But short of those, he’ll take it personally, and if he has a shred of self-respect, he’s going to be very reluctant to ask you out again. A little voice in your head will say, “Well, if I canceled on him, it’s either because I’m an awful person — or because I don’t like him! On the man’s side, flaking wreaks emotional havoc on a guy (yeah, we have feelings, too). So you have no idea how grateful guys are when a woman keeps her word and shows up on time. Once you show up on a date, the best thing you can do is to give him your full, undivided attention.

Perhaps more important, are unconsciously going to start disliking him. ” Now someone who was perfectly attractive yesterday is suddenly less appealing. His respect for you goes up tenfold, and that’s a much better setup for a potential relationship. More than tight dresses, and yes, even more than cleavage, giving a man your attention is the most attractive thing you can do in his presence.

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Sharing privileged information is the currency of intimacy, so do share juicy stuff — tactfully. Drunk people say and do things they don’t really mean, which puts a decent guy in a position he’d rather not be in.

It's a challenge to keep up with all the rules of how you should act on a date.

A good man knows how rare that is, will appreciate you and come back for more. So if a man seems reluctant to proffer certain bits of personal information, respect that. So when a woman presses me for juicy gossip, it’s a big turnoff. When I was in England, I struck up an email correspondence with a friend of a friend who was very smart and attractive. Many a great first date happens around a civilized libation. However, turning into a slobbering, slurring boneless mass incapable of walking is something else altogether.

Now some questions you’re entitled to have an answer to, especially on a first date. Our company is sufficient — no need to bring other people into our space. In the third email, without any prior warning, she sent me a 5-page novella describing her love travails in intimate detail. Needless to say, whatever romantic interest I had in her extinguished, never to be rekindled. It says so many wrong things about a person that nothing is less attractive.

In compiling this list, I’m speaking as an author who’s been on the receiving end of hundreds of guys’ letters on their dating woes — and a single guy who’s been on a bad date or two.

So what I’m telling you here is straight from the horse’s mouth — if horses had graduate degrees and spoke in complete, remarkably coherent English sentences.

For example, complimenting him on his height is nice, but noticing his graceful bearing as a result of two decades of martial arts training is better.

Saying “gosh you’re so smart” is good, but noticing his expertise on English Romantic poets is even better. ’ deserve a straight answer, and if you don’t get one, there need not be a follow-up date.

When you address the compliment to a noble aspect of a man, it makes him grow even more in that area. But if he says he’d rather not talk about his parents, his work, his atheism or his missing pinkie finger, respect that. And with greater rapport and familiarity, the important information will come out eventually.

So with your compliment, you’re actually helping this man’s evolution. Good fences make good neighbors, and in relationships, there are information fences around certain parts of our lives. On a personal note, I’d rather talk about anything besides other people, especially when they’re not present.

Sure, you hit it off when you first met, and it was fun talking to him on the phone. You’re going on an evening-length job interview that costs you money.