*Disclaimer: The following paragraphs mostly apply to taking out a girl that you’ve got real interest in, not just a fling or someone you can’t see yourself with for very long.
I think it’s safe to say that “dinner and a movie” has been the go-to date plan since, well, movies were invented. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a classic – but it doesn’t convey originality.
As simple as it is, there are a few questions that arise – do you do dinner or the movie first? Who picks the movie? Is 2 hours of silence awkward with someone if it’s early on in the relationship? And mostly – is that really the best you could do?
Furthermore, what does dinner and a movie have to do with the other person’s interests?
No two women you take out will be the same – so why would you take them on the same date?
For the sake of this article, I will speak under the assumption that the male in the equation has done most of the date planning, as this is the perspective I’m speaking from.
It’s 2013. Odds are, if you’re going out on a date with someone, you may already be speaking to them via Facebook, text, Twitter, whatever. This means you probably have a bit of an idea regarding their likes and interests. A little Facebook stalking might be in order to see what kind of music he/she likes, what books they’ve read, and where they like to hang out. After all, this gives you a deeper idea of whether or not a relationship could even work in the long run.
This also is a big advantage when it comes to planning a date.
First, guys, I always offer to pick the girl up from her place (Get out and open the door when you arrive, seriously). Suggesting she meets you at your destination shows a lack of effort on your part and may make her feel as though you’re more apathetic towards the whole situation than you really are.
If she’s uncomfortable with you coming to her place early in the relationship, casually go with it and agree to meet at the destination – what matters is that you show your willingness to put the effort forth.
The amount of effort you put into even the first few dates, will speak volumes about how seriously you are taking this girl. If you lead off with “Hey, I’m meeting some friends down at the bar later, want to come get a drink?” it’s heard as “Hey, I’m not interested enough to commit my time to you but let’s get inebriated together and see where the night goes.”
If you live near a city, there are likely fun, less conventional things to do. You don’t have to go nuts putting together an international event with media coverage – but find some cool places to go where you can both enjoy your surroundings, and each other. For the record, I do think getting dinner is a good idea, as it does give you the opportunity to sit and chat, but I prefer to do it as a second phase of the night, after another activity.
Does she appreciate art? It’s easy to take a walk around a museum, or even create some together! Is she into nature? Find an aquarium or even a park or waterfront area to walk around before dinner.
What if she’s not the type to dress up and would rather put on some gym clothes and climb a mountain? Go do it! Why not? Nobody ever said a date has to be conventional. In fact, it will be far more fun and memorable if it’s not.
Any opportunity to share in someone’s interests will make them more comfortable around you, give them a chance to open up, and put them at ease being in their comfort zone – these things are far more important than even a woman’s attraction to you. You could be Channing Tatum, but if she’s uncomfortable with you, your chances are nonexistent.
A setting where you can build comfort, and attraction early is absolutely essential to progressing in your relationship. Too much comfort without attraction will put you in the friend zone. Not enough comfort will put you out of the running all together, regardless of attraction. Slight, subtle escalations in your advancements towards her, along with mirroring her actions and body language, are keys to making your way to a second, third, or fourth date. But we can save that for a different blog post…
Every situation is going to have its own vibe, feel, comfort level, and intensity. There are no “rules for success” in the dating world, but there is a misconception that I think should be thrown out the window from the get-go:
Wait until the end of the date to go for the kiss.
Why? If you are sharing a great moment, have great chemistry, have been flirty and comfortable with each other, there is absolutely no reason to wait until the end of the date in order to go for the first kiss. I built such rapport, comfort, and attraction with my girlfriend before we went out that our first kiss happened before she even got in my car. You will feel when it is the right moment – do not hesitate, it will make it more awkward than going for it.
As an addition to this, even if you do wait until the end of the date, always go for the kiss. If you take a woman out, have a great night, and end it with a handshake – it will probably make her feel insecure and accelerate your path to the friend zone. Friends don’t kiss, establish your intentions to be more, early.
Another thing to always do – pick up the tab gentlemen. It’s a nice thing to have a woman who reaches for her wallet and offers to pay half during the first few dates, but if you take her up on it, you should be planning on not seeing her again. This is a cardinal rule that I personally never break.
Also always remember that more than likely, your date has spent a fair amount of time getting ready for the evening – even if she is just a little bit interested in you. She’s going to make sure her jewelry matches, her hair looks perfect, her shoes match her clutch, and that her nails are done.
Do not miss your opportunity to pay attention and compliment her on the small details. If you notice these things, it will speak volumes.
Speaking of small details – put effort into your own appearance that day/night as well. Dress properly for whatever you’ve decided to do. Carry yourself with class. Be the man you would want your sister to date. Don’t just act like him to get what you want, really be him.
And hey, keep your phone in your pocket.
Many of the things I’ve mentioned here are common sense and seem very simple – but go overlooked by much of today’s male population. I believe if we are going to reinstate the dignity that the male race carries, we must show (the right) women that we deserve it.
I’m certainly not advocating maxing out your credit card or going broke on every beautiful woman who interests you. We all have to learn from experience and go on a few first dates before we find a woman we want to commit to, it’s just part of the learning process. But when you do find one of these girls – make sure that she knows you’ve recognized her positive qualities, and your journey together will be long and healthy.