You really can't go wrong with the basics.
First dates are a lot like job interviews: You can't score the soul mate or the paycheck without that first meet-and-greet. While some glide through this necessary evil with straight-A finesse, others bumble along a path of C-worthy mediocrity producing mixed results.
Enter our first date study guide for men. Whether or not you and that hot thing across from you will one day get married and pop out children, we can't say, but you can't go wrong following the four tactics below:
1. "I love that (insert clothing piece, hair style, tattoo, eye makeup)..."
When you first see us, compliment us. I know, I know, are we really that insecure? Are we really that vain? The answer is yes. But don't paw and drool like imprisoned frat boys. We wouldn't be on a date if we wanted someone grabbing our butt. Surely there's a dive bar down the street to provide that service if so desired.
Instead, appreciate the beading on our turquoise bracelet, compliment our navy blue eyeliner, or our trench coat. No, you won't sound gay. Trust us. In fact, you'll earn a few bonus points on the final exam if you appreciate our limited-edition Puma sneakers.
Of course, don't go overboard (no need to sound like Michael Kors) and don't force it. Rather, just verbalize what you're thinking.
2. "And why do you say that?"
This may come as a shock, but we're as smart, funny, and quirky as we are beautiful. Find out for yourself by asking questions and genuinely listening to the answers. You may begin to feel a bit like a therapist, which means you're on the right path. And when you start to feel like the interviewer on a 60 Minutes reel, then you know you're golden, baby.
While it may feel lopsided or a bit too Barbara Walters at first, if you're more ears then mouth on the first date, you've already distinguished yourself. You'd be horrified by the men who feel they need to yap, boast, and brag their way through dinner.
3. "Wow you're good at..."
Now give us an intelligence compliment. Something pertaining to our minds that isn't overly obvious. Something that will make us think. This might be tricky, but once you start looking for it, the answers will be so apparent you'll wonder why you haven't done this your entire dating life.
We're insanely cerebral, us lady folk, and if you can get in our heads, your chances of getting in our pants skyrocket. Maybe you're impressed with our wit. Maybe Jeopardy's on and we're kicking your butt. Are we good storytellers? Whatever it is, let us know.
4. "To tell you the truth..."
Yes, please do! Starting a sentence this way makes us feel like your guard is down and you're letting us in on some secret aspect of yourself. And this is our cat nip.
Now, per point #2, this isn't an invitation to go on and on about yourself, your high school lacrosse glory days, or your foot fetish (best to save this for a later date). Any sort of long-winded braggado is definitely more kitty litter than nip. Know what we mean? Confused? Don't be. Just let us in a little.