Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Dating Tips: Five Signs of a Great Date

Online matchmaking sites, chat rooms, and even Facebook have forever changed how many couples initially meet. Regardless of how you come to know your potential love interest, there will be a time when you have that initial face-to-face date. This nerve-racking experience can cause you to second-guess your every action. Without the luxury of a dating coach secretly transmitting step-by-step instructions to you, how do you know if your first date is going well? Authors Christine Hassler and Jason Ryan Dorsey offer you five signs -- from two different perspectives -- that let you know your odds of getting a second date.

1: You're actually excited to go out with him. And he seems excited to be going out with you, too. If you feel more excitement about going to the dentist than going on the date, you should have said "no" in the first place. Your lack of enthusiasm is likely to smother any chances you will hit it off, so either cancel the date or convince yourself to be open-minded. If he greets you with a smile and is on time, you are off to a good start.
2: He spent time planning the date. Did he think beyond just asking you out and make a reservation somewhere? Is he taking you to a meal or just a "meet for drinks after work" trial run? Did he print out directions and consider parking or is he obviously winging it? If you see that he has made some effort to make sure the night goes smoothly, or if he's visibly nervous about impressing you, then the guy actually thinks there's potential -- his intentions, however, remain to be seen.
3: He picks up the bill.
Call me old-fashioned, but if he asked you out, he should reach for the check.
Call me old-fashioned, but if he asked you out, he should reach for the check. If he doesn't, then either he's lost interest in you or he's just cheap. That said, don't order the most expensive drink in the house to go with your lobster. Be considerate. And speaking of top-shelf martini's, if it's clear to you that the only way to get through your date is to consume as many drinks as the waiter will bring, you might as well cut your losses, fake a headache, and go home where you can watch re-runs of "Sex in the City." The same is true if he starts throwing back the drinks faster than you.
4: He maintains eye contact throughout the night. If you notice he's squinting to see the backside of a scantily clad waitress, wait for the guy who actually makes an effort to focus on you. Your eye contact should coincide with a nice ebb and flow of conversation, not just him or you doing all the talking. And the date is doomed if he calls you by the wrong name or forgets your name entirely.
5: You both can't wait to talk to each other again -- and I stress actually talk, not send emails or text messages. And ladies, the only way he's going to call you the next day to tell you how much fun he had on the date, is if you go to separate homes when the date ends. A great first date always leaves something to the imagination...
1: She actually shows up. When you've been stood up as many times as I have, you feel a sense of relief when your date arrives. That feeling, however, can instantly vanish, like the time my date's father opened the front door wearing a flannel shirt and camouflage baseball cap. He then invited me to wait in the living room where he had conveniently spread his gun collection on a large table. I will never forget that experience. I also can't wait to have a daughter and do the same thing. No need to even mention curfew.
2: Your date laughs the whole time you're together. This is especially good if she's laughing with you and not at the lettuce between your front teeth.
If your date isn't laughing, then you're not entertaining her or she's not interested. Both are bad signs.
If your date isn't laughing, then you're not entertaining her or she's not interested. Both are bad signs. If you're unsure whether she's laughing at you or with you, ask her on a second date. If she laughs out loud, then you know the answer.
3: She offers to split the bill with you. Where I'm from, this simply doesn't happen. Ever. Maybe that's because the male paying the bill is customary in my part of the country. Maybe it's the give and take of the dating ritual. Maybe it's just the women I tend to date. Whatever the reasoning, when a woman on a date offers to split the bill, it shows they appreciate that there's no such thing as a free meal. When that happens, hide the two-for-one coupon you planned to use.
4: When you're out on the town with your date, she sees her girlfriends and insists they come over and meet you. This is a very good sign. It means you just passed the "good enough to be seen with in public" test.
5: Your first date is coming to an end, and you go to give her a sweet hug; and instead, she gives you a full-on smooch. Hello, Love! That sign is unmistakable -- unless she's been consuming alcoholic beverages and simply needed to grab you in order to keep her balance. When your date turns a friendly hug into a smooch be warned: Do not say anything! No matter what you say it won't be as romantic as in the movies. Instead, take a deep breath, savor the moment, feel the energy, wish her goodnight, and get out of there fast. You just positioned yourself for date #2! The question now is, when do you call...

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