I’m not a dating coach but I probably could be. I wish I’d kept track of all the dates I’ve had. This is not a brag, it feels more humiliating and sad, but I’ve probably dated over 250 women.
I can feel your judgmental questions. What is every woman not good enough for you? Are you being too picky? Are you only looking at flaws and focusing on those? Did you give it enough time? Are you looking in the right places? Are you waiting for the perfect woman? And my personal favorite, what’s wrong with you? Shut up and save your judgements. I’m not being defensive. I’m confident I’ve done my best and the truth is, I haven’t met the right woman yet.
With all this experience, I’ve developed some dating best practices. These have made dating easier and more tolerable for me.
1. Rip off the band-aid
Both sides know quickly if it’s a match. Yes, it takes time to get to know someone, but usually you know right away if there’s any chemistry. Go with your gut and don’t waste her time, or yours. If your gut tells you it’s not a match then trust it and follow through like a gentleman. Within a few hours after the date is over, send her text letting her know how you feel and…
2. Be honest but not hurtful
Practice truth with grace. There’s no reason to be blunt, rude, or mean to a woman you’re dating. By going on a date with you she’s made herself vulnerable to you. She may have been rude, uninterested, or using you for a Tinder dinner. Let all that go. It’s not your place to reveal her ostensible flaws. Keep your communication honest, direct, and kind. If you’re not sure about your message, run it by a trusted female friend before sending.
3. Don’t put all your cards on the table at once
We all have a past, but you’re not obligated to share it on a first date. Do you have a kid? Multiple divorces? Your innermost desires in a relationship? They don’t have to be revealed right from the start. This information is important, but sharing it early on could derail things and it’s not appropriate. It’s not that a woman can’t handle your past, of course she can. Trust me, if you like each other and there’s real chemistry, the right time will emerge for this. Wait for it.
4. Be yourself
Everyone says to be yourself on dates. What does that even mean? Don’t create a character based on what you think she wants. Don’t be something you’re not in order to gain her approval. Share your real opinions, ideas, and thoughts. If you’re into working on your Raspberry Pi talk about it. If your thing is Giallo films, talk about it. If you love obstacle racing on the weekends tell her.
When you talk about the things you care about and are passionate about your real personality is revealed. This is attractive. These are things that make you unique and interesting. Some of these may turn her off. She may have zero interest in what you love, but when she sees you come alive when you talk about your passions, it’s good. Which leads to one of my favorite things…
5. You can’t say the wrong thing to the right woman
This philosophy was liberating for me. I think this is one of the most important ideas in dating. A lot of guys worry about what to say and how to act. If I’m being my authentic self (as described above) then she’s going to recoil, or be attracted. This is all out of my control. This approach removes the expectations, worries, questions, doubts, and fears in dating communication.
I’ve said some truly dumb things to a woman before. Guess what? She shrugged it off because she liked me. If she’s into you she’ll look past your stupid remark. Hopefully she’ll even give you a hard time about it. That’s when you know it’s on!
6. Always pick up the tab
Guys should always pick up the tab. When the date is winding down and you’ve asked for the check, have your card or cash ready. As soon as the bill lands on the table do not hesitate. Pick it up immediately and pay for it. This removes an awkward conversation of who is paying and how to pay, and honestly, it’s a slick move. I guarantee, if you continue seeing the same woman, she will eventually beat you to the check and pay. I once had a woman say, “Do not argue with me, I’m paying for this one.” If that happens thank her and let her pay. Until then, it’s all on you.
7. Learn some chivalry basics
They say chivalry is dead but I disagree. Start with a few simple things.
Walk on the outside on the street. This means you should always be closest to the curb. If she is on the outside then gracefully position yourself so you are on the outside. For women that know this rule, they love it.
Open doors. Open her car door. Open entrance doors. A bonus move is making sure her seat belt is securely fastened.
Assuming you picked her up at her house, at the end of the date, get out of your car and walk her to her door. If she met you out somewhere, walk her to her car and make sure she leaves safely.
If you want to go super old school pull out her chair as she sits down, and stand if she gets up from the table. Watch Mad Men to see what I mean.
I know a lot of feminists will scoff at these ideas and maybe even argue with me, but here’s my attitude. When I’m dating a woman, it’s my job to make her feel safe and secure in my presence. This is someone’s daughter or sister, or maybe someone’s mother. I’d want her parents to appreciate how I treat her. For me these actions are signs of respect to a woman, not that she’s weak and can’t take care of herself.
8. Communicate when you want to communicate
If you want to call, call. If you want to text, then text. Do not fall into the trap of communication rules. She’s an adult and can decide for herself what to do. However, once you’ve sent the message, that’s it! Do not follow up. No matter how much you want to hear from her, no matter how much you like her, do not send a second message. If she wants to talk to you, she’ll respond. If she doesn’t then move on. Which leads me to…
9. Express interest but don’t be needy
So many times when I was interested in a woman I’d obsess over a reply. This is senseless. You’ve got to let it go. Remember you cannot say the wrong thing if she’s right for you. Women are intuitive and usually know if you like them. This is where your confidence is key. Know that you are a good guy with a lot to offer the right woman. (If you don’t feel that way work on figuring out why.) If she wants you in her life she will let you know and will make room for you.
This is a broader topic but remember a relationship will not make you happy. Your happiness comes from within, not from her approval of you. Always in life remember, anything outside of yourself does not determine your happiness or worth. This is especially true in dating.
10. Make the first move
If things have progressed well and there’s mutual attraction, congrats! It’s a rare thing to find. You’re a guy so if you like her, she probably already knows.
Again, I’m sure my feminist friends might argue, but I believe the man should make the first move in escalating to a physical level. It’s like picking up the check. Remove the guesswork. Take the lead and kiss her. As soon as you start the move you’ll know where you stand. She’ll leave zero room for doubt here.
My personal thought is don’t go for the kiss on the first date. That is way too soon. There are exceptions to this rule but they’re extremely rare. On a first date, I suggest going for the hug and leave it at that.
11. Always make the plans
I believe it’s my job to make the plans for a date. I also apply the 1o date rule here. Plan those first 10 dates. If she’s comfortable with you picking her up at her place, then do that and do not be late. Tell her where you’re going so that she can tell someone where she’ll be. She has no reason whatsoever to trust you early on.
If you make it to 10 dates with a woman, somewhere along the way she’ll ask you to join her in something she wants to do. Odds are you won’t have to plan all 10.
Guys what are some of your dating best practices? Women, what do you wish guys would do better when dating?