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19 first-date rules for guys

Last updated on: February 07, 2014 13:41 IST

19 first-date rules for guys

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Should you take the tab even if the girl insists on splitting?

Is it alright to ask her out for a drive after the date?

Men tend to say the darndest things on their first date.

Varsha Agnihotri Vadhyar, co-founder of Footloose No More, a platform which redefines the way marriages happen in urban India, draws up this list of etiquette for you, our readers.

Are you that fortunate one who has managed to land a date this Valentine's Day?

Are you this close to asking the girl of your dreams out?

Now, keep everything else aside and read this!

First date rules that you always wanted to know but didn't know who to ask


1. No sexual jokes please

Any jokes that have sexual or communal overtones are in bad taste.

Restrict them to when you are with your guy friends or for the time when you get to know each other better… not on your first date.

Foul language is distinctly unattractive irrespective of whether it comes from a man or woman.

Write a postcard for your Valentine

Click here for more Valentine's Day stories


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2. Go easy on the alcohol

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Do not insist on offering her alcohol.

If she refuses, respect it. She is meeting you for the first time and obviously safety will be her primary concerns

Limit your own intake too.

As it is, most men don't know what to say on their first date.

While alcohol will lower your inhibitions, there are good chances that after a few drinks, you'll end up making a fool of yourself.


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3. Offer to pay the bill but...

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Even though the view is changing in urban India, we still think that man is the bread winner and the provider.

However forward thinking we may have become, women like to believe that a lady must be treated a certain way and this includes offering to pay the bill.

If the lady offers to split the bill, it is perfectly acceptable to let her do it, though I can assure you, it often feels nice if the gentleman takes the tab.

The rule in this case is if you've picked the restaurant, you pay the bill.

If the girl has chosen the place, it is alright to let her split the tab. This is a first date; no one owes anyone anything.

Also, let her order what she wants.

Recommend but don't insist.


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4. Keep your hands to yourself

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Whatever you do, your hands must not wander under any circumstances.

Even if you are helping her cross the road, hold her by the elbow, lightly with your fingers. Not even your palm.

The moment you've crossed the road, let go instantly.

When you do that, you let her know that you care for her safety and that you aren't looking to cop a feel.

Also avoid hugging.

You don't go around hugging strangers, do you?

If it's your first date, the girl is as good as a stranger to you. So don't hug.

If it comes to that an air kiss and just a peck on the cheek would do as would a sideways hug. A full frontal hug under all circumstances is a no-no.

I've seen several potentially successful relationships not taking off because 'he touched me too soon'.


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5. Don't check out other women

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No really. Don't.

However attractive that girl who passed by you may have been, remember that you are with someone and it is your business to make her feel important.

The moment your gaze wavers, it makes us feel like is there someone better out there.

And if you think there is indeed someone better, you should probably be with that person.

Even if you think we are boring an unattractive, be a gentleman for those two hours. It will go a long way.


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6. Turn off your mobile phone

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This is just plain good manners.

If you absolutely hate the idea of being out of touch, keep it on silent.

Unless it's an emergency, don't take that call.

No SMS, no WhatsApp, no Facebook, no Twitter.

It is horribly rude to be on the phone when you're on a date.


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7. Take the initiative

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Men often think that since they've asked the girl out, it is her responsibility to do everything else, right from picking the restaurant.

Remember, she isn't the one who has asked you out. You have!

So make her feel important.

Consult her, of course, if she prefers going to a particular place or likes a particular cuisine but don't let her to all the work. Plan the evening yourself.

Make her feel important.


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8. Dress appropriately

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Just as you expect the girl to be well-presented, you too must make an effort.

Round neck t-shirts are an absolute no-no.

You don't need to wear a suit.

A shirt or a collared t-shirt would do just as well.

Make sure your hair is brushed, you've shaved and you've used a decent deodorant.

If you're meeting her straight from work, carry an extra shirt that day.

However exhausted you may be, just make yourself presentable before you go to meet her.


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9. Don't be late

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Yet again, something you should know.

Don't keep a girl waiting.

However sometimes circumstances are such that you do eng up getting delayed.

If you are running late, have the decency to call up and inform her so she can decide what to do.


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10. Drive safe

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It isn't unusual for you to pick up your date if you have a car.

Your first date isn't the time to show off your driving skills.

Drive safely. It is one of the most attractive things women find in men.

My husband has always been a safe driver but when I am with him, he is even more cautious.

When we were courting, his logic was that I was someone's daughter and it was his responsibility to keep me safe.

Your driving reveals how responsible a person you are and how good a husband or a father you will be.


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11. Don't insist on dropping her home

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Offer to drop her home but if she doesn't want to be, don't insist.

You could put her in the nearest public transport and wave her goodbye.

She may not want to know where she lives because every man, until you know him better, is a potential stalker. Respect that.

Conversely, do not invite her to your house

It is too early in the relationship and I cannot stress enough how formal an occasion a first date is.


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12. Don't brag

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One of my dates walked in wearing a tight t-shirt and a pair of fitted jeans.

He kept referring to himself as 'a rockstar'.

And so, while he was extremely good-looking and fit, he kept talking of his 'rockstar' lifestyle and the women he had been with.

His bragging eventually got to me. I didn't want to be part of his conquests.

So I excused myself to visit the washroom and never returned.

Bragging is the worst things you could do on your first date.


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13. No exes please

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Going on an on about your former girlfriend/wife is an instant turn off.

If you call her names we begin to see why she left you.

It also tells the girl what things you'd probably be saying about her if things don't work out between you two.

If you have come out of a bad relationship, be upfront about it but leave it at that.

Do not comment on others morals.

It makes you come across as a small-minded person who discusses other people.


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14. Don't pretend she doesn't exist

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If you run into people you know, don't treat the woman like she is some a dirty secret of yours.

There is nothing more humiliating for a woman to be standing next to you and not be introduced.

If you've spotted someone and want to say hello to them, ask for her permission first. Don't just disappear.

If you've run into close friends and want them to join you, again, check if she is okay with it.

It won't be very flattering for the girl to be in the company of people she doesn't know on her first date as they scrutinise her while you are having a good time.


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15. It is perfectly acceptable for a friend to accompany her

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If she gets a friend along with her on the first date, know that she's just trying to ensure her safety. Don't take it amiss.

On our first date with my husband, I took some 20 friends with me. He didn't flinch and he was polite with everyone.

At the same time, it is the duty of the girl to ensure that her friend should leave after a short while. It makes the guy look like a sleaze ball even if he isn't.

If the girl is uncomfortable, she must leave with her friend rather than stay on.


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16. No drives, no weekend plans

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Select a well-populated place. It will make her feel safe.

However well the first date goes -- and usually it doesn't -- do not, under any circumstances, offer to take her for a drive

Worse still don't ask her out for the weekend.

Everyone knows what a drive or a weekend out means.

It makes you look like you're desperate.

So avoid it entirely.


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17. Don't lie

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I was on a date with someone who told me he loved to read.

It didn't take long for me to figure out that he didn't!

It is alright if you don't like the same things as the girl.

But it isn't alright if you lie.

Don't say anything you can't follow up with.

Women are perceptive and eventually she will find out.

Similarly, if you have kids tell her about it but don't go into details.

Some conversations are simply not for the first date.


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18. Make the first move!

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This might come as a shock but many men are apprehensive of asking the girl out.

They will chat freely with her online but won't have the courage to initiate a meeting because most men are afraid of rejection.

However forward the society may be, remember that the onus of asking the girl out is on you.

You should be the one asking her out.

If she turns you down, take it in your stride and move on but don't shy away from making the first move.

Similarly, if the girl has shown interest in meeting you, take her up on the offer and make a plan.

If you don't want to meet her, don't string her along.


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19. Pay her a compliment

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It feels great to receive a compliment. So don't hesitate in paying one!

At the same time, don't go overboard.

Men tend to go bananas when they are paying a compliment and it leaves us in a tight spot. More often than not we don't even know how to react to it.

So, say 'You're looking pretty' and stop.

You would have made your point.


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