Newly back in the dating scene and feeling a bit rusty? These tips will get you back in the game.
Are you a newly single man about town? Divorced, widowed, dumped, or feeling thrown out?
Think about it! Twenty years ago, Katie Couric said the Internet was "becoming really big now" and debated what the @ sign in email addresses meant.
Today, we carry Internet technology in our pockets and use it for everything—from Googling directions to using it as payment at a grocery store.
So, how can you possibly find your way in today's dating world successfully?
Yes, men remain men, and women remain women, but even that distinction is sometimes difficult to make in the modern age. The best thing to do to figure out dating in 2015 is to buy a drink for several of your twenty or thirty-something friends and probe them for information.
If, however, all your friends hail from the age of dinosaur (such as yourself), here are some quick points to get you started.
1. Don't get alarmed if you don't actually speak to your date before you meet her.
Between online dating and texting each other to arrange a rendezvous, it's perfectly normal (and acceptable) to not actually speak before you meet. You'll just have to wait until a face-to-face meeting to hear her lovely soprano. Have patience.
2. It often takes time to arrange a date.
Do not assume it's because she does not care enough. She does! Nonetheless, many women work long hours and have family or other obligations (SHOCKER!), so scheduling may become an ordeal.
3. Don't get upset if your date is adamant about you NOT picking her up.
The world today is even uglier than it was thirty years ago. Women worry a great deal about their safety on dates (because there are freaks out there who look like nice guys). That's why it's best to meet in a mutually agreed upon public place, from where she can either go home by herself (which is also acceptable these days), or allow you to accompany her (if you're lucky and/or play your cards right).
4. It is perfectly acceptable for a woman to insist on meeting for coffee first.
Actually, it's probably beneficial for you as well. This way neither of you commit to a long date before getting a sense of one another first. If it goes well, lingering is always an option. If not, you can end it in four big gulps.
Incidentally, if her phone rings during one of those gulps and she has a sudden "emergency," requiring her to leave, it's a sign that she does not like you. FYI: There was no emergency. It was her trusted friend who called at the requested time to get her out should she need to. Get over it and move on.
5. It's no longer appropriate to show up on a first date with a bouquet of flowers.
Frankly, it's a bit too much too soon (and can even feel creepy). You don't even know the woman; you may not even like her. Save your gifts until later. If you insist on giving her something, a single rose will do. It's subtly romantic, without the accompanying sleaze indicator. Don't make a big showing of handing her the rose either. A mere "this is for you" will suffice.
6. She may lie about her age.
Women over 40 sometimes do that. Don't be too hasty to throw stones; it's not usually done maliciously. Many women just can't come to grips with aging. If you thought your date is with a woman who is 39, but she actually looks 43, get over it!
If, on the other hand, she looks like your grandmother, have your own friend on standby. You may need that "emergency" phone call yourself.
7. She'll most likely know things about you before you divulge them.
Let's face it—it's silly to not Google someone before meeting. Do not panic; she is not a stalker. She is just doing her homework. As a matter of fact, you may wish to do the same.
8. She will order her meal herself, thank you very much.
At one time, during the pre-dawn of mankind, men thought it was manly to order on behalf of "the little woman." These days, expect your date to make her own choices and verbalize them to the waiter. Do not be frightened—women evolved!
9. She may reach for her wallet at the end of the meal.
It's perfectly acceptable and does not mean she is a feminazi. She has no plans to start burning her bra and parading up and down Times Square chanting anti-man slogans. The fact that she offered is a sign of respect (she doesn't consider you a walking wallet). What you do with that gesture, however, is up to you. If you're a gentleman, you will insist on picking up the check.
10. If you call a woman after a date, do not panic if she does not call you back right away.
Texting, once again, is perfectly acceptable. Not everyone has time for phone niceties. Sometimes, a mere "it was great meeting you. I'm looking forward to the next time" is good enough. Consider yourself lucky. On the other hand, eventually, no return call or text still means the same as it did 30 years ago—this relationship is going nowhere. Move on.