First dates not turning into second dates? Help is here. | Dr. Sharon Cohen
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8 ideas guaranteed to change the destiny of your dating future

8 ideas guaranteed to change the destiny of your dating future

How many women go out on first dates and have NO earthly idea why no second dates follow?

From experience in my life and in my office, a big fat majority of them!

Women don’t know what they do or don’t do on those first dates that turn men off. From her point of view, these dates go so well! Lots of laughter, easy conversation, good feelings…it all adds up to a second date.

Instead…crickets.

Single women have been given so many “rules” for dating. It’s insane. The RULES are insane!

Trying to decide if you should answer when he calls? Stop wondering.

Trying to decide if you should answer when he calls? Stop wondering.

One dating rule for women is “don’t call a man back.”

We are living in a time when we all have a phone on us practically 24/7. Immediate feedback loops and responsiveness are the norms.

If you don’t call back in a timely manner just to not call back, he’ll find someone who will. Slow responses indicate to him that you aren’t interested.

Yes, having your own life is important. If you can’t call back because you are busy, that’s great. Men are happy when a woman has her own life.

But if you are playing a cat and mouse game, he’ll feel that energy. Men know when a woman is playing them.

The game of appearing aloof so as to be a woman of high value in his eyes initially works. Men enjoy the chase.

However, if the game goes on too long, the man will lose interest and seek a woman who is available.

Wouldn’t it be sad if you lost out on someone special due to some silly set of dating rules?

Much better to be responsive and have the opportunity to see who this man is.

You may find that your needs are not being met and decide to reject him as your suitor. But that decision will be up to you after dating and getting to know him, not because you didn’t return a phone call.

Following are eight practices that will help on first dates. Men want to be with women who are happy and who appreciate what they bring to the table.

  1. Don’t change the plan. If he has made the effort to arrange a date or an outing, don’t suggest something different. That’s so disrespectful.

So many men tell me women do this all the time. After choosing a special restaurant or what he thought would be a fun event, the woman shoots it down or says “how about we go to X instead?”

At the same time, I hear women say they’re tired of polite men asking ‘what do you want to do?’ ‘Where do you want to go?’

What is more important? Is it more important that you eat that one meal at the restaurant you want? Or is it more important that he feels good that he did it right?

Build up his respectability by allowing him to be successful with you. Follow his plan. He’ll be more likely to make another one.

  1. Appreciate the plan. If a man takes you out to a restaurant, your response is important. Act as if he cooked the meal for you.
    First dates are a time to relax and get to know the person across the table from you.

    First dates are a time to relax and get to know the person across the table from you.

Imagine you are sitting at his dining room table. You probably wouldn’t tell him you don’t like the salad. Don’t do it now.

When you tell him you don’t like something, he feels personally responsible that he didn’t take you to the right restaurant.

Thank him. Focus on what you DO like. Use your other senses. The atmosphere is beautiful. The restaurant smells so good. You love the flowers on your table.

Men need “strokes.” Actually, all people need strokes, which are units of interpersonal recognition, to survive and thrive.

However, men rarely get them. We think they are ego-maniacs looking for strokes all the time, but it’s because they don’t get them as often as women do. We know this. Women are more complimentary and physically affectionate with each other than men are.

“Thank you. I really appreciate all that you provided tonight.” It’s as easy as that.

  1. Don’t be tempted to talk about your work. Experiment with this on your next few first dates. Pay close attention to how the energy of each date changes as the conversation shifts to your job. The sexual tension will dissipate.

You may think this is sexist. However, biologically, men still have that innate desire to show that he can provide for you. Men, by and large, have to do good to feel good.

Harvard’s international, cross-cultural study of over 10,000 people looking at human mating desires (as explained in David Buss’s book The Evolution of Desire) found that two-thirds of men mate and marry for sensual and sexual security. They want to come home to an oasis that looks good and smells good with a woman who is available to them, sexually and emotionally. The other one-third of men wants to mate and marry for financial security and social status.

The exact inverse is true for women: two-thirds of women want to mate and marry for financial security and social status. The other one-third wants to mate and marry for sensual and sexual security.

Either you want a man to take care of you and your feelings or you want to take care of him and his feelings. If you want the former, give him the space to do his peacock talk. Keep the sexual polarity alive.

  1. Do not take over a story of his by following up with your story of when you did the same thing, only bigger and better. We have a mistaken belief that when we disclose, we are sharing the experience. Women are used to conversational exchange. However, men feel discounted, disregarded and disrespected.

Ask questions about his experience. What did you think about golfing at St. Andrew? What was the worst thing that happened? What was the best? Would you do it again?

He may ping-pong it back and ask you some questions. The important thing is to give him time to reveal his story. He wants to show you who he is.

In other words, if he’s a contender, he’s applying for the job of your husband. Telling stories about himself and what he does are his way of sliding his resume across the table to you, so you may determine if he is a deserving candidate for the role.

  1. Listen. Stop multi-tasking when he is talking to you. It’s SO disrespectful. Have you ever talked to a man who’s watching TV? Yeah – he’s not hearing you either. It feels rude to you, doesn’t it? Well, he’s thinking the same thing when he’s talking to you and you’re looking over the menu, scanning the restaurant or checking your phone (EXTRA rude!).
    When a man's watching TV, don't start giving him important info until getting his attention first. He won't hear you or remember it.

    When a man’s watching TV, don’t start giving him important info until getting his attention first. He won’t hear you or remember it.

By the way, research has shown there is no such thing as multi-tasking. You can do multiple things shifting from one to another really quickly. But you are doing none of them as well as if you were doing them one at a time.

  1. Listen without cutting him off. Do not finish his sentence because you “already know” what he’s going to say. Do not rush to finish his thought for him. UGH!
  1. Do not question every opinion, thought, idea or suggestion he has. You may believe you have a different one that is smarter, better, more effective and efficient. But every time you challenge him you take him down a notch.

Would you rather win or would you rather be happy?

  1. Have a solid agreement between the two of you before consummating a relationship. Whether it’s for one night of fun or for one week of vacation while you’re in Cabo, have an understanding that’s exactly what it is going in.

Or you may want to make a commitment that you don’t want to consummate the relationship until you’re ready to be socially and sexually monogamous, you’re able to see each other a couple of times a week and are heading towards a long-term relationship or marriage.

Whatever the agreement is…let it be known so that neither of you feels sucker-punched when the other person says “I never said that’s what I wanted.”

The neurochemical tidal wave that comes with having sexual intercourse is too powerful to not talk ahead of time about your individual expectations. Have the discussion in the sober, light of day.

After reading these, perhaps you may find one or more ideas here that you have been doing or not doing. Or maybe you won’t realize until you go on a few more first dates that you are guilty of cutting off men or talking about your work because you think that what you do for work is fascinating.

That’s ok. Until now, you didn’t know.

Now you do know. What’s important is what are you going to do next?

Here you have in your back pocket a guideline for future first dates. Be appreciative. Listen. Don’t argue unnecessarily. Really, some of these are common courtesy, no? We seem to have lost that along the way…

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