I do not purport myself to be a dating expert.
The fact of the matter is, if you compared the ledger of my love life, there'd be more months solo than together. That said, I still think I have a pretty good handle of what should go down on a first date.
First things first: say it with me - Chivalry is not dead.
I don't want you to patronize little ol' me or put me up on a shiny pedestal, but I would sure appreciate it if you opened the door for me, took the street side of the sidewalk and helped me with my coat.
Ditto on picking up the check. It's a gesture and shows you are willing to make an investment (monetary or otherwise) on a relationship. There's no need to go whole hog and make reservations at the city's best restaurant - heck, great convo and good food at an eclectic hole-in-the-wall can sometimes be the best. date. ever. Just show some effort.
So, that's #1 - chivalry.
Second - make me laugh. Be silly, be wry, be clever or self deprecating. I don't care how you do it - just make me smile and giggle a little bit.
The thing is (and most girls have heard this one before), "Every date is a prospective mate." It's something my mom told me when I was a teen, and I still hear her words echoing inside me every time I'm on a first date.
My parents are a great example of how to make a marriage work. They are sometimes crazy, and occasionally I've insisted that I'm adopted and share no genetic code with these people, but my parents must be doing something right - they celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary last March.
Laughter is the one thing that has helped Mom and Dad get through the tough times (and they've had more than their fair share of them). Their inside jokes don't discriminate between high brow and low brow, and I suppose that's what helps them make things work.
So, #2, make me laugh. I want to know that our potential relationship has some bones to survive the test of time.
Numero Tres. Compliment me. Tell me I'm gorgeous, that you like my shoes or that I have a pretty smile. Something. Show me you can appreciate the effort I put into getting ready for this date. Make me feel attractive/sexy/hot. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder; let me know that you think I'm a pretty girl.
Now, I don't necessarily think that beauty is everything; I'd take a good brain over good looks any day. I value my thoughts, ideas and opinions far more than I do the color of my chemically processed hair or the latest gloss to line my lips.
But every girl wants to feel beautiful, and she wants her man to admire that beauty.
#3 - offer up a sincere compliment about my appearance.
Four. Open up. No need to fling open the flood gates and tell me every sad thing that happened to you during your childhood - those are the kinds of things that are shared in time. But tell me about your hopes, your dreams, your regrets. Reveal to me that there's more to you than a starched collar and some cologne.
Relationships rely on honesty and the ability to confide in one another. Show me you are emotionally available and willing to share yourself with me. I promise I'll return the depth tenfold.
And that's #4 - open up and share a bit of your soul.
And the big finish - number five - demonstrate some spontaneous passion.
Whether you are struck by the moment and decide to grab the karaoke microphone and serenade me, or you roll up your pants and wade in a downtown fountain - show me you've got confidence.
Self-assurance is comforting, exciting and inspiring. A relationship works when both parties can bravely tackle unexpected adventures and intense opportunities.
And sometimes that intense opportunity comes in the form of a kiss.
Be bold and finish the date with a taste of what's to come.
#5 - live passionately.
(Hat tip to Classicgrrl, whose Facebook stream inspired this blog post.)
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.