Tuesday, August 31, 2010

First Date Advice For Women

Elise Nersesian has contributed to Redbook and Cosmopolitan. So when she offers "5 Ways to Win Him Over" on a first date, I'm not quite sure what she means. Is she trying to give advice about how to foster conditions for the best first date, or how to get a guy you already want to want you? Unless it is a blind date, he's already attracted to you, or he wouldn't be there. I'll take a crack at her suggestions anyway.

What really matters to a guy on date number one?
That depends. If they are Category 4, the guy wants to get to sex as soon as possible. He's not really going to be listening to what you have to say other than to see if any the info you provide will help reach his goal. If he's Category 3, he's going to be looking for signs you're wife material.

1. Appreciate his effort - Odds are, the guy planned the date.

2. Embrace the awkwardness - A blank stare here, an uneasy silence there - sounds painful, right? Not so. Even the most successful dates have at least a few awkward moments.

And what if you’re not nervous, but it’s obvious that your date is? Don’t just talk over him. Draw him out on topics he clearly cares about - why did he have a hard time deciding between the Shiraz and the Pinot Noir?
That sounds a good way to get to know him better, too.

3. Turn off your cell phone - Lots of people are obsessed with their cell phone or BlackBerry, but taking calls in front of your date sends serious signals that he’s not worth your undivided attention…Same goes for text messaging or vibrating BlackBerrys. But if you must answer calls for work, just clue your guy in ahead of time so he’s prepared for an interruption, and make sure to apologize when it does buzz.
Guys should seriously consider getting up and leaving the date if she does anything with her phone. Her friends know she's on a first date and would only be contacting her to make sure she hasn't been left in a dark alley – so all she'd have to do is give a short code response like, "It's OK". There's a good chance that the person she's in contact with is the guy she's going to be having sex with after you pay for her dinner. Category 3 guys can excuse interruptions for family (parent, sibling) emergencies and work. Category 4 guys don't want to put up the hassle. Minor children calling? You shouldn’t be dating a single mother. But she can still use the phone in the restroom without you knowing.

4. Don’t grill the guy! …If the conversation isn’t flowing that easily, try to get your date to ponder fun, feel-good thoughts. Try something like, “What’s your favorite childhood memory?” Or, “If you could vacation anywhere in the world, where wouldyou go?”
Good. Except that one question you should definitely ask is why he's dating. Is he dating to find someone to eventually marry? Is he dating because he likes having dinner with someone else? Is he dating primarily for sex? If you're not a match on this question, then you can either get up and leave immediately, or you can enjoy the rest of the date without taking it too seriously.

5. Provide the positive reinforcement - Simply put, people like people who like them back. So if you’re having a good time, don’t be afraid to let your guy know how much you’re digging him.

“Some guys go for the hard-to-get woman,” says Paul, 37. “But even if she’s got some of that attitude, sooner or later you want to know that you’ve broken through, that you’ve won her over.”
If a guy really likes that, then he's probably the kind of guy who is all about the conquest and will move on after he gets there. Category 3 guys are turned off if a woman seems so malleable or so eager or so desperate that she’s going to give ego strokes to any guy. But otherwise, the more upbeat and appreciative you are, the better.

Here my tips in addition to the good ones above.

If you're looking for a Category 4 guy (and some of you are), it is okay to skip the formalities. Sure, you want to meet him in a neutral location to confirm he’s not obviously dangerous lunatic. Otherwise, as long as you don’t give any indication that you have children, want children soon, have a transferrable disease, or are a stalker, you can pretty much say anything and it won't matter because he'll still do ya.

Offer to pay half. Unless you're living in your father or brother’s home and looking after your younger siblings or nieces & nephews and the house, you should be earning your own income just as much as he is expected to be earning his own income. If he refuses to allow that, especially if he cites the fact that he asked for and planned the date, then tell him you'll plan and pay for the next date. This is also a sneaky way of taking the conversation to whether or not there will be a next date. Under such circumstances, he'll probably decline a second date only if he can't stand you or is a control freak.

Don't spend much time complaining about past dates. Mentioning a dating disaster or two is one thing, but going on and on with complaints about dates (or anything, for that matter) is a turn off.

Don't criticize other women in the vicinity. It makes you look insecure. The exception to this is if he says something negative about one of them, like "She's had too much to drink" or "She shouldn't be wearing that here." Offering your opinion on that precise thing is fine. But if you stray into "And her eyebrows are too thick", you're on thin ice.

If he opens doors for you, offers his arm during a walk, moves your chair for you, carries your leftovers, or any of those other "old fashioned" things, do thank him.

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