(The Frisky) -- Ah, first dates. So nerve-wracking. If only you knew exactly what was going to happen, then you could plan out everything in advance. But first dates are kind of like playing the lottery. You've got to be in it to win it, but sometimes you end up empty-handed. If you're a woman, you know these sorts of situations don't always go so smoothly.
If you're a guy, here are 10 tips that can make the first date easier on all of us.
Take charge. We do not want to decide where to go. We will never tell you this, but it is true. Ask us what kind of place and/or food we like; then, pick a place like that. Do not leave it up to us to choose. You are the man. Act like one.
Smile. When we arrive, smile. Maybe you are a tough guy. Maybe you are nervous. Maybe you are paralyzed. Either way, smile. Women are strange, exotic, intuitive creatures, and we respond well to positive reinforcement. Do not glower.
Mind your body language. If your legs are crossed and your hand is over your mouth, we will unconsciously think you are hiding something. If you are sprawled out all over with your legs spread wide and your hands behind your head, we will think you are a slob or generally loose. Sit up straight, lean in closer, and keep your hands where we can see them.
Ask questions. This seems obvious, but it's surprising how many men don't do this. You know what women like? Attention. Also, kittens, flowers, and cupcakes. Nothing else. If you seem curious about the woman sitting across from you, she will like it. For sure.
Listen. You can't just ask a bunch of questions, and then not listen to the answers. They call this a "date," but, really, for women, it's more like a "test." If you e-mailed or talked on the phone beforehand, remember what the hell she told you about herself. If you forget, we will feel angry and want to leave. Then you will be sorry.
Use flattery, appropriately. If at some point during our meeting, you tell us we are "beautiful," "attractive," or "pretty," we will like you better than if you didn't. It's. Just. That. Simple.
Act confident. We really do not care if you are secretly neurotic, deeply insecure, or mildly nuts. We are interested in how you portray yourself. Act confident, interested, engaged, self-assured, ambitious, and happy. We like that. Thanks.
No pawing allowed. If you're going to score with us at some point, we will let you know. Trust. Occasional physical contact is OK -- a hand to the small of the back, a touch of the thigh, a brief holding of the arm while making a point. Do not grab anywhere in the red light zones. If we want your hands there, we will put them there.
Please pay. Feminism, shmeminism. Take care of the bill without comment. That is what we want. Wave off any offer to go dutch. We lied. We don't want to pay half.
Say goodnight. Don't meander off into the night. Do something. What -- that is up to you: a handshake, a hug, a kiss. Do it right, and you might get a second date
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