I am adding the following disclaimer to all of my dating related blog posts. I change details, and create composite characters when I write about dating archetypes such as “Mr. Houdini, Mr. Angry, etc. I would hate it if someone wrote about a high energy blonde comedian negatively in a blog, so because of that I never include a person’s occupation or anything about their physical description. I also change enough details that I doubt anyone I am referring to would even recognize themselves if they read one of my articles. I have split one person into three, or taken several people and put them all into one example. So simply put, I am very ethical on this blog.
Apparently women purchase 80% of all books sold, including the books marketed to men. Women are more likely to buy a book for a man than he might buy for himself. So although people keep telling me to write an advice book for men, I don’t see much of a market for it. Men just don’t buy self-help dating books. Women do in droves, but men don’t.
But a happily married friend suggested that I should write this list because as he put it.
Some men just have no clue
And because I get a lot of men on this blog searching for all sorts of knowledge about dating, I thought I would give it a shot. So based on my experience and an extremely unscientific poll of feedback from my female friends, ranging in age from early 20′s to late 50′s I came up with this list. Many of these are obvious and universal as they apply to both genders. And mind you I am far from the “perfect” dater. I make every mistake known to man…and then some. But in the interest of the public good….here we go.
These tips apply to when you are actually on a date with a woman…not before. Online dating tips are another thing entirely.
Tip #1 – Don’t forget to compliment the woman on her appearance. So this one is huge! You don’t have to say much but you had better believe that whomever agreed to go out with you or meet you for a drink has spent a great deal of time on their wardrobe, hair and makeup. Even the less is more type of gal is going to want to impress, so a simple…”You look nice”, or “You look lovely” will do. It is always a huge mistake to say nothing, especially on date number one or two when you barely know the woman. When a man says nothing to me, I assume they are not that interested.
Tip #2 – Don’t look cheap – Now the amount of money does not have to be huge….it can be as little as a drink, but under no circumstances meet her somewhere and go dutch. It is just rude, especially on the first date and especially if you were the one asking her out. You don’t need to buy an elaborate meal, and you don’t need to spend a small fortune. But at least OFFER, she may decline but it is a nice gesture. Even if you think that in 2012 you shouldn’t have to do this, it is simple common courtesy to offer something even just a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.
Tip #3 – Don’t bitch about ex-girlfriends or ex-wives – Difficult I know if you are divorced…as I know. But it is best to keep things light, you might mention the divorce or breakup but then do not bash your ex or go on and on about her. It just makes the woman feel completely ignored and as if she is some type of free therapist…BAD FORM
Tip #4 – Don’t complain about money, that you have no money or that you are broke…even if you are broke. Again you need not be a Rockafeller to impress your date. I know of countless men without a ton of income, that do quite well with the ladies. When you bitch about your finances you might make the woman uncomfortable or feel obligated to somehow take care of you. It is a lot of pressure and totally inappropriate. You can bring this up later but right off the bat…it’s generally a bad idea.
Tip #5 – Don’t start talking about sex right off the bat – Now this one is true in most cases unless you met this woman on a hook-up site or for the express purposes of just having sex with her. If that is the case then by all means, but in most cases you will just freak out your date and she will want nothing to do with you.
Tip #6 – Don’t text or talk on the phone in front of your date – If it is a work related matter that you can get to quickly and get back to the date right away, then by all means do what you need to do, but apologize profusely and get back to you date immediately. Don’t make a habit of it, and don’t constantly check your email or text messages in front of your date.
Tip #7 – Don’t go on a bitch fest - So many times I have sat down at a table with a perfect stranger and they just go off on some rant that I am not even sure what it entails. It makes a horrible first impression and it is best avoided.
Tip #8 – Don’t go down a laundry list of questions – Sure everyone loves to talk about themselves but you can make a person feel interrogated when you simply throw one question right after another. This is not a job interview relax, talk about something light like the weather. Don’t ask your date if she wants children on a first date – you are putting her on the spot and it is WAY too early to worry about that yet. Also wait for her answer. I can’t tell you how many dates I have gone on where a man asks me a question, only to cut me off before I answered it.
Tip #9 – Avoid Lightening Rod Topics – Again obvious but you would be surprised what I have heard from friends…abortion, politics, rape, religion, avoid anything that might immediately polarize and alienate you from your new potential partner. It is one thing if you already have a good idea of the person’s religious or political beliefs from an online dating profile or if you know you have similar beliefs. But this is not time to preach or convert…if you never want to see the woman again, then this is a sure-fire way to make that happen.
Tip #10 – Don’t ask about her former boyfriends or how many sexual partners she has had – This one is just plain rude. A general rule of thumb is if you wouldn’t feel comfortable answering something don’t ask another person. And although men might like to brag about how high their number of partners might be, women are usually the opposite. There are always exceptions to this rule however as some of my female friends make no bones about having a plethora of partners.
Tip #11 – Don’t take her somewhere where you can’t talk – Movies are terrible as you won’t be able to engage in much conversation, as are many music venues. Keep it simple, but make sure if this person is a relative stranger to you. You might find that she will like you MORE if you actually talk. Rather than taking her someplace impressive where you will barely share a few sentences between each other.
Tip #12 - Bring up another woman you want to go out with – Think I am kidding on this one? It just happened. A somewhat nervous man trying to forward the conversation openly admitted to correspondence with another woman (one I happened to know) on an online dating website. He said he hadn’t gone out with her yet, but was hoping to eventually meet her because he found her fascinating. I couldn’t make this one up….NEXT! I have made the mistake of talking about past men, but never a man I wanted to go out with in the future…that is madness. Also tacky to tell a petite woman how much you have a crush on a celebrity that is tall and curvy, the same goes with going on and on about how hot a tall and slender blonde celebrity is when you are on a date with a shorter curvy gal. Like it or not she is going to make the assumption that whomever you are describing is what you prefer. DON’T COMPARE YOUR DATE WITH ANOTHER WOMAN. After you have been dating a while and you feel like things are established, then this kind of talk is fine. But when you are just getting to know someone just don’t go there, unless of course you are describing some celebrity your date happens to resemble then it’s not so bad.
Tip #13 – Force her into a socially awkward situation – Don’t also try to meet up with friends, even friends from out-of-town and then force your date to hang out with them. Your date is essentially a total stranger to you, forcing her into a social situation with a new person, or a bunch of new people is just going to make her more anxious. When you make the date, and force your date into meeting more new people because it is convenient for you, you are essentially telling your date that she is not that important, and the date is not that important. It is a bad call, rude and it shows you have no game. A first date is not the time for multitasking, if you blow it, you probably won’t get a second chance. If you would rather see your out-of-town friends, then don’t plan the date on the same night, or end the date and then go hang out with your old friends.
Tip #14 – Openly criticize your date – Look these situations are strange for everyone, for you and your date. It might take a minute for you both to calm down and really start talking. If you make a judgment on your date, she will most likely shut down immediately and just want to leave. And no one wants criticism like this, especially from a virtual stranger and when they are vulnerable on a date. If you date is being overtly rude to you, it might be time to just end the date and go home. But if you WANT to see this woman again, don’t pick her apart. This might seem like common sense, but it happens more than people think. I have heard way too many stories and had my own experiences with this one. Personal pet peeve – Hey I thought you were a comedian, why aren’t you funnier? – Well maybe because I am not ALWAYS working. If I here that particular question one more time I am getting up and walking out.
If anyone has more tips for me I will gladly add them.