Image courtesy of Lisa L Wiedmeier
When it comes to dating, have you ever wondered “where did I go wrong?” With Valentine’s Day happening next week, we've come up with a helpful guide of do’s and don’ts for men on dates.
*p/s: a lot of these pointers do go beyond gender and sexual orientation. These were simply the reoccurring themes mentioned by women I spoke to.
1 | Leave your baggage at the door
Screenshot from How I Met Your Mother- Season 5 Episode 23 : The Wedding Bride
We understand that for some, dating someone new may be a means to getting over someone from your past. But bringing her up on a date is a mistake. What if she brings up your ex, you ask? Keep your responses short and courteous. Never compare the two. Remember, bringing up fond memories won't do you any favours. Ultimately, it’s best to solve any lingering inner turmoil before turning up for coffee.
2 | Keep calm and carry on conversation
Screenshot from Friends - Season 9 Episode 14 :The One With the Blind Dates
Let's get to some conversational etiquette. There should be an equal chance of listening and speaking. Don’t get too carried away when the topic is on you. Ask questions about her. Let’s say the opposite happens where a connection on an app/text doesn't translate offline; try to remember what was on her profile beforehand, pick up on some of her interests. Avoid cliché lines like "you're not like other girls". It is a statement disguised as a compliment but also makes her wonder if you are someone who doesn't talk to many girls or groups them into stereotypes.
3 | Where's your head at?
Screenshots from Instagram by Unspirational (@tindernightmares)
In the era of dating post-Harvey Weinstein, this seems to be the number rule. Do not get handsy too soon into a first date. There is a nuance here especially when intentions and flirtations can be taken out of context. Be clear with yourself and your date – what do you want from this? If possible, make sure both of you are on the same page before meeting to avoid dissapointment. Pick up on signals and cues. If all else fails, it’s ok to ask. The worst that can happen is she says no and your ego is bruised. One quick way to turn any date off is to eye up another woman, even if your waitress is a Scarlett Johansson doppelganger.
4 | Pin that location
Image courtesy of Roy
The “where” is a vital part of planning a date. If you're unsure of how the date is going to go, an easy, non-committal drink or chat over brunch works. Settling on a place beforehand makes you appear like you can take control and do something with intention. Being indecisive isn’t a great first impression. Going to a cinema or a loud bar is not the most favourable environment to get to know someone. What you may want to avoid is showing up on a date and going “where do you want to go”. There’s going to be a high chance where you’ll get a resounding – “I don’t know, you decide”.
5 | Rude boys finish last
Image courtesy of duncan c
Don’t be rude to staff and people around you. Put it this way, who really benefits when you’re rude to a waiter or someone who accidentally bumps into you? Show her instead a sense of compassion and the ability to let things go. It all comes down to which you prioritise; your ego or your date's impression of you.
Ultimately the biggest tip of all is to remember that dating is meant to be fun and enjoyable especially in its early days. Don’t take yourself or the situation too seriously. This person intends to date you so put down your walls, set aside those façades and get out there!