Dating in today’s market can be tough, and there’s nothing more stressful than the first date. Whether you’re meeting someone from the internet in person for the first time, or just trying to get romantic with that casual acquaintance, the first date is a major step. Chances are, you men are already doing most of these things, but for some of you, this may be a wake up call for what women are looking for on a first date. At the end of the day, chemistry will reign supreme, but doing any of these on your date is sure to win you some extra points.

1. Paying

There may have been major advancements in gender equality over the years, but men are still expected to pay for the first date. A man paying is the universal sign that it was in fact a date and it shows the woman that you value her presence more than your own wallet. Plus, everything is more enjoyable when it’s free.

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2. Holding the Door

It may be old fashioned, but chivalry is long from dead. Women still appreciate the basic gentleman behaviors such as holding the door and pulling out her chair. Everyone likes to be appreciated, so when you go the extra mile by doing the little things, it will win you some major points.

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3. Complimenting

Women want to know you notice them. The best way to do that is to throw some compliments their way. Don’t just blindly compliment their hair or something, be sincere. Chances are they’re nervous about the date, too, so a simple compliment will help them feel more relaxed. Don’t be weird about it though and shower them with too many random compliments. One or two is the perfect amount. More than that and you’re either making it up or you want to wear her face.

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4. Putting the Phone Away

When you go on a first date, you’re there to see her, so give her your undivided attention. Constantly checking your phone or texting can give off the impression that you’re not interested. If you can’t manage to pull yourself away from your phone then chances are you won’t get a second date.

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5. Listening and Responding

Whether you’re socially awkward or a natural conversationalist, make sure you are actively listening and responding to HER. You’re both there to learn about each other. Don’t grandstand and spend the whole time talking about yourself, and definitely don’t brag. This can come off as being conceited or narcissistic. When she speaks, listen and respond intelligently. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions. She doesn’t want to be interrogated, but failure to ask any questions shows you’re not interested. A failure to respond at all could show that you’re unenthused or not at all interested in the date or her. Make sure the conversation is balanced and your odds of getting a second date increase significantly.

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6. Drinking in Moderation

First dates are stressful. Alcohol can definitely take the edge off and loosen up both parties. On the other hand, drinking too much can ruin a date. For some, being unable to control your drinking can be a sign for a drinking problem. At the very least, too much alcohol can make you lose your cool and start acting offensive. Dating doesn’t have to lead to sobriety, but save that for the third date. The sweet spot is 2 drinks. Anything more and you could end up alone at the bar.

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7. Dressing Up

Obviously you shouldn’t wear a tuxedo to a first date, but you should dress up a little bit. Women like a guy with good hygiene and who cares about his appearance. Put in the effort and make sure your appearance is appropriate for the occasion. This means trade in the shorts for pants and t-shirts for collared shirts. If you can look the part, she won’t be embarrassed to be seen with you enough for a second date.

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8. Being on Time

There’s plenty of reasons to be late, but try your hardest not to be. You made a promise to be there by a certain time, so you should be. Failure to do so tells her she’s not important enough to take up your time.  Listen, shit happens. Traffic. Work. Life. Women aren’t unreasonable, so if you have a legitimate excuse, let them know. Don’t just stroll in 30 minutes late and expect a second date.

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9. Leaving the past in the past

Sure you had a lot in common with your ex, but you broke up with her for a reason. There’s no need to bring her up on your first date with someone else. Bringing them up once is frowned upon. Talk about them too much and it’s a major red flag. It sends the signal that you still have feelings for them. No one wants to date someone with baggage so leave that shit in the past.

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10. Taking it Slow

Patience is a virtue. The first date is no place to talk about marriage or what you want for the relationship. That’s future you’s problem. Live in the moment and worry about getting through this date. Too much relationship talk makes you seem clingy and could freak her out. Also, we know you want to get laid, but keep it in your pants. Not everyone puts out on the first date and if you push too hard you could lose out on the opportunity all together.

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