10 Steps to a Great First Date

First dates are always a little nerve wracking. You never know how it might turn out. Even if you’ve been chatting online for weeks, and you think you’ve met the woman of your dreams, it could all go up in smoke before the main course has arrived. Sorry guys, I don’t want to sound like a downer, I’m just talking from experience. Despite all the online dating advantages, there is still a lot of things that can go wrong.

As with most things in life, my motto is Be Prepared. The more prepared you are for a new situation, in this case a date, the more likely you are to find success. Follow these 10 steps from beginning to end to avoid unnecessary dating disappointment.

10 Steps to Success

1. Read Her Profile Carefully
I feel like a broken record here, but so many men either just look at a woman’s picture and decide if they want to meet her, or they skim over her profile once. It’s worth the extra effort to read through not only her profile, but also any other data that she’s filled out. This is how you’re going to find that one thing that’s a dealbreaker. Men are surprised when I spout out little details I gleamed from their profile, but I do my homework, and it helps me find what I’m looking for. Not only will this save you time, but it will also impress the ladies.

2. Plan the Date
Older women are usually a little more take charge than younger women, but we still like a man who takes the reigns and plans the date. Before you suggest something to her, come up with a few ideas that she can choose from. Some women like surprises, but I don’t suggest this for a first date because you have to know a woman a little before you plan the perfect surprise that you know she’ll like. Again, reading her profile carefully will help with date ideas that will connect with her interests.

3. When and Where
If you can, plan a meeting destination that is convenient for her – close to her work or home. Weekend dates are best as you have a better chance of staying out late (if the date is going well) and maybe even hooking up if she doesn’t have to worry about getting up for work the next morning. Arrive for your date on time. Thoughtfulness goes a long way.

4. Look Sharp
I’m not saying you have to wear a suit and tie, but it shouldn’t look like you’ve just crawled out of bed and found the least dirty clothes in your laundry basket. Most women care about what they look like and want to know their date has put a little effort in, too. That said, older women care a lot more about who a man is and how he treats her over what shoes he’s wearing. Oh, and don’t forget to shower. Some women like a little stubble, so the shaving thing is up to you.

5. Be Positive
This is two-fold. First, you want to go in with a positive attitude, that this could be the most awesome woman you’ve ever met. You may walk up to her and think, oh, she doesn’t look as hot as her profile pictures, but don’t get in an immediate funk because of something like that. Give the date and her a chance. Second, we all have baggage and crap that goes on in our lives. You may have had a bad day at work, but you have to shrug it off to give your date a fighting chance. Try not to talk about your troubles on a first date, it may be tempting if she’s a good listener, but it’ll stay in her mind when she’s processing the evening later. Positivity is attractive and magnetic.

6. Ask Questions
Women like to talk about themselves, true enough, so give her the chance to let you get to know her better. And not only ask questions, but really listen to her answers. If you make it to a second date, you’ll be able to bring up some of these details and she’ll be impressed with the attention your attention to detail.

7. Treat Her
This may seem old fashioned to a lot of younger guys, but guess what? You’re dating women of a different generation, a generation where a gentleman treats a lady when they’re out on a date. She won’t always expect you to pay. Older women understand that young men are still establishing themselves financially, but on a first date, if you ask her to pay half, it’s not going to go over well. Now, if you are dating on a budget, plan with this in mind, you can still impress a woman without spending a fortune.

8. Plan B
If the original idea for your date isn’t working out, for whatever reason, it’s good to have a backup plan. Remember one of those other ideas you came up with when planning the night. Or you may have just played plan A out but want the eventing to continue. Suggest a walk in the park, going for coffee, or maybe back to one of your places? Just don’t come across too aggressive. By this point in the night you’ll likely have read her body language for signals and know if a hookup is possible.

9. Happy Ending
You may be having a fabulous time but that doesn’t always mean you’re going to get laid. She may want to take things slow, and if you are looking for a serious relationship, there isn’t any rush, right? This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go for a kiss. I encourage it. If there’s real chemistry you will feel it in a kiss. If things don’t end up in bed on the first date, make sure she gets home, whether you give her a drive, pay for a cab, or wait at the bus stop with her. Older women appreciate younger men who are considerate. If the date was so-so, and you don’t think you’ll see her again, still end on a good note – self-respect and reputation are worth preserving.

10. Have Fun
People get way too stressed out about dating. If you can put fun as your first priority, even above getting laid! then no matter what happens, you’ll probably have a good time. Enjoying yourself and getting to know someone new are great experiences, anything else is icing on the cake. And if you do get a little action, think of it as a hat trick.

Any tips for first date success?

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