If you’re going on a date, treat it like an actual date. If you don’t remember what that looks like anymore — and I can’t blame you for that — here are a few things that are supposed to happen.
I don’t like dating. Mostly because no one seems to understand what dating is supposed to be anymore. These days, what gets labeled as a “date” is really just an unnecessarily extravagant booty call.
Listen, there is nothing at all wrong with just having sex. I’m all for it. But if you’re going to date, then actually date.
You should be capable of differentiating the two and approaching the two different scenarios differently. The problem is that most of us are so used to pseudo-dating in order to get off that when we find ourselves on what ought to be an actual date, we don’t know how to act.
If you’re going on a date, treat it like an actual date. If you don’t remember what that looks like anymore — and I can’t blame you for that — here are a few things that are supposed to happen:
1. Prior to the date, you’re supposed to feel nervous — especially if it’s a first date.
If you don’t feel nervous, then you’re not excited about the date. And if you’re not excited about the date, then why in the world are you going on the date in the first place? People these days date for the sake of dating.
We don’t go on dates because we find someone who truly catches our interest, but we go on dates because it’s an activity that fills some time — and possibly gets us laid.
If you’re really that bored, I’m sure you can find more productive things to do than force something that you already have little to no interest in.
2. You’re supposed to spend too much time getting ready.
I have a theory on why relationships fail. In their simplest form, I believe that they fail because both partners stop trying to impress the other.
We get too comfortable and feel that going that extra mile has no value. We already have our prize, so why continue pursuing it?
This is something that you should remember: You can always lose the person you love. Just because you have them now doesn’t mean that you’ll have them tomorrow.
You should impress them every chance you get because you love them and believe they deserve to be impressed. If this is your first date together and you feel no urge to put in a little extra effort, then I can tell you right now that it won’t go anywhere.
3. “Pick you up at your place at 7?”
That’s right — guys used to pick girls up and then go to dinner together. I’m sure that most of the men reading this don’t even remember the last time they picked a girl up and then went to dinner together.
Such a sight is surely more common in suburban and more rural areas, but in urban settings, it’s basically nonexistent.
Just because you don’t have a car doesn’t mean you should pick her up from her apartment. Why? For one, it’s a nice and gentlemanly thing to do and she’ll appreciate it (which should be enough).
Two, you should want to squeeze in as much time with her as possible. Picking her up before dinner will get you at least an extra 30 minutes.
4. Whatever happened to flowers?
Yeah, yeah… save the planet. I’m certain that that isn’t the reason no guy has ever given you flowers on a date. For starters, it’s probably because he doesn’t pick you up and then take you to dinner (bringing flowers to the restaurant is a bit awkward and inconvenient).
But at the end of the day, it’s because he either feels like it’s too cheesy — thank you modern-day dating culture — or he doesn’t care about you enough to put in that extra effort.
Women love flowers. And if your woman happens not to, bring her chocolates instead. If she doesn’t like either, then find another woman — you’re dating the devil. (Kidding.)
5. Dinner, not coffee, not drinks, not “watching a movie at his place.”
Not going to see a movie at the movie theater, either. In case you’ve forgotten, the point of going on a date is to get to know the person. The best setting is over dinner.
You have plenty of time to talk, plus you get breaks during courses, allowing you to smooth out the awkwardness that almost always exists on first dates.
Coffee and/or drinks sends the wrong message. Coffee either means, “I just want to be friends” or “I don’t have the balls to ask you out to dinner.” And drinks… well drinks mean that you just want to get laid.
6. You’re supposed to have stimulating conversations.
Of course, not all dates will lead to stimulating conversations, but if you’re dating the right person, they will.
The right person for you is the person that you find it incredibly easy to talk to, the person you feel so comfortable with that you aren’t watching every word you say to make sure you don’t say something they’ll find inappropriate.
If you find yourself constantly making sure you aren’t stepping on his or her toes, or you spend an entire evening talking about the weather and them Yankees, take it as a sign that that should be your first and last date with that individual.
7. You’re supposed to drink in moderation.
I don’t believe that drinking on dates, even first dates, is a bad thing. It’ll help loosen you up and make you feel more relaxed — good things. Of course, many of us aren’t especially good at drinking in moderation.
Before you know it, you’re six drinks in and beginning to slur your words. I feel that the more “official” the date is, the more people watch how much they drink.
However, chances are that if you aren’t really on the date in order to date the person, but just there to hopefully get a little action after dinner, you’re going to get pretty smashed.
I mean, how else are you going to convince yourself — and her — that it’s a good idea for the two of you — two people who don’t even know each other — to have sex? Bottoms up.
8. The guy is supposed to pick up the tab.
Yes, you read that right. Of course, not every single time. In fact, I’d say that the guy should only pick up the tab on the first date.
After that, assuming both people can afford to pay for dinner, the bill should be put on rotation. But on the first date the guy should cover the tab. Why? Because guys take girls out on dates to treat them.
It shows that you care about her and that you’re capable of being selfless. Unfortunately, there are many women out there — you know who you are — that take advantage of this.
If you’re a guy and find yourself paying for dinner every single time, I hope you’re at least getting laid. If you’re not then, I’m sorry, but you’re a schmuck. If she’s using you, you should be returning the favor.
9. He’s also supposed to walk you — or take you — home.
It’s the gentlemanly thing to do. Dating is the result of romantic love making its way into human culture. It exists, and only exists, because we believe romantic love to be a thing.
For romantic love to exist, you need to be romantic. It’s not cheesy; it’s beautiful. You’re supposed to walk your woman home because you’re supposed to care that she gets home safe.
Chances are that it’s already late and, believe it or not, the streets can get dangerous for women at that time (and for men, too, depending on where you live). Yes, you already know that you aren’t going to get laid tonight, but walk her home anyway.
If you really are interested in her, show her that you care for her. It’s these little things that will win her over — not the size of your wallet. And if such acts of chivalry don’t win her over, at least you know that she isn’t interested in you for the right reasons.
10. You’re not supposed to sleep together on the first date.
If you want to build an actual relationship with this person, don’t drop your pants within the first 24 hours — it’s a simple rule. Waiting to first go on a few dates really does increase your chances of making the relationship into an actual relationship.
For starters, it shows the other person that you aren’t looking for just sex — if you have sex on the first date, no matter what you’re looking for he or she will assume it’s only sex.
Also, it helps build up tension and yearning — both necessary for the manifestation of romantic love.
11. You’re supposed to call her the next day.
I always crack up when I a guy says, “I’ll talk to her in a few days, just so that she doesn’t think I’m too into her.” I’m sorry, but why would you not want her to know you’re into her? If she’s a woman who’s only interested in what she can’t have, then I’m afraid she isn’t ready to be in a relationship.
Don’t get me wrong, some games are fun. But this one is just stupid.
If the date went well and you find yourself thinking about her the next morning with a smile on your face, text her, email her or call her and let her know you had a great time and that she’s still on your mind.
If that doesn’t tickle her fancy, find yourself a better woman.
by Paul Hudson
This post originally appeared at Elite Daily. Reprinted with permission.
A young writer, philosopher, and entrepreneur, Paul Hudson (@MrPaulHudson) has been writing for Elite Daily nearly since the start. He primarily addresses the successes and downfalls of love and life.
Photo: Emily Rachel Hildebrand/Flickr