The more I go on first dates, the more I find myself making mental lists of things I will and won’t put up with. OK, I’ll be honest, I’m talking about actual pro-con lists that I write down on napkins while my date is in the bathroom.
Don’t judge, you try going on as many first dates as I do and still keeping track of what annoys you. Maybe someday I’ll get to make a second date list. A girl can dream.
Ultimately, we all have different tolerances and there are certain gestures that will make one girl swoon and another mildly nauseous.
However, I propose there are some basic acts of chivalry that should decidedly go on the pros side of the napkin. And some others that aren’t even worthy of scribbling down.
1. Calling before the first day.
Using our phones with our actual voices is a lost art form, but I highly suggest giving it a whirl. I have always found a quick phone call to solidify plans or even to make sure I know where I’m going on the day of is a nice gesture that puts me at ease.
If you’ve never met before, let her hear your voice and be comforted by the fact that you at least sound like you’re who you say you are. And even if you have met, it just shows you’re excited.
Plus, it will definitely set you apart from all the men who don’t realize their phones are for more than messaging “watcha doing?”
2. Waiting to order your drink.
This is one that drives me crazy, but I have to preface it by saying there are some circumstances where it’s reasonable.
Since I’m well aware of my propensity for being very late, I can’t always blame a guy for not wanting to awkwardly sit at a bar with no drink, but maybe just get a water?
The problem isn’t that you should be ordering for her, or paying for her, but to me it comes across as I’m here for the beer and not you. It’s not actually about the drink, it’s about meeting the person.
What if she gets there and it’s too loud to talk and you want to go somewhere else? What if like me, she’s a slow drinker and you’re already through two before she’s even finished her story about the pervs on dating sites? Better to just wait and order together.
3. Asking her to let you know she got home OK.
Let me tell you, all of the flowers in the world could not make me swoon as much as this gesture.
Perhaps growing up with two overprotective brothers has made me more susceptible to this act of chivalry, but I think it’s the ultimate way to tell a girl you care.
Even if the date didn’t go super well, or you see her more as a friend, it’s still just an easy way to show you’re a decent guy. I’d be far more likely to suggest a friend go out with you (if we don’t work out) if you take the two seconds to read and respond to my text that “I’m home.”
1. Making all the decisions.
This is a tough one because I hear guys complain all the time about girls saying, “I don’t care,” but that doesn’t mean it’s ever a good idea not to ask.
I like a guy who knows what he wants, and offering initial suggestions like going to get coffee or a drink is thoughtful. But laying out a time, date and place because you want to make it easier or want to appear manly is going to quickly get you flagged for being controlling.
2. Insisting on picking the girl up.
Unfortunately, in this day and age, it’s just not safe. While I always appreciate the offer, I’ve had to argue with guys before about why it can’t happen.
If it’s a first date with a girl you’ve met before, then OK that’s fine, but if you met out at a bar one night or on a dating site then don’t even put the idea on the table. Meet her at a predetermined place and show her on subsequent dates that you know how to be a gentleman.
3. Insisting on walking her to her car.
Similar to the previous one, it’s great in theory, but potentially terrifying for the girl. If you want to put the offer out there, then go for it, but if she says “no thank you,” turn off your superhero instincts and part ways.
You may worry about keeping her safe from the crazies on her walk to her vehicle, but she’s still not sure if you’re one of them and doesn’t want to deal with your bruised ego on top of getting home safely.
It’s a confusing world out there when it comes to dating. The best advice I can give is if there’s any question in your mind that what you’re insisting on will make her feel unsafe, then let it go. Opt for asking over assuming and check with your female friends as much as possible.
Also, anyone have any advice on how to get a second date? Asking for a friend.