If you follow me at all on Twitter you know that I periodically tweet out sometimes serious, sometimes humorous, life, dating, and relationship advice under the hashtag #AdviceForYoungMen.
What makes me an expert on dating and relationships you ask?
Well, except for 22 years in a committed relationship with the same lady that has resulted in neither of us killing the other…yet.
In fact not only are we still talking, we actually very much enjoy each other’s company.
So yeah, making it all the way to middle-age while maintaining healthy relationships with the fairer sex does kinda make me an expert, albeit a self-proclaimed one.
How can you achieve amazing domestic bliss? Honestly I haven’t a damn clue, but it sure has the potential to be hilarious if we talked about it.
With these amazing qualifications in mind I humbly welcome you to a new semi-regular feature on Norm 2.0 where I’ll benevolently share my years of experience and insight into matters of the heart with the young, forlorn, downright clueless, and anyone else who has a question.
This week’s fake question from a fictional reader is from Rick in Albuquerque who asks:
Dear Advice Guy,
I’m a pretty hip average-looking mid-twenties normal guy. I have no trouble getting women to go out with me but it rarely seems to go beyond a first date. What am I doing wrong?
Well Rick it could be any number of things.
First of all give your head a shake; calling yourself hip is a sure sign that you’re not.
However, assuming an adequate level of personal hygiene and no third eye in the middle of your forehead* here’s a quick though somewhat incomplete checklist of do’s and don’ts for first dates.
1 – Do make sure you both understand that you’re on a date.
Kind of obvious one would think, but believe it or not lots of guys have this terrible habit of not making their intentions clear. It’s a known fact (that I just totally made up) that over 50% of all women out on first dates don’t even know they’re being dated.
Asking someone to join you for a cup of coffee or a drink can be easily misinterpreted as just friends hanging out. So keep in mind that if it’s a date only in your own mind, and she doesn’t know about it, then ahem: it’s not an actual date.
Don’t be one of those wishy-washy schleps who can’t ask a woman out; be respectfully assertive and make your intentions clear from the get-go. Something as simple as “I’d like to ask you out on a date, would you join me for…(insert date options here)?”, will work fine in most cases.
Also women really like this, because not only does it show that you know what you want, it gives them juicy tidbits to share and seek approval from their girlfriends about.
Whispers, “Guess what – Rick just asked me out!”
Wide-eyed response, “Ooh my, what did you say?”
Nodding matter-of-factly, “Well he was so respectfully assertive, I just had to say yes.”
Yeah okay sorry ladies, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but you get my drift, right?
And yes being direct means you’ll get shot down at times, but that’s okay too. Finding out from the beginning that she’s not interested in you in that way will allow you to concentrate your efforts on someone who IS interested in you in that way.
2 – Do relax and be yourself.
We all want to a make a good first impression but remember that it’s very easy to go overboard talking about yourself in an attempt to impress.
First dates shouldn’t be about you and what a good catch you think you are. It’s about gradually getting to know her to determine if there’s compatibility beyond that initial physical attraction – and to make sure she’s not an axe murderer. Don’t ask me how I know this but let’s just say my buddy Dave isn’t called Stumpy for nothing 😦
Turn off the seduction mode and keep the verbal diarrhea about all your accomplishments to yourself. Instead, ask about her interests and hobbies and such.
Jumping headlong into a relationship based solely on physical attraction is a recipe for disaster. Trust me on this one, if she’s a complete psychotic wackadoodle you’ll want to know BEFORE you make it to the bedroom, so proceed with caution; unless of course you’re a masochist, in which case: go for it!
So, unless you’re a complete a**hole or a total slob, just relax and be yourself.
And if you are a complete a**hole, then by all means feel free to be someone else.
Preferably someone nice, polite and respectful; and do the world a favor and stay that way until medical science has perfected the personality transplant.
3 – Do pick up the check but don’t make a big deal about it if she insists on paying her own way.
If you invited her then it is perfectly reasonable that you would be expected to pay. Remember however that we are in 2016. Many ladies like to assert their independence by paying their own way, especially on a first date so that there’s no expectation that something is owed (i.e. sex) just because the man picked up the tab.
If she insists on paying her half of the tab, this is a good thing. Smile, nod, and respect her wishes. Hey dude, double bonus – you just got 50% off on dinner and you found out you’re dating someone who has her own money and is willing to be an equal partner!
By the way, if you’re one of those neanderthals who does think that picking up the tab somehow entitles you to sex, then you’re an idiot and advancements in personality transplant technology can’t come fast enough.
4 – Don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep.
If you’ve seen enough by the end of the date to determine that she is an axe murderer, complete wackadoodle, or that you’re simply not compatible, that’s fine but don’t raise unrealistic expectations by offering to do this again or by suggesting you’ll call, just for the sake of not hurting her feelings.
Believe me that sh*t is toxic dude.
And it brings bad karma to boot because you know what? Unlike us guys, women talk to each other about this stuff. If you run in the same social circles as her you WILL become known as the dirtbag who says he’ll call but never does, and then you can kiss your dating life goodbye.
Better to simply be honest and gently let her know that you don’t see the point for either of you of going any further. You don’t need to get into specifics that she may take as a personal insult. Just tell her it doesn’t feel right, or that the spark isn’t there – women understand this stuff.
No, she won’t like it. She may even make a scene, but in the long run she’ll eventually respect your honesty and you won’t become a dating pariah within your circle of friends.
Give these things a try Rick and let me know how it goes.
And please stay tuned for my next installment where I’ll translate some common womanspeak for the average guy.
Hint: On a dinner date, if she asks you how your fish, chicken, risotto (insert food choice here) tastes, what she’s really asking is for a taste of your food.
Yeah I know it doesn’t make sense. If she wanted to try the chicken, she shoulda just ordered it right? Women, gotta luv’em 😀
Need advice about your relationships, real or imaginary? Then reach out with your questions to The Advice Guy via email at:
adviceguy2016 at gmail dot com
All inquiries will be kept anonymous, unless of course they have the potential to be really embarrassing, in which case all bets are off.
*Note to all politically correct types: The author is in no way implying that there’s anything wrong with people who have three eyes. In fact the author fully supports the empowerment of the tri-occular. The author simply has no experience in this area and therefore does not presume to offer advice to these wonderful individuals. So please, no nasty emails.