During a season of my life, prior to my mucho happy marriage, I was a member of the Internet dating community. Recently, I looked back on some choice dates and realized that I could offer the single, dating men of the world a little advice for modern dating. For me, online dating was, as the kids say these days, “meh.” But there were a few “gems” that stuck with me—things that were said, things that were worn, things that were done. This is my list of “don’ts” for men. I promise to follow up with a “do” list to even things out. And I also promise not to exclude women. There were plenty of silly decisions I made along the way in my dating years.
1. Ask any member of the Yelp community and they will tell you: Yelp is not a dating site. Seems obvious. But some folks use it to cruise for dates.
2. When a woman accepts your invitation for a date, don’t ask if you can go dutch.
3. If you have a preferred age-range, don’t ask a woman her age mid-date. Do your homework before you waste her time.
4. Should you be stupid enough to ask a woman her age, and she tells you an age that you think is “old,” your follow-up question shouldn’t be, “And you want to have kids?”
5. Upon learning her age, and forming your opinion that her eggs are riddled with disease and deformities, don’t tell her that her eggs are likely deformed and disease susceptible should they become fertilized, eventuating into a baby.
6. When you take a woman out on a date, don’t talk about your ex-wife half the night. We don’t want to hear it.
7. Don’t take your date to a dive bar where the “dance” music is “Electric Slide,” “Desperado” and “Boom, Boom, Pow.”
8. Remove your date from areas where people are drunk and being obscene.
9. Don’t take a first date to Friday’s for dinner.
10. When your date says she’s “hit a wall,” it doesn’t mean she wants to take the evening to a diner for breakfast. She wants to go home.
11. Your date doesn’t want to hear about your financial woes due to the divorce. See tip number six.
12. When on a date, don’t engage in any “play” obscene behavior with other bar patrons/friends, male or female.
13. Cigars are not an appropriate first date gift.
14. Don’t buy your date a flower from the flower lady at the bar.
15. Ask your date about herself—and listen. Don’t interrupt her story with how you also have the same story.
16. If you’ve just had a lunch date with someone you really like, don’t bombard her with texts the rest of the day, into the evening and into part of the next morning.
17. The “20 Questions” style of date conversation, along with the “Truth or Dare” style of conversation is an unoriginal and tacky way to get to know someone.
18. Do not attempt a kiss on date one, nor two.
19. Say “no” to gold chains.
20. Pay for the girl’s $3 coffee. Geez.
21. When a lady tells you that she’s not interested, that is not her attempt at playing hard to get. You should not proceed by attempting to persuade the lady why she should be interested. Unless you have the marketing skills of a Nike or McDonald’s, it will backfire.
A note to the ladies: Perhaps some of the above tips seem silly to you. Maybe you like cigars and would’ve loved to have gotten a tin of them on a first date. Whatever your standards are, live by them. And if someone you meet or date doesn’t meet those standards, you have options, such as politely addressing the issue, or choosing to not go on any further dates. Whatever you decide, be polite and respectful and communicate clearly.
What “don’t” tips do you have for men in the dating game? Be nice!
©2013 Jennifer Wilder. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint or publish this content elsewhere, please contact me through this blog.