First Date From Online Dating – Protocol For Women

[Note: I posted about the protocol for men (link below) and now it's time for the woman. My intended readership is for folks over a certain age but this advice for women does fit a wider demographic.]

So a man has stated (not asked) that you and he are going on a first date. If he was smart he would have proposed something fairly modest and certainly in public. If a man invites you to his place or worse, to your place, for a first date, he’s after sex and nothing more. If he proposed a fancy dinner or dinner and a movie, he’s not educated about Dating 2.0. It’s your job to suggest something more modest. There are a lot of clueless guys out there.

Let’s assume that it’s a weekend date during the day and you’ve been invited for ice cream or something at the bookstore cafe. The day before, he should be confirming via text or phone call. If not, you text him to confirm. This is just good manners and helps to avoid the flake factor. Yes, men flake too.

A good flake (from either party) will involve a counter offer via voice or text. “Something’s come up and I’d like to reschedule for another time.” That’s a good flake because he still wants to see you. A bad flake has no counter offer. Don’t ask for one. Tell him you’ll call him another time (you won’t) or ignore the text. Then block his online dating profile. He’s done. The worst flake is when he simply doesn’t show up with no notice at all. Even grown-up men do this. Get used to it.

As it’s a weekend, day time date, it’s not necessary to dress like it’s Saturday night. However, it’s important to look good. Do your hair and makeup to maximize femininity. Most men like long hair that’s not tied up. Depending on the climate, your clothes must also be feminine. If you want to be successful in dating, looking feminine is an obligation. You have been warned. Dating could very well involve breaking long-standing patterns of behavior.

Before the date, arrange with a friend to call you during the date or send you a text. If he’s smart, he’s likely done the same thing. This is the “bail out!” option. If your date is obviously not going well – for whatever reason – that phone call will save you without an awkward way out. “Oh darn, I have an emergency I have to deal with, I am so sorry.” It’s a nice excuse and protects feelings. Just be aware that it can be used on you, too.

Since you’ll be late (yeah, I’m generalizing about feminine behavior, sue me), send a text stating when you’ll be arriving and be sure to apologize in that text. Humility is a nicely attractive feminine characteristic and exceedingly rare, sadly. Honesty is another good characteristic and you can show your honesty by having accurate online dating profile photos and that includes a whole body shot. If those aren’t accurate, your first date could be very brief. Internalize this: Men are visual, if you can catch his eye, you can catch his heart.

When you arrive at the date venue, find your date. If he looks or acts nervous, that’s a good sign because he’s neither a player nor a serial dater. However, you’re facing a huge dilemma. Nervousness is not a sign of confidence and it’s confidence that you’re attracted to. A smoothly confident man on your first date will likely spark some serious attraction. But if he’s confident from the get go, make a note of it. If your date loosens up and regains his confidence, that’s a very good thing.

The date should be light-hearted and fun. Make jokes, laugh, tease, flirt. In your conversation, avoid the heavy topics like religion, politics, and past relationships. Here’s a great rule of thumb – if you feel compelled to talk about your exes, you are not ready for dating. The same applies to him. If he starts bad-mouthing his exes, that’s a huge red-flag. Talk of the exes is a dating killer. Don’t ask about his past relationships and deflect any questions about yours. Those are questions for possible future dates.

Should you find yourself becoming attracted to the guy, you’ll be giving off signals that you think are obvious. Most guys won’t pick up on those signals. The guys who pick up on those signals easily are very likely players and/or serial daters. There are women who are perfectly content to play the field. If you are one of those and you’ve found a player, rejoice and have fun. Players can be great fun. Just know that commitment isn’t likely in the cards.

Most guys really don’t know how to act on dates and this applies doubly when dealing with a woman who is attracted to him. It’s your job to escalate a bit with a light tough to his hand, gazing intently at his eyes, and actually telling him “I’m having a really good time, thank you.” Gratitude is such a rare commodity that he will likely be quite smitten.

If you two are hitting it off, he might recommend moving to another location, perhaps for a drink. This is a player alert. The pick up artistry guys call this “bouncing” and it serves as an interruption to your mood so he can maintain his confident “frame” (state of mind). However, if the bounce is to an early dinner, he’s likely not a serious player. Those guys avoid dinners on most “dates”. They go straight for drinks of the alcoholic kind.

During the bounce, take his arm so you can walk together a bit more intimately. Hopefully he will offer you his arm. Also, if the attraction level is high between you both, he will hopefully be bold enough to stop, hold your waist lightly and kiss you on the mouth. Let him because there is mutual attraction. For us folks over a certain age, a kiss is simply a kiss, a sign of attraction and affection. It doesn’t automatically mean sex on the first date. Hell, our lives are complicated with kids, elderly parents, work, the whole catastrophe. It’s just a kiss.

If you’re just that not attracted enough for a second date, let the date play out and if offered the bounce to another venue, avoid it politely. “I’d rather stay, I like it here.” Be polite and gracious even if your date isn’t. If he offers a hug, take it. If he goes to kiss you on the mouth, turn your head to offer the cheek. It’s a bit cheesy but avoids awkwardness.

Despite the lack of attraction on your part, some guys might get assertive at this point and I hate that. Do your best with that and do it politely. If he asks for a second date, tell him you will text him or email him. When you do text or email him, let him down easy: “I had a very nice time with you and I appreciate your thoughtfulness. But I must say that we’re not a good fit and I wish you the best of luck.” You will likely be sending out quite a few of those messages. Unfortunately, you might get some nasty responses. Ignore those, please.

While first dates can be filled with anxiety and nervousness (for both of you), they can also be quite fun if you go in with a happy and positive vibe. Being happy and fun can make a man’s heart melt with desire and affection. Use that power for good, not evil.

First Date From Online Dating – Protocol For Men

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  1. #1 by DC Phil on January 11, 2013 - 10:37 PM

    1. In the early days, whenever I complained to my women friends about women flaking , the first thing they said was, “Men do it, too!” which effectively neutralized my complaint and any chance of there being some kind of intelligent conversation. Then, another female friend would often question me about whether she should text the guy back if he seemed distant or “playerish.” Once the Red Pill coursed its way through my veins, I understood that, like with men and the women who flake on them, she shouldn’t care about whether the guy did it, too. I told her that, if the guy was interested, then he’d forego the games and be direct. If not contact afterwards, then ignore him and move forward. Don’t dwell on the problem.

    2. About the guy blowing up at you if you turn him down, be swift, be cordial, and be direct. Men tend to understand direct because it’s our natural communication style. You might have to tell him more than once that it’s not going anywhere, and if he becomes rude and abusive, block him from your phone. It’s your choice to tell him that you’re doing so. Finally, if he threatens you, then be VERY direct and threaten to call the cops on his ass if he keeps it up.

    3. About conversation, in addition to the no-no subjects, avoid talking about your job and your possessions. Talk about yourself and how you’re a pleasure to be around and how you’d be a great partner for the guy (if you’re interested). You can talk about travel, but talk about how it made you feel rather than where you’ve been. DO NOT criticize the guy about his travel plans. Instead, ask him about where he wants to go and why he’s going there. If you roll your eyes if he mentions Paris because you went there on a package tour, stood in line for an hour to get into Notre Dame, drank overpriced and shitty espresso with a soggy baguette, and got groped on the Metro, don’t. Nothing pisses me off more than a woman who drones on and on about her travels and how she hated where she went. Ditto for how “awesome” someplace is. I don’t want to hear about shopping or partying. I want to hear about history and the feelings you had about the place and how it made you a better person having gone on the trip. When I travel, it’s more for depth than breadth.

  2. #2 by greenlander on January 11, 2013 - 11:13 PM

    RE: ” If you want to be successful in dating, looking feminine is not an option.”

    Presumably you meant the opposite of this…

  3. #3 by Spacetraveller on January 12, 2013 - 5:52 AM

    @ Greenlander,

    I had the same initial thought!
    Then I re-edited in my head thus:
    If you want to be successful in dating, looking feminine is not an ‘option’, it is an ‘obligation’.
    Fixed. :-)

  4. #5 by JulesK on January 12, 2013 - 6:50 AM

    Yeah, did a double-take on the typo but was quite clear what was meant in context. Honestly, a good article, and the warnings about players in particular are *just* the sort certain women need, and specific enough to be actually useful. Women also need to know that *really* good players have an uncanny ability to tailor their game, but that doesn’t change the fact that these are great general guidelines on spotting a lot of them, at least the ones that you roll your eyes at from the very beginning when a girl is talking about one she’s just met. But some people are both very good at, and very motivated to hide their intentions (and actions) from the outset, and sometimes even after a relationship has ended (if it’s important for them to have you think of them as “this great catch that got away”). Everything else in the article maybe should be common sense but likely isn’t.

    • #6 by DC Phil on January 12, 2013 - 8:17 AM

      Everything else in the article maybe should be common sense but likely isn’t.

      As Voltaire once quipped, “Common sense isn’t so common.”

    • #7 by theprivateman on January 12, 2013 - 11:59 AM

      I fixed the typo. I was typing pretty fast last night.

    • #8 by insideawomansmind on January 12, 2013 - 5:45 PM

      I litterally was thinking that, all the way through. Isn’t the essence of this entry common sense? Common good manners?

      Never the less, a brush up on how to play it is always good and there was a few pointers here and there that I made a note of, for when I step into the dating scene again.

      Good one. :)

  5. #9 by PennyFarthing on January 12, 2013 - 8:19 AM

    In NYC, players with financial means certainly will “bounce” you to dinner, probably because conventional wisdom holds that dinner = not a player. Paying for dinner really isn’t an indicator either way.

    Frankly I think worrying about players is a waste of time. If a woman conducts herself with dignity (don’t hop into bed so quickly) and also isn’t shallow (don’t be blinded by looks or status), getting played will not be much of a factor.

  6. #10 by hopingformore33 on January 12, 2013 - 12:55 PM

    This is awesome. I don’t know what girls are like dating right now, it’s been 12 years since I’ve been in that position, but this is a fantastic guide.

  7. #11 by Trouble on January 12, 2013 - 2:03 PM

    More than once you have suggested the mid-date phone call from a friend as an escape. I think it is a very bad move. Its been 10 minutes into a date when she gets the call and i know its her rescue call. #1 its bad manners on her part to be answering her phone while we are trying to establish conversational momentum. I don’t put up with it from my buds so i only give her about 5 seconds to handle the call till i start to fidget like i am leaving her. On my end, i don’t need some distracting phone call as I can end a date with no qualms whenever i feel like it. The first date should never be more than an hour and i often say so in advance. Well, i can put up with anybody for a half an hour of conversation at the Ale House, then it takes 15 minutes more to pay up and say goodby. The girl dressed as Wonder Woman in her profile pic tried to order dinner about 45 minutes into our 1st. I said, “whatever, you can stay but i only plan an hour for the first date and I am out of here, bartender give me the check”. She said, “what, even if the date is going well?” I said, “there are plenty of more nights in the year and i already have plans for later tonight”. At that point is was just a $10 bar bill for drinks, but what i avoided was also paying for her dinner in addition to having to spend another hour at least on a work night which would have put me home at midnight driving home from Boynton. In summary, you both know what the rescue phone call is all about so I say dont do it. If she looks at her phone and ignores it, you know you are doing well.

    • #12 by DC Phil on January 15, 2013 - 7:14 AM

      Agreed on the bail-out phone call. I’ve never done that and would be suspicious if the woman did that. So far, I’ve been lucky. No woman has ever looked at her phone on the first date. If she did, then I’d have done the same thing you claim you do on the date: act fidgety or at least give her the impression that you’re ready to walk if she can’t turn off her phone or at least ignore it. Checking one’s phone is rude, plain and simple.

      As for time constraints, I’ve always been a bit flexible. Like you, I can stand to be around someone for at least 30 minutes, but anything more than an hour and I’m not getting anywhere, then it’s time to bail. Location will influence this, in my experience, which is why I’ve chosen smaller and more intimate lounges or cafes, and parks where there’s not a lot of people around. Noisy bars means competing with too much noise and too many other distractions. Quieter spots means that the hour is better spent with clearer focus on her (and she hopefully is doing the same with you).

      Now, I don’t necessarily agree with telling the woman outright that you’re only spending an hour on her. There are more subtle ways of doing this, such as telling her that you have another engagement after the date and have to get home early for a big meeting or something. Not outright lying, but fibbing a bit. The main thing is to tell her once you get there and are seated and having an amiable chat. But, if you can spare an hour or so afterward and there’s a chance of getting laid, then you can be more flexible and hope that she will be, too. :)

      Lastly, one thing I learned early on was to NEVER allow the woman to put a time constraint on me. That happened to me once, and I was smart enough to notice it early on in the date. Now, if the woman does that to me as soon as I sit down, I’ll make my way to the exit and say that we can reschedule for another time. Ditto if she does it by phone before the date.

  8. #13 by LostSailor on January 12, 2013 - 4:54 PM

    Lots of good stuff there, but, as I’ve said before, I agree with Trouble about the “bail out” call. I certainly understand that for some people, men or women, who are new to Dating 2.0, it can be an easy intermediate step while learning the dating ropes, if one is aware enough of the need for a “bail out” call then one will recognize it when one’s date uses it. If one has that awareness to start (and if they’ve learned it from reading here, then they are aware), I think it’s better to try to develop right from the start the necessary social skill to politely end a date that’s going nowhere.

    I can only think of two dates I’ve had where I really wanted to bail only a few minutes in. One was a woman who was rather unkempt and clearly at least 40 to 50 pounds heavier than any of her pictures indicated; the other was a fairly attractive woman who was so painfully shy that she could barely get a coherent word out. In the first case, I made conversation for a round of drinks and politely ended the date. I could tell she knew why, but I kept it light and breezy and there was no scene. In the second case, I simply regaled her with outrageous and humorous stories for the same amount of time, and again, politely ended things (yes, I know rambling on like this is not a good move normally, but it didn’t really matter as I was not going to see her again).

    If I want a date to continue, I do make good use of the bounce. Usually, I pick a place for drinks that does not offer food; if things are going well, I suggest “getting a bite to eat” and relocate to another place that’s not necessarily a full restaurant, but offers appetizers and the like. This is, I admit, easier to do here in NYC where there are lots of options, but it also tends to keep the overall cost down and gives the illusion of a “meal” without a full-blown restaurant sit-down. I don’t know if it’s a “player” move, and it’s not meant maliciously with ulterior motive (well, most of the time), but it usually works well.

    • #14 by JulesK on January 12, 2013 - 9:00 PM

      I do think the bailout call is problematic. I want it to work, it seems like it *should* work… and yet… eh. And I say this as someone who has advocated the bailout call… but I was younger, and kind of an asshole (sure, girls can be assholes). This is a more graceful, and gracious solution.

  9. #15 by Nupnupnup on January 13, 2013 - 4:18 AM

    I take issue with the venue bounce being a sign of a player. Just a likely it could be a normal guy who has some idea of general game concepts.

    I am about as far from a PUA as you can get, but venue bounce is so easy you’d be an idiot not to try.

    • #16 by Nupnupnup on January 13, 2013 - 4:20 AM

      In fact, you could almost flip the argument and argue if he does not try, he’s not all that interested. That sort of conflicts with the no first dates over an hour rule, but hey, if men have to deal with silly ambiguity, women should not have it any better (and supposedly, they actually like that :) )

  10. #17 by Lennie on July 15, 2013 - 7:06 AM

    Hey, i don’t understand what’s this whole thing about players trying to get you to another venue. what’s the deal? and why is it a red flag? I’d see that as a spontaneous and fun, going with the flow. no harm in that is there? I don’t want to think like a goddamn paranoid and go “is he playing me now?”. I trust my intelligence enough that if i’m on a date with them then they have ALREADY been screened for not being a player type. I can pretty much always find out BEFORE if they are.

    –The pick up artistry guys call this “bouncing” and it serves as an interruption to your mood so he can maintain his confident “frame”.

    What interruption for mood and what confidence frame? I’m sorry to sound dumb but i’ve never heard for such concept. Please explain.

  1. First Date From Online Dating – Protocol For Women « PUA Central

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