Having not dated since I was 21, I was more than a little nervous this past April when I jumped back into the "dating world". Although five years of gained maturity and experience has helped me tremendously when it comes to dating (less "why hasn't he called me?!" and more "I'm glad I found out he was a jerk early-on!"), it seems that the 27-32 year-old male population of East Los Angeles didn't have the same growth-spurt while I was away experiencing relationship bliss.
I've found myself in too-many-to-count conversations with my getting-dangerously-close-to-jaded girlfriends where things like "How could he not know???" and "All he would have to do is [blank] and I would be smitten!!!" are uttered at a frighteningly high rate...too often for it to be coincidence. So instead of dismissing all the guys that my friends and I have dated as jerks, I'm going to take the optimist route and assume that maybe your mothers didn't teach you right when it came to treating a girl like a lady...or in the very least with not making her consider lesbianism. Ladies, please feel free to comment with any of your own tips.
1. Be on time.
I'm putting this at #1 because it's something so glaringly obvious, yet most guys seem oblivious to. Dude, if you say you're going to pick her up at 8 p.m., be there at 7:55. When you're late you're sending the message that this girl isn't a priority and hanging out with her is just another thing on your to-do list. If you are going to be late, it had better be for a good reason (traffic doesn't cut it) and, for the love of god, call her and let her know (texting will suffice if you're going to be less than 15 minutes late).Bonus - Ladies Tip: If you've been waiting for more than a half an hour with no phone call or text, leave. Seriously...I've done this twice in my life. A "got sick of waiting...I'll catch up with you later" text works. He'll either realize that you *gasp* have respect for yourself, or think you're a high maintenance bitch (in which case, good riddance).
2. Act interested in her (aka "...and what about you?")
I'm fascinated with people's life stories. History in general is a tremendously fascinating thing, and that includes personal history...but I've got a pretty good story myself, and it'd be nice if you knew mine as intimately as I know yours. On the first few dates with a guy, I'll take into account that he may be nervous if he's an over-talker. But after we've hung out a few times, if I haven't told you my "I got pantsed in 5th grade story" or you don't know I'm Jewish, but I know that your mom has the 2nd largest collection of decorative plates in the US, or that your first pet was a Oriental Fire-Belly Toad that your brother accidentally stepped on...then we have a problem.
3. Be a gentleman, dammit!The reason being chivalrous (opening the car door for her, doing that little "half-stand" thing when she returns to the table, walking on the outside of the sidewalk, etc.) works is because a surprisingly small amount of guys actually do this stuff. Trust me, chicks fucking dig it. Even though we could probably drink you under the table, rattle the walls with our belches when we're with our girlfriends, and curse like a sailor, we like to be treated like delicate flowers.
Bonus: When a guy leads me somewhere (to the bar, to the table at a restaurant, through a door that he's holding open) by gently placing his hand on my mid/lower back...I fucking melt.