By Writer and Dating Coach Hunt Ethridge
With the weather this past week, we can see Fall peeking around the skirts of Mother Summer. We all know that once you lock that door for the last time on your beach house, packed away your white linen pants and enjoyed that last long weekend, it’s effectively done. And we definitely got our money’s worth this year with soaring temperatures and hardly any rain. I hope everybody made some good memories and got to feel butterflies at least once when talking to a hottie.
So with school starting back up for the kids, I thought I’d do a little Dating 101 prep course for everyone. Hopefully these helpful tips will aid you in finding a nice hibernation-mate come the winter!
Men: You have to do the approaching. I know it’s tough sometimes but women want someone who is bold enough to overcome their trepidation and charge forward.
Women: Don’t make it harder for us than it needs to be! If you want us to come over, make sure you at least give us a smile or something. Believe it or not, the male ego is much more fragile than yours. Help us out.
General: If you keep meeting the same kinds of people in the same place you normally go to, branch out and try something different.
Cell Phone Etiquette
Men: Texts are fine for some back-and-forth but when it comes to setting up a date, women really appreciate a phone call. It won’t kill you.
Women: Please don’t be upset with us that we don’t like to talk on the phone as much as you. We’re just not built that way.
General: To alleviate confusion when a call is dropped, THE PERSON WHO MADE THE CALL is the one who calls back. This will save calls being crossed, unnecessary voicemails and time. Also, when on a date don’t be checking your phone/texting/tweeting.
Men: Belt and shoes should match. Wear things that have stories behind them in case they are commented on. Nails, hair and facial hair should be clean and sharp.
Women: Classy beats hootchie any day. Not too much cleavage, skirt not too short. Would be comfortable meeting his mother in what you’re wearing? Don’t over accessorize. Too much going on will be distracting.
General: Don’t try to make a big statement. If you want to take a chance, make it with only ONE article of clothing. Just make sure everything else is more muted.
Men: A night hanging out with your friends is not a “date.” It should be just the two of you. And don’t think you only can do dinner/movie/drinks. Get creative, she’ll appreciate it.
Women: Don’t leave it all up to us. Give us some general likes or dislikes so we can narrow it down. Finding out you’re allergic to seafood as we sit down at The Chart House could have been easily avoided.
General: If this is someone you think you like, limit your alcohol to 2 or 3 drinks max. Nobody wants a sloppy date.
Men: For the first couple of dates, we pay. No it’s not fair, but there it is. Of course, if she genuinely offers to pitch in, don’t be rude and shut her down.
Women: At the beginning we expect to pay, but don’t pretend it’s a foregone conclusion. Make a polite attempt, it’ll make us feel good. As you date longer, don’t mooch off the guy. Pick up a tab here and there.
General: Tip well. The other will notice if you don’t. 15% is the new minimum, 20% is the new standard. Good service can be 25%.
End of Date
Men: If you decide to swoop in for the kiss, make it short and sweet. Don’t attack her. If she liked it, believe me, she’ll reach for seconds.
Women: If you’ve already decided that we’re not your type, don’t let us believe the date is still going well. Otherwise we are going to feel like a fool. Stick out your hand and say “goodnight.”
General: Less is more. I know we are all very sexual people and we live in a wonderfully liberal world. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Let the tension build!
Men: Forget the 2-day rule. If you had a good time on the date, let her know. A simple text, “Had a great night! :-) “ will do just fine.
Women: Don’t try to over-analyze anything we did. We’re not that subtle. Take anything he said for face value.
General: Don’t play games about “being busy” or waiting days to reconnect. Everyone appreciates people being honest.
Men: If you’ve been dating for more than a month, a card is expected for whatever event it is (birthday, Valentine’s Day, etc…) I know it sound lame to just get a cheap card, write a sentence, sign and give it to her but women will look at it as much more. You cared enough to actually think about and take time to do it. On the flip side, if you don’t get her anything, she’ll assume you DON’T think about her. After 3 months, you need to get a gift.
Women: Remember how nice you felt when that old boyfriend brought you flowers for no reason? Well we like to know we’re being thought of and appreciated also! Make it a 6-pack of nice beer or his favorite mag. It will delight us as much as flowers would you.
General: Don’t overspend. If it’s too soon, you’ll look desperate.
Study up and get out there and make the Fall your “rise!”
If you have a question that you would like answered in this column or just need some good old advice, please email Hunt at email@example.com or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments also can be left at www.hudsonreporter.com. Hunt Ethridge is a dating consultant and a fashion writer. Visit his website at www.huntforadvice.com. Currently he is the senior dating coach at New York Dating Coach (www.newyorkdatingcoach.com)