For the GUYS: Four Suggestions for Improving First Dates

2/29/2012 The Charmer 12 Comments

Dang. I missed my posting day for real this time. Excuse me for sucking at life. But what was supposed to be a 1 1/2 hour outing (at most!) to get free pancakes and go grocery shopping at Walmart last night turned into a 3-hour excursion. And then I wanted to go to bed by 10:30 because I had somewhere to be at 6:30 this morning. (Aka my excuse for why you didn't get a blog post yesterday.)

Also, I didn't have anything terribly pressing or passionate I wanted to write about. No breakups, no romantic Valentine's Day reunions, no proposals.

Anyway, I've been thinking a bit about first dates lately.

Mr. Dir has a new RRM roommate and I've been watching him as he starts his dating life from scratch. I've found myself thinking, Wow. I do NOT want to go through that again. First dates, albeit at times amusing, have pretty much lost their luster for me. I'm probably not old enough to be allowed say that. But I've been on a lot of first dates and a lot of them have been pretty bad.

However, during the break I went on a few first dates and one of them was particularly good. It was so good, in fact, that I thought I'd share with you why it was so good in the hopes of improving your own first dates. So, male readers--this one's for you!

1. First off, it was a breakfast date. We made breakfast together at his apartment.
I love breakfast dates because a) I love breakfast and b) they're a little out-of-the-ordinary, which makes them unexpected. Breakfast dates are fun because they're not your usual evening/night date--having a date in the morning just really gives the date such a fun, casual feel. Plus, your night is still open! Lunch dates are fun too.
So, how can you apply this to your dating life? Doing something a little different on a date really stands out to girls. I'm impressed when guys think up something creative and even a little quirky. (Keep in mind, though, that doing something too strange is...well, it's strange. Don't be so concerned with making your date completely unique that you find yourselves dumpster diving for buttons so that your girl can make a button mural of a scene from her dreams the previous night.)

2. We were DOING something.
One of my favorite dates just happens to be making meals. I don't really know why, but I think it's because I enjoy doing something productive and having something to show for it at the end while still having the opportunity to chat and get to know the person. In my opinion, it's so much better than sitting around watching a movie. Again, this is really a personal preference--but if you can choose a date where you're doing something that leaves you with something to show for it in the end, that is AWESOME! It's fun to have a souvenir of your date. Plus, the advantage is that every time she sees it, she'll think of you! I think this is why date places like Color Me Mine are so popular. On my first date with The Ex, I came home with a Utah Flash t-shirt. It was so fun every time I pulled out that shirt to remember our first date.

3. On the date we had good conversation.
I really didn't feel like it was a first date, since the conversation went so smoothly and he seemed to be very much at ease. The worst part of first dates is feeling like you're being interrogated. When a guy is just firing questions at me, I feel like I'm in a job interview instead of a date and I don't like it. On this breakfast date, there were a couple of times when he started asking me questions like "How many kids are in your family?" and I remembered, Oh yeah. First date. But eh, I feel like a certain amount of getting-to-know-you questions are fairly inevitable on a first date. I cringed a little when he pulled out the What's your favorite band? card. I hate that question. But other than that, the conversation flowed very well. (Mr. Director and I had really good conversation on our first date. No silly rapid-firing-of-questions.)

4. He kept it short--The date was at 10am and we were done by 11:15. Perfect, especially since I had somewhere to be at 12.
The principle you can take away here: SHORT DATES ARE GOOD DATES! I personally don't think a first date needs to be more than 2 hours. After all, it's better to leave her wanting MORE than to leave her wishing she'd seen less of you. This doesn't mean that if things are going great and you're having great chemistry and conversation that you need to abruptly end the date. A really useful tactic for guys is to leave an opening for an allowable extension. At the beginning of the date, let the girl know you'll have her home by a certain time. Then, if things are going fabulously, when that time is approaching you can allow her to extend the date. You can say something along the lines of, "Well, it's almost 10:30. So I can take you home now...or, if you want, we can go and grab some hot chocolate before I bring you back." This way, you're letting her know that you're interested in spending more time with her. You're still honoring your commitment to bring her home at a decent hour, AND you're letting HER decide whether or not she wants to keep spending time with you. It's a smart move. And Mr. Director tried it on me twice and it totally worked both times. (In fact, it STILL works on me every time he tries it.)

One strike against Breakfast Boy--we were making breakfast at his apartment, and I ended up walking over there because he didn't have a car. I know it would have been a little counterproductive for him to walk to my apartment to pick me up and then walk right back to his apartment, but there's something to be said for picking up a girl for the date. (Especially since I didn't actually know where his apartment was, as I'd only been to the complex once before)

But other than that, kudos to him for a fantastic first date!

So, let's make a little FIRST DATE CHECKLIST of things to keep in mind when you're planning a first date:
1. Don't stick to the same-old "dinner and a movie" routine. Try something different.
2. Pick an activity that allows you to do something together! (And if you have something to show for it afterwards, even better!)
3. Don't make the conversation feel like a one-sided interview.
4. Keep it short!

Of course, if any of you ladies are planning on making the first move and asking a guy out, these tips are great for you to keep in mind as well!
On that subject, guys, what do you think about girls who ask you out instead of the other way around?

xoxo,
The Charmer

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12 comments:

Elisabeth said...

Yes, I do want to know about the girls-asking-guys thing. Especially since that's something I do a lot that seems to usually scare them off, but has occasionally worked really well.

Also, any dates that include cooking are good types of dates. Might as well do something fun!

Anonymous said...

I think that it is ok if a girl asks a guy out. I remember watching a video made by a friend where his class went around campus and asked a bunch of guys and girls if girls could ask guys out and most, if not all the guys said yes and most of the girls said no. I say go for it. I know I wouldn't mind it. sometimes it is hard for a guy to get up the courage necessary. I know I have confidence issues.

Anonymous said...

A couple months ago, I took a huge leap and asked a guy on a date. I was so nervous because I didn't know if it was okay for me to do that, but.....we're dating now. He told me that he had been wanting to ask me out, but that he was a little nervous--he actually thanked me for asking him out.

So...it does turn out okay. It doesn't mean that in every situation, a girl can ask the guy out--there has to be some reciprocation, but I think in the proper place...it can be very beneficial.

Not that I'm even a guy, or that it was even my business to answer the question...Sorry.

Eleanor Dashwood.

The Closer said...

I love this advice! Especially about leaving her wanting more, it's hard to handle a ton of time with someone you barely know and not see a reduction in excitement after a couple of hours.

I have heard a lot of guys say that they would definitely want to be asked out, but I do think that makes things a lot trickier (i.e. who pays, who picks up, etc). I'm a fan of throwing out "We should do something sometime" and seeing if they take the bait. I think most guys would, that swings the door pretty wide open.

Jason Nordin said...

Oi. I'm pretty obviously a guy, and I approve of this message. Whole-heartedly.

Couple of comments:
Girls asking guys out? That is a YES. I love it when a girl shows initiative. It shows she's actually interested, and not too wrapped up in the posturing and drama of dating, that usually involves a lot of guessing, mind-reading, and the expectation of such.

I love feeling manly, and I love to make a girl feel like a princess, so I will insist on being chivalrous. Being the main one to ask out can sometimes be part of that; but if the guy OR the girl insists on some game being played, it shows insecurity and disrespect.

So YES on girls asking out on the first date. Maybe beyond that, you should give the guy the chance most of the time. It depends on the guy, though. Some guys are pretty shy and need a little prompting. So SUGGESTIONS are also a plus.

Oh, and question from a guy - It's my opinion that chivalry, however dead it is, is always a good thing. I like it when a girl insists on door-opening and all that jazz. (Nicely, of course.) If a guy or girl is offended by this, then they're a doofus. (Except girls are never a doofus. However you spell that.)

I could probably write a post about every one of these (or you could... *hint, hint*), but just a couple more thoughts to wrap up...

On number 1 & 2:
Color-Me-Mine is awesome. 100% agreed on this. Sometimes it's a bit hard to come up with good ideas, but once you start thinking about places you DON'T want to go and things you DON'T want to do, then things come pretty smoothly.

Good ideas are awesome, but if it's creative and from YOU it's 10x better and you'll enjoy it 10x more.

On number 3:
Ehehe... This is my weak point. I HATE making conversation, just because I'm so bad at it. I've learned a couple of techniques: no rapid-fire-questions; silence is nothing to be afraid of; and quit thinking of what you're going to say and LISTEN. (Thank you, Hitch.) Sometimes it's unbearable, though. Especially when a girl is also a bit of an introvert, it can get pretty unbearable.

Are there any tips you might have as far as making good conversation?

...um... yup. I'm done. I get really excited about these things, for some reason. Sorry for the novel. Apparently you aren't too hot on those here...

The Closer said...

Jason I think I read your mind, here's some additional tips just about how to make conversation: http://byudates.blogspot.com/2012/02/5-first-date-conversation-tips.html

The Charmer said...

Jason, NEVER apologize for leaving a comment when it is fabulous as yours was. When it comes to blogging, I don't mind novels. In fact, I love them, which is why my posts are always a little bit on the looong side.

I love your insight--it's really helpful! Hopefully you'll continue to read and comment!

xoxo,
The Charmer

Jason Nordin said...

Aw gee... I've never been xoxo'd. I feel really macho on here, and I'm afraid I'm addicted already. 'Sokay. I prefer to be manly rather than 'macho'. I will have to seriously limit my time here, though.

Will do, will do.

Juichi said...

As a guy, I agree with everything Jason said. A lady asked me out once, and it was VERY flattering and a much needed boost to my ego. The only reason I was embarrassed at all was because I was going to ask her out anyway within a week, so it was a reminder that I took too long to plan. On the plus side, it decreased my stress level a lot and let me use my date ideas for dates 2 & 3.

Anyway, thanks to Closer for the conversation tips. Like Jason (and almost every guy I know), I feel like I stink at making conversation. Once on a first date, I found myself talking about what I learned in a 400-level class I loved.... *sigh* Let's just say that her patience with me was a huge turn-on.

Also, since a lot of the ladies say they're unclear on dating law, here are some rules:
1. The asker plans the date. If you're having trouble with this, that's ok. It's hard for us too.
2. As the asker, you picks up the other person, unless you both agree otherwise, or you at least set a good meeting spot.
3. If you ask, you pay. The guy may ask if he can help cover costs; you're welcome to let him. Until that point, you pay.
(Note that this follows Elder Oaks's rule of dating - planned, paired off, and paid for.)
4. Let him treat you like a princess. That's still his job.

Basically, if you ask, you do ALL of the logistics, transportation, funding, etc. Other than chivalry, the person who was asked should only have one job, getting to know you better, and you should even be ready to help with that.

If planning dates is a breeze for you ladies, PLEASE help us! If it's insanely hard, welcome to my life.

Anonymous said...

Amen. I'm all for short dates!!!! I went on a first date on Saturday that was 7 HOURS and 45 MINUTES..... It was probably the longest, most painful date I've ever been on. It wasn't even a bad date per say. But after hour three, I just wanted to go home. Be courteous to the girl you're asking and make it a short, pleasant experience.

I've been reading these posts for about a couple of weeks and I am definitely intrigued! It's pretty awesome to read about dating life in a BYU setting.

Anyway - just wanted to leave a quick comment. Yes to the girls asking the guys out. Absolutely allowed and welcome! It helps the guys know that there is interest on the other side and it shows that you have enough self-confidence to get out and do something. Me personally - overly done indecisiveness drives me CRAZY. It's alright every once in a while, but not all the time. So it really is a plus to see a young lady to make a decision. I don't know about making the girl pay, I'd definitely offer to do my part. And who said that dates have to cost money? The best dates I've been on have not needed a cent. Creativity! :D

Thanks for listening to my thoughts! Keep up the great work!

CaliBaseball23

These are great date ideas! Dates don't have to be always dinner outs but must be fun as well. Great post you got here. Thanks for the information that you've shared with your readers. :)