The Rules of Engagement
Dating is like a dance. You have to know the steps or you’ll look like an idiot and/or fall flat on your face! Courtship is basically a mating ritual in which we seek to determine if we have found a compatible mate. Women and men move forward and dance back, tempt and tease, intrigue and excite, divert and confound. Women who don’t understand the rules of this dance reduce their chances of finding their perfect mate.
The first thing to remember is that the rules of social etiquette apply just as much in dating and relationships as in any other arena. Be polite, interested and interesting, elegant and a class act. This will give you a headstart in the dating arena because you will be more alluring and charming than most women men meet today. It will also give you the confidence to present yourself at your best.
1. Dress appropriately. Whether you are going to the movies or an expensive dinner, dress to reflect the best version of you. Always err on the side of modesty. Men have a great imagination and like to picture what you look like under your clothes – so leave something for them to imagine!
2. Always be fresh and clean. Any sign of poor personal hygiene is a real turnoff, for men and women. Bathe thoroughly every day, apply fresh make-up, wear fresh clothes, shave regularly, trim your nails and hair, and brush your teeth every day.
3. Remember your manners. A woman who is at ease in the boardroom, the beach or a restaurant is attractive because she knows how to handle herself and doesn’t embarrass the people around her. Practise your etiquette lessons until you are completely comfortable. Be a class act, girls. Men may laugh and cheer on your swearing, flashing and drunken antics but they are also crossing you off the list of possible life mates.
4. Show interest in the person you are with. Ask them questions about their work, hobbies, opinions; share your opinions and observations; and really listen to what your date is saying.
5. Be interesting. Develop your inner world so that you have a lot to talk about. Read a variety of material (not just women’s magazines), have a few hobbies, attend free seminars – there are many ways you can expand your knowledge easily. Have an opinion – modern men want a woman who knows her own mind.
6. Don’t talk about previous relationships. It is a no-win situation. Bagging a previous boyfriend makes you appear critical while praising them may make your date question whether you are over said boyfriend. Also, I have been told by men that hearing women talk about how great their old boyfriends are, makes them feel very insecure and wonder if they can live up to her expectations. So just don’t talk about old boyfriends, full stop.
7. Don’t drink much. You need to know what you are saying and doing at all times, and getting tipsy or roaring drunk is likely to lead to you doing or saying something you will regret. So keep it to one or two glasses. Remember, you want to present the best version of you and if you are falling down drunk, the version you will be presenting to your date will be less than flattering.
8. Take things slow. On TV and movies, couples jump into bed on the first date but that is because they’ve only got two hours to tell the story! You, on the other hand, have a lifetime. Take the time to find out if your date is a good match before you take it to the next level. Just as importantly, men need time to see past your external attractions and fall in love with the woman inside. Give them time to discover how amazing you are before you have sex with them.
9. Allow men to chase you. Men may be more civilised now but the hunting instinct is still there just below the surface. Allow them to pursue you. They will appreciate you all the more for it. Some women think that such behaviour is manipulative but, in truth, you are just filling a basic need in men. They want the chase and they value the prize all the more if it is hard-won. This does not mean being dishonest, cold or cruel. It means letting him know that you are interested but that you need convincing that he is a good match. Let him do the calling, make the dates, woo you with flowers; don’t be available all the time – after all, you already have a great life. Above all, have some fun with the game of love!
10. Keep a little mystery. Mystery is part of a woman’s allure so don’t be in such a rush to reveal everything about yourself. The rule is – ‘If he doesn’t need to know, he doesn’t need to know’! That doesn’t mean you should lie to him, just don’t offer too much information. Does he really need to know how many times you’ve had your heart broken or when you first had sex? Does he really need to know about your eczema or IBS? This should extend to all areas of your life. Your date/boyfriend doesn’t need to know the nitty-gritty of how you got to be so wonderful – he doesn’t need to see you applying your make-up, shaving your legs, scrubbing floors and he definitely doesn’t need to see you pee in front of him. Don’t confuse intimacy with familiarity, girls.
11. Don’t be a stalker. After a date, do not ring, text, or email him constantly. If he is interested, he will get in touch with you. If you must contact him, leave one casual message and that’s all. Any more calls, and you run the risk of sounding desperate – not an attractive quality.
12. Relax. Maybe this will be the love of your life, maybe not. The point of dating is to have fun while you are meeting new people on your journey of love. So relax and enjoy! Learn to laugh and see the humour in awkward situations. Not only will you enjoy yourself more, but a girl who can laugh at life is infinitely appealing.