By Robert Manni

Who would have thought that writing a blog post on how to go on a date would be necessary in 2016? But, it is. With all the changes taking place in our hyper-fast-paced culture, sometimes the fundamental relationship advice that we take for granted is overlooked or gets lost in the swirl of changes. And with the long overdue recognition for women and their awesome achievements, modern men’s role and subsequent behavior are in flux.

It begs the question—in today’s ever-changing world, how do you act like a man when meeting a woman and going on a date? It seems so obvious, right? But, with all the changes, it’s not always that easy to find the right kind of relationship advice. Expectations and social behavior keeps changing.

But one thing that never goes out of style is being a man and a gentleman when it comes to dating. So, let’s get started. You meet a nice lady, you ask her out, you make a plan, etc., etc., etc. And, if you do things the right way and the stars are aligned, you’re on your way to a satisfying intimate relationship. But, we all know how many distractions and detours can get in the way of your pursuit of love and happiness. And, when it comes to dating, things can go wrong and get complicated real quick. Before you know it, you’re back on Tinder.

Since it’s August— the time when NFL ballers take reps and run sweaty drills at training camp as they prepare for the upcoming season— it’s a good time for guys to get back to basics. So, please allow your Guy’s Guy to lay out his step-by-step guide for meeting a woman, making a connection, going on a date, getting her home safely, and following up. You can take it from there.

1. Decide what you want.

Between your job, your finances, your outside interests, and your fantasy football prep, you have a lot going on. When it comes to dating, it’s important to take a breath now and determine what you want out of dating. No judgments. You may only have time for hook-ups, you may be interested in finding a mate, or you simply want to meet new women while keeping an open mind about possible relationships. The only thing that matters is that you know what you want before diving into the dating pool. Most young bucks I know are not necessarily up for grabs, but they are open to offers. So they date casually and play the game from there. There is nothing wrong with that. But for the sake of focusing this post, let’s work under the assumption that you are interested in dating and open-minded about developing a relationship.

Related Link: Five Top Tips on How to Find “The One”

2. Make your move.

Nowadays, women, and especially younger women, are more aggressive when it comes to making first moves. And as a result, it’s easy for young bucks to sign up for a dating app, kick back, and wait for the honeys to come their way. And, it happens. In fact, my wife winked at me first on Match. This is not a bad thing. But, most women I have spoken to want men to be the hunters when it comes to dating. That means making the first move and showing a woman that you’re interested in getting to know her. It’s called the chase. And it can be fun and bring a sense of accomplishment when a guy pursues a new woman and scores that first date. And, by first date, I don’t mean “hanging out” with a group of people. I mean a real, old school date. Amigos, I assure you that single women love going on real dates with guys they are interested in. It’s called romance. And romance is a good thing.

3. Meet in person.

Many of today’s singles meet online, and as a result, a flurry of texting ensues. But some fellas are studs when it comes to plinking the keypad on their phone, but duds when faced with engaging in a real conversation. Today’s women want to meet guys in person, not just by texting. They want to check you out—your eyes, your smile, hair, your hands, your shoes, your whatever. And that’s a good thing, especially if you are comfortable in your own skin and know how to handle yourself in social situations. My advice? If you are interested in someone, however you first connect, meet up face-to-face ASAP. It will save you time and psychic energy.

Related Link: Dating Advice: The Psychology of Online Dating

4. Plan a real date.

So, you’ve me a young lady at a bar, online, through friends, however. And there is chemistry. Now comes the moment of truth. By way of hints she has provided, it’s up to you to ascertain mutual interests and set up a real date. She likes tequila? First of all, you’re lucky. Now do your research and find the best high-end tequila bar in the city, a terrific Mexican restaurant, or one of those “secret” cool spots where hipsters sample tequilas and mescals. Then ask her out, telling her that you’d love to take her to one of those places. It’s that simple.

5. Dress for the part.

On date night, clean up as best you can. That means leaving the baseball cap and flip-flops home. If you are unsure how to dress, err on the more dressed up side and make sure you sport nice shoes and keep your fingernails clean. Offer to pick her up. She might prefer that you meet at the venue. No problem. You’ll score points just by offering.

4. Pay attention to your date.

So, it’s a sultry Thursday night in mid-summer. You take her to a cool restaurant where everyone is looking their best. And the women at the place are amazing. You’re a guy so you’re visually stimulated. Want to win? Remind yourself that you are on a date and keep your eyes on the lady sitting across the table from you. She is well aware of the other hotties inhabiting the space and will be clocking you to see how well you manage your inner horn dog.
Eyes front, young man, and listen actively. Make her feel comfortable. Stay relaxed and let the conversation flow. If it feels forced, try a fresh angle. It’s a first date. You might be a little tight. She may be nervous, too. Whatever the case, enjoy the meal and keep it light.

5. Pick up the tab.

I realize that in 2016, most of the dating rules have been thrown out of the window. But for a Guy’s Guy, there are a few unbreakable rules. Like this one: If you ask her out, you pick up the tab— at least on the first date. There is no middle ground, unless she insists on paying half. That might signal that she may not be that into you and does not want you to think that she owes you anything for picking up the check. In any case, offer to pay. Then pull out your credit card and smile when the waiter drops the check on you. She’ll be watching how you handle this.

6. See her home safely without expectation.

Time for a nightcap? Good idea. Pick out a quiet, romantic place nearby beforehand. However, if she balks or says no thanks, offer to call her a cab or Uber. It might cost you, but you will score mucho points, and in most cases she’ll find her own way home. That is, if she does not invite you to her place for that nightcap. If she does, that’s a great sign, but do not push the envelope. She is showing you that she trusts, you so be a gentleman.
Whatever the scenario, I always go for a good night kiss. Her response is usually a good indicator of her interest. Whatever she does, respect her wishes and don’t be too disappointed if she only shares a peck on the mouth and a hug on at the end of a first date. I’ve experienced this and having hung in there for a date or two, was repaid handsomely at the appropriate time. Good things come to those with patience.

7. Follow up.

You like texting? This is the perfect time to hit her up. If the date well and you are still interested in her, tell her you had fun and would like to see her again. That’s all. If she’s agreeable, hit her up again within the next few days with a suggestion. And, use the phone when asking her out. By this point, you should have this routine on autopilot.

Mission accomplished, amigo. Now, was that so hard?