Like an awkward guy who can’t stop texting a cute girl, I’m back. But it’s just for this one last entry! I realize I had accumulated a decent amount of writing material for my book, something I collected over the three years of dating blogging I’ve done. Sadly, I won’t finish the book. However, I can post a summary of my dating insights here. Please excuse the rough-draft vibe, since I didn’t have time to polish. Hope you enjoy.
1. Drop the Old Cookie. If you’ve had your mind on a female for more than one week without contacting her, she’s become stale. It’s too late. Guys love to hold onto phone numbers, emails, and even Facebook friendships, even if they met the girl weeks or months ago, just in case they want to reach out and say “what’s up” to that hottie. What an emotional crutch! Let go of Old Cookies and go for fresh targets only.
2. No Girlfriend for One Year. Your troubles in dating is because you want a girlfriend badly, so badly that it is hurting your efforts. You fail, even before you meet a woman for the first date, because you reek of desperation. For one year, just one lousy sports season, let go of the notion of having an exclusive, committed relationship. You can still date and get to know women, but it’s the pressure-free, obsession-free attitude that will liberate you and make you a better dating man.
3. Kill the Nice Guy. Nice is not good. Nice is cheap, bland, boring and common. When a woman says, “You’re a nice guy…” this is the kiss of death. Don’t get me wrong. When you’re with a woman on a date, be polite and friendly. But learn to flirt, even tease her, all in good intentions, of course. Shut down the Nice Guy act, and learn to be good, firm, silly and charming.
4. All It Takes is Two Dates. How do you know if a woman likes you? How do you know if you should continue dating her? All it takes is two dates! Not one, not three, not seven. What you do is 1) ask her out a date, 2) go on the date, 3) wait a few days, 4) ask her out for a second date, 5) go on the second date and 6) nothing. Let her ask you out for the third date. This is where most men fail. They want to do everything in dating and then wonder why women become unresponsive. It’s because we don’t give them a damn chance to reciprocate. Women need challenges, too. It’s The Year 20-freaking-14, after all. If she likes you, she will bring something up like, “Hey! You want to do blah-blah-blah with me this weekend?” Bingo. If she can’t do that for a third date, especially when the two of you recently had a pair of good one-on-one encounters, ditch her.
5. Just Call Her. Well, duh. You can text her an epic romance novel, but it still won’t beat a simple “How are you?” from the soothing, baritone voice of yours when you call her for the first time. Your voice, over millions of years, has been genetically engineered to be sexually attractive to women. Texting has not. At the end of the call, ask her out. I promise you will not resort to texting as much once you experience how easy and fun calling a date becomes.
6. Greet with Warmth & Confidence. Hug, not a handshake. Make a quick but firm hug. Pull her in, squeeze and immediately let go. Smile big, even if you feel like a big dork that you were back in high school. Master the Art of the First Date Hug and you will go places, brother.
7. Say My Name, Say My Name. It’s a fact: Repeating a date’s name over and over while conversing with her will absolutely get you laid that night. Ok, maybe not laid, but still it has a very positive effect. People usually like hearing his/her own name, so say it as often as you can, and then say it some more. Just make sure you’re saying it right and the right version. For instance, even though her official name is Jennifer, she might strongly prefer Jen and not Jenny.
8. Nickname Her. Once I caught a date giggling quietly for the third time. We were only twenty minutes into our first date. I yelled at her, “Are you giggling again?! I didn’t even do anything funny!” Of course, that made her giggle more. I declared, “I’m gonna call you Giggles from now on.” And I did. She loved it. Brother, understand that a nickname from you to her is like a stamp of ownership. You’re mine now. Just make sure it’s not offensive, not at the slightest, nor bro-ish manly. Giggles, Freckles, Dimples, Cheeks, Bubbles and Blondie are safe.
9. The Neck Tie Effect. It’s hard to see a man with a tie on a first date these days. Why? We want to be cool, casual, even hipster. I say it’s lame. Go against the flow and try something classic and unique, like a neck tie. Trying just a little more than the rest of the crowd will give you better ROI.
10. The Bow Tie Effect. This is one-up-ing the Neck Tie. Rocking a bow tie means you have balls muy grandes. Throw on a sport coat and to your date you have become The Man of Mystery. She can’t wait to go home and start gossiping about you to her girlfriends, who will immediately label you as the Bow Tie Guy. You’re in.
11. Drop-kick the Table. Dates go bad because usually you and the woman are at a place where there is a table between you. What other instances do you speak with someone unfamiliar across a table? The only examples I can think of are job interviews, the principal’s office when you were a mischievous wee lad, and interrogations at a police department. These are all nerve-freaking-wracking. So ditch the table, and go somewhere where you and the lady can be side-by-side instead of directly across. Take a walk along the river or lake, sit on a bench with coffee, have a cocktail at a quiet bar, or try a new dish at an up-and-coming eatery where they have no table service.
12. Reach Out and Touch Her. When you greet her, touch her with a hug. When you open the door for her, touch her with a gentle hand on her back. When you sit side-by-side with her, touch her on the knee for just a second, especially when you two are having a good time. Take up palm reading. It’s the best excuse to touch her hands.
13. The One Hour First Date. Short and sweet, baby. Nothing good lasts too long and the first date is no exception. Many adult males can be charming and interesting for just about an hour, but like a bad stand-up comedian, we start running out of things to say beyond sixty minutes. So forget having dinner for the first date. Instead, opt for coffee and a scenic walk where there are plenty of benches and people enjoying the sights. Or one nightcap drink at the local pub works fine, too.
14. Thursday 9pm or Saturday 4pm. Having a specific day and time of the week for your one hour date sounds silly at first but it has worked well for me. When you are a dating man, you need to have a flow of first dates, not just one or two every quarter. Instead being a headless chicken and riddling your week with all sorts of awkward encounters from online dating personalities, one weekday evening (preferably Wed or Thu) and one weekend afternoon (preferably Sat) set aside for dates. This way you know exactly what day and time to suggest when you are ready to ask a woman out.
15. Vegan Ice Cream First Date. Coffee and drinks can too bland, too boring or too douche-ish for a first date. Try something novel, like organic tea, a meatball shop, frozen yogurt, or my personal favorite, vegan ice cream. That should raise eyebrows.
16. Take My Arm, I insist. When the first date ends, regardless of how well it went, lead the woman to her car or her subway stop. When you do, ask her to take your arm as you bend your elbow to her. This has got to be the most under-appreciated, surprisingly effective move on a date. Again, it does not matter if you think the date went well or not. Just offer your damn arm and try not to take a “No, that’s okay” for an answer. This small act may change everything.
17. Crossing a Street? Hold Her Hand. Don’t argue with me. Just reach for her hand, grab it, walk across the street, and continue to hold. If her grasp becomes weak, let it go and –as an excuse– scratch your nose. But if she continues to have a decent grip to your hand, proceed.
18. The Twelve Hour Second Date. If you’re going to hang out again, make it epic. Make the second date with you destroy all the other second dates she has had with other guys. I once had a Twelve Hour Second Date that went like this: coffee (3pm), walk along the river (5pm), dinner (7pm), accompanying the date to a friend’s casual birthday party (10pm), drinks (12am), and walking her home (2am). The crazy part is the date and I had only planned for an afternoon coffee. You can’t plan a second date that lasts half-day, but you can create an environment that leads to it. Obviously a long second date works if the date is in early in the day and both daters have a hankering for spontaneity. Try hiking on a weekend morning, it’s a great opener.
19. Go in for the kill. At the right time, grab her around her waist, pull her in close to you, look deeply into her eyes for a moment and move in for the kiss. Before this you can even give her a heads-up by asking, “What if I kissed you right now?” If she is not running away from you, this is a good sign. A passionate lip-to-lip kiss has to happen within the first three dates for you to move forward with her. If a kissy-kiss-kiss does not happen by the end of a third date, drop her.
20. Women cannot resist a cooking man. Learn to prepare at least one good meal that includes main dish, salad, dessert and wine. Light up a candle or two. This is good for a second or third date, but sometimes works for a first date as well.
21. Don’t meet women. Make women meet you. “I want to meet women who are in shape,” my friend says. So he joined a yoga class. That didn’t work out well for him, because he discovered women are not interested in talking to him when they are wearing tight clothing and glistening with sweat. “Why don’t you become a yoga instructor?” I asked him. He looked at me in bewilderment and shook his head. But I wonder. Guys who are yoga instructors see, meet and talk with women who are in shape (or getting there) all the time. In fact, the women come to them. No wonder most guys struggle in dating. We make such mediocre effort, and then we cry foul at the mediocre results.
22. Take up Self Improvement as a Serious Hobby. On that note about yoga, women just love everything about improving oneself, especially the body. If you as a straight man take up a subject of physical self-improvement –say The Paelo Diet– there is a strong chance you will be surrounded by women.
23. Make that Serious Hobby into a Blog. The man who is brave enough to express himself to strangers is one worth meeting in person. “Your dating blog will help your own dating life way better than any dating site,” commented my female friend. She was right. So, so right.
24. Get a Dog. Some women drool over men with dogs. If you thought of having one, check your local shelter now. Your trustworthy score goes through the roof when a woman finds out you are the daddy for a pup.
25. Live Alone. No, you’re not in Entourage. No, you can’t bro it up forever with your roommates. If you have a full-time job, you should be able to shack it up solo. I don’t care if you have to live far out where the rent is affordable, because it’s more manly to have an abode to yourself than to be roomies. This way she will have less hesitation about coming over your place and hanging out there. Living with your parents? Are you motherloving kidding me? All my buddies who still live with their folks fail regularly in dating. These two go hand in hand.
26. Throw a Party at Your Home Every Two Months. Have your friends bring their friends. Don’t just order pizza, but prepare the food yourself. Serving as a party host is a most awesome way to boost your dating activity. The women are coming to meet you!
27. Volunteer. I feel so evil writing this but being a part of a volunteer community is a top-secret weapon for the real players. Seriously, targets lower their defense shields here. You’re also do something charitable to boot.
28. A Man of Quality Never Forgets PAL: Passion, Awareness and Leadership.
28-a) Passion: Being passionate about fantasy football is okay, but not as effective in dating as say the human rights issues in various nations. I once dished out to a cute girl everything I knew about the economic development that needs to happen for the poorest countries in this world (I was an econ major). She didn’t care much about Somalia as she did about listening to me ramble with gusto and masculinity.
28-b) Awareness: Be aware of 1) yourself, 2) your date, 3) the situation-at-hand, and 4) the situation-to-be. For instance, if you see a street you have to cross coming up (4), position yourself (1) closer to your date (2), and then at the right moment, grab her hand (3) to safely cross the street and not walk apart. She is your date, not a stranger, for crissake.
28-c) Leadership: It’s no good if you are passionate and aware but not a leader. Sometimes you just have to risk it and jump in. Lead and see if she follows. Reverse roles at the right time, wait and see if she leads you. Good leaders are also good followers. They also know where to go and how to get there.
29. Become a Student of Excellence. Most of my buddies who dislike their jobs also suck at engaging women. I don’t know why those two co-relate, maybe it has to do with self-actualization. Observe, read and experiment all things that are excellent and you shouldn’t have much problem with life, including dating. Figure out women, then there’s not much left to figure out.