The dating culture in India is not an age-old thing. Owing mostly to Americanisation, going on dates is something that has caught up after social media and dating sites took over our lives. And there isn’t Google material enough that can prepare you for your first date. With a girl. Cause girls are complicated? Uh…No.
The game of dating is not black or white. It is mostly shades of grey. You gotta be smart. You gotta jump back from any minor/major setback with a rebound period of less than a few seconds. You have to thread the needle at one go; hover too long and your date will be cut short by ‘I have to go, it’s an emergency’.
So, needless to say, dating is a challenge and making the first date with the woman you like count, is one of those many, many things they don’t have lessons for.
Here’s what you d0.
1. Call. Don’t text:
Unless you have social anxiety (yes, that’s a thing) and prefer texting and waiting for an appropriate amount of time before you start to get ready for the date, give your date a call. Sure, you have asked her out via text message but on the day of the date, make sure you communicate by a phone call. A phone call can achieve information in less than a minute and there is no wait time. It adds a mature humanising effect; it also shows the right amount of eagerness.
Yes, groom yourself. And groom yourself well.
If you have been putting off trimming your beard for the last three months, now is the time to get cracking. You don’t have to go all beard-off, but trim it nicely to look presentable. A nicely shaved beard will boost your self-confidence and a woman won’t be disgusted to wipe the cappuccino foam from it.
Shave, shower (if you have been putting it off for a few days), shampoo, condition (yes, men do it too).
Dress well. Casuals are evergreen. Remember to wear nice shoes (doesn’t have to be Italian leather, just the ones which you don’t wear on a daily basis). Most women check out the kind of shoes you are wearing.
Oh, and cologne. Because men who smell good get an extra brownie point!
Related reading: 7 people share their worst date experience!
3. Do your homework:
A little research goes a long way.
A stroll through your date’s social media profile will give you a further insight of what she is all about. Don’t just check the photos, the real clues are in the comments section. Maybe she loves the mountains and reading Murakami or she hates the colour saffron and its ability to ruin every other colour of the spectrum – stuff like that.
When you have gathered enough intel, break it up and weave it naturally into your conversation with her. This will open up more vistas of like-minded conversation. There will be no awkward pauses.
4. A small something:
Now you don’t have to buy her anything extravagant right on the first date. A small gift shows you are thoughtful. Maybe a copy of the book that she liked and has always wanted to read, is a sweet gesture enough. You can also go for a bunch of her favourite flowers or some chocolates.
5. Eye contact:
Wandering eyes say a lot. This one thing is probably the most important; also the one to get right.
Too much will make you ‘the guy who stared at me the whole time’ and too little will make you come off as one who isn’t paying her enough attention. The right amount will be making eye contact when she talks but dialling it down when you are talking. It will make her feel you are wonderfully attentive and will ease her into the date.
6. On your mark, get set, attention:
Generally, women complain about most men having a slight case of ADHD. Your attention span shouldn’t be affected by the couple at the next table or a bird flying overhead. Listen to her like she has the most interesting gossip ever (even though you might hate gossip and she is basically ranting about a colleague who shaves at his desk). The whole point of this is to be attentive and listen to what she has to say; being a good listener sets you apart from everyone else out there.
So, make eye contact, listen and compliment her genuinely. Compliments don’t need to showered on her, just point out the few things you have noticed and liked about her.
Now this can get little tricky. Personally, I think the bill should be split between the two of you. But you don’t know if your lady cares about equality?
Offer to pay
If she is like ‘No way. I don’t need no man spending money on my shit’ (or some less abusive version), laugh and split the bill. If she doesn’t say anything, then you have no choice but to pay the bill on your own.
This can get tricky for a lot of people. Many might find it offensive if you grab the bill the moment it arrives (some will blame it on the age-old tradition of the men having to pay for meals you both have eaten; some on the male ego). So keep it light. Politely offer to take care of this date. If your date wants to split the bill, oblige. Don’t insist. Women who generally offer to pay their half might bring their own feminist turn to this and that’s not how you want your date to end, is it?
8. Gentleman always wins the deal:
A kiss on the cheek is a sweet and a forgotten gesture. If you want the girl to await your return for a second date (assuming the first one went really well), play it like a gentleman would play it. Hold off to proceed beyond a kiss, even though she is giving you signs she is willing to go all the way. Not many men will deny themselves the pleasure, but you should hold it together. There is that second date to make things better.
Leave her with a mark and waiting breathlessly for the second date.