I've been out on a few dates lately, and I have some tips for success.
I'm going to try not to make this gender specific, so I didn't title this post Dating Tips for Men. Much of this will apply to both sexes. But, because I'm a woman and have dated a few very nice men recently who seem clueless about a few dating basics, this may have a bit of a slant. C'est la vie.
1. Don't talk about your ex. In particular, don't talk about her for 45 minutes, mentioning frequently how "passionate" your relationship was, how you wanted to marry her and blend your families, and how you only broke up a month ago. After all that don't tell me you're over her and ready to move on. I know better, and I've already moved on.
2. Don't ask your date "Why are you still single?" in an accusatory tone. This makes your date defensive and prone to say things like "Well, you're single too." In particular, don't follow up with a tale about how everyone who is single at your age has must have major issues or they wouldn't still be single. Would rather go on a date with a married woman?
3. Don't practically force your date to valet park when she'd rather find free street parking. In particular, don't tell her that you'll pay for valet parking and then not pay for it. Also, don't "get a ride" to your car from the valet in your date's car just so you can get her in the car alone and make a move on her, especially after you haven't paid for the valet. Your date saw through your ploy from the beginning and caved because you were just so transparent. Also, if you are a man and get in a woman's car at the end of the first date, she is going to pretend to be nice until you get out and shut the door, no matter what she thinks of you, just in case you turn psycho.
4. A date should be fun. Don't spend fifteen minutes bitching about how crowded and horrible a location is. Don't get morose about the horrific state of the world. Repeat this to yourself - dating should be fun! Your attitude has everything to do with it.
5. Don't call your date early the next morning, telling her how amazing the date was after she dodged your kiss and ran off at high speed the night before. Wait at least until the afternoon or evening to call. That way you seem only hapless rather than desperate.
6. Listen. Interrupt the monologue on your amazing accomplishments with occasional questions for your date. Actually pay attention to what she is saying. Share information rather than lecturing.
7. Don't email headless, shirtless photos of yourself to your date before you've met her. Or even right after you've met her. Save that for later. If there is a later.
8. Don't text your date every five seconds as you are on your way to the date. Don't text other dates during your date. Don't answer your phone. In fact, turn off the phone. If you can't because you are expecting a call, explain this to your date so she is prepared. If you must take a call, keep it quick, apologize the way you wish politicians would when they're caught, and don't do it again.
9. Relax. There are a lot of fish in the sea.