dating tips for straight girls

Reader S. G. writes:

You’ve done dating tips for straight guys. What about your own kind?

Dear S.G.:


Ahhh dating... is it ever like this for anyone? Really? Image: Francesco Marino / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You’re right, I have failed at giving female-gender-specific dating advice, haven’t I?

Well, here are a few tips for straight ladies that I culled through very scientific means, i.e. IMing a few of my guy friends:

Don’t be a flake. If a guy is courageous enough to make a plan with you, don’t flake out on him unless you really, really can’t make it. Constant rescheduling sucks, too. The best way to avoid being a flake? Say no if you don’t want to go out with him. Don’t lead him on. Be honest with yourself and with him.

Be ready on time. Some girls might tell you that keeping a guy waiting adds to the mystique, but I think that all depends on the guy, and I think he’d probably have to be really quirky to enjoy waiting for you while you put on your lipstick. Punctuality is just a common courtesy. If you’re not going to be ready on time, at least be awesome and give him a beer and the remote while he waits. If you’re going to pick him up or you’re meeting him somewhere, you should definitely be on time. If you are absolutely incapable of being on time in this case, text or call so he knows you’re not standing him up.

Don’t order the most expensive thing on the menu. Unless you’re going dutch, that is. In which case, order two.

Offer to pay, but don’t fight over it. This is especially important on the first date. As I’ve mentioned before, a lot of guys apparently think that if the girl pays, she’s declaring this as a friends-only night out. Anyway, after a few dates, you’ll sort out a system between the two of you, but remember that it’s okay to let him pay. The feminist police won’t come to get you. (I always make sure that I’m capable of paying, just in case, but if I like a guy, I’ll let him pay. Once in a while.) If he does pay, acknowledge it and say thank you.

Hold your own purse. If you go to the bathroom, get on the mechanical bull, go to try on lingerie, or whatever, take your purse with you or put it on your chair. Be a lady. It might be sweet of him to offer to hold it, but don’t force it on him like he’s a hat rack.

Don’t be overly friendly or intimate. Again, especially true on a first date, but restrain yourself from offering TMI, eating the food off his plate, or crying in front of him. Save that for when he’s already sold on seeing you again.

Trust him. Don’t have your friends come to the bar with you or check in on you or any of that. It’s just creepy. If he’s not trustworthy, don’t date him. Dig?

Know what you want. I’m not just talking about dinner. If you don’t want to have sex on the first date, know that. If you do want to have sex on the first date, know that. (Here’s some good news, btw — apparently a simple hook-up can actually lead to love if that’s what both parties are looking for, so that whole “no sex on the first date” thing is not a rule you have to follow to be the marrying type.) I am very pro not leading a guy on, and not changing your mind just because he wants you to. You’ll feel better about yourself if you stick to your guns, whatever those guns are.

Don’t be afraid to be a little aggressive. If you see a guy you like, give him your number or start up a conversation. They don’t always have to make the first move, and in fact, in our day and age, many of them won’t. I am a bit old fashioned to some extent in this regard, because in my own experience, if he doesn’t do a lot of the chasing, it tends not to last. But that doesn’t mean I always hold back and wait for him to make every single move. Also, different girls and guys get different results. And who says it has to last?

Speaking of not lasting…

Buy yourself the flowers. What I mean is, be self-sufficient. My shrink always told me not to give someone a second chance if the first few dates weren’t fantastic. If it’s not going to work out, break it off and get yourself the flowers you want, or the sex you want, or whatever else it is that makes him not exactly right. Trust me, it’s probably not going to get better. You can “work on things” when you’re married, but if you’re just dating, there is nothing tying you to him. Know your dealbreakers and break it off if he exhibits them. I know it’s hard — we girls are such suckers for being “liked”. Just remember, you deserve better. Probably.

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