Not all dating advice for men is helpful.
Much of it is vague, and some of it is just plain wrong.
If you’re reading this and nodding your head, we’re glad you’re here.
The dating rules for men are, admittedly, different from dating tips for women, though they do have some overlap.
The list of tips below will make that clearer.
For men and women, the potential for a great dating experience starts with you.
Let’s take a closer look.
Is Dating Harder for Guys Than Women?
In some ways, yes. Or it certainly can be. Much depends on widespread preconceptions — or, more accurately, misconceptions — about gender roles.
Take a moment to consider the following stumbling blocks:
- Many women think it’s 100% the man’s job to make the first move
- For that reason, they assume if a man isn’t walking up to them, he’s not interested
- Fewer women know what it means to “drop the handkerchief” in the 21st century
- So, they settle for a more passive role, which often leads to a stalemate situation
- Men are often blamed for miscommunication during or after the first date
So, while dating can definitely be scarier for women (in life-or-death ways), it’s not a cakewalk for anyone — except for those who honestly don’t care what happens.
But if you didn’t care, you wouldn’t be reading this.
How Do Men Get Better at Dating?
Getting better at men’s dating takes a real investment of time, energy, and heart.
Do the following to improve your dating skills and get the most out of each experience.
- Get out there more often
- Treat every date as a learning opportunity
- Don’t dwell on your mistakes; learn from them
- Make time for your own interests and pursuits
- Treat your date as you want her to treat you
- Be yourself and have fun
15 Essential Dating Tips for Men
We’ve combed through lists of online dating tips for men to find the ones most likely to help in the 21st century because the rules have changed. But some things haven’t.
Read carefully through the following 15 tips and jot down any questions you might have.
1. Be honest — and patient — with yourself.
It’s okay to acknowledge that dating is stressful. It’s okay to admit that walking up to someone you find attractive to determine whether the attraction is mutual is terrifying.
If she’s showing zero indication that she welcomes your approach, the water is ice cold. Don’t beat yourself up for not diving in.
If the water was warm, and you’re now on your first date together, be honest with yourself about your impressions of her and what you’re hoping for. You might already feel invested in making your evening together memorable.
Remember, it doesn’t have to go perfectly for you both to enjoy it.
2. Go easy on the liquid courage (or false bravado).
Confidence is great. But if you’ve crossed the line into muttonhead territory, it’s hard to find your way back.
Overconfidence and fake confidence are both turn-offs. That whole fake-it-till-you-make-it thing only works when you’re still being authentic. If you’re putting on an act to impress someone, sooner or later, the mask will slip.
Just telling you to “be yourself” isn’t enough. You’ll want to put your best foot forward and learn all you can about the person you’re meeting. You’ll also want to remind yourself that you’ll be okay whatever happens on this date.
You don’t need alcohol to become more fun to be around.
3. Pick a place where you feel comfortable.
For example, if you don’t drink, don’t hang out in a bar. It’s problematic if you’re a recovering alcoholic and your date wants you to join them on a pub crawl. It’s even worse if they keep asking you if you’re serious about not drinking anything with alcohol.
Go where you’re more likely to meet someone who shares some of your interests. Consider meeting your date at a local bookstore with a good restaurant nearby if you love books.
Go where you’re comfortable, and you’re more likely to feel relaxed and better able to focus on getting to know your date.
4. Get some intel from your female friends.
If you’ve got (platonic) women friends, let them know you’ve got a date and ask them for some “free advice.” They might ask you for more details, but they’ll probably take it as a compliment that you value their insights.
Keep in mind that even women don’t know how every woman thinks — just as you don’t know what all men think.
How boring would it be if all women thought the same thoughts (or all men)? The best you can do is learn what you can from your friends. And be prepared to listen.
5. Make a confident decision.
There isn’t much worse than the “I don’t care, what do you want to do?” back and forth conversation.
Women want a man who has confidence in his decisions while being thoughtful and flexible enough to consider his date’s desires.
If it becomes apparent that she isn’t enjoying your venue choice, just smile and say: “This isn’t your scene, is it?” You can learn more about your date by finding out why she doesn’t like the venue and then suggesting that you can do something else next time.
If she doesn’t like where you chose to take her, make up for it by having a great interaction. But if the location is loud or otherwise not suitable for getting to know each other, have the confidence to say, “Let’s get out of here and go somewhere we can talk.”
6. Meet in public.
Choose a public place for your first date. And never assume your date will want to finish the evening with a drink at your place.
Make it a priority to ensure your date feels safe and respected. This is not the time to take risks with her comfort zone. And don’t put her in a position where she has to rely on you for a safe drive home.
Unless she knows and trusts you 100% already, this is a predatory move. Always ask if you’re considering a venue that might be inconvenient for her or put her at your mercy. Don’t pressure her to feel safe around you.
Give her a reason to.
7. Dress the part.
Make sure that you look nice without looking like you’re trying too hard — or trying to be someone you’re not.
Dress for the environment of your date and yourself. Wear something comfortable, and that makes you feel confident.
Both the cut and the style of your outfit should fit you. Women notice the small details of your clothes, down to the dirt and wear on your shoes.
You want to look presentable, so your date sees you care enough to put in some effort.
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8. Call to confirm.
Call your date an hour or so before your date to confirm the time and place. You probably won’t be picking her up, and this way, you’ll both know you’re still planning to meet.
This is not the time to ask her, “So, what were you planning to wear?” Trust that she knows how to dress for the venue you’ve chosen (or one you’ve agreed to), and just call to let her know you’re looking forward to seeing her.
It lets her know you’re not planning to leave her stranded, wondering if you’ll ever show. Give her that peace of mind. And if she sounds just as excited as you are, you’ve just leveled up your evening.
9. Turn off your phone (during the date).
If possible (we recognize that this isn’t practical for every profession), turn off your phone when you’re on a date. At the very least, silence it except for your emergency line.
Most phones will allow you to enable a “Do Not Disturb” setting, which can allow calls (only) from specific phone numbers.
That way, if it’s a real emergency, you can still respond to it promptly.
If it’s not, you can remain blissfully ignorant of the incoming calls and texts until after your date. And they don’t have to know your phone was on the whole time.
10. Keep the conversation lighthearted and fun.
Your date is not there to listen to you complain the entire time about your job, your difficult relationships, your relatives with different political beliefs, or anything else.
Focus on having a fun time with your date. Ask them what they love about the area, their job, their plans for the future, etc. Encourage them to tell stories they love about their best experiences.
When you’re sharing, focus on the things you’re grateful for or things that excite you. And ask her about what gets her up in the morning.
11. Be a gentleman.
Yes, times have changed, and women and men are equal — and the dating rules have changed as a result.
However, this doesn’t mean that women don’t appreciate good, old-fashioned, gentlemanly manners and consideration.
Open doors, pull out her chair and pay the tab if you’ve initiated the date (unless you’ve already discussed going Dutch).
Make your mom proud and show your date how classy you can be. Women notice this and certainly appreciate it. Being a gentleman will set you apart from many of the other dates she’s likely had.
12. Be curious.
Instead of spending the date trying to find ways to make her attracted to you, spend your time learning about her. This is where the preparation comes in, as we mentioned in point #9.
Having a curious mindset and showing real interest in the woman you’re dating will take things to a new level. Find out about her values, hobbies, and passions.
As a result, you’ll learn if she’s the kind of girl you want to go out with again and if she is right for you or not.
If you are truly curious, your conversation will naturally flow, and she will be more inclined to want to learn about you.
13. Don’t brag or show off.
You may feel a strong desire to tell your date about your expensive new car or the promotion you just received.
But if the woman is second date-worthy, she’ll be more interested in who you are, not what you have or what you have done. Let your character and personality speak to her about the kind of man you are on the inside.
Imagine how much more your accomplishments will impress her when she is already into you as a person.
14. Communicate properly.
One of the most important first date tips is communicating before and after your date. Make sure to touch base the day before to solidify your plans, so she knows that you’re not going to flake out on her.
If you realize during the date that she isn’t a good fit for you, don’t just bail. Finish the date naturally, and tell her you enjoyed your time together — but don’t suggest another date.
However, if you can see a future with her or you want to go on a second date, don’t wait two or three days to tell her. Follow up the next day to say how much you enjoyed your time together and ask her out again.
15. Manage your nerves.
Confidence is the most common quality both men and women desire in a date. It’s perfectly natural to be a little nervous, especially if your first meeting was online dating. But try not to focus on your nerves.
Telling a girl how nervous you are can be offputting and make her feel uncomfortable. She is likely nervous too, so take a deep breath and remember you are both just trying to get to know each other.
Your calm and natural demeanor will set her at ease and show that you feel comfortable in your own skin.
What Guys Should Not Do When Dating
It’s not enough to know some useful tips on what you should do for a date. It’s also important to keep in mind what not to do. Because learning these things the hard way is more than just painful; it slows down your growth into the man you want to be.
Allow us to clarify with some examples:
- Don’t do 90%+ of the talking;
- Don’t spend the date stuffing your face with food instead of talking;
- Don’t spend the date jumping from one tangent to another;
- Don’t be a cheapskate (either with the meal or with your tip);
- Don’t act bored or disappointed if you know she isn’t right for you;
- Don’t be rude to the waitstaff, barista, or anyone who serves you;
- Don’t talk about your ex;
- Don’t move too fast; take cues from your date and pace yourself.
These are pretty much Dating 101, but it doesn’t pay to assume everyone knows the basics. If you’re rolling your eyes and thinking, “Duh!” then well done. You’re ahead of the game.
But how much better could you be?
Ultimately, as I hope we’ve made clear, how you treat everyone around you is one of the strongest indicators of your success in the dating arena (among others).
How you treat waitstaff at a restaurant, for example, tells your date how you’ll likely treat her when the “new relationship smell” wears off.
Treat everyone with respect and kindness, and you’ll see that reflected in the people you attract.