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Dating like a gent in the age of the swipe
It's simple and it appeals to deeply-rooted instincts: she's attractive, swipe right; she's not, swipe left. But for the gent, technology is simply a means to amplify our reach, not a definer of how we date. Traditional practices grounded in character will always stand out against a dating pool ever expanding due to technology. Here are some best practices to not just help you stand out, but to thrive in your dating life.
Before you meet
Exchange enough information so that you know there will be some interests you can discuss. You don't need to share your life story, but mentioning your siblings or family life, what you do for work, and what you do for fun are not just easy avenues to tread, but helpful for obtaining reciprocal answers from her.
Don't wait for her to make a date and don't make it a dinner date. Life moves forward because of decision makers. We've all witnessed the inevitable "what do you want to do? I don't know, what do you want to do?" endless exchange that is purported to be about openness but is really ultimately about laziness. You are going to ask her, so give her a few options that you've already taken the time time to research, and then set a day and time in the near future. Be decisive. It's attractive.
Don't go for a dinner date as it puts pressure on both of you. Something like a coffee or a drink gives both of you the chance to get to know each other right away without committing to a 1-2 hour meal. If drinks are going well, why not grab a table and order food? And if it's not going well, you both have an easy opportunity to head for the exit.
When you meet
Be on time, dress appropriately, and be present with her. In the age of smartphones we find it difficult to switch off. That's why it's such a great compliment to either have your phone away in a pocket or face-down when you're meeting with someone. It communicates that you are with her, not concerned about work or other things. It also helps you - no phone means no distractions. And remember, this is your personal time - give it to yourself - don't share it with those who get it all day already.
Being on time and dressing for the occasion isn't just a dating rule, it's a life rule. You communicate not just your respect for yourself, but for her.
Be respectful of her time. It's a first date. Don't try to monopolize an entire evening and definitely don't try to move fast. Everyone does that. Don't be everyone.
After you meet
Thank her for coming out and communicate your feelings and intentions clearly. It's common courtesy to let her know where she stands. If you want to see more of her, ask her out again, and if not, let her down easy by telling her that you enjoyed the time with her that evening but that you don't think you should go on another date. While it may "hurt" her initially (and be hard for you to articulate) it ultimately will be refreshing for her to hear honesty from a man and it helps her raise her standards because you kept yours.
All these practices are singular and are not observed by many in the dating game. That's precisely why you'll stand out. You'll be zagging while everyone is zigging, and that's attractive and desirable.
How do you feel about the swiping apps and websites? Do you have experiences you wish to share? All commenters will get a coupon for 25% off any Truefitt and Hill or Rascal purchases from our locations, which are great products to get you ready for that night out.
About Ben Davis
A serial entrepreneur, Ben Davis is founder of The Gents Place and a leading investor in gentlemen's refinement and confidence.
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