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Guy Talk: Mastering the First Date

The dating game: you either love it or hate it. Finding your match can be difficult, and once you've gathered the courage to make a date, you're faced with a laundry list of decisions: where to go, what to say, what to wear, etc. Here's a little primer on first date etiquette, in hopes it eliminates some of the guesswork.

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First dates can be a bit nerve-wracking; keeping it short and sweet is never a bad idea. If you commit yourself to dinner and drinks, and it doesn't go well, you're both stuck slogging through the meal. However, if the condensed version goes well, you're in luck! She'll be eager to see you and quick to accept your next invitation.

Take the initiative and plan the date from start to finish. Generally, it's attractive when a man takes the lead during the courtship phase. If you know her favorite coffee shop or wine bar, you'll make an impression by taking her there.

One of the most important things to remember, especially on a first date, is to be chivalrous and well-mannered. Although our independence is important to us, your manners still communicate a lot about how you value others. Be mindful of the other people you encounter during your date (other patrons, servers, valets, etc).

Please don't be late. First dates are anxiety-producing enough, and your tardiness won't help matters! Okay. We've gotten you to the table. First date conversation can be tricky: you don't want too much heaviness, yet you want to crack the surface and get to know each other. Bringing your sense of humor is always a good idea! And please, please listen attentively and ask questions. Really engage in the conversation and in the moment.

If you had a nice time on your date, and you're interested in going out again, women like to hear you say it. According to Men's Health, 82% of women report they'd like to be told if you want to see them -- and soon.

Some of this information might just be refresher, but every day people begin dating for the first time and a few tips never hurt. And ladies, I welcome your contribution to this little list.

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