A Guy’s Advice For Women – How to Turn a First Date Into a Relationship

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About Josh Bowman

Josh Bowman is a professional fundraiser, story-teller, comedian, and blogger. He has worked and consulted in Vancouver, New York, and now Toronto for almost a decade. Josh improvises around Toronto, including regular shows with Opening Night Theatre, and also blogs for the Huffington Post. You can email Josh or follow him on Twitter. If you want to submit a guestpost or know more about Josh, check this post and this post out first.


  1. Is this “advice” meant to be satirical?

  2. Great article- it’s also important to temper expectations on a first date (this goes for both men and women). First dates by nature are a little awkward, even with good chemistry. You basically want to get just enough information to justify having a second date..

  3. It’s a pretty good article! I personally disagree wit hthe “don’t judge him for having too many sexual partners.” I don’t really want to be with a guy that has gone through women like butter on toast. It’s kind of the reverse of telling women not to sleep with guys right away. I also want a man responsible with his sexuality just like men want women to be responsible with their sexuality even if they want to sleep with us.

    I also disagree a tiny bit on the tests! I don’t think you should be testing someone to trick them into messing up. But sometimes asking certain questions or such and testing or “feeling out” a prospective partner can be a good thing.

    But all in all, I liked Josh’s advice.

    • You can be responsible with your sexuality and have a somewhat high number of sexual partners. I mean I’m not saying if he has slept with hundreds of people, but if his number is like 30… that seems like a whole lot, but depending on age and time between it may not be. Plus if he’s clean and has been safe that is in the past. Now he might be more mature and he wants to leave all that in the past and get more serious. He should be judged on who he is and what he wants at the current time. The same goes for women. Well this is how I see it anyway haha to each their own!

      • I agree that you can be responsible with your sexuality and have high numbers. But in most cases, those with high numbers are probably more pleasure seekers in general. I am not saying people with high numbers are bad partners or that seeking pleasure is wrong. I just like a little more disconcernment.

  4. When it comes to guys, I need all the advice I can get.

  5. For me it’s about this : Be passionate (not perfect) in your life and be prepared to communicate/share that passion. The other stuff seems secondary..

  6. I like Points 4 (Relate) and 5 (Relax) best.

    After the excitement and passion of dating romance subsides (as it surely will or leading a normal life will be impossible), what goes a long way to sustain a long term relationship over decades has to be a healthy mixture of love and good old friendship (of the best friend variety).

    • “Relate” and “Relax” is always good advice when getting to know people and presenting yourself – be it a date, a job interview, a dinner, a business meeting, or whatever. And it’s an excellent long-term approach, too.

  7. Super advice. I’m not just saying that because I am such a catch, either. Except for #1. I dress like Tarzan.

  8. This is good stuff. Too bad that most women won’t read it, and many of those who do won’t take it seriously.

    • Because it reads like satire! It’s nonsense! It’s paternalistic and condescending.

      • Can you give any specifics about what you find to be ‘nonsense’?

        • 1) The author is telling women that in order for someone to want to be in a relationship with them, they should dress up. The idea that women have to dress a certain way (“nice” and not “casual”) to make themselves appealing to men is vile. And if it’s true for the author, he mightn’t want to go advertising the fact that he’s that shallow, or expects women to dress in a specific manner just to please him.
          2) The author is explicitly telling women what to do with their bodies–”Don’t have sex”. That’s not his call.
          3) And his point that “if the guy really likes you, sleeping with him on the first night probably won’t make a difference; he will still want a relationship” can very easily be countered by the argument that if a guy i’m into would think less of me if i DID have sex with him on the first date, he’s not the kind of guy i’d want to carry on dating. That’s something i’d like to know, and there’s only one way to find out that out.

          • To be fair, the list is a response to a list of advice for men, made mostly of fail (http://www.idatedthatdouche.com/2012/08/ten-points-of-advice-to-men-when-first.html), so there’s a reasonable chance it’s meant at least tongue-in-cheek. The original list includes such classics as insisting the man pays for the first date; we’re safely in gender stereotype land here.

            But then, the original list gives advice for men “dating girls”; Why would a man do that in the first place?

            • Emma – I have to disagree with you. If women are showing up to dates fresh off their bike in yoga wear (which is only appriopiate for a bike date, dog park date or the likes of that), I can understand being a little like, “umm okay.” I wouldn’t like it if a guy showed up dressed up with what he wore to his construction job.

              I also don’t think the author was teling women what to do with their bodies so much and just being honest about how men deal with the whole thing of sex. I am not saying it’s fair. There is clearly still a double standard. But it is how a lot of guys think and the author being honest about that doesn’t equate to him telling women what to do with their bodies. He is simply saying, “ladies if you do x, men will do/think why.” While I would like things to be different, you got to work with how things are and use it to your best advantage. Hence, not giving physical affection so quickly and easily.

            • In another article on this site, men were adamant in their comments about how a girl who made them wait for sex was using and exhausting them. That it wouldn’t fly with them and that she . Now, we’re being told to wait. Why can’t it just happen organically? Neither party should pressure the other and neither should be making it into a game or ‘withholding’ on purpose. It should happen when both partners want it–when they feel comfortable and ready. Every situation is different and varies based on many different things. It could happen on the first date, or it could happen after six months. I guess I wouldn’t want a man who would judge me for either–nor would I ever judge a man for engaging in either, as long as he was respectful, communicative, and honest throughout.

            • Aya – I agree with you. I think part of what you’re saying is we should be individuals and tune in to our own rules, and that’s something I’m strongly in favor of. In this case the “rules” given are marked as heteronormative by the author but I think class is evident in his writing, so the audience is limited in that way too (full disclosure: in the past I would probably have been an ideal audience for this type of article).

              I’m probably somewhere in between Emma and Erin in my response to the article. But part of the reason I lean more towards what Emma is saying is that I don’t see most of the things on the list as being values, and am wary of anyone who would.

            • Completely agree with Erin on this (for the record I am a smart, well-read feminist with a lot of dating/relationship experience – not that that matters, just putting my opinion in context).

          • I definitely think women should look presentable on dates. I don’t find the advice offensive at all.

            I am pro-90 rule. I would have saved myself so much trouble by waiting and just letting all the assholes LEAVE. I also think if a woman has sex on the first date, she should be cool with it just being a one night stand and not expect more.

          • Michael Rowe says:

            Uh, Emma? The author is telling women to dress up for a first date. Did you happen to catch the “date” part of that? That’s not “paternalistic,” it’s good manners. Remember good manners? Never mind…you probably don’t.

            • Michael, is it good manners to sarcastically ask someone if they remember good manners and then immediately reply “neverm ind..you probably don’t?

      • i second that!

      • Mr Supertypo says:

        to be fair its the same feeling that lot of guys get from reading dating advices to men from women and not only from women see doc. Nerdlove, who is almost always cheered (incredible but true) by women.

  9. The first date isn’t everything is so true. Before meeting the amazing fella I share life with now, I dated a lot. I or the other person is trying so hard to impress someone you are rarely yourself the first date, little nervous, a little off from being that hilarious person you normally are. I always would do a 2nd date unless there was a million red flags during the first if it was offered/suggested/asked or if I felt that another time of getting to know them would produce a better outcome.

  10. Ah, the timeless “numbers” issue! One thing I’ll probably be never able to get, is why do people actually want to know those numbers?It just doesn’t make sense – say, you meet someone with whom all goes well, you’re compatible, etc. etc., BUT…their number is higher than the number you deem as acceptable. And what? Will you start liking that person less just cause of that?
    I say, its not the number that matters, but the story behind it. Its totally different when someone had lots of partners because of their inability to form a solid relationship/comittment issues, etc., and when the numbers got higher because of being single for a long time. Having very few partners doesn’t really confirm the persons potential in a relationship (as it may also be because of poor social skills).

    • Hi Laura

      I wonder why Americans have this rude, inpolite tradition of asking strangers, their date for their number .

      Do they also ask all sort of other highly personal private questions to persons they are not in intimate relationship with.?
      Do you ask if they have ever had STD, the income , do they own property , all sorts of diagnoses ,
      Criminal record, .
      Do they ask for ID so they can look up the person online to do a background check ?.

      • Mr Supertypo says:

        I also wonder why, I never came across it in Europe (Italy, Germany and Scandinavia in general) but I see it a lot in American dating contest (can speak about UK or Holland, only been there as tourist, no dating) usually if it has to be asked its something you keep till 3 or 4 date. People are less likely to be honest with “embarrassing” (depends who you are, somebody may even brag) things at the first date. And IMO its also impolite to ask….but thats me.

  11. This applies to both genders; I like it and please men pay attention to number 1. You don’t need to wear a suit for a coffee date, but please make sure what you wear is clean. I’ve being on a few dates where men looked like they were working on their cars.

    I have never slept with someone on a first date, but had been fooled and slept with someone after three dates. He acted like he wanted a relationship; then later said he wasn’t ready for that and just wanted a FWB. So pay attention, people are good at mirroring and pretending that they are what you want to get what they want.

  12. This is pretty good. There were a few here that really it home. Turn off your phone is a big one. Being a single dad, my rule is that unless it is my kids calling, I don’t touch my phone when I am on a date. I am OK with her answering from her kids as well but I have ended a date where the woman was on Facebook while we were having a drink.

    The other is number 8 and I would love to get a woman’s opinion. I had a date once and it went really well. She even said it was the best date she had ever been on. We talked, got along really well and laughed quite a bit. That said, she later told me that she didn’t want to see me again because there was no attraction. I asked her if she found me attractive. She said she thought that I was very good looking but that she didn’t feel any attraction. She then asked what was the difference.

    I explained that you can walk down the street and see someone and you think they are attractive, but to me, attraction is something different. I feel that thinking someone is attractive is kind of an instinct, where attraction can be built. You date, you get to know someone and you gain attraction to them over time. To me this is more long lasting than having one date and putting all the chips on to this one occasion. This is my opinion so I am curious what you all think about this.

    My thought is that if you don’t find someone attractive, you probably won’t develop an attraction to them no matter how long you date. However, if you think someone is attractive, i.e. good looking, it may take a few dates to build an attraction.

    Any thoughts or am I just out to lunch???

    • Neal
      “”"”" get to know someone and you gain attraction to them over time. To me this is more long lasting than having one date and putting all the chips on to this one occasion.”"”"”"”
      As long as men and women continue to use the traditional dating as their preferd way to find a partner this attraction we can feel that grows over time are not allowed to happen,
      That is why it can be better not to date but get to know a person without dating.

      For a woman to go on a second,third ,fourth date with a man that is attracted to her romantically , while she feels no sexual( romantic) attraction, that is difficult. It is a bit embarrassing. A woman can be afraid to hurt his feelings by giving hope because after all she goes out with him again and again. And if she feels his sexual tension , but are not sexually attracted to the man, then that can be aqward .

      Maybe men can go on multiple dates with women they are not attracted to in the hope they will develop feelings for her over time because she is a good decent human being. I am not so sure if men do that often.
      What do you think?


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