What Men Should And Should Not Do On Dates
Dates are a social minefield. You never know what to expect, and you try your hardest not to trigger a bad reaction. But what it all boils down to is spending time with someone you find attractive, and trying to get to know them.
As easy as that sounds, really good dates don’t come around very often because of the awkwardness of the situation; seeing a new face, sharing your personal life stories, etc. It’s much easier when you have a set of dos and don’ts that you can look back on, and that’s just what you’ll find here:
Do: Let Her Pick Out A Place
The first date is a chance to get to know each other, so the ideal meeting place would be quiet and familiar to at least one of you. If you choose a place you know well, she’ll be pleased to see that you know your way around town, and she’ll let her hair down more easily. However, if there’s even the slightest hint that she’d like to pick out a place, it’s best to let her have the pleasure.
Do: Put Her First
Being considerate towards your date has more to do with upbringing than it does with social etiquette, so try to be aware of how your words and actions are perceived by her. It goes without saying that you should be pleasant and flattering. Ask before you do or say anything she’s not familiar with, or that could be misconstrued, especially if you know nothing about her yet. If you do cross a line, an apology is always welcome. If opening doors or pulling chairs for her is not in your nature, that’s okay, just remember if you get the chance, they’re a nice touch.
Do: Dress For The Occasion
Needless to say, the effort you put into getting dressed will be appreciated. Whatever your personal style, the event will decide how casual or formal your outfit should be. When in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask her what she’s wearing, if you don’t want to clash. Better yet, check out our guide on finding the perfect date outfit.
Do: Listen Carefully
A little effort goes a long way when it comes to having an honest, natural, two-way conversation. All the rules that apply to a conversation with a friend or relative apply here: look her in the eyes when you speak, show that you agree or not with obvious but discreet facial gestures (like nodding, raising your eyebrow, flinching, etc.). That said, don’t hang on every word and psychoanalyse everything when you hardly know her. Show your interest for now. There will be plenty of chances later on to state your opinions.
Don’t: Be Late
That would be inconsiderate towards her, and she’s not likely to appreciate having a flaky suitor. But if something goes wrong, call as soon as possible and let her know your whereabouts, giving her a realistic estimate of when you’ll arrive, if at all.
That being said, there are certain cultures or fields of work where being late is seen as the norm, and times are set only as a formality. You should give ladies who work in the entertainment industry, or those who have had a more laid-back upbringing, some leeway, for example.
Don’t: Put On A Show
Let’s face it, at least once we’ve all made ourselves to appear more exciting than we are. That doesn’t mean that you should exaggerate or make things up just to impress the lady. She’ll see through it eventually, if she doesn’t right now. She could even feel like her entire dating experience with you was a waste of her time.
So, while we’re all aware of the fact that people tend to behave uncharacteristically on the first few dates, there should be some consistency. That dreaded phrase, ‘be yourself’, comes to mind, doesn’t it?
Don’t: Bring Up Past Relationships
Whenever a past relationship comes up, there’s bound to be some type of comparison. While it’s great to show that you’ve learned from your past, you should also show that you’ve moved on, and not mention other ladies unless asked. In fact, you shouldn’t bring other women into the picture, period! Even if you’re on friendly terms with your exes, that’s no reason for you to bring an actual date and a former girlfriend face-to-face.
Don’t: Mention Mommy
Some women like to know a man respects his mother enough to bring her flowers on her birthday, but that’s just about where they’d like the topic to end if they’re on a date. Other women may be very eager to hear what your parents are like, and to spend time with them. If you live with your parents, keeping them out of the conversation may be difficult, and you definitely shouldn’t go out of your way to hide the facts.
However, be aware that some women find it very hard to share their partners with possessive or nosey parents, and some may even have had relationships or marriages end for this very reason. So, out of respect for your date’s feelings, leave your mother out of it, and try to make her feel like she’s the only woman in your life, even if it’s only for a few hours.
Don’t: Make Lewd Remarks
Whatever it is you may be expecting from this date or any other, you should have the common courtesy not to hint at it. Also, you shouldn’t expect her to tell you if you barely know her. Most signals are easy enough to read without having to come right out and ask what your date’s plans are.