courtship

8 Things Gentlemen Do on First Dates

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The point of the first date is to discover if there’s real compatibility beyond initial interest. If she’s already said yes, consider yourself off to a good start. If you want to give yourself the best chances of romantic connection—or even a second date—consider the chivalrous route. Here are 8 things gentleman do on first dates that prove chivalry is not dead.

Suggest a first date in a place convenient for her.

Instead of suggesting the restaurant or bar closest to you, you ask what is most convenient for her. Your asking demonstrates consideration and shows that you are willing and able to make her life easier—a feeling that will ultimately make her feel more relaxed during the first date. Same logic applies when you ask about any food allergies or preferences she has. Any research you do before the date will benefit you exponentially.

Observe the 4 p.m. deadline.

If you have plans tonight, text or call to confirm your date by 4 p.m. Many women start wondering if the date is still on, especially if a few days pass between the ask and the event. A short text to the effect of, “Looking forward to seeing you tonight. Let me know if we need to adjust the timing” will keep everyone on the same page.

Mind your (table) manners.

Follow behind as you make your way to the table; she should not be walking in your wake. When you get to the table, ask if you can help her check her coat. At the table, let her order first. Letting her take the lead shows that you are want to make sure her needs are met before yours. This simple gesture is another way you can ensure she is comfortable. Lastly, always encourage a glance at the dessert menu. There’s nothing more sexy than indulging in the senses and enjoying the rich decadence of chocolate.  Even if you’re not a dessert guy, order one to share.

Introduce her.

Should you run into friends on your date, be sure to introduce your date without saying “my friend”. There is no need for an extensive introduction, but you must acknowledge your date if a friend says hello. You could say, “I’d like you to meet [date’s name]. We were both excited to try this place.”

Mind the Drinking.

Pay attention to what she orders and offer a refill when the glass is empty- same principal goes for her water glass. Even though your nerves may want to order a third drink, stick to a two-drink maximum. Slurring your words is not classy.

Pay the bill.

That’s right. Let’s keep this equation simple. Be prepared to foot the bill and keep any conversation surrounding this transaction to a minimum. If she offers to pay, politely decline and change the subject. Paying for her is a sign of interest and shows that you are happily willing to invest when you have feelings. If you both continue to date, it’s very appropriate for her to reciprocate at some point but definitely not on date one.

Offer to get an Uber for her.

When a simple gesture that takes 2 minutes can make all the difference, you should do it. Let her know that you’re interested in getting her home safely, whether that means you ping Uber or offer to drive her yourself.

Close out the evening with a text.

There is nothing gentlemanly about leaving a lady to wonder if she’ll hear from you again. Thank her for her time and company and, if you want to see her again, let her know. Be confident in your actions and consistent with your communications to the woman you’re interested in.

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Announcing a new search for a handsome 28-year old gentleman….

Easy-going and confidentOur client is an adventurous and exceptionally well-rounded 28-year old Caucasian man who is a total catch in every way. He is brand new on the dating scene and is not one to put himself online or tinker with apps – he just doesn’t have the inclination or the time and furthermore seeks the utmost quality match to complement his life.

Physically, he stands 6’4”, with an athletic build, short brown hair, pale blue eyes, and has a preppy sense of style. His smile is effortless and eyes twinkle when he speaks. Fitness and health are very important to him – he enjoys crossfit, hiking, soccer, skiing, and playing lacrosse when he has the time. He’s a former cowboy who worked on a ranch in Montana when he was younger and still finds enjoyment in riding horses to relax.

Our client’s professional and academic career have taken him down some very diverse paths including recently having returned from serving as an officer in the Marine Corps, completing deployments to Afghanistan and the Western Pacific. He’s currently working in finance and will begin an MBA in the fall.  He’s driven, goal oriented, and successful, yet very humble.

His eclectic past has taught him to adapt quickly and to be comfortable in a variety of environments. He enjoys everything from seeing plays, to strolling through museums, river rafting, camping, all sports, and even dabbling in woodworking. He’s a family guy who was raised in a loving home and looks to his parents as role models of marital success.  He’d love to have a partner to travel with, and is eager to keep filing up his passport. While he can be lost in the kitchen, he shares he makes a great sous chef and is adept at firing up the grill.

You will find him to be a natural born leader, organized, and confident. He’s social but not the life-of-the-party and has an easy-going calm way about him. What is most impressive is that this is “his time” to find the woman of his dreams. While he’s been awarded medals and ribbons with valor for heroic actions during his combat operations, at the end of the day, family is most important to him and that means the missing piece in his life is finding the girl of his dreams with whom to settle down.

Our bachelor is looking for a young woman who is between the ages of 24 and 32, where 28 is the ideal age. Since he’s blessed with height, she is ideally taller with an ideal height of 5’8” (but he’s open to a wider range). He responds positively to femininity, naturally pretty women, who have longer hair of any color, and are slender to athletic, with some nice curves. His dream girl is stylish, enjoys the outdoors, and keeps healthy like he does. She can work in any industry and have any title but the key is to be passionate and love what she does! She must be social, very family oriented, spunky, caring, happy, fun, and confident enough to call him out at times! Wallflowers need not apply!

If you or anyone you know make a great potential match for our dreamy bachelor, please contact Amy at amy@linxdating.com

Sex(y) Ed…

Written by: Linx staff member Michael Norman iStock_000042703430Small

I often get asked about what women should wear on first dates, and I really have just two words to say about that:

Be Sexy.

That’s it. Be Sexy. Despite blog posts and magazine articles to the contrary, there is no uniform for first dates. In fact, sexiness is different for every woman based on her age, her confidence, and her body type. But at any number – whether you’re counting years, reporting your dress size, or looking down at a scale – your first (and really, only goal) when dressing for a date should be achieving some degree of sexiness.

I know some of you are clenching your jaws (and possibly your pearls) when you read this. I can actually hear more than a few silent diatribes about objectification, being liked for who you are, the appeal of intelligence, self-respect, dignity, modesty, propriety, being true to yourself, and leaving something to the imagination. Those points can all be valid depending on the day, but note that I didn’t ask you to wear Lucite heels and a bandage dress borrowed from a Vegas cocktail waitress; I simply asked you to be sexy.

I know it can be harder for some of us than it is for others, so let’s examine some of the feedback clients often give me when they bristle at this suggestion. If you don’t think sexiness is appropriate for a first date, there’s a chance that one or more of these points might apply to you:

I don’t like being objectified. This isn’t about sex.

Hold up. This isn’t about sex? Are you kidding me? So you just want to make a new friend, is that it? Is that what we should tell your date? That you’re just looking for something platonic? Is that why he called you, asked you out, made dinner plans, and is going to pick up the check? Just to make a new friend? You’re right that a first date isn’t about sex, but it is about sexual attraction; that’s really the point of differentiation between a date and every other interaction in your life. If you don’t invite your date to be attracted to you, he won’t be. But hey, maybe you two can just be friends!

I don’t like dressing “that way.” I like to leave something to the imagination.

Again, I’m not telling you how to dress, but I am telling you how to feel. And so much of your mood – in all aspects of your life – can be dictated by clothing choices. Would you wear yoga pants to an important business meeting? Are you going to wear a skirt to SoulCycle? A bathing suit to a doctor’s appointment? (Actually, I did see a woman do that once. Please don’t.) If you want to be kissed, wooed, desired, wanted, you have to dress the part. Even the most conservative among you can spice things up a bit by undoing a button, letting your hair down, or adjusting a hem length. Invite the attention you want; if you don’t want a man to think about you sexually, I’m not sure why you’re going on dates in the first place.

I don’t like my body. You’re asking too much of me.

It can sometimes seem hard to accept, but we all have issues with our bodies. (Personally, I have about 56 inches of scars from 20 different surgeries, so I know of what I speak.) But if you don’t let yourself like your own body, how can you expect someone else to love it? Whether you realize it or not, you do love some parts of your physical self. If you have trouble starting at the top with a list of parts you like, go ahead and start at the bottom. List the things you dislike most and work in reverse. When you get to the top, you’ll know exactly where to focus with your clothing choices; draw attention to the parts of you that you like most (or dislike least), but always be sure to draw attention to yourself. If you don’t, you’re signaling to your date that some other woman in the room is more worthy of his gaze than you are.

I’m only interested in a guy who’s into more than just the superficial.

Yeah. We all are. Note the “more” in that statement. I get that you want him to be into your brain, but you also want him to be into your body. At least, I hope you do. It’s really enlightening to know that our clients who most often stress the importance of a physical connection are among the eldest. People who’ve had forty or fifty years of relationship experience know a lot more than the rest of us do. One of my favorite clients has often said, “There’s absolutely nothing more important than the way a man looks at me.” She’s right. So learn from your elders. (She, by the way, could teach all of us many, many things about the benefits of great tailoring and wearing slightly tight sweaters that have the perfect neckline. She’s also a successful retired attorney who can talk about almost any subject with a twinkle in her eye, a light laugh, and a smile.)

It’s 2014. The idea that guys are visual creatures seems really unevolved to me.

You’re right. It is unevolved. Because men are not particularly evolved when it comes to matter of the, uh, heart. How many generations do you think it takes to change the hardwiring of attraction? And what, exactly, would be the impetus? If anything, the practices of society – and the human body itself – adapt to feed our visually stimulated sexual appetites. You do, realize, right, that makeup is just a way to mimic the physiological signs of arousal? That every time you put on lipstick or blush or eyeliner you’re telling the men around you that you’re… interested? And your body… if you don’t want to attract the male gaze, your body is the biggest traitor of them all. More than one school of evolutionary thought proposes that enlarged female breasts (practically unheard of elsewhere in the animal kingdom) developed as a response to learning to walk upright; apparently human males need some form of cleavage to be not too far from eye level, and we don’t really care if it’s on the back or the front.

So let yourself be sexy. Admit that you’re looking for a connection that’s both physical and cerebral. Embrace the opportunity to advertise your interests. (Please, please don’t wear something that your friends called “cute.”) Learn to love the parts of your body that you already like, and to like the parts of your physique that you think you’ll never love. It’s ok to show some skin, to wear bright colors, to make choices that make it hard for a man to not look at you. It’s ok to want to be the center of attention on your date. In fact, it’s human nature. 😉 iStock_000039223286Small

Putting the CON in Confidence… Part II

Amy often points out that the skills of dating are themselves like a muscle, and unless regularly exercised, they tend to atrophy. This is true of people both in and out of relationships, and though it is a huge mistake to think that your “dating life” is over just because you’ve found a boyfriend or girlfriend (happy long term couples actively “date” each other throughout their marriage) this can be a particularly hard problem for those of us who are single; if the dating muscles have atrophied and a new date is on the horizon, how can we pretend to have any dating strengths?Happy couple in the city

Given that we charge our male clients with the responsibility of planning, arranging, and paying for a date, it makes sense to offer the more skittish guys some advice on how to make sure everything at the restaurant goes smoothly. Assuming you survived Part I of this series, and successfully navigated a phone call that has led to a first date, here are some things to keep in mind that can help provide the boost of confidence you might need to convert a first date into a second.

1. Scout the location.

As a guy, it’s really important to have some sense of mastery of your surroundings, especially if you’ve invited a woman to a place she’s never been. While we certainly recommend picking somewhere totally new to both of you if you’re a more practiced or adventuresome dater, go with someplace familiar if first dates are generally hard or stressful for you; we want you to be excited about this, not anxious.

So show up a little bit early, especially if you haven’t been there in awhile. Make sure you check in with the hostess, and maybe try to request a booth or corner table that has low lighting. Or ask to sit outside if the weather is right and you don’t think it will get too cool too quickly (women love dining al fresco, even if they’re rarely properly dressed for it). Make sure you know the answer to the inevitable “Do you know where they hide the ladies’ room?” query that you’ll get at some point during dinner. And even take some time to study the menu while you’re alone and form a couple of questions or opinions about the dishes; if decisions are hard for you, deciding what to eat will be even harder when you’re being distracted by a pretty face.

2. Admit ignorance.

If you aren’t particularly well-versed in any specific food or cuisine, the really great thing about a restaurant is that it’s full of experts who can help you out. Don’t know where the best table is for a first date? Ask the hostess. Not sure what to order? Ask the waiter. Not comfortable ordering a bottle of wine? Ask the sommelier. Some guys might see this as weakness, but admitting what you don’t know is actually a strength; it also gets you off the hook. If the wine is bad, you didn’t pick it. If the table is lousy, you didn’t ask to be seated there. If the dish is awful, blame the waiter. And send it back. All of us like someone who knows a lot about a few things, but no one likes the guy who thinks that he knows a lot about everything. It’s really ok to be ignorant; admitting ignorance in front of your date can allow both of you to learn something. Together. It also lets your date know that you aren’t the kind of guy who always has to have an opinion, which means she’ll likely care a lot more about the opinions that you do have. Confident guys are curious, because they admit they have a lot to learn. Most women will tell you that being a lifelong learner is very, very sexy.

3. Be gentlemanly.

This one should really go without saying, but be sure to open doors for your date, to not sit down until she’s seated, and if you really want to make an impression, stand up if she needs to leave the table in the middle of your date. You should also encourage her to feel comfortable ordering what she’d like (after all, you picked the restaurant) so be sure to signal that you’re feeling both generous and hungry. In other words, saying things like “We’re doing three courses, right” (You’re hungry) and “I’m sort of stuck… not really sure if I want the halibut or the duck” (Your pockets are deep… enough) provides reassurance for her that she should order as she pleases, and she should expect to enjoy the evening.

4. Be clear.

As your meal winds down, don’t be afraid to let her know you’ve had a great time. If you truly mean it, a woman loves hearing “I’ve had a great night” and “I’d like to do this again.” Too often, we hedge our bets and make conditional statements like “If you’re interested, I’d like to go out again” or “I’d like to do this again if you would.” Do not do that. Be direct. It conveys a lot of confidence when you use a declarative statement. After all, no matter how you word them, questions always involves a degree of uncertainty. Yes? No? Yes?

5. Be… the bodyguard.

Whether you had the best date of your life or the worst night you can remember, always offer to walk a woman to her car/hail a cab for her/escort her to a bus or BART stop/stay with her while she waits for an Uber. It might waste a few minutes of your life and you may have hated each other, but it’s still a sign that you’re a good person. And a thoughtful man. On the other hand – with a date you really liked – it could be that extra minute or two alone that builds enough sexual tension and spark to lead to a great first kiss. And if you think the time is right for a great first kiss to happen, be sure to kiss her with confidence.

The third and final part of this series will involve some general tips for building and maintaining confidence in a lot of different situations. If you’re a guy who’s lacking confidence and self esteem, that can change. You really can learn to be more confident. And your entire life will change positively as a result. So stay tuned for more…. 😉

Backward is the way forward

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, naturally I think about my parents and their “love” journey – from dating to being married for over 40 years! Their love story serves as a constant reminder to me to slow down and really focus on what’s important when it comes to dating and love, which is something I always tell my clients.

Think back to when our parents were dating – when chivalry and manners were key and “options” were fewer. Remember the importance and excitement of courtship that our parents and other couples have been practicing for centuries. In today’s fast paced society where we are leading such busy and technologically connected lives, it’s important to slow down and remember to enjoy the ride.

I’d like to take you on a brief stroll back through the history of romance and encourage you to remember where we came from with regards to dating and, in the process, share with you a couple of good old-fashioned dating tips about targeting only the most critical options in your search, making the effort to have more face-to-face interactions, and embracing chivalry.

1.Choices: Remember that “less is more”

Thinking back to when my parents were dating, my father just knew he wanted to marry my mother, proposed after only seven days of knowing her and “lived happily ever after” with some bumps along the way, naturally. Back when our parents were “dating” – the pool of eligible mates was smaller, fewer choices meant more focus on what was really important when it came to courtship and truly “getting to know” someone. When it comes to dating, too often I see people passing up wonderful opportunities and chances for great connections because they want to “keep their options open.” Having options is wonderful, but it’s not about quantity here – more importantly, think about what really matters in finding the one person you want to share your life with – what are their values, passions and goals, just to name a few?  These deeper things all take quality time to learn about in another person- versus he is an inch too short or she isn’t skinny enough. Look to have fewer options and instead focus on what’s important and target your dating efforts accordingly.

2. Personal Communication

In our technology driven world, it has become more convenient to chat via e-mails and text messaging, and this has stunted the growth of intimacy and good old fashioned personal communication, especially face-to-face! While it may be quicker and more convenient to send a message – in the world of dating, a phone call and human interaction is much more personal and can be key to building meaningful relationships.

Also, the thrill of meeting someone new in person and by chance occurs much less often since people are now searching for potential dates online. Think back to when Facebook and social networks were nonexistent… there was no such thing as snooping around online, clicking through photos and formulating judgments based on the information provided online. In dating and love, courtship is an exciting time to enjoy the companionship and intimacy of another human – offline and not through texts! So, get off your bum and spice up your romantic life by making the effort to utilize old fashioned communication. Make that phone call instead of texting, grab a drink and have a nice conversation, go out on a limb – hand write and send a card (my parents were pen pals during their courtship with a new letter in the box each day!) These are things will add intrinsic value to your interpersonal relationships.

3. Chivalry is not dead!

This is something I can’t tell my clients enough, both for the men and women. We are living in a time when women are becoming increasingly independent, hard working and highly respected professionally. Some women may feel as if they’re betraying their strong female identity by allowing a man to play the dominant role. Truth is, women still crave ultra-traditional ways of dating – they want to be pursued, protected, and cared for by their partners.

So, for men – look to the men in your past generations and incorporate some good old-fashioned courtship into the mix. Does this mean the women you date will be any less brainy and independent? Absolutely not. It is possible to have a well-rounded, intelligent and strong woman who will greatly appreciate a true, stand-up and chivalrous gentleman. That means, take initiative to make decisions and ask her out, follow through with what you say (don’t be flakey), open doors for her wherever you go, pay for dinner, listen and take care of her and don’t forget the sweet gestures from time-to-time. A real woman will appreciate and even reciprocate!

For women, there’s no harm in swooning just a little when your man is kicking it old school by treating you like a lady.  Though it’s been a long time since women have typically needed to be fully supported by men, admittedly those qualities are still innately attractive. Furthermore, when he plans a date, compliments you, or helps you with a problem – it’s powerful because on an unconscious level, it shows his ability to take charge and his staying power in the relationship. Ladies, swoon on!

The good old days are back my friends.

And when it comes to dating and love, backward is the way forward.