Ever walked away from a first date thinking it went really well, only for her never to return your calls?
The facts is, that men and women have very different ideas of what makes for a great first date: which is why you may think it’s a done deal, when she’s not ready for round 2.
As a guy you may see an attractive woman in front of you, have a nice conversation for an hour or so, and assume that she’ll be equally interested in a second date. The problem is that women are often looking out for a much broader range of qualities that make you a keeper.
You may not even consider these points when you’re looking for a date: but women will be evaluating on whether they believe you have the right qualities to be a good match for them; whether you have the charisma to keep them interested; and what you can bring to their life long term.
To help you put the pieces of the puzzle together I asked 5 sexy, successful, single ladies to give you their HONEST opinions about what they’re looking out for on a first date:
Ria, 27, sales executive
Brittney, 28, admin coordinator
Haley, 31, retail consultant
Rebecca, 29, finance
Sarah, 34, accountant
Q: Imagine you’ve just met a guy for your first ‘official’ date: what’s the first thing you’re looking out for?
Haley: This sounds bad: but how much of a ‘man’ he is in organizing the date. I once had a guy ask me to make all the decisions as to where we’re going, what I wanted to do etc and it just felt really dull! Kind of like I was hanging out with my younger brother!
Brittney: Confidence definitely helps with that, I want a guy to take the lead!
Rebecca: Yes, if a guy is clearly super nervous, it makes me worry for him and think ‘this guy can’t handle me!’
Sarah: I’m a little different… I’m looking for a gentleman, someone who has manners and is respectful. I don’t want to go out with an immature guy, or a rude one!
Q: What do you mean when you say ‘confident,’ Brittney?
Brittney: Confidence doesn’t mean being a jerk: it’s more like someone who is confident and calm within themselves. You don’t want a guy who apologizes about who he is or what he’s about: you want a man who’s comfortable with what he’s got to bring to the table. I want to sit across the table from someone that feels like a man to me so that I can feel like a lady. Ya know?
Q: Ok, it’s time to get real ladies, how important is a man’s success to you?
Ria: I’m actually not a huge fan of boastful guys. I mean, if a guy has a good job and loves his career that’s cool, but nothing comes off worse than when a guy can’t stop talking about how much money he’s making. I always think that seems to try too hard, guys who are doing more humble things are fine by me!
Sarah: I grew up in a small town so I have similar values to that, honest work, enough money to live on, but no need to be flashy. Now I live in NYC though and- my god- it’s different, so many guys will try to impress you with their wallet first.
Haley: I think you can live with a guy who maybe doesn’t have the best job, as long as he’s got some drive and ambition. You want to be with someone who’s going somewhere. So, if he’s a little broke right now, but that’s because he’s putting himself through med school: that’s cool, in fact, it’s pretty admirable.
Brittney: Yes, I agree: the ambition to be a better person is more important than just being rich here & now!
Rebecca: Listen, having cash is almost never a negative thing in my eyes but it’s certainly not the reason to continue dating a guy. I see it as a bonus if a guy has money. It’s honestly nice, but it’s not the reason I would sleep with him or want to continue dating him. There has to be more or else the money is useless. Sorry, just being really honest.
Q: But what happens when it comes to paying for the date?
Haley: It doesn’t have to be an expensive date, drinks or coffee are fine, but I would expect a guy to pay, for sure. If he’s asked me out on a date I think it comes across as really rude when he wants to split the check. That said, if I really like a guy, then I’ll usually offer to pay for something: maybe the second round of drinks or the parking.
Rebecca: If a guy doesn’t pay for the first date, there will certainly not be a second one. I’ve had a guy go dutch on me for a coffee date. I think the total bill was $7 tops. It threw me off and left a bad taste in my mouth. I know we say we want to be equal and stuff, but that’s in the workforce, not the dating space. It just makes me feel really unwanted and unfeminine if a guy wants me to pay on the first date.
Ria: Yeah, I wouldn’t want to date someone who’s overly thrifty. It’s fine to not have too much money, but when guys are ridiculously cheap it makes you worry about where he sees the relationship going, and what it would be like in the future if you were in a relationship with him.
Q: And what about the actual type of date: do you need to go out to dinner?
Rebecca: No, but it kind of depends on where you met the guy. If you met him via a dating site, or he approached you, you may go for something a little more formal than if he’s a friend of a friend that you linked up with at a party.
Sarah: I think sometimes a restaurant can be way too much. A really fancy place too early on makes me feel like things are going too fast.
Brittney: Yes, I like to still feel like I have something to work for too: there’s no fun when it’s a done deal. I also hate it when guys get drunk or forget really simple manners. I’ve had guys forget key details about me mid-date: which has made me want to leave!
Ria: I also think that where you go is slightly less important than the guy’s overall presentation. You want him to have bothered to you know, wash, comb his hair, make sure his car is tidy: simple things, but they say a lot!
Q: How is it important for him to behave mid-date?
Haley: I think, just like Ria said, you want him to have put a little effort in and, most importantly, make you feel like you’re the only girl in the room.
Sarah: The most important thing for me is no groping! Or lunging in to kiss you unexpectedly before you part- I hate that! A little touch to the small of the back to guide you across the street is fine though.
Rebecca: I like it when a guy has good values: when he speaks about his family, friends, co-workers, positively. Even occasionally mentioning ex’s is fine, as long as it’s light hearted. You want a good guy really: not a guy who’s a player, or who wants to act like one.
Ria: I think we’ve all had a couple of mid-date make outs, Ha. I think it’s weird if the guy and I are just having a normal conversation and then he pounces on me wanting to make out. But if we’re in that vibe and feeling it, I’m totally down for a little make out session.
Q: Do you know during the 1st date if there’s going to be a 2nd date?
Haley: Honestly, YES. I know pretty quickly if I am feeling a connection. I’ve been surprised mid date before but that doesn’t happen very often.
Sarah: I also know pretty early if the date is going to go anywhere. But I will say it also depends on what I want at that point in time. If I’m on a date and I’m in the “I’m happy I’m single” mode, I may be more open to the guy. But if I’m in “I’m looking for my next boyfriend” mode, I decide pretty quickly. Doesn’t mean I won’t have fun on the date. I just won’t want a 2nd one if I’m not feeling that chemistry or a strong connection and desire to see him again.
Rebecca: I wish I could say that I was really open-minded and non-judgmental, but I’m not when it comes to guys I date. I know within the first 5 minutes if I want to see this guy again. I usually try my best to wrap up the date quickly and not lead him on in any way so that there is no confusion at the end of the date, but sometimes it’s tough. Like when I really get along with the guy but I don’t feel anything more for him. I’m sure he’s thinking “we’re having a great date” while I’m thinking “I totally want you to be my new best friend”.
Ria: Sometimes I go on dates where I really get along with a guy and I really wish I felt something more for him but I don’t. It just isn’t clicking for me and I don’t know why. I never say anything because I always assume he can feel it too.
Q: OK, let’s be brutal now: you went out, and you didn’t connect with him. What do you do next? Be honest!
Brittney: Let it die! Avoid calls, say you’re busy and hope he gives up? I know that sounds horrible, but it seems nicer than just flat out telling a guy that he isn’t rocking your world.
Sarah: You have to make excuses sometimes: just to be polite.
Ria: I’ll usually blame myself! I may say I’m not into relationships right now, which is true, I’m not into having a relationship with him but of course if the right guy came along, I’d probably change my mind!
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