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Column: How to score an “F” on your first date

If you’re on the dating scene and for some reason no woman is interested in a second date, perhaps you’re doing some of these things, writes Rena Maycock.

Rena Maycock

I’VE WORKED WITH a lot of women and men looking for love. Some problems come up over and over again – so here’s some feedback from women on what they DON’T want in a man*: the idiot’s guide to an epic first date “F”ail.

If you’re a man on the dating scene and for some reason she’s never interested in rendezvous #2, perhaps you’re doing one or two of these things…

  • Being late. Sauntering up 35 minutes late for your date and making no attempt to apologise is never a good idea. Sure she should be delighted you’ve bothered to show up at all, right? Wrong. You might think it’s a clever “treat ‘em mean keep ‘em keen” tactic but any girl worth having will just think you’re not capable of telling the time.
  • Pretending you don’t want to be there. Using phrases such as “ah my friends push me into these things but I’ve no idea why, I’ve no problem getting women” isn’t going to fool anyone. She knows you’re eager – otherwise you wouldn’t be there – and pretending otherwise just makes you look like a fool.
  • Bad presentation. For the love of God – bathe, wear clean clothes, and brush your hair. Do not arrive in yesterday’s clothes with food down your front or stinking of a hard day’s manual labour. Women make a big effort getting ready for a date, the least you could do is arrive clean.
  • Making no effort. Dating is hard work. You must TRY to generate topics of conversation. Simply arriving doesn’t entitle you to sit back, relax and enjoy the show as if you’re sitting opposite a performing seal – you must take part and do your fair share of the talking. Conversely, if you see yourself as the interviewer, you’ve failed already so forget those survey-style list of questions – you’ll come across as the loser that’s been on 150 first dates that nobody else wanted to see again.
  • Using your phone. Nothing says “you’re boring me” like someone taking or making  a phonecall during the date. Let’s face it, you can wait an hour or two for a more mannerly time to speak. Narcissists commonly (and incorrectly) think that taking or making calls makes them seem somehow more popular/busy/important. They are wrong. It’s just rude.
  • Moan, moan and moan some more. If you find yourself using your date as an opportunity to bitch about your ex-wife/girlfriend, your job, the dating scene, the rain or the new iPhone OS – you need to get yourself to a therapist so you can get it all out before your date. Nobody likes a whinger, everyone wants positivity. On the other hand, if your goal is to achieve “My worst ever date” status with as many women as possible, then by all means continue being a negatron and get out on as many first dates as you can with poor unsuspecting women.
  • Forgeting all of your table manners. The next time you’re out for a meal, see if you chew with your mouth open, pick food out of your teeth, pick your nose/ear, break wind or start your meal before everyone at the table has their food in front of them. If you do any of these things you have a problem. If you do more than one, you may never find a woman to meet you for a second date. Whether you like it or not, a woman will decide during your first dinner date whether you have the ability to be civilised – and, unless you’re Ryan Gosling, if your manners are bad she will likely think you’re not worth the time investment to make them tolerable.
  • Being rude to the staff. If you make a habit of clicking your fingers to get a waitress’s attention or complain that the “food is all too fancy” or that you ordered your Grey Goose three minutes ago and you STILL don’t have it, then you’re probably being pegged as the most obnoxious date she’s ever had. Be courteous, it will never do you wrong.
  • Not offering to pay the bill. All of the below actions are equally as shameful and are sure to result in a long and lonely life:  examining the bill and pointing out to the waiter that you ordered the extra portion of chips but didn’t get them so they should come off; getting your phone out, totting up your soup and Mi Wadi and leaving EXACTLY that amount; taking the tip that she has left up off the table and pocketing it; ordering the bill and then conveniently needing to visit the gents; when she leaves half the bill, complaining that she had a glass of wine so she owes more. The number one thing women don’t want in a man is tighfistedness so if you show any signs of meanness you’ll never see her again.
  • Not caring if she lives or dies. Women love a gentleman, and part of being a gentleman, or indeed any sort of man is being a little protective. If you send your date off on her merry way without bothering to escort her to her car or flag her a cab, you really don’t deserve her time.

Believe it or not, I have heard examples of all of the above. If you’re a man and you want the winning formula to a successful first date then it’s simple: arrive on time, showered and in clean clothes, make conversation, leave your phone on silent, be positive, have good manners, at least offer to pay the bill, and get her home in one piece. Boom.

(*Don’t worry – there’s a set of tips for women coming soon!)

Rena Maycock is the founder of Intro matchmaking, a nationwide matchmaking service based in Dublin which has arranged more than 3,000 matches.

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We’re interested in your ideas and opinions – do you have a story you would like to see featured in Opinion & Insight? Email opinions@thejournal.ie

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Rena Maycock

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