By William Bixby
The first date sets the standard for your relationship. It decides if you will be your date’s next boyfriend, her next fling, her next friend, or her next topic of funny and humiliating conversation with her girlfriends. If you want to avoid being fodder for a hilarious conversation and escape the easily accessible friend-zone, then follow these tips.
1. Actually plan a date - The first date should be fun and a forum to open and easy conversation between the two of you. You have to have a place in mind for the date and tell her how to dress, so that neither of you are over or under dressed for the occasion. These things should be settled before you call her; it shows assertiveness and some forethought about the two of spending time together. You need a plan, because friends figure out activities together. Most ladies still expect for a man that they date to provide the ideas.
2. Look good - In general, her first impression of you is the one that she will keep of you. You have made at least one good impression on her, because she has agreed to meet you somewhere, but that impression was based only in mild intrigue and was in some other context. Now, you have to convince her that you are what she wants. So, get a haircut, shave, buy a new outfit, bathe before you meet her, and a little cologne finishes the deal.
3. Be punctual - This is the only flexible rule. You should be at the meeting place, whether it is to pick her up or not, well before the time that you agreed to meet. However, if you are a little late and she is into you, it can be an icebreaker and a topic of conversation.
4. Always bring a gift - If you want her to see you as more than a friend, then you have to treat her like more than a friend. If you get her flowers, do not get her red roses unless she says those are the only flower that she likes. Every date that she has had has brought her roses. Get orchids or some other exotic looking, fragrant flower. Or, if you were paying attention during your phone conversation, you could bring her that thing that she said she likes. You remember what it was. The Sour Skittles or the french apple pie will make her day and set you apart from every other date that she has ever had.
5. Smile - People get nervous on first dates and forget to smile. Smile when you see her. Smile when you shake hands or embrace; go for the hug. Smile while you are conversing. Smile when she smiles. Smile at the end of the date. Keep smiling.
6. Keep positive - Do not confuse this with agreeing with everything she says. But there should be a positive spin on the entire evening. Do not let the smaller obstacles of the night put you or your date in a sour mood. You are the usher of smiles on a date whether it be through comedy or just good vibes. If your date is happy, then you will be happy too.
7. Be a gentleman - This means open all doors, both car and restaurant. Allow her to talk about what she wants, without interruption. Remember, you have two ears and one mouth for a reason. As the old adage says, you should do twice as much listening as you do talking. And keep anything sexual out of the conversation, unless she brings it up.
8. Have at least one anecdote - Unless she is your soulmate, there will be some lull in conversation at some point in the night. When it happens, before the extended awkward silence arrives, grin and tell her how you just thought about this funny thing that happened…
9. Pay for everything - Friends go dutch. Men who want to date women pay for everything. If she insists on paying, tell her she can get the next one. And yes, it is that important to pay for everything.
10. Tip well - There is nothing more unattractive than a cheap date. If you have terrible service, tip 15%. If you have mediocre to good service tip 20%. She will notice how you tip, and she will notice how you treat the server.
11. Go for it - At the end of the date, if you enjoyed each other’s company, go for the kiss. If you get rejected, shake it off, and hit the showers.
12. Set up another date - If you had a good time, ask if you can hang out again soon. You have to show initiative in dating.
A good sign that the date is going well.