City-hopping the past few years has allowed me to witness and partake in multiple dating scenes throughout Europe and North America. What amazed me the most is how tactlessness knows no geographical boundaries.
It’s one thing to be inept in your early 20s; you can’t learn unless you make mistakes. It’s quite another to be pushing 30 and still making the same lapses in judgment.
Obviously, incompetence proliferates on both sides of the gender court. With societal pressure mounting for us to find a partner, lest we be cat-hoarding spinsters forever (a pressure felt, albeit to varying degrees, across most cultures), I’ve occasionally channeled the “needy girlfriend” archetype, myself.
Today’s topic, however, will focus on you, dear male reader.
In an effort to get into a woman’s good graces and claim her number, heart or underwear (whatever your goal may be), here are some general guidelines as to the difference between acceptable and not-so acceptable courting behavior.
1. Where would we be without manners?
Have the courtesy to first learn her name before inconspicuously propositioning her to test the mattress quality of a recent Ikea purchase.
2. Restrict your target market accordingly.
If you’re old enough to be her father, don’t be surprised if she replies to your tacky “Where have you been all my life?” pick-up line with a dismissive “I'm underage.”
3. Take it slow.
Women have a sixth sense for desperation. On the rare occasion that we choose to ignore it, having set out to break a dry spell of our own, or have daddy issues that make us overly reliant on male approval, consider yourself lucky. In the same vein, leave the marriage proposals for at least the second date.
4. Use your words.
Linguistic proficiency is underrated. While we’ve all relied on utterly convenient emoticons to express our thoughts and feelings at one point or another, sometimes we prefer that you don’t substitute your affection, gratitude or run-of-the-mill sexual proposition with an evidently multipurpose semicolon and right parenthesis.
Every now and then, put in the effort to write a captivating sentence.
Similarly, asking us if their will be a second date probably means there won’t be one. Exempt from this criterion are non-native speakers, especially those who have adorable and/or sexy foreign accents.
5. Limit alcohol consumption.
Accidentally spilling your drink all over her sweater in a drunken stupor and promptly asking her back to your place does not segue into a friendship that will culminate against the headboard of your queen-sized bed.
6. Personal space is vital.
Respect it unless invited otherwise.
7. Honesty is occasionally the best policy.
Above all else, whether your intentions expire at the end of the night or encompass a more expansive timeframe, leave Barney’s Playbook at home and just be your normal, charismatic self. In case you’re neither, take Carla’s advice from "Scrubs":
“You have to dole out your crazy in little pieces. You can’t do it all at once.”
Photo via Favim