After writing “10 Ways Guys Can Step Up Their Dating Game,” I couldn’t help but wonder how us ladies could step up our game too. The dating world can be a scary place, and sometimes, we could all use a little guidance. Ladies, are you constantly going on first dates, and then nothing really comes of it? Have you ever tried looking in the mirror and said to yourself, “Would I want to date me?” If the answer is not immediately “HELL YA, I’M AWESOME!”, then you may need to reflect on your dating habits and etiquette.
Here are some tips on how to not only step up your dating game, but to be an awesome gal to date.
1. Let him plan the date if he asks you out.
If a guy has manned up and asked you out on a real-life, face-to-face date, then let him plan it. If he asks you from some suggestions, then by all means, throw some out there. By letting him plan the date, he’s showing you he’s manly, competent, and wanting to impress you. Let him dazzle and charm you. If you immediately take the reigns and plan the first date, you may be giving off a controlling vibe. A guy may be intimidated or turned-off. I know it sucks for all of us control freaks out there (including myself), but it’s the reality of the beast. If he picks a crappy bar or restaurant, be polite and don’t make fun of him about it, but suggest a place you’ve been dying to try for Date #2 or #3.
2. Chill with the texting.
I have seen intelligent, successful, beautiful young women throw their $300 cell phones across a room because a guy didn’t text them back. All rationale goes out the window when it comes to texting. Some men, let me preface some, are not attached to their phones all day. Some men can’t text at work. Some men aren’t on their cell phones while they’re at the gym. Some men may not look at their phone every five minutes. Many women do. Ladies, just because he hasn’t texted you back yet, does not mean he does not want to date you.
Also, do not be afraid to actually use your phone to make a phone call, wasn’t that the reason why cell phones were invented?
Lastly, for the love of God, stop psychoanalyzing every single text message. I guarantee he’s not asking his buddies what you meant by “what are you up to.” Men are generally straightforward by nature, which means that their text messages aren’t hiding secret messages to crack a code. It’s a text message, not the sphinx.
3. Be comfortable in your own skin.
Every young woman out there should listen to Xtina. If you think you are beautiful and you are confident, your date will be attracted to you. Confidence is your sexiest accessory. If he’s asking you out on a date, chances are he knows what you look like, and he likes what he sees. Of course you’re going to make a big effort to look hot on your first couple of dates, as you should. However, shit happens. Random thunderstorms occur, AC stops working and you start schvitzing all over your new blouse, or you eat shit in those sexy heels you were trying to pull off.
Bottom line, sometimes we don’t look cute and we embarrass ourselves at the worst time. How you react and handle those annoying situations will say a lot about your personality, confidence, and general attitude on life. By laughing it off or not letting it bring you down, it shows you are confident in who you are and can go with the flow. Sometimes life ain’t so pretty, but if you are a positive person and can make fun of yourself, than that is just downright sexy.
4. Offer to split the bill.
I know this is a touchy subject for some of us Millennials. Every person has their own opinion or rule on who pays for what in a new relationship. I personally think as a general rule that men should pay for the first date because every girl likes being wined and dined, even us feminists. Ladies, if he grabs the check, at least offer to split it or pay tip. He will be delighted to know that you are not using him for a free meal and that you have good manners. After the first date, to each their own.
5. Have realistic expectations.
If he doesn’t show up at your front door, in a limousine, carrying a dozen roses for your first date, it’s okay. Romance is dramatized in movies and the media, and it causes women to have these absurd, unrealistic notions of what love and romance really is. Romance is not big, grant gestures proclaiming your love in the rain and him telling you he wrote to you every day for a year (but I do love me some Ryan Gosling). Ladies, do not set the bar for how you should be treated based on romantic comedies or Nicholas Sparks books. Be realistic and be open.
6. Don’t be afraid to make the first move.
If you’re on a date with a guy, and you’re having a great time, you can make the first move. Some guys have trouble reading signals from gals. In your mind, you could be all over him basically begging for him to kiss you, but in his mind, he may have no idea if you’re even having a good time. If you want him to kiss you, but it’s just not happening, just go for it. More likely than not, he’ll be turned-on and impressed that you are ballsy enough to make the move. Ladies, it’s 2013. If you want to kiss somebody, kiss them. #YOLO
7. If you’re not into it, don’t lead him on.
This is one of the most difficult aspects of dating and casual relationships. Most of the time, you won’t feel those butterflies, but you don’t want to be an asshole. Ladies, you are actually being a bigger asshole if you lead him on. Text, call, e-mail, do whatever you have to do to tell him you’re not interested in going out on any more dates. You don’t have to write an essay about how he is not a good kisser, you didn’t like his cologne, and you don’t care about his theories about how robots will eventually run the planet. Be polite, be straight-forward, and be nice. Also, don’t phase him and simply stop responding to him. Woman-up and end it. I guarantee he’ll have more respect for you if you are just honest with him.
And please don’t break up with a boyfriend over e-mail or text, it’s a really dick move.
8. Try not to compare him to past relationships.
Your ex is your ex for a reason. Your new guy is not your ex. You have no idea if he’s going to cheat on you with your sorority sister and give you chlamydia, or if he has “Mommy issues,” or if he got a full scholarship to Harvard, so don’t assume or judge. This is obvious, but I have to say it, don’t tell your present date about your past relationships. It’s shitty, selfish, and has zero positive outcomes.
9. Be independent.
An important aspect of dating is maintaining your identity, your hobbies, and your friends. Just because you start dating someone new, does not mean you no longer can go to Happy Hour with your girls every Thursday or start flaking on your kickball team. A key element to a new relationship or dating is to be able to balance your life and your new man. If he asks you out for Thursday night, you don’t have to cancel pre-existing plans to accommodate his schedule. You are allowed to say, “Can we do a different night? I’m free on Saturday.” He’ll probably like and appreciate that you have a life outside of him, and it’ll force him to step-up his game.
10. Be open to trying new experiences.
I know it’s hard for us to get out of our comfort zone, but that’s what dating is all about. Chances are that you and your date do not have exactly the same interests and hobbies, but that can be a great thing. It allows you both to learn new things and expand your horizons. Maybe you’ll realize that actually love hiking (minus the bugs), and maybe he’ll see the value of singing Shania Twain during drunken karaoke. Stepping out of your comfort zones together is bonding and can be entertaining.