A male reader wrote me to describe a recent date that he went on. He thought it went great and noted the various IOIs she sent out, but when (four days later) he asked her to go out again, she shut him down with the “we didn’t click” excuse. I have a feeling he’s not the only dude out there who’s experienced this very scenario, so here are my (expanded-upon) thoughts that I sent him about common first date dealbreakers that men often unknowingly fall prey to – especially when they are trying to apply game and maintain alpha frame.
Before I get into these things, men should keep in mind that while all women are the “same” in that they all have a certain set of emotional needs and desires, not all women are going to respond to the same strength of tactics. Women who are used to attracting a lot of male attention (whether they’re beautiful or just kind of slutty) need harder game run on them than women who are shy, conservative, and/or don’t go on very many dates. Bar kittens and unadventurous, dutiful church girls are a chasm apart in terms of what will get a positive response out of them. Bar kittens usually need to be taken down a peg, whereas church girls need to be reassured that you have honorable intentions (well, unless you assume the role of supplicating beta). They both want male leadership and confidence, but the way in which those qualities should manifest themselves is going to be different depending on the girl. Also, a certain amount of what works on any girl is going to depend on the girl herself. This is where having some social intuition comes in. Just as there’s no one approach that works on every single girl, not every single church girl is going to respond to exactly the same game, either.
Okay, with that out of the way – here are some basics. Yes, I know, NAWALT, so there will always be some exceptions to what I’m about to say. You may have bumped up against one. But by and large, especially when dealing with “good church girls,” the following hold true.
(1) Always pay. If she was the one who asked you out, offer to pay anyway. It may sound petty, but not paying on the first date, unless the woman insisted on going dutch beforehand, is a dealbreaker. (Even then, you should still offer to pay.) If the woman liked you a lot and you didn’t pay, her friends will still tell her that you’re a loser for not paying, so no matter what, the well will be poisoned against you. So just suck it up that you’ll have to pay.
Note: EVEN IF THE WOMAN OFFERS TO PAY, YOU MUST STILL INSIST ON PAYING. In your head you may think, “Oh, she’s being fair and modern,” but ten bucks says that a church girl (and pretty much every other girl with a drop of femininity in her) will secretly be offended that you permitted her to pay and did not put up genuine resistance. (However, if she keeps fighting you on it, let her. But then cheekily tease her about being a feminist if she does pay.)
(2) At the end of the night, say you had a good time – IF you genuinely had a good time. Otherwise, just thank her for the chance to meet her, get to know her, and spend some time with her. I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary to tell her that you’ll call or that you should hang out again sometime – it’s too easy for men to say that and then not call or not ask for another date, which exasperates women.** It’s better not to create expectations that can easily be dashed. (But if you really do want to see her again, it’s fine to say that you should go out again. If the girl isn’t interested, she’ll probably give a nebulous response like “Yeah, maybe sometime.”) Also, I don’t think it’s a good idea to ask for another date immediately at the end of the first date. I’ve had this happen before, and it really puts the woman on the spot if she’s not sure if she’s attracted to you. (**Roissy-style players can use exasperation to their advantage, because if you stiff her on a phone call, she will definitely have you on her Ish List and will be more likely to respond when you do finally call. But that only works if you generated enough attraction in the first place.)
(3) It’s important to be respectfully playful. Gentle teasing works well on most women. Strength of any teasing/negs must be in proportion to how much romantic male attention the woman is used to getting. Also, the teasing needs to be OBVIOUS. Sometimes guys play teasing too deadpan, and the girl can’t tell if he actually means it or not and may feel insulted. (Of course, sometimes it’s just that the girl has no sense of humor, which is something that’s outside of your control.) A little bit of playfulness can go a long way in reassuring the woman that you’re safe to be with, have a good sense of humor, and aren’t overly invested in the success of the date. Too often men fall into the trap of treating a date like a job interview, where she’s the boss they’re trying to impress, and they start trying to be walking encyclopedias about every topic they discuss. It’s too business-like, doesn’t focus on the woman enough, and can even be alienating if the woman doesn’t have any interest in the topic. So injecting a little playfulness into the date can alleviate a lot of the seriousness that sometimes occurs when men are trying hard to impress.
(4) Sometimes there just isn’t any chemistry. You can both be nice people but just have nothing to say to each other. It’s not a failure on either part when that happens. Don’t feel bad that you couldn’t squeeze blood from a stone.