1. Be yourself. On date one there's nothing to lose. No point waiting until date five to relax and find he's interested in someone you haven't got the effort to sustain being (of course I don't mean don't make any effort, that's something different). Also, imagine if you put someone really nice off with a bogus version of yourself? Wouldn't that be annoying! (Yes, been there...) And if someone doesn't like you, why the hell would you want to be with them? This attitude makes first (and in fact all) dates a lot easier.
2. Avoid anyone who writes in txtspk on their profile. This sort of man won't have much truck with foreplay either.
3. Judge a man by his shoes. Pointy toes, no (takes himself too seriously; imagines women believe shoe length to correspond to something else (possibly ego); might be Italian). Crocodile, no (vain, extravagant, and possibly a little twisted). Hefty trainers or anything neon, no (zero effort, probably doesn't trim his fingernails carefully enough). Ankle boots with elasticated sides, no (needs Mummy to dress him). Cuban heels, no (sleazy and chip on shoulder about height and other "ruler-related" hang ups). Baseball shoes, no (unless you want to date a teenager). Monkstraps (I just discovered the word for these on the internet), NO (slithery, slimy, staid men who are convinced they're projecting rich, smart and sexy, but in fact their bums are usually too big for their chinos - shudder).
4. Listen to an upbeat song immediately before arriving to set the appropriate tone. I favour this (for being cheerful), this (for feeling attractive) or this (for not taking any shit).
5. Paying. I have recently been informed by friends that I am doing this one all wrong. Fuck feminism (after all, everyone else this decade has). Let him take the bill! Say, "How much do I owe you?" and when he says, "Nothing," instead of insisting and causing a mild scene (like I have done over the last one and a half decades) say, "Thank you!" Wow, that was easy! And it didn't even mean we had to have sex.
6. This one came from another friend, and can be applied to life in general, not just dating. If someone makes you feel crap, instead of putting yourself down (and vainly hoping for reassurance) phrase your complaint thus: "You've just made yourself slightly less attractive..." (by bragging about other women, for example). The "slightly" is key in sounding unconcerned, and therefore is more niggling for the recipient. I trialled this on S (thirty minutes later he petulantly burst out, "What do you mean I'm not so attractive?!") - extremely effective!
7. Finally, not this:
|Our poor mothers...|