Category Archives: signals

Follow Through

Beast: I want to do something for her… but what?

Cogsworth: Well, there’s the usual things: flowers… chocolates… promises you don’t intend to keep…

This little conversation can be found in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, when the Beast is falling in love with the beautiful Belle.

Now when Cogsworth gives his line, people always chuckle because it’s funny—and true.

Why does it have to be true though?

This post is to raise awareness of one of the most impressive things a guy can do when dating: follow through.

Here, let me give you an example.

Once I was dating a guy who said on a couple different occasions that he wanted to take me to a baseball game. Well, baseball season ended, and he never took me. And I never forgot. Was I impressed? Not at all. It showed me that his word did not mean all that much to him… and that is not a good thing guys!

On the other hand, one time I was dating this guy who said that he wanted to take me to dinner at this nice restaurant we had talked about once. A couple months later, he surprised me with an evening out to that place. He remembered, and followed through. Was I impressed? Very. It showed me that he did not just talk to talk, but was the type of person who would follow through on things he said.

Which situation would anyone rather be in? I think, for most of us, it would be the latter. We would want our person to follow through with what they had said. This does not only apply to events, but this also applies to saying you will call them, message them, pick them up, etc.

I know, we all talk. We all say things in the moment we may never intend to do, but when you are dating you cannot do that if you want to impress!

Girls remember when you tell them that you want to take them somewhere, or that you will call/text them, or that you want to do something with them. So if you want to stand out among the crowd of men, one of the easy things you can do is follow through with plans you say. It shows more than just your ability to remember and plan; it reflects your character and that what you say means something.

And, to most girls, that is very attractive.

So send the signal that you are interested, and worth being interested in, by following through!

Man to Man: Confidence Tricks

Let’s all admit it. Everyone is a little nervous on the first date. Some more so than others. But guys, girls are attracted to a confident man, and so that is the man you want to be. Not sure how to do it? Well, Dave’s here with some tips and tricks to help pull off the confident vibe—no matter how nervous you are!

Take it away Dave!


The idea behind having confidence on a date is to make the real you shine. Here are a few ideas I have for how you can show some confidence without sacrificing what makes you special.

Recognize that you have some great things to offer and to share with a girl.

Whatever it is; if you love fishing or comic books, cooking or running, there are things that are unique to you, and you should realize that there is a girl out there who will be interested in those things.

So step one is recognize your interests and own them. If you’re not sure what your interests are, sit down and make a list of 100 things you love (not an easy task—you’ll probably start to run out of ideas at some point but work through it). When you’re on a date, don’t be afraid to share about the things you love, just remember to also ask her about her favorite things as well.

Don’t be intimidated by a girl who others may say is “out of your league”.

Is she a supermodel? Does she have a PhD? Could she beat you at any game you ever play? Doesn’t matter.

Remember that there are different kinds of smart, attractive, funny, talented, etc. A girl getting a PhD in astrophysics may not be too impressed by the fact that you rode a bull for 10 seconds but that doesn’t mean you aren’t equally as talented, just in different ways. What one person finds really impressive may not be all that great to another. So take what you’re good at and run with it, and don’t be intimidated!

Have good posture and try to keep your hands out of your pockets.

I include this only because bad posture is not part of your personality, so leaving it behind isn’t going to affect who you are. A confident man stands tall and walks with an attitude that he knows where he’s going. I would be shocked if I ever heard a girl say, “I really liked him but he stood up just a little too straight for me”. That’s not to say that it hasn’t ever happened, but good posture is going to improve your odds. It exudes confidence in a good way.

Don’t be embarrassed if you’re not a flashy person.

If you don’t like spending money on things like clothes or cars it’s ok—just be sure you are comfortable with it. If you’re not a high roller then you shouldn’t try to cover that up to win a girl. It’s not conducive to a good long-term relationship because someday the truth will come out and then she may feel deceived.

Now, be sure to put yourself together well, have clean and freshly pressed clothes and a good shower, but know that if you are confident in who you are and what you wear she will take note.

Be interesting.

Discover the things that make you unique and special—the things you like about yourself—and don’t be hesitant to share them with your dates. Read books, take classes, watch popular shows, and other things that spark your interests. If you have a lot of stuff going on in your life then you have an interesting person to present, both to yourself and her, and that will help you find commonalities and similar interests that give to easy conversation.

Remember to laugh off mishaps.  

Things go wrong on dates sometimes. You get lost. You miss the movie because of traffic. That’s ok, she understands. The last thing you need to do it become upset. A confident man is ok with plan B’s and even plan C’s. Your ability to adapt smoothly to different situations and not take it so seriously will impress her, and make her feel like she is with a guy who can take care of both himself and her.

Well, there you have it! A few tips to help you stay cool and calm on that first date!

Notes for Girls: Send Some Signals

Girls, ever wonder how to show that super cute guy that you are interested…when you have never even met? Well, Mont is here with some tips that will help break the ice!

Take it away Mont!


So, you are at a party and see that guy across the room you’ve wanted to talk to for ages. Or you are out on a date with a guy and you want to let him know you are really interested without coming off too needy/forward. How do you go about doing that?

Here are some ideas to help you stand out more.

The more eye contact you establish with him the better.

Start with some quick glances. Then, start the direct eye contact. Once he turns to meet your gaze, lower your eyes and smile to yourself. This is going to tell him that you were watching him and are embarrassed that he caught you, which is always a sign of interest. Eventually be bold and hold his stare for a second, then look away and quickly back.

If there is a man that is giving you the eye and you are not interested, look away from him and don’t look back at him again. While having a conversation, looking at the ceiling and around the room also shows a definite lack of interest.

Next, flash a smile and use body language to show your interest.

A quick smile is a great indicator that you are wanting to be approached. Laughing and smiling does nothing but encourage the person you are talking with, so be sure to use them. Not too much though, you don’t want to come across and excessive or an airhead. Your posture is also one of the most telling signals whether you are interested or not. An open posture is evidence of an open person.

Turning your body toward the guy you are talking to, keeping your feet flat on the floor and leaning forward are actions that show interest. Crossing your arms, holding something in front of you, turning your body away or rocking from heel to toe will tell a person that you are not interested. You will know things are going well when you begin “mirroring” each other’s body language and gestures.

Even your hands can send very powerful messages. There are a number of ways to convey that you want to get to know someone. Keeping your hands unclenched shows you’re open to him.

Using your hands to touch objects, such as the rim of your glass, locks of your hair, can be a strong flirtatious act. And if you are brave, try picking fluff off his jacket, touching him to punctuate a point, or using the “accidental touch” when reaching for the salt.

Hands jammed in pockets, cleaning your glasses or balled in tight fists are all bad signs. Finger tapping, drumming, pointing are also signals to move on.

Lastly, remain open and independent of his presence.

Following him around all night will only make you look needy and desperate. A confident and independent woman is attractive. If you finish a conversation and he moves on, on let him be. If he was interested he will come back to you. If you take a stab at it, and he’s not responding, abort the mission immediately and walk away with your dignity intact.

These are all great ways of getting that guy to notice you, and letting him know that you are interested. The secret is to not overdo them, but use them carefully and strategically so that he has to make the actual moves. You’re just cueing him that it’s ok to do so.

If these signals don’t work ladies don’t get discouraged. These tactics do not work for all guys. Always remember to include your personality and who you really are when flirting. Sometimes you just need to let him know by telling him, but most of the time these tricks will work like a charm.

Good luck!

Are you being too forward?

Wow! Fall can be a busy time, as our blog has found out. But we are back with some tips on the balance of showing interest and seeming desperate.

Once upon a time, a girl went on a blind date with a really nice guy. There was interest, they had good conversation, and agreed they should go on a second date that Thursday.

Then, they had a text conversation that went like this:

Boy: Hey thanks again for going to lunch yesterday. Would you like to go see (insert movie here) with me later on if you don’t have plans?

Girl: I actually am busy all day, but are we still on for Thursday?

Boy: Yeah. Anytime I could see you.

Girl: Ok.

Boy: Yeah, I would like to see you. I will hold back my words though.

Girl: I look forward to seeing you too.

Boy: Ok, anytime you can see me let me know and I will make it work.

Girl: Ok.

Boy: Even if it is for a short time. Am I too forward?

Girl: It’s ok.

Boy: I just want to be up front and tell you how I feel.

Girl: That is nice of you.

Boy: Too bad you have plans. But it is good to be busy.

Girl: Yup!

Boy: I am excited to see you again.

Girl: Same.

Boy: Thursday can’t come fast enough!

Girl: (no response)

The boy’s intense and forward conversation raised the caution flag for the girl.

Why was he being so forward? He barely knew her.

That Thursday, he took her on a date that lasted quite a while, ending with the girl having to ask the boy to take her home.

The girl did not go on another date with him after that.

Now, let’s take a closer look at this scenario. What went wrong?

Here is what you need to remember:

  • If you ask a girl out on a second date, she knows you are interested in her.
  • If a girl agrees to go out with you again, she is interested in you.

That is the basic formula for second dates. I know you want to tell her that you are really into her and could see yourself marrying and having a wonderful life together, but resist!

“But! But! I want to be honest with her and how I feel! Honesty is important in dating.” you may say.

Yes. Honesty is very important when it comes to dating. However, there is a difference between being honest and being forward.

Being honest is telling her once that you had a great time, found her easy to talk to, and are excited to see her again. Being forward is telling her over and over that you will do whatever it takes to see her again. The latter often come across as desperate to a girl. And no guy wants to be seen as desperate!

This is how the texting conversation should have gone:

Boy: Hey thanks again for going to lunch yesterday. Would you like to go see (insert movie here) with me later on if you don’t have plans?

Girl: I actually am busy all day, but are we still on for Thursday?

Boy: Yeah. I look forward to seeing you again.

Girl: Same!

Boy: I am still figuring out where we should go on Thursday and will let you know within the next couple days, so stay tuned!

Girl: I’m excited!

Boy: (end conversation, and don’t contact her for at least 12 hours)

The thing with girls is that we do want to be pursued in the good old-fashioned way, and we do want a guy to tell us he is interested, but we do not want to feel we are being pursued by someone who is so desperate for a girlfriend they have already placed us into that role. Believe me, it freaks most girls out.

So, moral of this situation: Stay cool, stay calm, pursue her, but don’t smother her! Ease into all the cute stuff, after a few dates she will love to hear it. Just not at the beginning.

Ask the Proxies: How Can Girls Ask Guys?

Hey everyone! We are here with a question from Curious Jane, who wrote in asking:

I am interested in a few guys right now, but I have a difficult time developing opportunities to get to know them without being too forward. I am either too forward, or I don’t do anything at all. I am looking to find a happy medium. What would you say is an acceptable social approach to getting to know these guys without scaring them away?

We felt that this question would be best answered by a guy, especially a guy who knows the smooth moves when it comes to dating, so we tossed it over to our friend Zack from Every Day Is Easter In My Closet to help Curious Jane out! Take it away Zack!

Great question CJ! How do you get a guy to ask you out and not be a creepette AND how do you know when he’s just not that into you?

I’ve written about these two very items on my Easter Closet blog before and will give their synopsis here.


Can Girls Ask Guys Out

YES!…and No! Here are two ways you can ask them out without asking them out.

1. Find a random place, like, Pizzeria 712, and say,

“Hey [insert name of the super hot boy whom you Facebook stalked for an hour yesterday], have you ever been to Pizzeria 712?” If he says yes OR if he says no, then say, “Well we should totally go there sometime!”

2. Or “This Wednesday night is 2 for one pie night at Village Inn!! We should totally go. Pie’s on me!”

If he doesn’t respond to either of those, then continue to read.


How to Know WHEN TO STOP

There is a simple 3 point formula.
1 point: txt msg, fbook wall post, email/fbook message, call without message
2 points: call with message, random drop by
3 points: random drop by + nice note/baked goods

As you do those things, you get points. As they do them back to you, you get minus those points. Stop contacting when you get to 3 points.

It is that simple.

So in conclusion, if these boys don’t have the khutspah to ask you out after you tried both ways of asking them out without asking them out and you get to three points…then move on. Just move on.

Because in the end, you deserve to be liked. You deserved to be liked a lot. And there is only one person you need to convince that you are worth it: yourself.

Man to Man: Taking “No” for an Answer

Dave’s back! This time, he’s giving some tips on how to handle things when they just don’t go your way.

I’ve written before about how girls often choose not to be entirely frank when rejecting guys and how important it is to have enough respect for them to accept a less-than-direct response.  Often, we guys don’t pay attention to what girls are trying to tell us when we’re being rejected.  Or we can’t imagine why any girl wouldn’t want to go out with us.  If you continue to ask a girl out after she has tried to tell you ‘no’ then you come across as arrogant, aggressive, and overzealous.

I have the misfortune of understanding how this type of badgering feels from a personal experience with a very persistent female.  When I was in twelfth grade a girl from a neighboring school asked me out.  She got my number from a former seminary teacher and when she called me up she started off the conversation with, “you probably don’t remember me but…” She was right, I didn’t—I kind of recognized the name but I definitely couldn’t put a face to it.  She was asking me to her winter formal because “there just aren’t any good guys to ask at my school.”  Sounded like trouble to me—I didn’t want to go.  I told her that I thought I had a concert choir performance that night and that I’d check and get back to her.  Turns out I did have a performance.  What a relief.  I called her back to tell her:

Me: I’m sorry but I have a concert that same night.

Her: That’s ok, I can just pick you up for the activity, drop you off for your concert, and then pick you up afterwards to go to the dance…

Me: …

Her: …

Me: Umm, ok.   The concert’s at 7.

What could I say at that point?  My excuse was legitimate, but I was really hoping that it would get me out of a date I didn’t want to go on.  When she dodged it I had two options: go with her or tell her that I really didn’t want to.  I could have been wrong, but I judged that she was the type of girl who would have a hard time with rejection so I felt obligated to go.  Needless to say, the date was way south of mediocre—even straying into ‘worst date ever’ territory at times.

Now, guys, we’re the ones who are generally in the position of asking girls to go out with us.  We need to make sure that we never put girls in situations where they feel obligated to go out on a date when they aren’t interested.  If she gives you an excuse you should accept it and try again another time.  Don’t start grasping at straws in an attempt to corner her into going out with you.  If she says she has something, DO NOT ask her what it is or what time or anything else that makes her think you suspect she’s fibbing.  Remember, “I’m busy” is much easier for everyone than “I’m really not interested in you”.

When you get turned down, listen to how she does it—if she suggests that you go out some other time then you should try asking her out again in a week or so.  Generally, if she says ‘no’ to three attempts in a row without a legitimate excuse I would suggest not calling her again.  Persistence is not going to make her like you more.  It feels like I always hear old men who got married young say stuff like “I had to convince my wife to marry me.”  While this may be true in some cases, it’s more likely just something that these guys say to be self-deprecating and funny.

While you should be sensitive to whether a girl is rejecting you, you need to be careful that you don’t become gun-shy.  You should work to find a happy medium between timid and overzealous.  Being bold and confident are good things, so long as you’re careful not to cross the line to arrogant and cocky.  Ask out as many girls as you can but know how to quit when they’re trying to tell you that they’re not interested.


Notes for Girls: How can I tell if he’s interested in me?

This week’s featured question comes from one of our women readers and was answered by our ever-insightful Dave. She asks:

“How can a girl tell if a guy is interested in her?”

As is true with many of these posts, there is no definitive way to tell if a guy is interested in you.  It varies so much from one guy to the next that I couldn’t possibly give you a perfect system.  I can, however, tell you how you would know if I were interested.

Initial contact

Before you’ve gone on a date, if he’s interested in you, he will try to talk to you.

This is the most sure-fire way to tell if a guy is interested.  However, many guys are patient and a little hesitant when it comes to walking up to girls they don’t know and introducing themselves.  We guys are into playing it cool, so some guys wait for either the right opportunity (an introduction or any kind of ‘in’) or for you to talk to them.  I don’t think it’s too forward for a girl to start a first conversation with a guy—in fact I think most guys appreciate it.  Usually this conversation will be small talk to start to get to know a little about one another.

Personally, I usually won’t ask for your number at this stage, but this is going to vary a lot from guy to guy.  I will most often wait until another time to ask you out on a date.

There are a couple of lessons to take from this, one is that you shouldn’t decide a guy’s not interested because he doesn’t come right up and introduce himself.  Some guys will, but many of us are just not that bold.  Another is that you shouldn’t pay too much attention to how the conversation went (unless it was just awful), because both you and he may have been really nervous.  Also, just because he didn’t go for your number doesn’t mean that he’s not interested.  Remember, many guys are patient and are into playing it cool.

The Rule of Contact

Prior to the first conversation there are not too many sure-fire ways to tell if a guy is into you, but afterwards there are a few basic things to look for.  The first is the Rule of Contact.  Now that you’ve had a chance to talk once in the past, the next time he sees you he will do everything he can to come and talk to you.  Any excuse he can think of—even if it’s something as lame as talking about the weather or his favorite brand of ice cream.  This is the general rule: if he’s into you and you’ve already met, he will try to make contact.  Don’t give up if you see him at one place and he doesn’t make it over to talk to you.  But, if you see him at a few parties and he doesn’t attempt to talk to you, then he’s probably not interested.

The Rule of Flirting

At some point he is going to ask you out on a date.  There are so many complexities that play into how guys show whether they are interested on a date—it’s going to be different for every guy, but I can think of one clear way to tell that he is interested: flirting.  The Rule of Flirting is simple: if he flirts with you then he is probably into you.  Does he tease you (in a funny/nice way)?  Does he look for excuses to touch your arm?  Do the two of you laugh together when you’re out on a date?

The Rule of ‘We Should’

Next is the Rule of ‘We Should’.  This is where you’re on a date and he says something like, “You like to [insert activity]?  We should do it together sometime.”

This is him testing the waters and it is VERY important that you respond appropriately.  If he suggests that you play tennis together you should be enthusiastic and say: “I’d love to play with you sometime.”

If he suggests something you don’t feel comfortable with, you should throw out an alternative: “I’m not really sure about waterskiing behind your snowmobile, but I’d love to go longboarding sometime.”

If you’re not interested in going out again, be sure you don’t sound enthusiastic when he suggests doing something in the future, and definitely don’t suggest an alternative.

The Rule of Priority

After the date some guys like to make sure a girl knows that they had a good time by trying to stay in contact with her, but without being too blatant.  For example, if you text him that you had a good time after he drops you off he may text you back ‘thanks’ and something trying to confirm future plans or, at the very least, a ‘talk to you soon’.  Then he should try to contact you again sometime in the next couple of days either to just be in touch or to set up another date.

This is the Rule of Priority (it’s closely related to the Rule of Contact), which is that if a guy is into you then he will make contacting you a priority.  He should try his best to make sure you hear from him so that you know that you are officially a priority.

The Rule of It’s Not That Simple

This is the hardest part of the whole thing, it drives both guys and girls crazy sometimes.  This is the Rule of It’s Not That Simple.  It is that at any given time a guy probably has more than one girl he’s interested in until he’s in a relationship.

This makes things complicated sometimes but it is part of dating.  At some point the guy is going to have to decide to date only one of the girls he’s going out with.  If he has been taking out three girls simultaneously then this means that two of them will stop getting calls from him.  Personally, I try to do this gradually but occasionally it is abrupt.  And it happens both ways—I can think of times when I’ve been having a great time with a girl and I’ve thought that things were going well until she suddenly stops returning calls.  This is probably because she has been going out with a few different people and has decided to commit to one.

In my experience, the only remedy to this is to make sure that you always have more than one person you’re interested in until you’re in a relationship.  And if you don’t then you need to spend time with your friends and go to parties to meet new people.

Friends, hobbies, and other prospects are the best cure for the Rule of It’s Not That Simple.

A Brief Summary:

  1. The Rule of Contact: after the first contact has been made you can tell if a guy is interested in you by whether or not he initiates future contact and asks you out.
  2. The Rule of Flirting: every guy is different on dates but flirting is a pretty safe positive sign—if he flirts, he likes you.  Be sure to flirt back if you like him.
  3. The Rule of ‘We Should’: if a guy suggests you do something together then he is expressing interest.
  4. The Rule of Priority: a guy who is interested will make you a priority.  You can tell this by whether he calls or texts you.
  5. The Rule of It’s Not That Simple: the guy you are going on dates with is probably going out with other girls at the same time.  This is often the explanation behind why a guy you think is into you doesn’t call—he may have started dating someone else.  All sorts of erratic behavior can be explained by this rule.  Be sure that you are dating other people as long as he is.

Ask the Proxies: What does it mean if she talks about old boyfriends

I have a roommate who thinks it’s a good sign if a girl talks about ex-boyfriends on the first couple dates. Sometimes he gauges her level of interest based on how much she tells him about what happened. I think it’s weird. Am I wrong? Why do girls talk about their exes?—Email question from Anonymous in Draper.

Talking about or complaining about previous relationships is never a good idea on the first couple of dates. What guy wants to hear about some other guy over dinner?

Your roommate might think this is a good sign, but really it’s just a sign that she’s not over the ex yet. It’s a sign that she’s a little immature, and probably overly dramatic. Her willingness to share stories has nothing to do with interest and everything to do with sympathy & easy validation.

My friends and I call it the Cheeto theory, and it applies to men and women equally: Bonding over stories about the guy or girl you dated 3 years ago is like eating a huge, grocery-store bag of Cheetos.

It is. Once you start talking —you can’t stop yourself. In the process, you feel all close and chummy—but you reveal all sorts of insecurities and relationship issues with no real context. You may feel like “all the walls” are down, but really in five minutes you’re going to feel real sick: telling these stories sucks all the flirtatious energy out of the date (it’s difficult to banter during a dramatic tirade/confession).

It’s so easy. To tell those crazy stories. They are hilarious. They are amazing. They are shocking. That time you had that boyfriend who only ate quesadillas and chocolate chips? That time you had that girlfriend who left you for California right before you wanted to propose (but you never really wanted to marry her anyway)?—that was the worst. But, resist.

Just wait.

Dating 101: Thoughts For Food

Dave is back, and this time he is providing some basic manners that will take your date from tacky to tasteful.
This is a great post for both guys and girls, so everyone pay attention and get your plates ready!

Because dates often involve eating, table manners are extremely important. If you really think about it, eating is inherently a gross thing to do. You’re shoving stuff into your mouth, chewing it up, and sending it to your stomach. The reason we have manners is to make this process as discrete as possible. One time I was on a date with a girl to whom I was really attracted… until we sat down for dinner. She proceeded to chew with her mouth open, talk with her mouth full, use her hands to shovel food onto her fork, and lick the food off her fingers. It was honestly disgusting. And not in a snobbish, ‘I’m better than you’ type of way—it literally took my appetite away.

So I’m going to lay out some basic tips of how not to sick out your date at dinner and then I’ll mention some specifics you can implement in case you feel classy. I should mention that the only way to develop good table manners is to practice them all the time until they become second nature. You can’t be thinking about this stuff while you’re actually on a date. This means that when you’re at home you should sit down to a table a couple of times a week (not a coffee table in front of a TV, but a real dinner table) and focus on not being gross.

Please note that some of these rules apply to eating “American style,” versus “European style” which has different etiquette.


Basic musts/must nots:

1. Never talk with your mouth full or chew with your mouth open. Just like you may have been told as a kid. It is gross.

2. Don’t EVER touch the food on your plate with your fingers unless it is finger food. Never use your knife to shovel stuff onto a fork either. If you’re having trouble getting the last little bit of food on your fork then just leave it on your plate.

3. Do not touch your face during dinner. This is especially true of your nose. If you need to wipe or blow your nose you should excuse yourself to the restroom to do it. Using your napkin to wipe your mouth is the only acceptable face-touching during a meal and even then it should be done in a discrete manner.

4. When you are cutting meat, use the knife in your dominant hand with your fork in the other to stabilize it. Cut off ONE bite-sized piece of meat, put your knife down across the top of the plate, put your fork back in your dominant hand and use it to take a bite. You should never use your fork in the non- dominant hand to feed yourself and you shouldn’t cut more than one bite-sized piece of meat at a time. I know it’s inefficient, but this is dinner, not a feeding frenzy. If you’re a fast eater (like me) then this will help you to slow down.

5. Your fork should never touch your teeth. Often people use their teeth to scrape food off the fork, making a sound like pulling a sword out of a sheath. This is extremely common but inappropriate nonetheless—remember that the idea is to not attract attention to the fact that you’re putting food in your mouth and that means keeping sounds to a minimum. Use your lips instead of your teeth.

6. If there is bread with the meal you should break off a bite-sized piece, butter it (or dip it in oil and vinegar) and then eat it. It’s impolite to bite into a large piece of bread, even if it’s sliced. Again, this will slow you down a little.

7. Drink slow—burping is disgusting.

8. Don’t order spaghetti if you can at all avoid it. It’s so hard to eat this stuff politely—you’re probably going to end up with it all over your face like a one-year-old who just finished eating red-orange cake.


Now for some of the fancy stuff.

If you don’t do these things it won’t gross out your date (she probably won’t know the difference), but they may help you get a job or impress future in-laws sometime.

1. Wait until there is food on the table to put your napkin in your lap.

2. If there is more than one fork on the table start with the one that is farthest away from the plate. If there is a fork above your plate it’s a dessert fork (it’s kind of an ostentatious thing), so use it last.

3. After you have used a utensil you shouldn’t ever set it back down on the table. In fact, it should never even touch the table again. It is a common mistake, especially with the knife, to set it down so that the handle is on the table with the blade leaning up on the plate. Instead, you should set it across the top of the plate with both the handle and the blade off the table. If you’re having soup, there should be a plate under the bowl on which you can set the spoon when you’re finished using it. Don’t leave the spoon in the soup with the handle sticking out.

4. When you’ve finished your meal, put your fork and knife on the plate with the handles pointing to 4 o’clock.

5. Don’t start eating until everyone has been served. This is especially evident with dessert—never ever start eating dessert until everyone has food in front of them (this includes the host/hostess in particular if you are eating a meal at someone’s house).

So there you have some basics; neither list is exhaustive by any means, but these seem to be some of the more common faux pas in casual eating. Just remember that table manners are more than just a formality—they help us not sick-out our dates so they’ll go out with us again.

A Dating Story: First to Fifth

So, we all know going on that first date can be tough…but what about the second and third? How do you smoothly go from first date to fifth?

Well, while everyone has a different style, I figured it would be good to give a positive personal experience of some little things that impressed me on each date—first to fifth. I know that it is different for everyone, and that there has to be chemistry for any of these moves to work, but the basic principles found behind each move are good rules to play by.

First date: Dinner, short and sweet. No marathon date or meeting all the friends. He was great at sharing the conversation and was confident in himself. At the end of the date, he asked me on another one. No guesswork on if he’d ever call me again, and an upfront “yes” or “no” for him. He also told me the event, giving me the heads up on where we were going and what we would be doing–great for a girl because she then knows what to wear.

Second date: We went to a play and dinner. It was longer than the first date, but still not a marathon. Guys, always have a solid plan for the outing at least until the third date.

The next day he texted and asked if he could see me again. That move is super sweet, and smart for any guy because girls thrive off momentum—let us sit for too long and we lose heart… and interest.

Him asking if he “could see me again?” was a great hint that he actually wanted to go on a DATE again, leaving no room for the confusion “are we just hanging out now?”

Third date: Dinner and a movie. Being the third date, I was unsure if I should pay for dinner, but right before the check came he set his wallet on the table. Guys, you may not know this, but a lot of girls stress over not knowing if the guy is expecting them to pay, especially a few dates in. So that is a great non-verbal way to say, “relax. I got it.”

Fourth date: I took him to ice cream. Girls, show the guy that you are not just using him for his wallet. It sends a good signal if you do something with him that doesn’t involve him footing the bill.

Fifth date: He got me flowers. Not a giant $50 bouquet, but a simple and beautiful arrangement that told me “I was thinking about this date for more than 30 seconds before you showed up.” We went to a chalk festival, dinner, and then a movie at his place.

NOTE: After you have been on several dates planning is not as important, but preparation still is. Deciding the activity together can be fun—but have a plan for if the girl has no ideas. Guys, don’t push a girl into a corner to make a decision when she says she doesn’t know what to do. Most girls just want to be with you, so understand that they like a man who takes control.


Well, there are some highlights from a run of five successful dates.

One of the things to remember and focus on from that dating story is the gradual build of the dates. It was simple at first, but grew into longer and more involved events. You need to walk the fine line between not freaking a girl out with too much attention, but at the same time not letting her excitement die with a lot of dead space. The longer you date/know her, the more attention you can give without driving her away.

Also, make it clear that it’s not a hangout though the wording you use. Things like “I would like to see you again/I would like to take you out again/Would you like to go to ______with me?” give the girl a loud and clear signal that they are dates. Things like “Hey want to come watch a movie?/I’m going to ___________, want to come?/ We should do something tonight.” leaves a girl questioning where she stands in the situation.


So, remember these points:

  •  Make the first date short, but be sure to lengthen them as you continue on.
  •  Let the girl know soon after the date that you would like to see her again.
  •  Make clear the fact that it IS another date.
  •  Be confident and strong in the role of a man on the date. Don’t leave her to guess.
  •  As things progress, show your interest in other ways besides asking her out.
  •  And finally, don’t let her lose the excitement and “twitterpation” she has with you by having long dry spells between contact. You’ll lose her interest—and your chance—if you do.

If you have a good/bad date story you want to share, please email it in or comment below!