For you men who always seem to have great first dates, you probably already know this important, unspoken rule.

The Start of Dating Conversation Means a LotFor those of you who always seem to blow it on the first date, I have one very important thing you need to remember:  The very first moments are not about you.

But first, this actually happened to me, and it’s a prime example of what not to do:

I’m on a first date with a guy.  The bodybuilder type.  Not necessarily my type, but hey, we’ll give him a try.  About ten minutes into our shallow conversation he grabs my hand and slowly places it on his upper arm.  He looks down at my hand, looks me in the eyes, and says, “I just love the way a woman’s hand looks on my bicep”.

I start laughing because he just made a joke, right?  Apparently, it wasn’t a joke, and I didn’t stick around much longer to hear any of his other non-jokes.

Guys, we know if you have gorgeous eyes or great hands.  We know if you spent an hour color coordinating your clothes.  We know if you’ve been eating loads of spinach and have achieved Popeye arm status.  We also know if we aren’t ready to give you a compliment because you’ve failed to acknowledge anything about us.

Do you have any idea how much time we just spent getting ready for this date with you?  And by the way, many parts of it were really painful.

This may sound obvious to many of you, but if you’ve been out of the dating scene for a while, let me just give you a quick refresher.  The first ten seconds of the date are strictly about the female and complimenting her on her appearance.  You get the next three seconds.  Four if you’re lucky.  Of course, I fully expect a woman to reciprocate the compliment, but some women just don’t get it.  Don’t blame me if she doesn’t spend the next four seconds petting your perfectly sculpted Civil War sideburns.  They are in style again, aren’t they?

Sometimes you’re nervous and you forget, I understand.  However, if you don’t compliment her immediately, I guarantee she will be waiting for it.  All night long.  Seriously.  And you’ll begin wondering why she isn’t engaging in the conversation.  And you’ll be wondering why her responses consist of a bunch of mmm hmmms.

We’re simply hardwired for this initial conversation, starting with you:

  “Hello.” 
“Hi!”
  “You look beautiful.”  (gorgeous – stunning – striking – right-click, synonyms)
– “Thank you!”

We blush and we feign bashfulness because we were totally not expecting that.  Not at all.

So, yes, she needs to hear this, and no, it doesn’t mean she’s self-centered.  If she is, you’ll find out quickly enough and probably regret the “Man, you’re hotter than Megan Fox in the first Transformers movie” comment.  (Do not say that.)

But, this is what romancing a woman is all about, and it should start immediately.  If you really are into her, compliment her a couple more times throughout the date, but don’t pile them on.  It gets uncomfortable and just a little creepy for us after that.

Why can’t we women just make up our minds?

So, you’ve complimented her and conquered the most crucial kick-off part of the date.  And now you’ve got your foot in the game.  Continue being the gentlemen that you’re pretty sure you can be, and maybe then we can talk about your biceps.


sarah sidewaysBy John’s Special Guest: Sarah Sideways
I’m Sarah:  a super happy person with a side of sarcasm.

I give relationship advice. Let me tell you something important: I am not a certified therapist by any means (unless a lifetime of crazy experiences constitutes a certification in helping other people with their crazy experiences). If my answers help you out, fantastic. If they don’t, I’m sorry, it was free advice. If it seems as though I only half-understood what you wrote me, it’s probably because you only half-gave me the story. Sometimes I’m serious. Sometimes I’m not. I’ll probably contradict myself along the way. I’m pretty good at disagreeing with my previous statements, as I can talk myself out of believing anything. Confused? Me too.

Pull up a chair…at your computer. Tell me what’s going on.  Everything will remain anonymous. You can search through the archives at www.sarahsideways.com