- Gender and Relationships
The Rules and Etiquette of Dating
This Could Be The One
Dating has been difficult since the middle ages. Whether it's the first date or "the" date, there are some simple rules which can make dating easier, less stressful and actually fun for both of you. There's no reason to get stressed out. Take it easy and have fun but if this is your first date, keep it simple.
Men and dating can be like shaking a mouse in a box - a complete and total haphazard mess. I've heard it said many times that men will never understand women. Now that we're in the 21st century, we should have a better handle on this. Most men would probably want to agree that they are much more capable than previously stated.
- It's not cool to treat a woman badly in front of your friends. That went out of style in the 80s. What is cool is to be a good man, a strong man and an excellent role model for other men.
- If you are phenomenal on the first date, it's what a woman will always expect. Open doors, pull out chairs and please don't order meals unless we ask you to.
- Don't get overly intoxicated in public. When your drinking problem becomes everyone's drinking problem, your hotness level went from 9 to 4. Stick with the 2-drink maximum or don't drink at all. You want to have all of your faculties when you gaze into her eyes.
- Put your cell phone on silent. The only person who could possibly need to speak to you during this important first date is your mother. Aside from mom, everyone else can wait.
- Don't talk about your ex-girlfriends or your buddies. There are a million things in the world to discuss. Your personal history should remain in the vaults of your head forever. Even if she asks, tell her that it's just not worth discussing. Ex-girlfriends are almost always a sore subject so let them rest.
- First dates should be innocent and not x-rated. You don't want any woman to have to do the walk-of-shame on the first date.
- Pick her up at the front door and walk her back to the front door - no excuses.
- Look at her in the eyes when you speak to her so that she knows you are paying attention. This is an easy way to score some points. Any time you want to spend some quick quality time with your girl, take 5-10 minutes just listening to her. You may not be the least bit interested in what she's saying but the important part is that you're paying attention. Believe me, there are times when she's looking you square in the eye and your words are flying right by.
- Don't expect that a woman will be perfect. If you are looking for perfection, pick up a copy of Cinderella or Snow White. Humans are hopelessly flawed. You just have to look for the flaws you can live with.
- If you ask a woman on a date, it's your responsibility to pay for the activities of the evening. If your intention is to win the heart of a woman, then you should start by acting responsibly. It's foul play to ask a woman on a date and then expect her to go Dutch. If a woman asks you on a date, it's still a good idea to offer to pay although it's not mandatory. Never assume that she'll be picking up the tab. Women like to be taken care-of at times and a first date is a great time to show your honor and individuality. While some women argue that they prefer to go it alone, your chances of winning her heart are better if you're not a cheapskate.
Things You Should Keep to Yourself
- Foul language
- Your personal past
- Things that happen in the privacy of your restroom - NEVER talk about this. No one wants to hear it.
Some days (some) women are are masterful logical thinkers. Other days, logic is like mud and glue got sprinkled in the river of your thoughts. There are some common mistakes that can lead to love road-rash and emotional breakdown.
- The crazy stalker girl turns into crazy cat woman. Be self-aware and don't be consumed with landing a guy. When the time is right, your relationship will fall into place.
- Don't play mind games with a man. Once you start playing games, it becomes a turn-off not a chase.
- Attachment to a man is not the reason you were born but it can make your life good. It's important that you maintain a sense of self when falling in love. Don't lose your personality because you are too busy being his girlfriend.
- Never confuse love and money. They are two horns on different goats. If your goal is to get rich then you should get an education and get a good job. Never date or marry for money because you will most likely land yourself in divorce court and the Lord won't save you if you sign a pre-nup.
- Pregnancies don't always end in relationships and marriage. It's better to be alone for the right reasons than together for the wrong ones. Don't find yourself in a bitter relationship because of poor choices.
- Less is more except when it comes to your outfit. If you dress like a floozy you could get mistaken for one.
- Refrain from over-sharing about every opinion and detail you have written down in the notebook in your purse. While he's making an effort to gaze into your eyes he could probably care less that Clinique or Estée Lauder is having a gift giveaway this week. Ask him about his day, work or his family. The next time you see him (prepare for your second date girls) you can follow up.
- Stick with the 2-drink maximum. If you maintain a sense of integrity and class you will be less likely to have to take the walk-of-shame and you will feel much better about yourself at the end of the evening. Public intoxication is not pretty and it doesn't scream "long term."
- It's best if you maintain a sense of mystery at the conclusion of the date. If the date is a success, ask him to call you. Don't light-up his Facebook, cell phone or home phone and curb the inclination to wear a path on the street in front of his house. If he likes you, he'll call.
- Regardless of how positive you are that you are head-over-heals, madly and hopelessly in love with the man who just bought you a double cheeseburger and fries, saying, "I love you" on the first date is not appropriate. You should be like a beautiful anomaly, not an annoying absurdity.
As you maneuver your way through dating, keep a healthy perspective on life. Laugh when it's appropriate and don't take things too seriously. It doesn't matter how you put a couple together. What matters is that you work as a team, compromise and learn to love. Love is not immediate, it's long term. The ignition is what's important. Once you have a flame, the rest is up to you to make it work and it is work. Best of luck.