Heed my words, young ones.
Dating is tough. We know this, and we're here to help you. So unless you enjoy hearing that a woman has to 'wash her hair' on a Friday night, take a gander at these twelve tips for getting that elusive second date. We only want good things for you, and following this list will get you closer to scoring date number two.
1. Hold the door. It may seem like a tiny, antiquated gesture, but most women will see it as a sign of respect (and really, it takes such little effort on your part). No lie, this is something we'll tell our girlfriends when they ask how the date went!
2. Ask about her. There's nothing worse than a date that won't shut up about themselves. That's not to say us ladies only want to talk about ourselves. We want to learn about you too! Guide the conversation to be a 50/50 split in the sharing department.
3. More specifically, ask about her day. If you're not on a blind date, you probably know enough about each other that it's perfectly acceptable to see if she had a pleasant or troubling day. Women appreciate being checked in with.
4. Do not be a conversation bulldozer. If she tries to interject, don't just roll over her and keep on with what you were saying, even if you're trying to impress her with a story of that time you got a Tesla up to 90mph on the LIE (true story). A real conversation has give and take! Enjoy that. We do.
5. Make her laugh. We love funny men! You don't have to do a standup routine, just think of a few key stories or comments that are sure to bring a smile to her face. Still, remember to stay away from the crude jokes. We enjoy them too, but in the early days of dating, we're not comfortable enough with you to find them appealing. It's weird, I know, but certain things about us change with the course of the relationship.
6. Do NOT check out other women. That's the fast track to getting walked out on (and potentially having a drink thrown in your face). We know guys like to look (just FYI, so do we), but if you're on a date, stay focused on the goal.
7. Premature touching. A little graze of the hand or arm, if done subtly and organically, is okay, but don't try to hold her hand at the table. That's full-on relationship behavior. Remember, dating is a marathon, not a sprint. You've got time to get there.
8. Do not text mid-date. There's nothing all of us (men and women) hate more than texting during a date (or any number of functions, really). You asked her out because, we assume, you wanted to spend time with her. Put the phone on silent and keep it in your pocket.
9. Use good manners. You don't have to be able to blend in with the royal family, but at least be loosely familiar with good table etiquette. Don't chew with your mouth open, have a vague knowledge of which fork is for which course (work you way in from the sides), and keep your napkin in your lap unless you're directly using it. Remember, we want to be able to show you off to our parents one day.
10. Whatever you do, do not, not, NOT mention the ex. Can't say this one enough. That's a great way to make a woman uncomfortable. We don't know what to say, and depending on the situation (i.e. if you're going on and on about how great your ex was), it makes us feel insecure, like you're not really over her, and (depending how into you we are) a bit jealous.
11. At least consider picking up the check (especially if you were the one to ask her out). As with holding the door, this is a slightly out of date idea that many women will still appreciate. Like I said, it's a sign of respect. Women are more than happy to split the bill a few dates down the road, but in the beginning, it goes a long way to put out a few dollars for dinner.
12. If you say you're going to call, freakin' call. Don't be one of those guys who gets a girl's hopes up if you don't intend to call. It is perfectly acceptable to end a date with "I had a really nice time with you." And if you do intend to pursue a second date, for the love of all things holy, don't say "I'll be in touch." That's what you say at the end of a job interview. Don't make a woman feel like she didn't past muster for a position. It's clinical, distant and one of the least sexy things we can hear (again, true story). Bonus tip: Don't feel like you have to follow the "three-day rule". It's nonsense. If you had a good time and want to talk to her the next day, do so! I promise, a carefully worded text such as "I had a great time with you last night. I'd love to take you out again soon," (or something similar) will flatter us! Girl Scout-swear on this one.