SUSAN J. ELLIOTT IS A MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER, GRIEF THERAPIST, EXPERT COMMENTATOR, ATTORNEY, POPULAR BLOGGER, AND AUTHOR OF "GETTING PAST YOUR BREAKUP: HOW TO TURN A DEVASTATING BREAKUP INTO THE BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO YOU".
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READER QUESTION #1: CANT GET SECOND DATES
I can't seem to land a second date with any woman I go out with. I am good-looking and charming enough to get the first date, so what could I possibly be doing wrong on the actual date that women seem to shun me once it's over with?
I am courteous, a good conversationalist. the only thing I could think of is that when a woman offers to pay, I let her. Could that be it? Can you just give me some tips on what to do on a first date to ensure more dates after that?
SUSAN J ELLIOTTS ANSWER:
This is Dating 101. And you're failing it.
FIRST DATE: THE MAN PAYS. PERIOD.
First of all, my advice is to women. Ladies please do not ever offer to pay on a first date. Ever.
Second of all, why would a man allow a woman to pay on a first date? I think that you need to re-evaluate this. You say you are courteous, but if you have asked a woman out on a date, it is courteous to pay for that date.
The deeper question for me is, why don't you know this? What is it about you that allows you to let women pay on a first date? Are you cheap? Are you just completely out-of-touch with dating etiquette? Do you think it's "okay" or in the name of "equality"?
It's not okay and there are many ways in which women are not yet equal and men aren't helping them out. Men were more than happy to stop being chivalrous by giving up a seat or allowing women on elevators first.
But men don't seem to be "giving" anything in the equality department, just taking. There is still a long way to go before things are completely equal, and until such time, men should be paying for the first date since they are most often the ones who ask.
I also think they should pay for the second and a woman would be advised to offer to pay for a tip or if at the movies, popcorn on the third date, but she still should not pay for all of it or even most of it.
FIRST DATE: CONVERSATIONALIST
Are you sure you're a good conversationalist? What do you talk about? How does your date respond to what you talk about? There are a few things that ensure good conversation on a first date:
1. LEARN TO SIT BACK AND BE QUIET for a while if you're the one who is very loquacious. If you're shy, then try to initiate some topics.
2. NEVER TALK ABOUT YOUR EX or the horror show relationships you've been in.
3. DON'T TALK ABOUT YOUR TERRIBLE CHILDHOOD, your former addiction to cocaine or the patch on your arm that may or may not be cancer.
4. KEEP THINGS LIGHT. Listen to what is being said. This is not only to show interest in your partner but to access who he or she is. If you're always talking you can't be listening too closely.
5. ALLOW SILENCES THAT ARE COMFORTABLE. Sometimes on a date, people are so busy rushing to talk to fill the silence that they become uncomfortable in the endless banter. You should be able to allow some time for breathing room and just being relaxed.
I don't know if these two things will ensure more second dates, but they're a start!
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