So let's assume you go through all that initial contact stuff and actually got to a real honest-to-goodness date. These tips I'm about to share are specifically geared towards women with my own personal slant to them although most are good for everyone. Still sometimes it matters. Now you know.
Here are some first date tips:
- Do come prepared to pay in full for at least your own portion of all date expenses. This is absolutely critical. Do not leave the house without this. Seriously.
- Always meet in a well lit, public place where there are guaranteed to be other people. If you holler, a crowd should look your way.
- Let a third party know where you're going, when the date is and at least the full name and description of who you are with. Set up a check in time and make sure to do it dutifully. This way if you fail to check in and disappear, someone knows where to start looking for you.
- Make small talk. Think in advance about things you are interested in knowing about this person. Maybe they said something in an email you'd love for them to elaborate on. Maybe there are things you'd like to know. Maybe they said something two seconds ago that sparked a thought. Don't grill, but ask questions. Be interested. Care.
- Make eye contact.
- Don't act like a buffoon when your date asks a question or two. Answer thoughtfully. Show off your personality.
- Do not order/ask for (or whatever) the most expensive thing. Be modest at meals, be reasonable in all situations. As you peruse the menu at a dinner, ask what your date is having. Look at the menu and gauge the price. Order something that is the same price or less expensive. It's only polite. Seriously. At meals do not order alcohol or dessert unless your date does. Do not order anything you are not prepared to pay for.
- Take physical cues from your date. Assuming you are both interested, use their body language to guide you. If he touches you on the arm, then let your hand rest briefly on his shoulder while answering a question a few minutes later. If he's leaning closer, brush up against him accidentally or something. But try to respond to what your date is putting out there.
- In regards to paying for the date, pay close attention here. This is my favorite dating trick. Imagine you're at dinner and the check comes. Instantly reach for your purse. If he is too engrossed in the bill to notice say "Let me help you with that." Then wait for his reaction. If he says ok, use the money you have to pay for your part of the expenses. Good thing you had it, right? If he says no, look him in the eye and politely ask if he's sure. Only do this once. If he says he's sure, then put your purse back, look him in the eye again, and thank him for dinner. Here is the reasoning: If he didn't intend to pay for you, you have allowed him to save face while appearing to just be polite. And if he did, you let him make that choice. (Also if he did you didn't order anything extravagant as long as you followed my earlier rules.)
- When closing the date, again follow his cues. How far you go here is up to you. I recommend if you're interested you go for more than a handshake though. Handshakes are for business agreements, not successful dates. If you like him, at least try for a hug. Take cues though... he might just be a handshake kind of guy. If he goes for a kiss and you aren't into that, politely (and smoothly) turn your cheek to him and give him a hug. Try to make it so he's not sure if you meant to do it or didn't realize what he was after. Let the poor dude save some face, you know?