1. Approach the woman you like directly and ask her out on a REAL date.
Not “let’s go for a drink” or “let’s hang out sometime.” What happened to planning real dates and getting picked up at the door? Now we either Uber or cab it to wherever we are meeting and hope we don’t get stood up.
2. Engage your date in meaningful conversation.
First dates were once all about getting to really know someone. It was OK—even necessary—to ask about family, love, friends, life and talk about the future. It wasn’t so much of a taboo as it is now, where we have to stick to “small talk” so we don’t freak each other out or come on too strong.
3. Look like a million bucks.
Women wore glamorous dresses and men often wore suits. I understand it may not be as convenient now, but at least dates were taken seriously enough for someone to show up looking their best. It was an occasion you didn’t want to under-dress for, you had to really show up and look the part. You never heard of women going on first dates in flip-flops or men going in printed tees.
4. Bring flowers.
Once upon a time, it was the norm to present your date with flowers at the door. It was considered beautiful, thoughtful and kind and was guaranteed to put a smile on a girl’s face. It was a major faux pas for a man to show up empty handed. Nowadays we look at such gestures as cheesy or too much too soon. Why?
5. Pay attention.
People were courteous enough to actually pay attention to just each other, not their phone, not the hot waiter or waitress, not the people around them, nothing but the person sitting in front of them. It wasn’t obligatory, people truly wanted to intently listen to what the other person had to say, and be truly engaged in the conversation.
6. Dance in the moonlight.
Or slow dance. It’s such a classy and romantic gesture, as well as a way to get intimate without pushing any sexual boundaries. Dancing was once an act of love, not an invitation to twerk and get hit on by strangers.
7. Keep your promises.
Men followed through with actions rather than making empty promises because they knew their reputation was on the line. If a guy made plans to meet for a second date, it was sure to happen. If he told her he’d come to her friend’s birthday, it was sure to happen. Men weren’t flaky or shady or “unsure” of what their calendar would look like. And they definitely didn’t ghost.
8. Be straightforward.
People were honest with each other about what they wanted and what they didn’t want, or whether they were ready for the next step or not. People made their intentions clear from day one, sparing each other the hassle of confusion, doubt, unanswered questions and sleepless nights. “The talk” was something to look forward to rather than go the extra mile to avoid. Everyone knew which part they were playing.
9. Be respectful.
Men respected women. Terms such as “ghosting” or “booty calls” were foreign back in the day. It wasn’t all about getting lucky that night. Men were always on time, not “running late.” Respect and dating went hand in hand. If only we could bring those days back.
10. Send handwritten love letters.
Not everyone used to send love letters, but a fair number did. A love letter was the perfect declaration of love, the moment every man and woman waited for. Some went the extra mile and recited poems and love songs through the window. Words didn’t get lost in translation as much as they do now, and no one ever had to deal with texting nightmares and games, let alone sexts.