I have learned, through my five years experience as a dating coach for straight guys, that the ultimate goal for them after a date is for the woman he took out to call her friend and excitedly say, “Oh my god! I have to tell you about the amazing date I had last night!” Who wouldn’t want to know how to ensure this reaction?
Whether you’re an expert dater, a terrible dater, or a real life Good Luck Chuck, having some insight as to what makes a date great for a woman is crucial information.
Simply put, the answer is chemistry. But be aware, chemistry isn’t something you can just turn on and off like a light switch, nor is it based on looks. Rather, it is a combination of behaviors and indications that add up to “Hey, I like you!” Chemistry isn’t binary so if it’s not in your face apparent on a first date, don’t panic! There are certainly ways to facilitate it and guarantee you the perfect time together.
The easiest way to start being empathetic with others is to listen. When a woman feels like “he really gets me” after spending time with a man, chances are it was because not only did he hear what she was saying, but he also seemed to feel what she was saying. Most men don’t listen because they’re thinking of themselves, have no interest in what she’s saying, can’t stop thinking “does she like me?” or are just too busy trying to say something cool. A wise friend once told me, “It’s better to be interested than interesting.”
So, learn how to look interested (and make her feel interesting) by exercising your ears and making her feel understood. This is how rapport is born. Rapport is a transfer of emotion, which can only be circulated by way of empathy. The reason people get along based on commonalities is because of the underlying emotion behind them, not because of the commonality itself. Quick tricks to fake sincere listening? Quote, summarize, or allude to what she said earlier in the conversation.
Choose a place wisely
Remember this rule. The better looking the venue, the better you look. The good-lookingness of a place always helps the guy stand out. I’m not necessarily talking about the attractiveness of the crowd, but more so of the environment. If you have no idea, however, look around. If the women look like the ones you like – and they seem to like the place – then you’ve chosen well. Think: well decorated, unique menu, good aura, or any place a woman might describe as sexy, cozy, or cute. So please, for the love of God, put some thought into a first date! Remember, it’s about choosing, not about spending money.
Also, have another place near by planned in the event you need a plan B, or if the date is going so well that you want to continue it somewhere new. Change of scenery equals change of emotion. Bear in mind that if you are an unseasoned dater, you should not stay on a first date for hours. Keep a first date under two hours if possible. If you are torn about whether or not to stay out, you are always better ending early than running the risk of going too long. This way, if the energy was great, the date will end on a high note and she’ll be anxiously awaiting the next time she gets to see you.
When a man is inside his head, it feels as though he is not emotionally present. This is bad for a guy, because this lack of emotional connection can lead her to believe you are boring, unconfident, or socially incapable. She will rarely think that you are bored by her. Wear a rubber band around your wrist if you have to! It can be a visual reminder to stay in the moment.
If you find yourself slipping into your head and self-editing your words before you speak, here is a quick tip to try to bring you back to reality. I call it the “three step sentence generator.” First, choose something in the room that you can see, taste, touch, hear or smell. Next, choose a positive verb such as “like” or “love” to attach to the thing you’ve chosen. Third, put it all together to tell something about yourself. For example “I love that Baby Grand piano in the corner. It reminds me of the one we had growing up at my parent’s house.” Now, this doesn’t sound like anything ground breaking, but be aware, what you’ve done is three things: You’ve forced both of you to be present by choosing something that you both now have to shift your attention to, you’ve chosen a positive emotion that brings the conversation up, you’ve given some information about yourself that you or she can elaborate on. Simple. Effective.
Don’t be too eager
I don’t care if this girl is the best thing since beer, it is imperative to keep your cool and not lay down all of your proverbial cards on the first date. When a man tells a woman “I like you” along with all of the great things he would do for her, without being 100 percent confident that she really likes him in return, it is usually game over for him. Why? The fundamental principle is that people value what they have to earn.
Women value the affection/emotion they have to earn, and men value attraction/sex they have to earn. By telling a woman how into her you are before truly knowing if she’s equally into you, it makes you look shallow, because you like her without knowing her. It gives the woman “the option” to decide if she wants to be with you. Moreover, if she has another guy in the picture – one who isn’t so forthright – she might be more compelled by his mystery. It’s an unwritten rule that sounds counterintuitive but trust me: for subconscious and biological reasons, women are way choosier with their potential mates, so there is never a need to sell yourself.
Don’t come to a first date with the goal of a second date. When you get too far ahead of yourself you alter your current behavior. Instead of thinking ahead, just focus on having fun in the here and now! If you can tell within the first five minutes that your date is not your type, instead of becoming aloof or impatient, think of how you can make the date fun for you.
On the other hand, if you are blown away by your date and feel like you have to make sure she’s having fun, then you’ve already lost her. The minute you start worrying about if she’s having fun, your behavior will become needy and eager (see above) and she will feel like you are more of a chaperone rather than a date. Need a quick tip to stop seeming eager? Pretend she already told your best friend that she’s just in this for the free drinks – she doesn’t like you (only do this if you already like her). Hopefully this will get you to stop trying and let go. Letting go is the best thing you can do to demonstrate the right amount of “I am confident, so I don’t care.”