Useful tips to help men with datingCredit: Bright Adventures' photos via Getty Images
1. Plan the date
This is an important part of the date because you don't want to get into a standstill of "I don't know, you decide." or "I'm fine wherever". It's good to have a list of options in mind and have ideas on knowing where to go. Have a bunch of different options and places you think you two will enjoy. There are plenty of sites to help you find locations for different types of places and events.
I recommend to use yelp.com and meetup.com. These sites will allow you to search for different places to eat, and events to go to. In deciding on a place to go to, pick a casual setting to go to. The casual setting will help to release the pressure and allow you two to become more at ease and comfortable getting to know each other.
It's a good idea to have food involved in the event, as everyone likes to eat. Maybe it would be a good idea to go somewhere that has a wide selection of foods to eat, just in case your date is allergic to a specific type of food.
2. Pay for the meal/date/event
Since you were the one who initiated the date and contact, as well as suggesting to go out, you should be the one to pay for the first date, or at least offer to pay for it. This will help assure your date about your interest in them, and that you are not just looking to have a good time, and that you value their presence. This does not have to be an extremely costly thing to do. No one says you have to go to an expensive restaurant or late night movie with snacks. It's better to stay away from this entirely. There are plenty of things you can do that won't hurt your budget, you just have to find them and be more creative.
Credit: grace_kat on flickr
3. Groom yourself
I'm not talking about a fancy tie and jacket here, or buttoned up shirt. It's important to be yourself, and it may seem kinda weird if you showed up overdressed on a first date, especially if it's not how you enjoy dressing as it will help to create a false image of yourself. Don't think about your first date as a stereotypical job interview, but a chance to meet a good friend.
I recommend being honest and dressing how you like, and NOT to impress. Be sure to shower, brush your teeth, fix your hair, and shape up your beard. Go easy on the body spray and cologne too because no one wants to smell that all day either.
Credit: Adam Jones, Ph.D. - Global Photo Archive on flckr
4. Show up early
Showing up early on the dat will allow you time to scope out the area and place you will be. You can use this time to maybe pick out a good spot, or decide on what you want to order, as well as offer suggestions to your date if they are unaware of what to eat and drink. Your date might also show up early, and you don't want her to be standing around bored, waiting and wondering if you'll show up on time.
5. Try not to focus on yourself
Listening is a very important skill, and some find it harder to do than others. Use this time to learn about her and who she is. Ask genuine questions about her personality, goals, and life experiences. Be sure to be polite, smile, and show interest in what she is saying. You don't have to fake your interest, but if you find yourself not being able to relate to what is being said, politely change the topic to something else.
6. Have manners
It should go without saying, but be sure to show and have good manners. No one wants to see the food in your mouth when you eat. Treat the waiter, host, and other workers where you go with respect. Open doors for others and show your concern for your date's health. Be sure to put your phone on vibrate or silent during the date as to not cause any interruptions. It won't make a good impression if you are browsing websites, checking email, and sending messages throughout the date. Surely you can manage your time well enough to have an hour or two free to give them your attention.
7. Be yourself
Don't pretend to be someone you are not. Be sure to show your true self/personality during the date. This pertains to the way you dress, and how you speak and carry yourself. You don't want to mislead your date into thinking you are someone you're not.
8. Don't stress out
Try not to think too much about it. It's not like you have to decide on marriage and children immediately after your first encounter. Some of the previous tips will help you to become less stressful. Wear clothes that you are comfortable with, and go to a casual setting. Do not worry about where the date will lead after, just enjoy your time and have fun while enjoying the presence of each other and learning about one another.
9. Have a nice closing
Follow up with a possible next meeting. Express your interest in meeting again. I'm not really one for handshakes, but maybe you can give a nice hug if you think it's okay.
Once the date is finished, use this time to reflect on the date and the day. Think about the things that you did well, and not so well. Talk about it with your friends and ask your date about her thoughts to see if she'd like to meet again.
Make sure to give yourself and your date ample time to reflect on the event for a few days to see if she'd like to meet again. Take what you learned during this date and apply it to the next one.
I hope you will take these tips into consideration and you were able to find something here useful, whether you be old or young. Feel free to leave additional tips and suggestions that I missed out and you feel would help others improve their dating experience.