While there are many factors that ultimately influence dating, here are 5 smarter ways to be a Better Date… they’re easy reminders and just require a little bit of thought.
- Self-awareness: Think about the details you notice about a first date and do that exact review on yourself before any date. These things include, but are not limited to:
- Clean teeth and breath. Nasty breath is one of the biggest dating turn-offs. We’ve all experienced it and we all know this to be true. Curiously, most people cannot smell their own breath and are often unaware of this potential turn-off. If you’ve just spent the day eating, drinking coffee, etc. and only brushed your teeth early that morning, you need to brush again (or use mouthwash). AND, be aware that if you don’t go to the dentist regularly for teeth cleaning, you might have tooth decay that smells regardless of how much you brush. Girls like guys with nice, clean teeth!
- Personal space: Invading somebody’s personal space (being too close), especially in the early stages of dating, is a big turn off. Be aware of how close you are to that person when you speak and breathe. There’s not need for your date to feel your breath on their face. While some people don’t mind this, the rule is to give people a normal amount of space so the don’t feel crowded and feel the need to back away. “Close talkers” are annoying and we all know who they are.
- Be clean and dress well. No major explanation here… just be presentable and smell good (hopefully have time for a pre-date shower). If you need help, look at a JCrew, Abercrombie (your favorite clothing store) web site for ideas of how to dress nicely and appropriately (even if you don’t have those exact clothes, you’ll be able to create a nice look from your closet). While it seems superficial, your appearance matters since it’s the first thing that strikes people.
- Clean your car (and your home): Regardless of what you drive or where you live (this is not about having a lot of money), be sure your car and home is clean. Assuming your date rides in your car, be sure your car is not messy (no old bags of fast food, no smelly gym bag or shoes). If your car (or home) is mess there’s a presumption that you are messy, sloppy, etc. in other ways. Gals don’t like that. Furthermore, a clean car and home will make you feel better!
- Be a Gentleman: This is a broad category and includes, but is not limited to, the following (i.e. Chivalry):
- Open and close the car door for your date. Simple, traditional and meaningful.
- Open the door at the venues you visit together and let her walk in first.
- Allow your date to order first. Unless she signals you to order first, always let her order first.
- Always offer to pay. Paying can be a tricky topic, but it’s always better if the guy picks up the tab, especially in the early stages. Your date hopefully will be grateful and perhaps likely will offer / insist on paying some of the time. If you can, it’s better for you to pay. Obviously, go to restaurants or bars that are within your budget.
- Control yourself: Be sensitive to your date and don’t assume you’ll be intimate with her on the first couple of dates. Being intimate will happen if/ when the time is right and the signals are there — there’s not need to be too aggressive here. The key is to be conscious and aware of how your date if feeling / reacting toward you.
- Listen more, ask lots of questions and speak less: People like good listeners and those who show true interest. Ask a lot of questions with genuine interest and listen actively. Talk about yourself when asked and don’t feel that you have to tell your life story. Remember things that you learn about your date and reference it in subsequent conversation. You’ll have plenty of time to talk about yourself if the relationship progresses. And, if you’re date is engaged and interested, she’ll certainly ask her fair share of questions about you.
- Be genuine: Be yourself. Don’t put on a show and present yourself otherwise. If you are truly interested in establishing a long-term and meaningful relationship, your real personality is the most important thing.
And, amidst all of this, be sure to relax and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun!