Photo: Chris Fortuna
Before stepping into the dating world, you should always know your target audience. In the animal kingdom, you do not see zebras reproducing with monkeys. Know your type in terms of looks, personality, goals, interests, etc. Don't date a partier if that isn't your thing; don't date a bore if you like adventure; and don't date a religious zealot if you never want to step foot in a church. You will just be wasting your time, and your relationship will likely be doomed from the start.
With that thought in mind, here are our top 10 dating dos and don'ts:
1. Be positive and warm. Always smile, and don't be a Debbie Downer. Check out when you're not feeling chemistry, as it can come back and haunt you later - remember that it's a small world, and everybody knows everybody. Be your own PR person; you never know if he will introduce you to his brother, cousin or friend. You always want to leave a good taste in someone's mouth about you.
2. Be present and discuss. Nothing too deep though. Ask about his hobbies and interests, but don't interrogate a guy and act like a private investigator (where are you from, what do you do for a living, etc.). Never talk about the future because it will guarantee no future. Examples are getting married, having kids or inviting him to a wedding in six months when you barely know each other.
3. When you are having a great time, don't stay too long. An hour and a half should suffice because too long will turn into too much information and too much alcohol. Leave him desiring more and wanting to see you again. Always leave on a high note. When things are going good, exit. If there is a connection, he will pursue you.
4. Be thoughtful and initiate a plan. It's okay for a woman to plan a date, just not the first date. Don't always expect a man to do everything. He isn't your father; he's the man you are dating. Men want love and attention just like women.
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5. Compliment him. If he looks good and smells good, tell him! Everyone wants to feel good about him or herself.
6. Guys cannot stand a girl that is too chatty and catty. It is an automatic turn-off. Another turn-off is a girl who nags. Remember that guys like a girl who can make meaningful contributions to the conversation and not just talk about other people.
7. Dress sexy but not provocative. Men are visual creatures. A little leg and a little arm never hurt, but do not go overboard and send the wrong message. Be sure to leave something to the imagination.
8. Don't drink too much. Two drink maximum, ladies! Any more, and you may become sloppy. A turn-on is someone who can hold her own and still carry on a conversation without relying on liquid courage.
9. After a great date, you can send a thank you text, but that's it! Don't smother a guy and over-pursue him. No one likes desperation in a woman.
10. Guys don't like when you compare your relationship to another one. They don't want to hear about your friends and their relationships. Just remember, the male ego is fragile and needs to be handled with care.