Men: Don’t FAIL on that First Date!
How to WIN your woman’s heart and Secure that 2nd Date...
Part 1 in our First-Date Series for Men!
Guys, let me set the scene for you: You’ve met a girl - whether online, through buddies or maybe at work. You’ve chatted a bit, texted, emailed and maybe exchanged a few sexy pics (here’s hoping!). But, then comes the inevitable ‘first date’ and THE FEAR sets in. You wonder: Will she like me in person? Will she like what I’m wearing? What if I blow it and say the wrong thing? What will we even talk about? You had so much to say online, but this is real life! There’s no screen or phone to hide behind. Your palms sweat, your shirt collar feels two sizes too small and you’re worried you might just trip on your own feet! Though it has its element of excitement, that first live connection could spell disaster or it could move you into the next phase of your relationship.
So, what can you do to make your first date a Winner and not an internet-worthy Fail? Read our First Date Tips, compiled from the best sources on dating, mating and the relationship game.
Take Charge and Be a Man!
We’re not saying be macho, nor are we giving you a free pass to be an egotistical jerk. That turns most women off. Rather, be decisive! Especially if you’re the one asking her out. Plan your date carefully. Don’t just go with the same tired reply: ‘Whatever you want. You decide.” That uncaring and cavalier attitude won’t buy you anything and you potentially want to see this woman naked, right? “Women love a man with a plan,” say the dating experts at match.com, “so be sure you’ve got at least one great idea of what you’d like to do on the big date.” That doesn’t mean you can’t ask her opinion. But it might go off better if you already have a plan and then simply ask, “Was there something in particular you wanted to do?” She may veto your suggestions, but she’ll be impressed, knowing you haven’t just kicked back and left all the planning up to her.
Extra Tip: Plan a date with a certain adrenaline factor! Frightening experiences get your pulse racing and these physiological responses bear a striking resemblance to sexual arousal. “The mind mistakes any sort of arousal for sexual attraction, and will attribute this excitement to whomever you're with,” says David Givens, Ph.D., an anthropologist at the Center for Nonverbal Studies. And we’re not suggesting anything risky. You don’t have to go base jumping or hang gliding to get the same effect. Eating spicy food can do the very same thing!
Show Her Your Lancelot Side
Nothing is sexier than good manners. No, we’re not going to make you read Emily Post’s guide to etiquette. You’re not meeting the Queen. But, holding that door or pulling out that chair may earn you some extra points because you’re actually proving that chivalry is not dead! Even strongly independent women will tell you that the little niceties go a long way! In fact, it will help you stand out from the crowd. “This small act of politeness is very visual and memorable,” explains Mindy Kaling in her latest book: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? She says: “When the guys in my building do this, I totally notice and appreciate it.”
Remember to compliment her when you see her at your meeting place, suggests match.com, and let her order first, or ask if you can order your favorite appetizer for both of you to share. Then, thank her at date’s end for a lovely evening, and reference something specific, like, “What a great night. I never knew that manatees were called sea cows!” It shows that you’ve been listening, which is the ultimate turn-on.
Be a Good Conversationalist!
You’ve made it to the dinner table or hockey seats or movie theatre or whatever, now what? Do you just stare at her, wide-eyed and gap-toothed and simply think of her undressing while the drool hits the floor? No! Good conversation is the key to keeping any date humming along! It makes any initial awkwardness disappear and it also gives you a chance to learn something completely new about the person you’re with. But, you don’t want to make bad small talk. Nothing’s worse! Even silence might be preferable.
Here’s a tip: Keep the Question Ratio at least 1:1.
If she asks you where you're from, answer, and then accept that as an opportunity to reciprocate with a question. Questions are great first date ice-breakers because they actually enable you to get to know one another. If she's sitting there, firing off questions and you don't respond in kind, it's a clear indicator that you're either a) not interested, or b) self-absorbed. “Ask her about her day, her neighborhood, where she grew up — and actually listen to her answers,” suggest dating experts at Men’s Fitness Magazine. Listening is the important thing. And don’t just nod and smile as she rambles on. Ask follow-up questions and reference what she says. That shows that you’re really engaged, which, in turn, will reassure her that you DO find her interesting and that you’re actually interested in who she is as a person. Nothing is sexier to a woman!
Bringing Up Bad Topics or Trying Too Hard
Do not use the following words on a first date: Prison, Rape Whistle, Alimony, Baby Momma or STDs... (Not a good idea)
Keep it light and easy and don’t be too serious! This is a first date. It's important to keep the conversation pleasant and positive. Ask about hobbies and passions rather than taboo subjects like religion, politics, or money. And don’t try to be funny. Don't try to be anything! Just be yourself. “If you've been honest on your profile or in your online interactions,” explains perfectmatch.com, “it's you that has brought her out on this date, and it's you that she wants to get to know.” Be honest and open about who you are and what you’re looking for, and if the connection is there, then it is. If you have nothing in common, it’s better to find that out now, rather than weeks later. Also, avoid talking about past relationships. This is a big no-no. If your last relationship is all you can talk about on a first date, then perhaps you're not quite ready for dating yet.
Getting distracted... ‘What was that? You say’...
Listen closely: When you’re out with a lady, she expects to be treated like one. So, don’t sit across the table and dream or doze off. Worse, don’t pick up that cell phone and start texting! Pay attention to her and listen to what she has to say. Be attentive to her needs. If you see her glass of water half empty, have a waiter refill it. If she wonders what ‘a-la-carte’ means, then help her out. Don’t distract yourself with things that can be put on hold. Here are some of the things that should NEVER distract you: Staring at a girl’s cleavage. Don’t. She’ll inevitably catch you. No one is that good! DO NOT answer phone calls. If it’s an emergency, make sure that call is short and only take it after excusing yourself from the table. She doesn’t need to hear that your ‘emergency call’ is just a buddy keeping you up to date on the latest basketball score. If it's possible, keep the offending piece of technology out of sight altogether, but if you need to plop it on the table, silence it and put it face-down to keep it from distracting you. And if you’re out at a venue where there may be TV’s, like a sports bar, don’t let a Flat Screen be your main focus. Women notice when your eyes are scanning back and forth between them and the game. Keep your eye on the Prize! Which should be your date and nothing else.
Getting Touchy-Feely Too Fast.
We all know you want to get to the good stuff. Even if the conversation is positively scintillating, you’re still looking forward to a little physical contact by the time the night is through. Maybe some hand-holding, hugging or kissing? But, if your date isn’t ready for contact yet- she may stiffen when you approach her or turn her cheek when you go for a kiss- its best not to spook her with too much physicality, too soon. According to eHarmony experts, women can find this behaviour unappealing and even creepy. The problem is: How do you show your affection for her without passing into ‘creeper’ territory? “Men are often confused about what makes a romantic date different than just hanging out with a friend,” explains eHarmony editors. “They feel some pressure to turn up the romance, so they won't get dumped into the friend category. This often leads to forcing things in an awkward way.”
Your best bet? Create subtle opportunities for contact and watch her body language to see how it’s received. Try these subtle moves. A handshake with a cozy twist: Clasp your date’s palm in one hand and put your other hand on top, warmly encircling her wrist. Or, try a seamless handshake-to-hug combo by grasping your date’s hand, then pull her slightly towards you and encircle her with your other arm. And unless you’re getting clear signs your date’s dying to be kissed—as in, she remains in your personal space with a smile and lots of direct eye contact—resist the urge to plant one on the lips or even the cheek. There will be plenty of time for that later and at least you have something to look forward to on Date #2!
STOP! Style Check!
How to dress for that all-important date? Think about the venue. Where are you meeting her? Then, dress appropriately. A casual meet-up at a low-key pub calls for something more casual and fun. This is NOT the place to wear a suit- even if you look smokin’ hot in one. T-shirts, like a great V-neck or crew, can pair easily with a great leather jacket and a killer pair of boots. But, if your girl is more the fancy dinner and flowers type stick to a crisp button-down with a nicely-fitted jacket and dress pants. But, no tie! Ties are way too stuffy, unless they’re the trendy ‘slim’ variety.
On the grooming side...Remember the prep essentials: Shower and Shave. Basic hygiene is expected. You can also wear a nice cologne, something not too strong, but just a hint of fragrance that will make her want to smell you all night long. Not a bad way to get close! Pay attention to your nails. People often look to the hands and feet to determine their first impressions. Take care of your teeth. Brush before your date and use a mouthwash to ensure a fresh clean mouth- perfect for kissing should the night go your way. If your teeth have a yellow or unattractive tinge, you might need to fix that. After all, your smile should be the first thing she sees and you don't want her running the other way before the date's even started! Consider using whitening strips to bleach out unwanted stains. For even better results, book a professional whitening treatment. It's worth the investment and you can never go wrong with a winning, bright smile!
Extra Tip: Have problems with acne breakouts? You don’t want to show up on that first date with a face full of pimples! Use amen’s face scrub at least 2-3 times a week. It sloughs off dead skin cells that trap dirt and oil beneath the skin. Regular exfoliation can even prevent breakouts or at least shorten their duration. If your skin is really bad, you might want to book a cleansing men’s facial or a facial treatment designed for acne-prone skin, like our PCA Clinical Facials and Peels. A session or two of microdermabrasion can also help to remove the top damaged layers of skin to reveal a fresh complexion that will be a hit with any date!
It’s pretty easy. Keep away from extremes. Don’t wear something old, stuffy and just not you or something which belongs in a dirty hamper! Add to that list of no-no’s: Shoes which are way too polished or too casual, like flip-flops- why would you even wear those in winter? If you’re wearing jeans, keep your denim dark, slim and plain. "Tricked-up" jeans with too much bling will not impress. Did we mention: Don't Wear a Suit! It’s too buttoned-up for a time when you're supposed to be natural and charming.
Cardinal rule: Don’t overdo the grooming! For example, cologne is great, but too much of a good thing can be overwhelming! More than 2-3 sprays and the room might start smelling like the fragrance counter as Sears. Just a few sprays will get you through the evening. If in doubt, skip the cologne. Also, don’t use too much hair gel or pomade. It can give your hair a crunchy or greasy look. Use your product as directed and only enough to achieve your look. Even better? Practice styling a few days before so that it’s perfect for the big day.
Also, read our tips on Mascaping, for more intimate grooming suggestions and advice...
Now, go out there and meet your date with confidence and style! And if you need a few more inside tips to make sure your date runs smooth, watch for Part 2 in our First-Date Series for Men. Coming Soon! Just in time for that big date in February...
10 First Date Tips Just For Men By eHarmony Staff; url: http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/dating-tips-men/10-first-date-tips-just-for-men/#.VLRcSCvF9O8
The Very Best First-Date Moves By Julie Taylor; Match.com; url: http://www.match.ca/magazine/article/6790/The-Very-Best-First-Date-Moves/
Click on a First Date! By Matt Schneiderman; match.com; url: http://www.match.ca/magazine/article/6013/First-Dates-Dos-And-Donts-To-Create-Chemistry/
Ace your very first Date! By Cate Mitchell; match.com; url: http://www.match.ca/magazine/article/6152/Ace-Your-Very-First-Date/
First Date Tips for Men By lovepanky.com; url: http://www.lovepanky.com/men/attracting-and-dating-women/first-date-tips-for-men
Mindy Kaling’s Guide To Being A Dateable Guy By CHIARA ATIK; url: http://www.thedatereport.com/dating/eating/1278-mindy-kaling-s-guide-to-being-a-dateable-guy/
14 First-Date Dos & Don'ts By Perfect Match , found at yourtango.com: url: http://www.yourtango.com/2013171837/14-tips-your-first-date-online-match#.VLRmSyvF9O8
THE DO'S AND DON'TS OF DRESSING FOR A FIRST DATE By Andrew D. Luecke; esquire.com; url: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/mens-fashion/dressing-for-a-first-date-100314#slide-1
First Date Checklist: 10 Men’s Grooming Tips By MensScience Magazine; url: http://www.mensciencemagazine.com/10-mens-grooming-tips-for-a-great-first-date
Things to avoid on a first date By Lovepanky.com; url: http://www.lovepanky.com/men/attracting-and-dating-women/things-to-avoid-on-a-first-date
Nine Ways to Scare a Woman Away By eHarmony Staff; url: http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/dating/nine-ways-to-scare-a-woman-away/#.VLRcsyvF9O8
10 THINGS NOT TO SCREW UP ON A FIRST DATE BY Elizabeth Yun; Men’s Fitness Magazine; url: http://www.mensfitness.com/women/dating-advice/10-things-not-to-screw-up-on-a-first-date