Dating is scary whether you are a man or woman. Each person has their own personal stories on their challenges and experiences in dating. Men in particularly are faced with the dilemma on how to start to date the girl they admire. Socially, most women expect to be asked out. Though this is changing, the responsibility usually falls to the man to invite the woman on a date.

When we say ‘to date’, it is not simply the action to ask a woman to dinner, a movie, a walk or an event. It is a social act that follows a pattern depending on the socio norms of that particular society. The mores on how to date inAmericais probably very different from the mores that apply in a place likeThailand. Different traditions and expectations are involved.

It is important to understand the norms and expectations of the country where you are considering dating someone. Just like any project, it is important to plan on what and how you are going to approach this to ensure everything goes smoothly. Dating in general is taking a chance so planning helps build confidence especially when your heart is involved.

Here are a few steps to use as a reference to help build your confidence.

  1. Surprise the girl by knowing her name without asking her personally. How are you going to do it? There are a lot of ways how to do it. You can ask her circle of friends, or you can use your network of friends to ask her friends. Don’t be afraid to use your resources. The next time you meet or bump her, she will be impressed that you already know her name prior your initiating direct contact. It underlines interest.
  2. Know the things she likes. When ever possible, learn the things she likes and spends time doing. Be careful not to be a stalker. Stalking is definitely different to just finding her daily routine or things she likes. To make your task easier, use your network of friends for this job. Knowing her routine will give you brilliant ideas on how to get her attention at the right moment or it might just give you a good topic to start a conversation when an occasion presents it. This information might suggest the best place for the first date.
  3. Make your move to meet her. With the information you have, identify a good chance to talk to her! The more comfortable of an environment for her, the easier she is going to feel and the better chance she’s going to say yes. You can plan an accidental ‘bumping in’ meeting or with determination and confidence you can approach her and personally introduce yourself. Don’t think that the second one will make you sound desperate. She will probably realize how serious and determine you are to meet her. Make friends with her and with her circle of friends. In this way, you will make her more comfortable meeting you and she will feel safe in this circle of people..
  4. Use technology to help you gain her trust and affection. Send her cute text messages as often as you can, daily e-cards, or romantic quotes through Facebook. Guys don’t love these things but girls really do.
  5. Talk to her as often when there is a chance. Talking is the best way for you to develop your relationship. It is still the best way of communication to become closer to someone, to know her ideas, to understand her likes and dislikes, and to hear not just her words but as well as her heart.
  6. Send her flowers and chocolates. This is the traditional way of courting which though is not done as much, is still being practiced by almost all people around the world and is very effective. But don’t just send it. Personalize it! Put something special on it, in it, a twist, and most importantly do it either for a special reason – or for no reason at all. Make sure it reflects something special for her by choosing her favorite flower or color. Put a card on it. The card doesn’t need to be expensive; your own-made card is more valuable than those found in the market. Write your own dedication, and don’t forget to tickle the hearts of this lovely woman by writing cute love quotes. Show yourself. Chocolates do not need to be expensive. Normal chocolates will do.
  7. Walk her home. You don’t really have to ask her formally if you can bring her home. Simply saying “can I walk with you?” sounds more romantic for a girl than saying “can I give you a ride?” which sounds rude and threatening. In your own way, open up topics about the things you love to do, she loves to do, share your thoughts. Be courteous and gentle as much as you can especially when you get to her home. It is a very good sign if she introduces you to her parents. If not, be patient and wait for the right moment.
  8. Check your compatibility. How to do it? It’s a process. Remember your feelings every time you are together, every time you talk to each other, and every time your eyes meet. When you date someone, make sure that the feeling is mutual - not just about you. Remember that a healthy relationship involves the mutual feelings of two people. It’s the sharing of feelings together. It’s not one sided. If you have seen that she’s really not interested with you, you should stop it before it gets more involved. If you stretch it out trying to win the woman over to make her fall in love with you, you are only hurting yourself.
  9. Ask the girl for a date. This is it, the most awaited moment. After weeks of knowing each other, you are going to ask the girl for a dinner date, a movie date, or a combination of the two - a movie dinner date. It is best to ask her in person. If you can’t, then you might opt to ask her by telephone. Do not ask her by email! Make sure you are clear on your plans – the date, the time and what you are going to do. Make sure you are not late (it is better if you are five to ten minutes early).

A well-planned first date can be really amazing. But if these plans don’t work for you, I’m pretty sure you can have your own plan that best fits for you.