*DISCLAIMER* When my friend Amy asked me to write a post with dating etiquette tips for guys, I was uncertain. I don't date much, nor do I care to. I find dating, when not set up by at least a little bit of friendship, to be awkward, uncomfortable, artificial, and a little weird and I've decided not to do it anymore. Seriously, two mostly strangers decide to have a meal together and see if they can make a relationship out of it? THAT IS NOT REAL LIFE. I am busy and when I have free time I want to spend it doing things I like to do with people I like already, so that pretty much means no more random dates for now. I'm a terrible date. I'm a really good friend and a really good girlfriend, but date? Not so much. I talk too loud and about things like where I like to shop for jewelry and how I hate the smell of buttered popcorn. I have trouble maintaining eye contact and then I feel guilty that this nice guy has bought me a meal and I don't feel interested. So, for now anyway, any possibility of me being a girlfriend would come from being a friend first, and isn't that really preferable anyway? (End disclaimer)
That being said, I still want to help you guys out. I want to help you get a date with gals like my pretty and smart friend, Amy.You can decide whether I am capable of giving this kind of advice after the disaster that was my first paragraph, but here goes nothing.
1. I know smart, pretty, and strong girls can be intimidating, but being wishy washy and passive is NO WAY to get her attention. Strong girls aren't necessarily looking for weak men to push around, but rather strong men to partner with. That means that you need to be man enough to handle possible rejection face to face. Look, I get that it is much easier said than done, but your chances of rejection are actually LESS if you forgo the texting/emailing/facebooking and just call or walk up to a girl and ask her out. (I mean, not out of nowhere though. Then you're just the creepy guy who asked her out without at least talking to her first.) It's much harder to say no to someone in person or on the phone than it is via text based communication. Bonus, even the act of asking in such a direct manner shows how interested you really must be.
2. Don't go to a movie for the first date. I mean, come on. How is she supposed to realize how strong and awesome you are if your sum conversation over the evening is "Hey, you look nice (insert two hours of silence here) Well that was fun!" You don't have to be crazy creative, just thoughtful. Go to a nice, quiet restaurant where you can have a real conversation. (This probably means no to any place where there are TV's on the walls.)
3. Even strong, intelligent, and pretty women like to have doors opened for them. At least the ones I know do. Open the passenger side car door for her, open the restaurant door for her, OPEN ALL THE DOORS. Maybe not the one to her apartment, that could be a little presumptuous.
4. Be interested in things. That means have some kind of real hobby so she doesn't feel pressured to be the main entertainment in your life if she agrees to go out with you. Nobody likes to be "insta-girlfriended." It's too much too fast. Whether you never miss your alma mater's home football games or you have a standing poker night with your buddies, do something. A dating life should add to a full life, not be needed to complete it.
5. Listen. This seems obvious but is harder than it sounds. This means don't be thinking of charming responses to what she's saying while she's talking, don't daze off wondering if she'll invite you in for a night cap, don't just stare at her. Hear the words she is saying, and respond to them. It never stops being flattering and refreshing when a guy shows that much genuine interest in what girls have to say.
6. In my opinion, the first 3 dates should take place in no less than a 3 week period. That could just be me and maybe other girls would like seeing you 3 times in 3 days... but it feels like "insta-girlfriending" to me and it makes me wonder if you have any sort of life or friends outside of this brand new dating relationship. I mean, it's great that you want to spend so much time with her and I get that, look how awesome she is! However, each date needs time to marinate and process. That doesn't mean there can't be any communication in between. It just means you respect her time enough not to monopolize it right away. (And, it shows that you are an interesting person with a full life.)
7. Have your sh*t together. Part of showing strong girls/women that you are a good and strong match for them is having your own life plan and be working diligently towards it. That coincides a lot with #'s 6 and 4.
8. Walk the fine line between disappearing and being clingy. This is a toughie. Doing the whole "wait 3 days before calling or texting" thing is old and in this day and age of fifty million ways to communicate feels like an eternity and gives the vibe that you're not actually interested. However, writing on her facebook wall, AND tweeting at her, AND sending a text, AND writing an email, AND calling later that night is a little (a lot) much. It might seem exciting and sweet at first but gets old very quickly (like, before the day is out). Find a middle ground.
9. Wear a nice, collared shirt and either khakis or slacks. Don't show up for your date in jeans and a t-shirt or hoodie (at least, not a first date). Take some time to look nice is another way of communicating that you respect her time. That's not to say you should go crazy on hair product and douse yourself in cologne. Don't do those things. Remember, everything in moderation. It shouldn't look like you spent as much or more time getting ready as she did. Rather, that you recognize the magnitude of opportunity you have with this date.
10. Don't take yourself too seriously. I know this kind of goes against the 9 other things I just said, but everything is a tightrope. Balance is important. Just make sure you're having some fun while trying to follow proper wooing etiquette.
Can any of my other smart and pretty girlfriends help me out with more tips?