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Everything Old is New Again: 21st-Century Dating Rules for Men

May 18, 2008
By taking the time to understand what women are looking for in a romantic partner, you can jump into the singles world confident and ready! Otherwise, you are bound to hear a lot of conversations that end with "You're a nice guy, but" and "I think we should just be friends."

You have enough friends. You want to find that special woman. Here are some tips for winning the battle of the sexes!

Rule 1:
Always dress for (dating) success. Don't show up for your date dressed like you would for a night in front of the game with your buddies. A woman won't appreciate that, no matter how laid back she is. A little hint: Women notice shoes. While you don't have to show up in a pair of $500 designers, you should leave your beat up old NIKES at home. The same goes for clothes that don't fit correctly.

That jacket you wore to your friend's wedding 10 years ago may still be in good shape, but that doesn't mean you are in good enough shape to wear it! Buy clothes that fit the size you are, not the size you wish you still were, and you will be a step ahead from the get-go. The fact that a woman looks at your clothes isn't (necessarily) a matter of her being vain; she just wants to know you went through some kind of effort for her.

Rule 2:
Make her want to get close to you. Make sure you smell good, but don't overdo the products. A woman doesn't want to be able to smell your cologne as you enter the restaurant. Knock her out with your charm and winning personality, not with your aftershave.

Rule 3:
Get a real job! Or at least a plan to get one. Women don't find it attractive if you are content to just float through life on a wave of odd job after odd job. Even if you have a job you aren't thrilled about, have a plan for how you are going to move on to something you can really sink your teeth into. Come to the table with a healthy dose of ambition, and you'll come across as a much more interesting, engaging person.

Rule 4:
Have something interesting to say. Yes, women like to be asked about themselves, but they don't want to be the only one doing the talking. Know when to listen, too: She may not want to do all the talking, but you can bet she doesn't want to do all of the listening, either.

Rule 5:
Remember she is not just one of the guys. At least not yet. She doesn't want to hear any story that starts with "I was sooo drunk," or "Me and my ex-girlfriend were on our way to Paris when..." Stories about your past are fine, and even welcome, but try to keep drunken escapades and stories of exes, particularly ex-bashing stories, out of your first-date repertoire.

Rule 6:
You aren't going to get some. Or at least that's the attitude you should have on a first date. Never go into a dating situation expecting sex; a woman will think you are much more worthy of her time, and her body, if you are interested in more than the color of her sheets. Come on too strong and you'll risk being stonewalled by your potential dream girl.

Rule 7:
Manners never go out of style. Be someone she is proud to sit in a fine restaurant with. That means no belching, no licking your fingers, and no inappropriate language. She wants to get stares because she's on the arm of a handsome, elegant man, not because her date is picking his teeth with a match book!

Rule 8:
Be willing to have fun! Have ideas of where you can go on dates, and don't expect her to plan everything. The date should be a combined effort. Even if you just suggest a restaurant or offer an opinion about which movie to see, your date will take your opinions for enthusiasm about your date.

Rule 9:
Show up on time. It may sound simple, but leaving a woman waiting sends the message that she, and your date, are not important to you. And if one of life's little emergencies happens and you are unavoidably running late, never underestimate the power of a phone call.

Rule 10:
Flowers never hurt. It may sound old-fashioned, but girls like surprises, and bringing flowers on a date will pretty much always be a hit. Even if you don't know her favorite flower, or even if flowers aren't her thing, the fact that you thought to show up at her door with something special for her will immediately give you brownie points. And if you take off the plastic that the supermarket wrapped the flowers in and present them as if you had just picked them, you'll be doing one better.

Here's to some great dates and success in love!
About the Author
(c) 2008 Deborrah Cooper. Deborrah has authored dozens of relationship articles and advice columns on Ask HeartBeat!, which focuses on modern relationships for teens and adults. Her dating guide Sucka Free Love! provides street-smart, hilarious insight into the toughest issues facing singles today. Check out The Sucka Free Dating Radio Talk Show on Wednesday night at 8:00 pm PST.
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