1. Asking someone on a date formally and directly.
Be clear with your intentions. “Hanging out” is not dating, and if you aren’t interested in someone enough to go out on a limb and ask to take them to dinner, you probably aren’t interested in them enough to be dating them at all.
2. Going the door when picking someone up.
Let’s retire the “here” text once and for all, and assume that if possible, going out together is always better than meeting up once you’re there.
3. Stating that you don’t want a second date rather than ghosting, or worse, lingering in-between.
You can kindly say that you don’t think you’re a great match but that you wish them well. If you are not enough of an adult to be able to communicate this, you probably aren’t mature enough to be dating either.
4. Assuming that the person who asks for the date, pays.
Never assume that you won’t have to pay, and always assume that if you are the one who asked to take someone out, you should foot the bill. When that’s not the case, be prepared to take your share of the check if that’s what it comes down to.
5. Making time for little acts of kindness, like offering a warm coat or cleaning up after a meal at home.
These are the things that make people feel really loved. They are going to be the fuel that keeps the fire burning after a while – don’t underestimate the power of the little things.
6. Getting creative about date ideas.
Beautiful dinners and expensive gestures don’t actually “wow” people the way we assume they will. What matters more is that you put some thought into your time together (for example: take them to their favorite spot at the park for lunch, rather than just a restaurant).
7. Not assuming sex is a given, rather, thinking of it as a privilege.
As in, rather than approach the date with the pretense that it will be a precursor to sex, think of the date as an opportunity to get to know someone, and anything beyond that is just gravy.