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9 highly effective first date tips for men

Advice to stand out from the crowd and attract her attention on a first date.

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Before we get into the list, Let's consider the importance of 'the first date,' especially in this day and age.

Technology has rendered the dating world incredibly transactional. There's a new dating app on the market every other week, and as such, a seemingly endless supply of other men to contend against.

As a result of the changing nature of dating, women's attention spans when considering romantic prospects are getting shorter by the day, and the opportunity for you to make your mark and cut through her defences is only becoming narrower.

With this in mind we've compiled a list of 9 surefire ways to attract, engage and delight a woman on your first date, so as to leave her wanting more:

1. Make getting to know each other fun

Regardless of the extent of your texting / phone based relationship before your first date, the first face to face encounter can be a little daunting. You're scared about how the conversation will flow, and so you instinctively fire off a series of vanilla 'getting to know you' questions:

- What do you do for work?

- What are you watching on Netflix at the moment?

- What do you do with your free time?

Look, I get it. It's important to identify interests and scope out commonalities early on, as these are often the basis for expanding your conversation and developing attraction. But let's be honest. These questions are boring and predictable, which is not what you want to be associated with upon first impressions.

Instead, switch it up and make it fun and interesting.

After initial introductions, announce to her: 'I'd like to get to know you, and I don't think there's any better way than a game of would you rather - so tell me, would you rather lose the ability to read or lose the ability to speak?' (or any other thought-provoking / amusing 'would you rather' question you can think of).

Playing would you rather will naturally result in you finding out the same high-level details you would through more conventional methods, like; 'so, what do you do for work?'. But it's far less mundane and it opens up a lot more jumping-off points for subsequent conversations.

Disclaimer: 'Would you rather' can go from PG, to R18+ in a matter of moments. That's ok, as long as you aren't the instigator of the R18+ questions. On the first date, never ask her a 'would you rather' question that is more provocative than one she asks you.

2. Compete with her

Friendly competition early into your relationship serves three purposes:

Firstly - It makes her feel comfortable and more familiar with you

Secondly - the thrill of competing will give her a sense of excitement

Thirdly - and most importantly - it gives you two the perfect opportunity to begin playfully flirting with each other.

So how can you compete with her?

This is the easy part.

Regardless of the location for the date, the opportunity to create competitions are endless, it could be something like:

- 'Whoever uses the word 'tonight' first, loses (you could replace the word tonight with any commonly used word)

- First person to spot a guy in a black cap wins

- Let's both guess how many different Pizzas this place will have on the menu, closest guess wins.

In terms of prizes, set the stakes quite low, and make sure they complement the date: if you're out for drinks with her - then obviously, make the prize a drink. If it's a sober date, make the prize a frozen yoghurt / ice-cream / pop-corn at the movies (ok maybe not pop-corn at the movies, you're not made of money).

After she agrees, start to tease her a little, something like: 'oh man, you're going down',  or 'I must warn you I am the king of this game'. If she plays along and teases you back - it's a great early sign that things are going well. If she seems to dismiss, that's fine - it's still early. Keep cool and pull it back for a bit.

Disclaimer: When you do lose a competition, Graciously and charmingly accept defeat.

3. Make the first kiss dimly lit or private

Approaching the first kiss can be pretty daunting. You leave yourself vulnerable, and welcome the chance of crippling rejection.

With this in mind, you've got to make sure the first kiss is well-timed and mostly private.

Aside from the fact a lot of women don't enjoy PDA's, they also likely don't want to be seen macking on with some guy they just met, by her colleagues from work.

If and when the time comes to plant one on her, choose your location wisely. It could be on a walk through an empty park or a dimly lit booth in a quiet bar at night.

Disclaimer: A lot of first dates will end without a first kiss, which is no cause for concern. If it gets to date number three, however, and it hasn't happened, It likely never will. I don't want to discourage you guys, just help you understand when you're wasting your time.

4. Choose your compliments wisely, and deliver them sincerely

Gushing is uncool, but well placed, confidently delivered compliments can be extremely impactful. Especially if you tell her something she hasn't heard on every other first date she's been on.

Rules to follow when complimenting:

- Don't expect anything in return, say it, mean it. She may compliment you back, she may not, move on.

- Don't be creepy

- Unless she initiates (which is rare on first dates) avoid sexualised compliments (these are definitely ok further down the track, of course)

- Retain eye contact when you deliver them

- Execute it effortlessly - the more casually it's said, the more confident it comes across

Some compliments to consider:

"You're easy to talk to"

"I like what you were saying earlier about..."

"You have an infectious smile"

Disclaimer: Compliments are best received when they're unique and unexpected.

5. Move around throughout the night

Meet her in the city for drinks? Don't just sit at one spot all night, keep her guessing. The element of surprise is exciting for her and a man with a plan (especially seamlessly executed) - will impress her.

In no particular order, my recommendations would be 3-4 bars throughout the evening (including a restaurant if it's a dinner date). A cocktail bar, a cool pub, a rooftop bar and a whiskey bar would be the ideal scenario.

Disclaimer: If you'll be visiting popular venues, moving around can involve long periods waiting in line. This can ruin the natural flow of the date. Where possible, booking tables ahead of time is definitely advised.

6. Actively listen to her

Do you know what topic we humans enjoy speaking about more than any other? You guessed it - speaking about ourselves. While you're asking her open-ended questions about herself, practice the art of active listening to in order to truly connect.

If you're unfamiliar with active listening - it's a counselling technique this is used in sales, negotiations and for general dispute resolution in professional settings. It also works fantastically with women.

It involves a series of verbal and non-verbal cues used by you throughout your conversation, to truly engage with what she's saying, ensure she feels heard and make her feel comfortable with you. Stuff like retaining eye contact, standing / sitting still and focused on her, asking her questions that enhance the flow of the conversation.

7. Make a joke with a stranger.

I must have read 100 articles that talk about how a woman was interested in a guy on a first date, until the moment she witnesses him treat a bartender / waiter / server like shit.

If we consider how rightfully turned off women are by witnessing this - go the other way with it.

Be cool with the waitstaff, be charming and amuse them if you should so be given the opportunity. It sends the message to her that you are someone that people naturally gravitate to, that you're liked by the masses and of course - are a well-mannered man.

An example of something you can do: When they are taking your drink order, tell them "I kind of want a Heineken, but I also want a Corona - could you please surprise me?

8. Establish an in-joke.

This is a piece of advice that will serve you well after the first date. It can be something as simple as shared amusement about a loudmouth at another table, or a reference to the bartender who got your order wrong 3 times in a row.

The reason you want to establish an in-joke is that after the first date, you'll be desperately trying to come up with a reason to initiate conversation the next day.

Avoid texting her something bland like: "Are you feeling hungover today?. Instead, message her something like "HOW ARE YOU TODAY? Sorry for the capital letters. I was doing my impression of that guy from the table next to us last night. This gives her more of an opportunity to respond with a flirty, more expansive answer, as opposed to a simple "Yes I'm hungover, how about you?".

9. Give her a cute reason to see you again

Ok, so this piece of advice should really only be implemented if you've received plenty of positive signs from her throughout the date. I'd even suggest you only do this if you've already all but agreed to see each other again.

As you give your goodbyes at the end, give her something. Maybe it's your spare headphones for her Uber home. When she thanks you, say something along the lines of - 'no, thank you, for allowing me the opportunity to see you again.'

Disclaimer: Don't give her something you would be devastated if you never saw again. No matter how interested she may have seemed, you can't leave these things up to chance - after all, she was basically a stranger at the start of the night.

If you can think of any other great first date tips for men, please share in the comments below.

In the meantime, keep being good men.