There are a lot of attractive, intelligent, classy women out there who’d love to meet the right man. Sadly, they may have already gone out with him, but wouldn’t have given him a second chance because of mistakes he made on the first date.

It’s true that first dates can be nerve-wracking, and it’s not uncommon for a man on such an occasion to open his mouth and inadvertently insert one or both feet into it, but everyone would benefit if men had a better understanding of what the really great women are looking for on a first date.

In this age of instant gratification, many otherwise intelligent men mistakenly believe that the more quickly they make a connection, the better, but relationships established on flimsy foundations are likely be superficial, unsatisfying and short-lived.

Many men believe there must be instant physical chemistry with a woman. This isn’t always true. Sometimes what people think is chemistry is simply a sense of familiarity, and this isn’t always a good thing. Sometimes, as two people get closer, attraction can grow and blossom into true passion.

Intimacy is defined as knowing and being known, caring and being cared for. These are things that can’t and shouldn’t be rushed. In past times there was an art to courtship, with romance progressing  more gradually. People had time to get to know each other, and discover if a real bond was possible.

Today, people have little patience, let alone tolerance for allowing things to evolve. They cram everything into the first date: all their hopes, fears and expectations, and too often, this backfires.

Here’s a list of ten first date behaviors that will significantly decrease the likelihood of a second date:

1: Talking too much and not listening enough. Being on the receiving end of a wall of words is not a fun time for most women. Men should know that many women use the first date to judge the guy’s ability to listen. If he’s talking up a storm and failing to draw her out, she’ll take it as a sign of things to come.

2: Interrogating their date instead of wooing her. A woman wants a man to show genuine interest, but a barrage of personal questions will make her very uncomfortable. If they’re going to get closer, she’d like to do so gradually, without feeling like her boundaries are being overstepped.

3: Assuming an intimacy before it has happened. Men need to be realistic about the level of closeness that exists between two people. Being overly familiar on a first date is inappropriate and off-putting. Women respond better to someone who is warm, polite and respectful at the outset.

4: Behaving boorishly: Rude jokes, excessive teasing, overtly sexual talk, angry complaining, discussions of money or bad table manners are offensive to women who are looking to meet a gentleman.

5: Talking about future goals or one’s personal philosophy. These are discussions for a later date. What some men fail to see is that the first date should be light and easy; an opportunity to get a sense of the other person. If the man seems pleasant and shows genuine interest in her, most women will be happy to try a second date. Too much, too soon is overwhelming.

6: Trying too hard to please or impress her. This will make a smart woman suspicious. A confident woman is looking for a man who can be himself and let her to decide if she likes what she sees.

7: Oversharing. Too much personal information on a first date is like putting the cart before the horse, as there’s no context for sharing the intimate details of one’s life. Instead of making a woman feel closer, it’s burdensome and alienating.

8: Talking about their ex. No-one wants to hear about the ex on a first date. That’s a story for later on. When a man discusses his ex on a first date, the woman feels that there’s a third person on the date with them, and it’ll make her wonder whether the guy hasn’t gotten over the relationship.

9: Trying to force a connection. Men need to understand that if a connection is going to happen, it will, eventually. They’re better off being kind, courteous and attentive, and allowing things to unfold naturally.

10: Appearing cheap. Despite it seeming old-fashioned, many women prefer that the man pay on the first date, as it’s an obvious way for him to demonstrate at the outset that he’s generous and nurturing. Later on, they can come to an agreement about finances, but a man who insists on going dutch on date number one appears unwilling to share his money (and perhaps his affection as well).

A first date is just one small step in the journey toward love. Seeing it this way takes the pressure off everyone and makes it possible to enjoy the date. It’s also much more conducive to creating the kind of genuine, lasting intimacy that’s most fulfilling to both men and women.

Dr. Marcia Sirota is a psychiatrist, author and Huffington Post blogger. Her book, “Emotional Overeating: Know the Triggers, Heal Your Mind and Never Diet Again” will be available on at the end of August.
  1. With two exceptions, above, I’ve witnessed women behaving similarly.

    Lecturing is not a behavior that encourages additional dates nor maintaining a relationship.

  2. Well, it all seems to fall on the man. I’ve likened trying to attract a woman is like trout fly fishing.

    If you know anything about fly fishing, the fly — the bait — varies byt the day of the year and the time of the year. The purpose is to try to mimic the fish’s preferred meal of the moment. (Different insects hatch at different days of the fishing season and are out above the water at different times of the day.)

    Plus, the fisherman has to move the bait in a way that mimics the way the actual insect moves.

    The slightest mistake — the fish is gone!

    So my question is, what the heck does the woman do? Are women’s egos so fragile that they need to have all this stuff set up for them?

    The answer is yes. Just like in the animal kingdom, the females get to choose their mates; they have to become “receptive” to the male. It’s the “sexual prerogative.” It belongs uniquely to the woman.

    Alas, it is often a self-defeating strategy, women often wind up falling for men who have figured out how to play the “game” — how to be smooth but may not have any deeper bona fides.

    Too many women can’t see beyond a single “mistake” — and don’t give guys the benefit of the doubt, for example a guy who is a bit nervous on the first date (read Dr. Sirota’s long list above of “dos” and mostly “don’ts” to see how much pressure is on the man.)

    Many good men are left on the sidelines and women ultimately wind up with frustrating and unsatisfying relationships again and again.

    Basically, the problem is that too much is expected of the man and not enough of the woman.

  3. Why is it always the man who “uncommon for a man on such an occasion to open his mouth and inadvertently insert one or both feet into it”?

    This is typically today’s trend woman are better at all. This is stupid and I have met many women who on our first meeting have put me of by their behaviour?

    Would it not be better to say that man and women look different at life in general and certainly a specific man or women.

    So dear Dr. Marcia Sirota. rethink your articels before writing them

  4. what about women who talk too much? I am a great listener, but if the second date plays out like the first- as in I hardly get to talk at all, it becomes increasingly difficult to act fascinated, especially if when i DO talk her eyes sort of glaze over and she waits for her turn to speak.

    I have met quite a few ladies like that, and what I sometimes take to be first date jitters causing them to forget to inhale, when it keeps up on the second or even third date i have to call it off 🙁

    and that makes me sad because i have met some amazing young ladies who just don’t know how to listen, or aren’t interested in listening. They want to make sure you’re a “good guy” and all that, but once their checklist is satisfied they seem to feel no need to get to know me.

  5. I’m a lady and I have to say that this list is spot on. I have gone out on many dates with men who have made these mistakes. That’s not to say that women don’t make these mistakes on first dates too, they do. But the title of the article is “how men can get a second date”–it is not about how women can get a second date (I’m sure there’s another article on here about that), so don’t get all offended and start bashing the author gentlemen. Don’t get your boxers all in a twist.

  6. I consider myself, at 70, still a newbie. This is all food for thought and most of this, including the comments, seem true. Every person is different. The most important thing is empathy, to understand how the other person is reacting to you.

  7. I like your article.
    Only the part about paying for a woman’s first date meal.
    I will only buy a small drink. And just as well. Because I cannot over stay.

    A big or expensive meal shows self disrespect or trying too hard…
    But I really appreciate all this. I have mostly been on fast lane and then break up instead of the slow cooking relationship.


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