Now, I know you are thinking: “Why in the hell would I take dating advice from this guy? He can’t even get a second date!” Well, while that may be true, I have some advice to offer regarding first date etiquette that will be sure to land you a second and a third. Basically, it’s the exact opposite of what I normally do. And maybe, by writing this post, I will teach myself a thing or two as well.
- Play it cool. No matter how you met them, online, through a friend, or even at a bar, once the phone numbers have been exchanged, do not make the first move. (Unless they only gave you their phone number. Then, yeah. I guess you can send the first text.) But that is the only exception. You need to make them feel like you have a million other possibilities out there – even if your Friday night consists of Netflix and Pizza Hut.
- Always dress for the date. The dating dress code is one of the most important things. Know the location or activity you and your date will be participating in. If it’s a nice dinner, don’t wear cowboy boots (trust me). If you are just meeting up for drinks, be a mix of classy and casual. Don’t dress up too much by wearing a tie or cuff-links, but also don’t dress too casual by wearing cargo shorts and flip flops. But most importantly, wear what you feel comfortable in. If you aren’t comfortable, other people will see that.
- Don’t assume your date is going to pay. This is a complicated matter in the world of gay dating. Usually for heterosexual couples, the man usually picks up the tab, and for lesbians, whoever has the shortest hair pays. But for gay men, it’s a toss up. Some people say whoever asked the other out should pay. Others say the top should pay. And definitely whoever is the uglier of the two should pay. Just don’t assume that if you are a hot bottom your date will pay for you. Order in the bracket you can afford. There is nothing more embarrassing than going out to eat at the Red Lobster, ordering like a king, and then being stuck with your half of the bill. (There is also nothing more embarrassing than going to the Red Lobster on a date).
- Always show up ten minutes late. I am a “premature arriver.” No matter what time I leave my apartment, I will always get to the meeting place at least twenty minutes early. Even if I leave three minutes until the set time. It’s always a good idea to have your date waiting for you, sitting at the bar sweating, hoping you will show up. It will make you less nervous. If you do show up early, take a walk around the block, drive around, or play a game of words with friends.
- Be you…but just a little. I always encourage people to be themselves no matter what the occasion, but there is “being yourself” and being YOURself. Always stay true to you, but leave much to the imagination. One of my biggest dating mistakes is that I reveal too much too soon. Do not tell your date that you have irritable bowel syndrome. Do not tell your date you watched the entire series of Desperate Housewives in eight days. And do not tell them that you are losing your hair at a rapid pace. Never give out more information than they asked. If they say, “What’s your family like?” respond with, “Loving, funny, quirky….” Do not say, “My mom has multiple personality disorder, and I never met my father because he’s in jail for bestiality.”
- Flirt with your eyes, not with your hands. Or feet. Keep the physical contact of the date to a minimum. Use your eyes to show them that you are listening and interested. You can maybe use an arm touch once in the night, but only if they say something extremely funny. Just do not overuse the arm touch. You just met this person, so don’t invade their personal space. I once was on a date and put my hand on the guys kneecap for the entire screening of “Avatar”. He left the theater before I could take off my 3-D glasses.
- Do not go home with him. Unless you didn’t like him. Then, yeah. Go home with him.
- After the date, do not text them. No matter what. I know that after a great date, we want to text them saying “I had so much fun” or “Tonight was great”. Don’t. I once got a text message from a guy thanking me for a great night before I was even in my car. Wait until at least the next day to start communication.
- When establishing communication after the date, do not be needy. Do not ask them if they had fun. Do not ask them if you look like your pictures. And do not pressure them for a second date. Remember that old saying, “If they want to see you, they will make it happen.” Feel it out. If after the date, you see communication has dwindled, (i.e. lengthy text messages have now gone to one or two words) let it go and do not contact them. Maybe they just weren’t that into you.
10. Don’t give up. Keep on dating. If you go out with someone and you never hear from them again, you have to remember it is their loss. Trust in yourself that you are an amazing catch and if they don’t see that, then the hell with them. Do not focus on every minute of the date, thinking, “I shouldn’t have said that” or “Maybe I could’ve done this”. It wont matter. You said it. You didn’t do it. It’s too late. On to the next one. Just take everything you should have done or could’ve said better, and implement it into your next date.