I have relationship woes, you have relationship woes, Drake has relationship woes. Dating is hard. Love is pain. That's why they write stories about it.
Good news: Most men are pretty forgiving on a first date.
The patriarchy, books like The Game, and pretty much every rom com from the 2000s would have you believe that when you like a guy, you should do certain things. Play hard to get. Wait for him to call you. Don't sleep with him on the first date.
Cool, thanks, but it's 2017.
We get so caught up in what we should be doing on a first date that we often forget it's just a date. Literally, two people meeting. Soulmate status is not a prerequisite for a great date, and a terrible date does not mean you are a terrible person.
Here are some actual responses from actual men, from guys on Reddit to the guy I lost my virginity to (yup, I can't believe we still keep in touch either), on what makes men want to ask a date out again.
Spoiler alert: It's a free for all, and definitely doesn't align with the traditional "rules."
1. Talk To Him (Duh)
It's so simple, but it's really the only way to get to know each other. Everyone can get down with good conversation.
Some dudes simply are just looking for complete sentences...
...while others are looking for more engaging, lull-less conversation:
2. Show Some Interest (If He's Interesting)
Don't be so coy that you come across as disinterested. I have done this too many times. Men are people with feelings, too! Make it clear that you are enjoying yourself.
My friend Chris explained that playing it hard to get is overrated:
My first date with my now-girlfriend went so well, and it made me so excited and fired up to have her text me that night sharing that she felt the same. Trying to 'be cool' or 'make them wait' just involves and develops way too many negative thoughts/energy/perceptions.
Across the (literal) board on Reddit, there was a similar consensus, even when it comes to the first kiss or asking someone on the second date:
Feeling really bold? Be more upfront than a kiss:
3. Put Your Phone Away
The best way to show you are interested in your date? Give him more attention than you're giving Steve Jobs. Leave your phone at home! Lock it in your car! (Actually, don't because #safetyfirst.)
But seriously, how tangible is this advice?
This guy literally lists a phone-free evening as the first thing he remembers from meeting his girlfriend, so put that thing away!
Well, maybe unless you've got great taste in memes:
4. Do You
Do whatever you want to do on a first date — well, try not to be rude. But beyond that? He wants to get to know the real you. So order what you want. Text first if you want. Have sex on the first date if you want.
Don't believe me? When I asked two real human male friends what they looked for on a first date, these were their first instinct replies:
I think it's really hot, and this is so weird, when a girl wants to eat on a first date. Say we go out for drinks and she's like, 'Ugh, I'm so hungry, let's get an app.' It says 'I'm really cool, open and IDGAF.' Melt my hearrtttttt.
And from another male friend:
A comedy show, assuming you have a similar sense of humor. That or great sex. That usually makes me want to see someone again too.
Hot take: Men are individuals who have a lot of different wants, needs, likes, and standards, so it's really no use trying to behave a certain way to get them to ask you out again.
If you're the most authentic version of yourself on the first date and you both hit it off, chances are you are going to see each other again.
And remember, it's not just him deciding on you. You're deciding how good a fit he is for you, too. And if his phone is out the whole night... just say boy, bye to a second date.