I was eating in a restaurant in New York a few months back and was sitting next to a couple I could tell was on a first date. Things seemed to be going “ok,” but not a ton of sparks. At some point, the guy went to the bathroom, and the woman was there alone. I couldn’t resist asking, “So, how’s the date going?”
“Eh, not great,” she confessed.
“Oh?” I asked.
“Seems a little stiff.”
I decided to try to do the guy a favor because if nothing else, he certainly seemed nice. So I gave her three reasons why this guy might actually be worth sticking around for a second date with.
She nodded, and soon the guy returned and they went on with their date. I could hear them laughing more, the energy seemed more relaxed, and as they headed out, she leaned over to me and whispered, “Hey, thanks for that.” Maybe they’ll get married, maybe they’ll eventually split up. But, here are the three reasons I gave her:
Reason #1: Sometimes guys are a bit nervous if they really like a girl.
A guy who’s really into you will be so out of his comfort zone it will really throw him. He probably hasn’t felt this way in a while, and it’s freaking him out. And we guys get way ahead of you in our heads. We’re imagining walking down the aisle with you after the second drink sometime. Believe me, we’re awful that way, but our gender is genetically programmed to try to stay a step ahead and anticipate the future. So we can get a little lost in our own internal movie, and not stay as in the moment. Especially if we can really see ourselves with you.
What makes it worse, is that it can start making us try way too hard. Trying to impress you, make you laugh, make the conversation stimulating, convince you we’re worth sticking around for… All of which has resulted in a perfectly good man scaring off an otherwise perfect mate at least 50 trillion times in the history of mankind. Over-eagerness is the Achilles heel of the otherwise perfect future husband. He’ll be great down the road—considerate, thoughtful, honest, caring, hand-holding, good-career-having, good conversationalist, the works. But tonight he’s a trying-too-hard mess.
Reason #2: You don’t really want a guy who can sweep you off your feet on a first date.
“I don’t?” you’re asking me, rolling your eyes.
No, you don’t. And here’s why: Because that guy got there with lots of practice. And he’ll be back here tomorrow night sweeping another girl off her feet.
Guys who are good at first dates are often professional daters. They’re pros at the first impression. They’re studied, they’re practiced, they’re rehearsed. They’re like comedians you think are making everything up off the top of their head, but really these are lines and moves they’ve been doing for years, they’re just good at making it seem natural.
And maybe that guy isn’t quite the long term prospect you’re looking for.
The guy who’ll really be there when you have cancer or when you’re raising twins might not also be the same guy who knows how to order the perfect bottle of wine with your swordfish.
Reason #3: Being great at a relationship requires qualities that are rarely called on in a first date.
Good guys are usually too busy being in long-term relationships. They’re not out practicing first dating technique all the time. And being great in a relationship and great at dating aren’t exactly the same skill sets.
A great boyfriend/ partner/ husband will have characteristics like:
- Being a well balanced, stable, upbeat and pleasant guy to be around
- Having a good career and paying his bills on time
- Thinking ahead about the future and planning for it
- Remembering your favorite meal and making it for you
- Being fair and diplomatic when in an argument
- Knowing exactly how you take your coffee
- Knowing how to actually cook
- Being there for you when you and your mom are fighting
- Daring to push you when you’re facing a big opportunity at work
- Surprising you with a night out to see your favorite band
- Cleaning up after himself around the apartment
Almost none of these characteristics has a chance to show up on a first date. However, things like knowing the best cocktails, dressing fancy and humorously quoting “The Office” will have 65 chances to shine on a first date. But those traits won’t get you (or him) far once you’re in a relationship.
Relationships are about being solid, steady, considerate and giving on a day-after-day basis. You won’t be able to see a lot of proof of that on a first date.
But just because you’re not swept off your feet on that first date doesn’t mean he actually does have the characteristics to make you happy down the road.
So give him more than a first date, ladies, if you think he’s got character deep down.
And don’t be too swept away by the pro who never makes a false move in the bar.
You Might Also Like These From The Good Men Project
|How to Lose a Guy Forever||The One Thing Men Want More Than Sex||The Reality All Women Experience (that Men Don’t Know About)||Here’s What Happens When You Find The One|
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