First dates are all about getting to the second date. Here's how to make him fall all over himself for a second date with you
As a love coach, I've heard the following question more times than I can remember:"What happened? I'm so confused. At first, he seemed to really like me. He made reservations, picked me up, and took me to a fabulous restaurant. But for some reason, over the course of dinner, he became a little cold and distant. By the time he dropped me off, he seemed withdrawn and just sped off into the night. I haven't heard from him since! And I really liked him. I'm so bummed! What do you think happened?"Does this sound familiar to you? If so, you may have broken some cardinal first-date rules without knowing it.
Here are eight tips to ensure that a first date will turn into a second if you'd really like it to:
Tip 1. Don't be negative about dating.
Why should a man pursue someone who isn't happy? It's ineffective manhandling to dump your dating disappointments on bachelor No. 3. Talking to a man about how awful dating is just begs the question, "Are you in therapy?" Talking to a man about how awful dating is just begs the question, "Are you in therapy?"
Manhandling Tip: Be a romantic challenge, not a mental health challenge.
Tip 2. Don't get tipsy.
Always maintain enough sobriety to assess your date's character. Practice restraint, and don't have more than a drink or two when you're out on a first date. Otherwise, how in the world can you possibly observe him and decide if he's remotely right for you?
Manhandling Tip: Always stay sober enough to remember how naughty you were the night before!
Tip 3. Don't talk badly about your exes.
I don't care if he cheated on you with your sister, don't recite a laundry list of grievances about your exes. This will only make you sound unavailable at best, or worse, wounded. Reveal your secrets when you're both on a beach in Hawaii or, better yet, engaged! Reveal your secrets when you're both on a beach in Hawaii or, better yet, engaged!
Manhandling Tip: We all have baggage. Keep it in the closet on first dates.
Tip 4. Don't spook your suitor.
Now is not the time to point out your physical flaws. Only bring these complaints to people who can actually do something about them, and not to men who will now be forced to lie to you if they possess good manners.
Manhandling Tip: Confidence is sexy! Sometimes, thoughts are for the inside.
Tip 5. Don't talk about your personal pet peeves.
Although your therapist might get butterflies inside when you talk about how traumatized you are by the staggering number of germs that thrive in public restrooms, the typical male will be horrified. You'll have violated the sacred air space of "romantic quality time" and these little monologues of strange pain will be as off-putting as if you started sorting unwashed laundry in a restaurant.
Manhandling Tip: You already know all about you. Keep your problems to yourself and get to know him.
Tip 6. Don't chase your date.
Never deprive a man of the thrill of the chase. Besides, it's so much fun being caught! A woman can always initiate a first tea date, but after that, it's up to a man to decide whether he wants to pursue you. Entice men, play with them, and then release them! Allow men to initiate and take the lead in moving your relationship forward.
Manhandling Tip: When men chase you, they're much less likely to fly away.
Tip 7. Don't keep squawking.
Don't feel pressured to try to fill up every second with meaningless chatter. If the conversation falls silent for a moment, don't panic, just let it happen. Natural pauses are sexy, and body language can be so much more powerful than words. Slowly smile at him and breathe. You may be surprised when he blurts out in the middle of a deliciously pregnant pause, "Come here and kiss me!"
Manhandling Tip: Remember, sometimes less conversation really is more.
Tip 8. Learn how to leave.
Anyone can be pleasant when they're enjoying themselves, but the true test of character is how one behaves when terribly bored Anyone can be pleasant when they're enjoying themselves, but the true test of character is how one behaves when terribly bored, or worse, treated shabbily. There's nothing to be gained by suffering through a terrible date, so if you're having an awful time, depart quickly and gracefully, without being rude. When you're itching to leave, say: "Thank you so much for meeting me. I think it's time for me to go on home, Jerome. (Smile) Take care." Extend your hand for a quick shake, swiftly turn on your heel and depart.
Romantic Rule: If you're on date number one and aren't having fun, release men back into the wild immediately.
Lauren Frances, author of "Dating, Mating and Manhandling: The Ornithological Guide to Men," is the founder of the Institute for Romantic Research and a love coach to countless women and men around the globe, including Hollywood celebs like Kate Walsh and Amy Brenneman. Lauren has been featured on Bravo's The Real Housewives of Orange County and Dr. Phil's Decision. She's on the Web at laurenfrancesphdd.com