Pet Peeves of a First Date

DSC00591 In honor of Valentine’s Day, I recently asked some of my single girlfriends what their pet peeves are about going on a first date. I’m happily married but I do write about relationships, so this stuff is always interesting to me. Here are the top pet peeves:

  1. The way a guy asks for the date matters. If he starts the conversation with “What are you doing Friday?” or “Are you busy Friday?” it’s confusing. A woman’s instant reaction to this general question is to make excuses that she’s already got plans, in case his next question is, “Could you help me do my taxes?” Confidence is powerful and attractive to women. It’s difficult for a guy to put himself out there, but just go ahead and ask. “I’d really like to take you out for dinner Friday. Would you like to go?”
  2. Avoid using email or social media when asking for the first date. Face-to-face is the best approach. Phone calls are fine, too, for it’s that immediate connection that’s important. As women, we like to think that we’re worth the effort. It also sets the precedent for honest communication down the road.
  3. Dress with respect. A guy might not notice that his five-year-old jeans are torn at the cuffs, or that his sneakers are ragged and gray, but the other person will. Brand new clothes are not necessary for either party, but first impressions are difficult to shake.
  4. In these days of equal rights, should a man open the door for the woman? On the first date, the majority consensus is yes. If a guy holds open the door and she says that it’s not necessary and that she can do it herself, then after that, omit the gesture. Generally, women love gentlemen and good manners are sexy.
  5. Don’t take kids on the first date. This applies to both parties. For single parents, it might be tempting to see how your little ones react to your new date, and maybe you’d feel guilty if you didn’t take the kids skiing too, but it’s too early. The first few times should be reserved for one-on-one conversation.
  6. Should the guy pay? If the guy initiated the date, and especially if it’s the first one, it is appreciated. On later outings, taking turns or splitting the bill or doing whatever works for you as a couple is fine, but paying for the first date is appreciated and a very nice gesture.

Happy Valentine’s Day! There’s a restaurant in my neighborhood that’s having an Anti-Valentine’s Day Lunch which I think is hilarious — and maybe how a lot of people feel!

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