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Shape Up, Dudes

February 18, 2010

Being active in the dating game, I’ve collected some how-tos for clueless male daters. Here they are.

1. Pay for the first three dates. If you don’t pay for at least the first three dates this sends up a ton of red flags – You’re not having fun, you’re not that interested, you’re not serious about finding a longer term commitment, you’re in financial trouble, you’re cheap, you’d ask for a pre-nup, etc. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot to save a few bucks.

Real Life Dating Example: Irishman asked me to split our third dinner. I immediately checked out. Not because I had to pay, but because I assumed that meant he was no longer having fun. I so I was pretty confused when he asked me out for drinks and then again for the next week. Buhbye buddy!

2. Initiate contact. Traditional gender roles aren’t for everyone, I know. But being the pursuer in the beginning stages of courtship makes you a hundred times more likely to be successful. Call, text, email, show interest!

Real Life Dating Example: Once “dated” a guy who used to check in every Friday to see what I was up to, expecting me to be free. After a few weeks he called to confront me on why I didn’t like him. Well mostly, because I had no idea you liked me!

3. Don’t be a dick. To anyone. It’s a huge turn off to watch a date be mean to a hostess or bartender or even someone who was jerky to him first. It doesn’t make you look important. It makes you look like an ass.

Real Life Dating Example: I once had a date make a fat joke about our waitress, who had to wear a uniform a size too small. I turned him down for the second date.

4. Make the plans. Nothing is more effortlessly chivalrous than calling with a totally baked out date idea. Plan out dinner or drinks or the activity, pick the places, plan for transport, suggest a time. Well-thought out plans imply you’re excited about the date, enough to really mull it over. Huge brownie points are available here. Don’t forget to be flexible, if she suggests a change of venue or a different activity, go with it.

Real Life Dating Example: Love Interest C, from a few years back, used to call and say, “So what do you wanna do on Friday?” Not only did it put me on the spot, it made me feel responsible for whether the date went well. Eventually I stopped answering the calls.

5. Keep it exciting! Don’t convert to cooking at home and movie nights on the couch too quickly. These are great to pepper in between nights out, but will bore your lady quickly unless she’s a total homebody.

Real Life Example: Male Friend C just got totally shut down by his love interest. They were 8 dates in, but his weekly dinner and a movie at home had made her feel like they had rushed to the serious relationship faze.

6. Pay attention to compliment ratios. Too many compliments and you look like a sap or a creepy. Too few and you’re a disinterested jerkface. As someone who has a hard time accepting compliments, I would say 1 compliment per hour is appropriate. Pay attention to how often she compliments you and follow suit.

Real Life Dating Example: The guy who substitutes compliments for conversation. “Youlookpretty.Likereallypretty.Ilikeyourdress.Yousmellgood.” We can’t make a connection if all we talk about is me.

These all seem like no brainers to me, but men need to be explicitly told things sometimes. So do your male friends a favor and tell them. Then they’ll be less whiny about never being able to keep a girl. And that benefits you!

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. February 18, 2010 11:45 am

    ok I’d call myself a homebody. BUT… I still want to be asked out on REAL dates at first. To me that shows you’re interested in me. PLUS if you’re asking me to COOK you better be in a position where you’ve deserved that right. I’m a hell of a cook! I’m like 90% tempted to send this to my most recent “datable” interest as to why we’re not speaking anymore. He constantly broke ALL of those rules! And then was surprised I was a frantic crazy cat lady wondering if he actually was into me!

    • February 18, 2010 11:58 am

      DO IT! they need to see it. I think they honestly don’t know some of these rules. the world would be a better place if they knew how to date.

      and I totally agree about the first few dates being especially important. my general rule of thumb is, he’s in charge of the first 3. if he succeeds the fourth is on me, not only the planning but also the paying. its my way of saying “thank you, i’m flattered and i like you too!”

  2. jenontheroad permalink
    February 18, 2010 2:06 pm

    I loved this post. I’m from the south, and have dated a lot of guys in the past who didn’t allow me to pay for ANYTHING. Unfortunately, my mama always taught me that I was (and am!) nobody’s charity case, so I always sincerely offer. If a guy allows me to pay for something (even if it’s just small, like post-dinner coffee), I don’t consider that a turn-off. But, different strokes for different folks … and like you, I like a man who is decisive (and that seems to be a key theme in this entry) — someone who will ask you out, show you he likes you, and at least offer to pay. 🙂

    Also, AMEN to number 3! You can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat people they see as being “below” them. Take note, ladies!

    • February 18, 2010 2:21 pm

      I also like to pay, at least half, once I’m sure I’m enjoying myself with someone. that’s one of the initial steps towards becoming an equal couple, a progression from courtship.

      decisive guys, who know what they want – is there anything hotter? LOVE them.

      and seriously, how tacky is it to be mean to people? gross.

      • jenontheroad permalink
        February 18, 2010 2:25 pm

        I get what you mean about becoming an equal couple — sometimes it’s just hard for me to “un-learn” what my mother instilled in me for so many years. Because it’s not about being a moocher, it’s about graciously accepting when someone else offers to pay. 😉

        One really good thing about guys showing their asshole-ness on a first date: you know for sure there shouldn’t be a second! And voila, almost exactly NO time wasted on a guy who’s not worth it!

        • February 18, 2010 2:54 pm

          haha, true! gotta love being able to spot the jerks right up front! and makes it very easy to not feel bad about turning down the second date!

  3. March 6, 2010 10:54 am

    Nice list and I agree wholeheartedly with each item on here, especially on the compliments. There’s no set number of compliments one should give, but it’s something used to flavor your interaction, not over power it, much like the salt and pepper analogy you used above.

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