crane), to if you should bring flowers. Just be punctual, be thoughtful, be yourself, be groomed, be happy!

Don’t go crazy with dinner plans, just use common sense. If your date is acting in a HORRIBLE way during your date, take a few deep breaths and please, please continue to be kind. Let her be horrible and model for her the way you want to be spoken to. Show her what Grace and Dignity looks like. If you only have good things to say, then all the negative chatter should stop. Clearly, we all are still learning 

If you aren’t feeling “it” with your date, please be respectful and use taste when dismissing yourself from the date. Following through with dinner, drinks (getting drunk is a no-no), entertainment, is very much appreciated. Most women really just want to feel special and already know that they are not perfect and neither are you… it’s not up to you to complete us or to solidify our existence, same goes for us with you. It’s just dinner. A fun time! If she isn’t fun, or if she isn’t blending with your personality, please finish the date as a true gentleman.

Oh, and looking at other women whilst on a date, is very distasteful (even if you aren’t feeling the love from your date – or if she is checking out other guys – please do not) we aren’t brainless, we have eyes and know that women can be fierce and gorgeous and wonderful… but, for those few hours, we would looooove to be treated with respect. This goes such a long way. Who knows, if love doesn’t blossom, maybe a great friendship will! Love is love… it comes in many forms, true happiness comes from being happy with your life and yourself first. Everything else will fall into place naturally.

175 Philip Wright December 3, 2013 at 11:03 pm

@Nina…. Wow, great comments.I think you’re missing the point. Men these days are discussing this stuff online because it’s the best place to learn essential skills. I know guys that spend a small fortune on shoes and have no idea how to care for the leather or even polish them. As for preparing, I was in a movie date once and my date started sobbing in the tear-jerking third act and I didn’t have so much as a pack of tissues on me to offer her, and neither did she. I learnt my lesson very fast and never made that mistake again (though I prefer a cotton hankie to kleenex these days). A little forethought is not a sign of creepiness, quite the opposite.

176 Dylan December 10, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Not sure if this has been mentioned but bobby pins. I got in the habit while in theater back in high school when there was always someone frantic for a bobby pin. Take a few and slide them onto the inside fold of your wallet. It’s inconspicuous, won’t clutter your pocket, and you’re a champion when your lady friend is in need.

177 Cassandra December 24, 2013 at 5:39 am

I would love to see more men with hankies! There’s something very sweet about a man who carries one, it speaks volumes about the kind of man he is…and it gives me a great excuse to see him soon after an outing, when I’m returning the hanky after washing and ironing it.

178 Jon January 21, 2014 at 10:57 am

One thing I didn’t see get mentioned is to have a towel or blanket in the car. A towel for those random showers that catch you without your umbrella. Having something handy for her to dry off in the safety of the inside of your car (while you turn up the heater so she can warm up) goes a long way. Also, the blanket for those cold nights. The girl I’m seeing now loves my Texas Rangers fleece blanket being there for when she gets in and we’re waiting for the inside of my car to warm back up. Of course, if things go well on the date the blanket can be put to other uses as well….

179 Clay February 14, 2014 at 3:22 am

I haven’t seen anybody mention anything about having a cigarette lighter handy.

180 Chip February 14, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Ok a few things to mention on other responses.
1.Whatever you do on a date never make yourself look desperate for sex. Bringing a condom in a well hidden place is not a bad idea, but don’t make your lady think you have specific sex intentions for the evening. Even on the third date. She knows you like her because you asked her out. Let things happen naturally, don’t come off as a horny 14 year old to anxious to se boobies. Women hate that.
2. Paying in cash isn’t a bad idea but don’t start flashing cash around a lady. She either will think you are trying to show off or you are spending a lot of money on her therefore you expect sex. Don’t do that, you will come off as a jerk.
3. The gun issue. This is a cultural divide issue. Some places, say in rural Texas, She might think its cool. Try it in New York or LA and now you just became a thug. Probably a wanna be thug too. Sometimes going to a gun range on a date is not a bad idea either depending on her viewpoint. Better second date idea than first.
4 A handkerchief is not bad, but a small thing of Kleenex works well too. Keep them in your car if there is no room on your person.
5. There was a time when every guy would carry a lighter, even if he didn’t smoke. Sometimes even lighting a bartenders cigarette may come off great.
6. Band aides. Keep them in your car. being able to take care of a small paper cut or something quickly never looks bad.
7. Bringing flowers on a first date tends to look corny. She might like it might go the other way too. Save the flowers for the second or third date.
8. breath mints are a must, even if you don’t go out for dinner.

181 Christian D. February 17, 2014 at 3:02 am


Though I’m sure you’re long gone, I find it disgusting that you have no manners and insist that anyone who wishes to be more gentlemanly is gay. Since when has being prepared and presentable become bad?

I’m also affronted that you use ‘gay’ as if it is something disgusting you might find stuck under your couch cushion. I’m gay and I would much rather date a man that approached me with a sport coat and hankie than the kind that you apparently prefer.

In regard to condoms, however… I think it’s perfectly acceptable to have them on hand just in case. Better to have them and not need them, than need them and not have them. Just don’t keep them somewhere too hot or for too long. They expire and degrade just like everything else. And the last thing you want is to bring home an STD or leave behind a baby.

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