I’ve had a few dates in my time (no shit, Sherlock). And, as not all of them have led to anything more fruitful, it should come as no surprise that I’ve had rather more than a lioness’ share of first dates.
From that wealth of experience in the field, I think I have now boiled down the elements that, when combined, will elicit that most elusive of beings: a great first date. And so boys, here I give you what you need to make her head spin, and have her begging for more (not like that, obviously. That would be a whole other post, and anyway, this isn’t that type of blog)...
- Make a little effort. You don’t need to be suited and booted (although I know few women who can resist a chap in a nice, crisp shirt), but do at least be clean. Pick a half-decent t-shirt and wear good shoes. We notice the shoes.
- Stick a little scent on as you leave the office. Good aftershave is a knee-buckling turn-on.
- Take control - pick the location; order the wine. She’s almost certainly thinking about whether her hair’s done that frizzy thing or whether she should have worn the other jeans. Give her one less thing to think about. She’ll thank you for it - and it'll make you look more manly into the bargain.
- It doesn’t matter if the evening's thrown a few curveballs; if the location isn’t perfect; if there are a few awkward conversations. Own up; laugh about it. A touch of justified self-deprecation in an otherwise confident chap? Adorable.
- The location doesn’t have to be grand - in fact, it’s preferable if it’s not. A cosy bar where you can sit close enough to hear each other talk and she can watch your fingers move as you talk (just trust me - men’s hands? We love ‘em) is far better.
- Put the effort in and listen to her. Concentrate. Ask intelligent questions. Yes, it takes effort. But it’s more likely to result in your eventually getting her into bed. But not tonight. You’re not even going to suggest THAT, because you’re not only interested in getting into her knickers. Obviously.
- Let her know a few personal details about you. A couple of facts about the family will go a long way to making her feel like you’re really letting her in. But keep it simple. She doesn’t need to know the harrowing story about the time at school that you got locked out on the roof whilst naked. Yet.
- Flirt, but do it nicely. No leering; no overtly suggestive chat. Lingering eye contact and gentle smiles will do nicely.
- Don’t clock-watch. And, if circumstances allow and you’re enjoying the evening, propose moving on somewhere else. Suggesting you don’t want the evening to end is a huge compliment (we're vain creatures. Massage our egos).
- If there’s an opportunity towards the end of the evening to kiss her, kiss her. And do it well (nothing so quick to break a deal as a sloppy snog). But don’t leave it to the very end of the night - it’s too cliché. That kiss will tell you everything you need to know about what she’s thinking.
- At the end of the night, walk her back to whatever mode of transport she’s using to get home. When you both walk away, be looking over your shoulder - just in case she does. Butterflies and brownie points a-gogo.
- Don’t play it cool. Give it 20 mins after you’ve left her, then text asking her to let you know she’s got home safely. We like to know we’ve left a good enough impression that you’re still thinking about us (again with the ego). And a few old-school manners will always hit the spot.
- Still don’t play it cool. If it’s gone well (trust me: you’ll be able to tell), text her the following day. Suggest another date. Ooh look, it’s that ego again: stroke it just right, and you’ll have us eating out of your hands (and yes, possibly just like that...).