Mallory asks “I think going to dinner is a great way to spend time with someone new and get to know him. Why do you say it’s a bad idea?”
DT: The first date should be short and sweet. Period. End of story. With NO exceptions.
I can’t tell you the amount of people who have told me that they thought the date went great because it lasted 5/fill in the blank hours. Guess what? Those people are still dating or have already been dumped by the time you read this blog. I know what I am talking about. Just do it.
The first date should be one hour and not a minute more.
If you can’t figure this out, set your phone alarm to ring in an hour. Have your friend call you in an hour. Actually schedule another appointment that you cannot miss forcing you to leave in an hour. Whatever method you use, just do it. Limit the first date to no more than one hour.
This step is not a ‘suggestion’. It is Law.
Why is this rule so important?
1. Click or no click?
If you end up not liking the person in person, you can leave graciously. No harm, no foul, as they say. It is my experience that practically everyone sounds good on the phone or on a text. The real test is getting them in front of you. Either you guys click…or you don’t. It’s that simple. Pay attention when you meet them.
This yardstick (click/no click) should be the only aspect of the date that you are evaluating. Aside from that, just let it flow and have fun.
If you are not feeling it, be gracious, be a lady, and politely end it. Sometimes, you can do it at the end of the date, sometimes, you don’t know until the next day. That’s ok. You really should deliver the news within 24-72 hours, tops.
Say, “I really had a good time. You’re a good person. I just didn’t feel ‘the click’. Good luck in your search.” Done. Short, sweet, and to the point.
If you didn’t want to take it further, having a short, first date is a killer good reason to have a short, first date. Your time (and money…gas, parking, new outfit, and whatever else you paid for go on this date) is kept to a minimum.
You’re each not invested. This is the perfect time to make your exit. I have talked to hundreds of women who wait 6 months to tell the guy she is not interested. That’s bs…not to mention, cruel. Most women know in 15 minutes. There is no reason to drag this on for 6 months or any months. At that point, you are just using the guy for a free meal or however else you are manipulating him. I don’t approve. It’s not classy. And men don’t marry women who are not classy.
2. You clicked! Hooray!
Most women at this point will say, “We clicked, so even though we followed your one-hour rule, we extended the date by going somewhere else to continue the date.”
To which I say, “Well, you didn’t follow my rule.”
If you clicked, you should still end the date. Why? Because you want to leave him wanting more. I often get an invitation to schedule the second date at the close of the first date. That’s how you KNOW you are doing it right. It is okay if he doesn’t ask right away, but he should ask within 72 hours. If he doesn’t, he is usually playing you, and you don’t want a player. (Translation, 90% of the time, he is married. 10% of the time, he is undecided and otherwise unavailable). Move on.
Never be the one who decides if there is a 2nd date. Let him be the man. In the beginning stages of dating, it’s always good to let the man lead. If you are doing the asking, you will never really know if HE likes YOU. He may say “yes” because he is lonely, bored, or horny. It does not mean he likes you. And in today’s modern world, he may be using you for money, power, connections or whatever, if you lead. Again, none of this tells you whether he is into you (for you) or not. Let him lead. That way, you KNOW where you stand. Plus, it always works best that way.
Think about it. It’s human nature. People want what they can’t have. If he wants to be around you more and he can’t have you (because you have to leave), he will only want you more. Follow me? Good.
Here is another reason why I have this short-date rule…be your own person. Practically ALL women want a long first date. They want a fancy dinner, or maybe dinner and a movie, or dinner and theater tickets. When I make a short, first date, they are in SHOCK. You stand out. Listen to me! You stand out! I don’t do it for that reason, but heck, let me say it again, You Stand Out. It makes them take notice. It sets you apart because you are not doing what all the other women are doing. He gets to thinking, “Gee, why is she doing this? What’s she got?”
Any upstanding gentleman at this point will be begging you to let him take you to dinner, the concert, or whatever 5 hour date he can muster. While this is very flattering, don’t take the bait. By the way, it is perfectly ok by me to have the 2nd date be long. He can do these nice outings on the 2nd date, not the first. (Don’t tell him all this! You keep the power to yourself…and by telling him your tactics, he may see this as game playing and dump you on the spot. I know. I was an idiot once and spilled the beans and lost a terrific guy in one second. He took what I said out of context and immediately dumped me.)
When you politely decline his offer (for a long first date), oh my gosh, it ups the ante even more. He is now thinking, “I’m throwing money at her and she’s not going for it? Wow. What an unusual girl!” After complimenting you in his head because he is keeping score by the way, he then turns the situation to himself (as most guys are self-centered) to say “Wow. Maybe she is going out with ME, to get to know me, and not my money or what I can do for her.” More points are racked up. Feel me?
He also is impressed that you are standing your ground. Most men worry that you are going to cheat on them. Men don’t take well to cheating. It takes them years, if not forever, to recover. Knowing a girl stands her ground makes him think of you in a whole new light (bingo! Marriage material!) This is how a man interprets your standing your ground…“When I am not with her, and if a guy approaches her, she will stand her ground to ward off his advances.” Any guy loves this quality in his woman. No man wants to feel insecure that you will cheat on him. A woman who knows how to say “no” is a woman he wants. Period.
So, how you decline? Say “Gosh, I would love to spend more time with you/go to dinner with you/go to the concert with you. Let’s just meet at 7pm as planned. We can always do those things another time.” Smile. Then, shut up. Be done with the conversation, politely, of course.
What is the perfect first date? Number one on my list is to go for a drink. One or two glasses of alcohol often relaxes people to be themselves and open up. The best time to go is before dinner, like happy hour, 4-7pm or after dinner, 7-9pm. If you or he don’t drink, so what? That person can always just have a club soda or soft drink.
My second choice is to go for a walk. Maybe get an ice cream (or not) and go for a walk on the beach, a walk around the park or lake, a walk at the farmer’s market, a walk around the grounds (like a rose garden or museum). If something grabs your attention, going on a walk is a great conversation starter. “Gosh, did you see those pears (at a farmer’s market)? They were the biggest I have ever seen.” “Gee, the birds are quite the singers today (around the lake).”
The cool thing about a walk is that you are close together but not in each other’s face. He can be as casual or as intimate as he pleases. Here’s how you KNOW you’re doing it right: He takes your hand.
Other good marks: He walks curbside (the outside position, to keep you safe). He holds you back (nice, he is being a gentleman to protect you) when a car is passing. You can tell a lot about a man by how he walks with you.
Coffee dates? I love coffee. I have done coffee dates. Coffee dates, for me, almost never lead to a second date. A drink (alcohol) is almost always a sure thing. Coffee? Not so much. Also, coffee is usually in the morning. I usually have to be back at work or be off doing other things to start my day, meaning that I am watching the clock too much in the morning. If he is anything like me, he has got to get on with his day, too (more clock watching!). Although coffee dates meet the one-hour date rule, they tend not to be productive.
Other ideas? If you happen to be athletic, men LOVE women who are athletic, by the way, hitting a bucket of balls is super fun. I got really good results doing this activity. Miniature golf is a good one. Shooting range at the local amusement park is good. Hiking up your local canyon is good. Remember, if you are going to do an activity, you still have to keep it under one hour. Most men love to be active, so it’s usually a good pick.
In summary, short and sweet gets the job done. If you can’t see yourself with this guy physically or for other reasons, graciously let him go. If the date goes well, the anticipation of seeing him again will shine through. Everyone wants to be wanted. Your wanting to see him again will make him like you more because he is flattered that you like him.
Have fun. Here is one last tip, pretending that you have all the time in the world, keeps you in the moment. Being in the present, makes each of you show your real selves, which is what you want. That being said, get the heck out of Dodge when the time is up. Tick-tock.
To find out more about the author, go to www.dt4m.com