The moments and exchanges that occur immediately after you make that initial contact with someone up to and including that first date can be exciting and exhilarating- flirty texts, anticipatory daydreams, that crucial chemistry test. Those moments and exchanges can also be the most critical and, in some instances, can make or break the relationship before you have a chance to order your beer.
We all want to get to the part where we finish each other’s sentences and have the power to dispel a bad mood within seconds of eye contact, but it takes time to get there. When you first meet a girl, she isn’t going to get your dry humor right away or assume that you aren’t needy if you text her day and night. These things happen over time as you get to know one another and discover the truth about all those adorable quirks that to the outside world may or may not make you appear creepy and sad. You know you are a cool guy. Make sure she gets to know it too by avoiding these five common blunders that instantly turn her off.
You didn’t mean to text her twice in one night and again the next morning without as much as an emoticon from her. But you did it. It’s good to be in touch, but there’s a line between touching and grabbing on for dear life that you simply cannot cross if you really want this girl to date you. Think of a text message as a poke or a tap on her shoulder. Do you really want to be the guy that won’t stop poking her? If you text her, give her time to respond before sending that follow-up message. My rule is 24 hours, because a lot can happen in that time and you just never know what her story is until she tells you. If you don’t hear from her by then, you are more than welcome to poke her again with a nice “hope you’re doing okay, holler if you want to grab that drink” sort of nonchalant ball-in-her-court pitch.
Nobody says you have to be a Rockefeller, but you certainly have no reason to be the next guest on Extreme Couponing. If you’re dating on a budget, as many of us are, do some research ahead of time and keep a mental list of first-date destinations that you can comfortably afford without taking out a second mortgage on your home. If the girl insists on going to a swanky, budget-busting bistro and you would rather relax at Lo-Cal’s Watering Hole, then perhaps she’s not the girl for you. There is nothing wrong with being smart with your cash as long as your date concurs.
Being the Opposite of Considerate
Chivalry is not dead, no matter what you heard. It’s still really nice to have you open our doors, pull out our chairs, and even let us order first. These actions say more than “I’m a gentleman.” Chivalry starts with caring and genuine concern for our welfare. Making sure we get through the door, that our butt makes it comfortably onto the chair, and that we have found an agreeable item on the menu all shows us that you give a shit. Also, using words and phrases like “please, thank you, and you’re welcome” seal the deal on your status as a gentleman. Oh, and please pay attention to us instead of that text message you just received.
When there are two people in a conversation, there should be two people actually in the conversation. The point of a first date is to get to know each other, not to display your many facets of awesomeness through an hour-long monologue. Bragging is unattractive, and talking too much can be a sign of insecurity. So what’s a guy to do? Ask questions and remember to breathe. She’s just as nervous as you are and just as eager to show you how cool and amazing she is, so take your turns like mature adults and keep the conversation flowing in a nicely balanced two-way fashion.
Missing the Boat
This may seem obvious but some guys actually mess this part up. If you never ask the girl out, how are you expecting to date her? With online dating sites, it’s easy to get caught up in email exchanges and then take that comfort-zone over to texting. At some point, though, you have to take the plunge. Most of us are not looking for pen-pals or chat-chums. We want you to ask us out. Honestly. My rule is this: your third email to her should include a phone number request and your first call or texting session should include a first date offer. If you happen to have met the old-fashioned way, in person, then I say ask her out as you wrap up that initial conversation.
Dating can be fun and exciting, or it can be a total disaster. The line is fragile and thin but clearly marked if you take your time and heed this advice.