Hold the door for her.
Whether it’s the building door, elevator door, car door (big one), or even the revolving door; YOU HOLD IT. You put your strong, firm man hands on that door, back up your cute, toned butt and instruct her to enter. Say, “After you,” or “Come on in,” or “You may enter, s3xy sugar mama,” or don’t even say anything at all. Stand there, look at her, and smile like you wouldn’t rather be doing anything else but standing there, looking at her, and smiling while holding that door open for her. This moment right here is often one of the first opportunities you have to show a girl what a gentleman you are. It seems so obvious, yet many men either forget that this rule exists or feel as though it’s too pretentiously courteous to actually do it. But take my word: this says SO much about you, and as you walk around to the driver’s side to join her, she will sit in your car bubbling over with joy. You will have set the tone for the entirety of the date.
2. Act happy.
Nobody likes a moody sourpuss. Unless both parties are moody sourpusses (sourpi?), because misery loves company and all that stuff. Males often believe that girls like mysterious, brooding men, so they speak very little and talk mostly with their eyes and seductive half-smile smirks. This works if you’re pursuing a one-night rendezvous, but anything beyond that requires your true personality to shine through. Smiling is contagious, and people gravitate towards those with upbeat, joyful personalities. Act like you’re happy to be with your girl (which is much easier if you actually are happy to be with her) so that she absorbs your happy vibes and projects them back onto you. You will be a blissful couplet of smiling faces prancing around glowing with delight.
3. Pay for her.
I took my boyfriend out for a congratulatory dinner one time because he got a new job. I told him I wanted to pay. I begged him to let me pay. Guess who ended up paying? “It’s just how things are done. You’re my girl,” he said, signing the check, and then I fainted into the breadbasket.
This causes many fights in many relationships. It’s hard when two people who don’t have the means to spend a lot go on dates that require spending. But, guys, if you can afford to pay for the date, do it. It is such a sweet, genuine gesture that shows her that you care about her. It tells her that money isn’t something that she’ll have to worry about with you, and that spending time with her is such a delight that no amount of dollars and cents can lessen the happiness it brings you. If you end up marrying the girl, it’ll all be worth it; if you don’t, it’s worth it for your reputation as a Really Great Guy.
It is such a relief for the girl knowing that he’s probably going to pay, and there’ll be no awkward “So, about the bill…” moments. Not because she can’t afford it, or because she told him to, but because he wants to treat her — because he thinks she deserves it.
Now girls, this doesn’t mean that you’re off the hook. Offer to pay sometimes; it’s only fair. If he’s like my boyfriend and actually refuses to let you pay, make up for it in other ways later, like buying him a package of double stuff Oreos, beef jerky or some other #ManFood. Don’t let his chivalry go unnoticed.
4. Put your phone away.
This cannot be stressed enough. If you want your girl to be with you, act like you want to be with her. Checking your phone throughout the date is a nonverbal way of saying, “I am more interested this little box of false reality than looking at your face.” Make sure she knows that’s not true; put your phone in your coat, man purse, shoe, what have you. Just get it out of your face and look at hers. Be engaged in the moment.
5. Introduce her to your best friends.
After you’ve been on a few dates and you’ve covered the background bases (where she’s from, what she likes, what she does for work/school), take her over to meet the guys. If she’s a guy’s girl (S/O to my fellow tomboys), she will LOVE meeting your friends. She’ll want your friends to be her friends. She’ll leave thinking that if guys who are that cool hang out with you, then by association, you must also be cool. This is a pretty subconscious thought but it definitely runs through her mind. If she’s not a guy’s girl, it’s still a good idea. Meeting your friends will show her what you’re like with your buds, what your personality is like in a different context, and (most likely) your true sense of humor. And it’s a great warmup for #6.
6. Introduce her to your parents.
When the time is right, take her to meet your parents. It shows her that you want to show her off because you’re proud to be with her. She’s going to be nervous and scared and want to bring cookies or wine. She’ll stress about what to wear because she’ll want to look respectable but also fashionable and are they going to think she’s weird for being a vegetarian or judge her for being an art history major? She’ll worry about these things up until the moment she shakes their hand. (Or hugs them? Are they hug people?) Which is why it’s also important that you calm her down and tell her what she wants to hear, not what she needs to hear. Honestly. If they’re going to judge her for being an art history major, keep that to yourself. Don’t let her stress out about something that will be so trivial later on. If you like this girl, your parents will be able to tell, and all of the initial judgments will be forgotten once you get married and have beautiful artistic babies.
7. Pay attention to the little things.
This is a foolproof plan, I promise. It is also one that many don’t think to do. It’s easy because all it requires you to do is watch her. Literally, just stare at her sometimes when she moves, or talks, or does things. That’s it. The rest will follow. You’ll begin to notice little quirks, habits, likes and dislikes, and then you can surprise her with what you pick up on.
Notice how she takes her coffee and then surprise her with her perfect cup the next time you hang out. If the Starbucks line is out the door, get creative and make it at home (two hefty tablespoons of cream, two of sugar if you’re not exactly sure and want to play it safe).
If she takes her sandwiches and salads sans tomato, take note: next time you’re out to eat and she forgets to tell the waitress “no tomato, please!” remind her.
Notice when she wears new clothes. This one’s more difficult because it requires you to pay attention to her daily wardrobe (which I know not many boys really care that much about), but when she’s hanging out with you, she dresses for you. So maybe she gets a new scarf, or wears a hat you’ve never noticed before, or has new boots with tha fur. Look at her, take it all in, smile, and repeat after me: “You look so good in that scarf/hat/pair of boots with tha fur. Did you just buy them?” Even if the clothing item isn’t new, it’s still a compliment and a boost to her ego, which is always good. Open your arms and there’s a good chance she’ll jump into them.
8. Cushion her falls.
This one is a metaphor, but can also be taken literally. If she trips and falls, you should definitely try to catch her.
But, metaphorically, you need to learn how to catch her when she falls too. All you have to do is be there. That’s it. This one goes a long, long way. It is the basis of trust and understanding, which is crucial for establishing a relationship.
Girls feel things very deeply if they let themselves. Disappointment and sadness are certain, psychological struggles befall many, and tragic events may happen. Life is not perfect for anyone. These things are inevitable. Understand them not as an obstacle or complication, but as a bump in the road for which she needs your help smoothing down from time to time.
9. Gauge her proximity range for personal issues, and adjust to them.
If she wants to cry alone in her room for a day only to get out of bed to move to the shower to cry, shoot her a text and tell her you’ll be ready to come over whenever she says the word. If she runs to you in tears wanting to talk, sit down with her and listen. You don’t have to fix everything because you can’t possibly know how, and she understands this. She knows she’ll have to work through her personal problems mostly on her own. All you have to do is be there for her when she needs someone. Be that someone.
So, dear men, I leave you with these tips. You are now ready to re-enter the dating realm, equipped with the knowledge of how to woo your girl the right way.
And girls, if your guy is doing most of these things, or you’ve found a guy who shows promise in doing them, strap a string to your finger, tie the other end around his foot and you follow that man to the end of the Earth and back if he so pleases. You’ve got yourself a member of the Secret Society.
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