A Girl’s Guide for Guys: The First Date

Written By: Sarah Jacobson

First dates are tough. Reading the signals of a person you’ve just met is a difficult task, and one that should be proceeded towards with utmost caution. I tend to meet my first dates at Starbucks. It’s a neutral location – there are always plenty of people around, so if it turns out the guy is a total weirdo, the big guy with the venti frappucino can protect you.

Additionally, the average person drinks some form of coffee/tea/water, so the coffee shop appeals to all types. Most importantly, a coffee date can only go on so long. If things are super awkward, you can finish your drink and say, “Well, it was so lovely to meet you” and end things right then and there.

If it goes well, you can bat your eyes and say, “how about dinner?”

So, gentlemen, let’s say that we’re at Starbucks. We’re on a first date. We’ve recognized one another, grabbed our drinks, and picked a table. Here are some things you, as the man, should know:

Please don’t stare at the girl you’re with. It’s one thing to make eye contact and act as though you’re hanging onto every word we’re saying, but enough is enough. Do be attentive, but the whole staring contest thing just doesn’t work in your favor. It makes you look like you’ve got a tinge of serial killer in your eyes, and we don’t like it.

Don’t just talk about yourself for an hour. We get it. You really love going to the gym and your job is fantastic and your life is just really freaking fabulous. We’re glad to hear you have a younger sister and two dogs at home and an overbearing mother, but once again, enough is enough. Try to work in a question after your statements. Let’s try it together: “I have two dogs at home. Do you have any pets?” See? Simple. Easy. Done and done.

Don’t tell us you don’t like coffee. Or tea. Or water, for that matter. If you don’t like any of these things, you should not have agreed to meet us at Starbucks. We also don’t care if you don’t like vegetables, or fruit, or meat. In fact, we don’t care if you subsist on foraged nuts and berries from the backwoods of upstate New York, so long as you don’t ask us to do the same. We’re not expecting you to be totally agreeable, but admitting that you have really weird eating and drinking habits while we’re supposed to be eating and drinking isn’t going to do either of us any good.

So what can you do? It’s simple, really. Laugh at our jokes. Tell us we look nice. Ask questions that correspond to our statements, and offer something of your own to compliment them. Don’t brag, but don’t sit there like a statue. We do want to hear what you have to say – we just want to hear it in doses. If you think things are going well, do ask for our number, and do call. Don’t make us wait three days just to play it cool, and leave a message if we screen your call (which we inevitably will). Most of all; be yourself, because it does neither of us any good to pretend to be something you’re not.

Once the date is over, please read our signals. If we don’t invite you back to our place, we probably don’t want you there. Here are some helpful hints.

If we say, “Well, I have to go, I’m making dinner for my roommates,” do NOT interpret this as an invitation. If we wanted you there, we‘d say, “I’m making something yummy for dinner tonight, would you like to join me?”

If we say, “It was really great to meet you, I had a wonderful time” and pause for effect; ask for our number. We’re waiting for you to make the next move. If you walk us home and we pause at the door, we’re waiting for a goodbye kiss. Especially if we fumble with our keys.

Don’t go in for said kiss in the middle of a crowded Starbucks. Whatever urges you’re feeling, they’ll be just as strong in your bed. PDA is never classy, and we’ll probably be embarrassed if you start sloppily making out with us at the table (even if we want to do it too).


 Lastly, do call. Please call. If you don’t plan to call, don’t lead us on by asking for our number. We’re not fragile creatures, but we do have hearts, and those hearts are easily hurt by the lack of a ringing phone. Not that we’ll be sitting with our phone clutched to our chest (ok, we will), but we’d appreciate a call, because chances are, if you felt something, we felt it too, and we can’t wait to do something about it.

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