Making A Relationship Work: Keys To A Successful First Date


The first date is your chance to attract or repel.

If you were to ask any of the experts — Dr. Phil, the Dali Lama, anyone from the Psychic Friends Hotline — how to make a relationship work, chances are they'd tell you one thing: effort.

It's true that successful relationships involve two people who are willing to put forth the effort that success requires. But it's also true that answering the question of how to make a relationship work begins in one place: the very first date.

The first date is a time for excitement, wonderment and lots and lots of awkwardness. Yet, its also a time for deal-breakers. Women, in particular, tend to put more credence into a first date than their male counterparts.

This means that they are less likely to go out on a second date if something goes wrong during the initial meeting. It also means that men on first dates are like David Bowie and Queen singing together: they're under pressure.

So, what are some of these first date Faux Pas that women secretly define as deal-breakers? While every girl is different, some of the most common things keeping men out of the female bedroom include:

1) Taking children off the table: A first date isn't a place for children — not literal or metaphorical ones. It's not a time to bring up children (I can't wait to have sixty!), but it's also not a time to dismiss the idea completely.

Many women want children, so much so that they will not date someone who doesn't. By divulging right away that kids are not in future plans, a guy risks alienating his date before the mozzarella sticks can even arrive. Remember that one of the answers to how to make a relationship work involves taking things slow and includes talking about the future.

2) Talking about sex: The song "Let’s Talk About Sex" probably wasn't written with a first date in mind. Yes, sex is part of dating and it can be a very interesting conversation topic (Pass the rolls grandma, and boy were you and grandpa loud last night!).

But, talking about sex on a first date can come across as either too forward or too "hound dog like". Women, yes even the hot ones, want to be treated like people, not as if it's open season on their open legs. 

3) Bringing up your ex: Bringing up an ex on a first date can be off-putting to many women, particularly if the ex is brought up with frequency. Telling the story of how your bitter ex emailed your boss and told him you'd need a week off for gender reassignment surgery is fine (and sort of funny). But going on about how your ex had the prettiest blue eyes and totally completed you.....is not.

Really, it comes down to this: the steps on how to make a relationship work begin with letting go of your past.

4) Insulting her line of work: Insulting someone's line of work — or being condescending in any manner — is also a deal-breaker for many. Women have had to fight for equality throughout history and even today — in 2014 — they are paid less than their male counterparts.

This makes them naturally wired to be sensitive to what they perceive as male righteousness. Insulting their line of work, their alma mater or the way they mispronounce some foreign type of wine will assure that you won't spend the night at her den; instead, you'll spend it with jer-gens.

5) Mentioning that you're a player:  One of the reasons how to make a relationship work is such a common question is because of gender viewpoints: guys and girls innately see things differently.

Your guy friends may be super impressed with the fact that you're dating three girls at once or have slept with so many women that the CDC has begun tracking you, but women won’t. They'll see it as disgusting and maybe even a bit pitifully comical. Thus, if you're a player, keep your game to yourself.

To learn more about how to make a relationship work, click here.