Dating used to be so simple.
Meet someone, then meet somewhere.
No mobile phones – you just had to both turn up where you agreed to meet. And that was that – a date. You understood the dating etiquette. The rules were clear.
Well, dating is a little more complicated these days. So we have compiled the ultimate list of the best dating advice for men. Good luck out there!
Table of Contents
There are no real ‘rules’ about dating. But sometimes that makes things more complicated! Everyone is different and expects different things. You do not need to follow advice; you can trust your instinct.
But these tips may prove helpful if you are confused and don’t have anyone to ask.
Where to Start?
Look Online AND Offline
Online dating is easy to access – you search for a dating service, sign up with a few details, and make a profile.
And that’s where the easy part ends.
Next comes learning how to use the dating service and what you are looking for in a date.
It may depend on your age group and how comfortable you are with online dating. The glaringly obvious disadvantage of online dating is that you can’t really ‘meet’ the person before meeting them!
However, this may be an advantage for guys who struggle with confidence. It may allow them to dip their feet into the dating pool.
An offline scenario may suit those who do not like online dating or have tried but with no results. We are not talking cool bar scenes with even cooler pickup lines (there’s nothing wrong with that if you can pull it off, by the way).
Think social or hobby groups, your friends circle, a gym or exercise activity – anywhere people are who can talk!
Eventually, you will find which dating scene works for you.
Move out of your Comfort Zone
It takes guts to put yourself into the dating world, especially when the dating rules are unclear. If you are anxious, shy, or just jaded from past failed attempts, the effort seems too much sometimes.
Maybe set yourself a challenge. Make a first step, and don’t think it will fail before you actually try.
Remember, too – your date will likely be equally apprehensive and nervous. It’s not natural or easy to do, and no one likes to be judged by people who don’t know them.
Keep it Light and Friendly
Remember – dating is supposed to be enjoyable! Approaching the dating process as if it is a battle in a superhero movie that you have to “win” is possibly not the best approach.
Think casual and approachable.
The aim at first is to get to know the other person and display your personality. There are no rules for what you should do or say and when. But try and think about what is appropriate behaviour. An immediate request for a date without any signals from the other party or too soon in the meeting phase may not be successful.
Slow and Steady
Dating is not a race. The faster you, do not mean you will “win.” It doesn’t work like that, and neither do people.
Even if you are very excited and believe you have found a great match, be mindful and respectful of the other party.
Don’t assume they have the same level of interest. Make sure you have given time to the interaction so that miscommunications and false signals are less likely.
Also Read- Why she is giving me mixed signals?
Although you might think you “know” someone after one chat, it’s generally better to talk about a range of topics, from both sides, before making a move.
If the other party moves fast, it may seem like a good thing, but have your boundaries in place and respect your need and wants too.
How to Talk – Communication
Listen, don’t just Talk
This tip could be the one tip of all the dating advice that matters. It seems obvious but – ask questions!
When nerves hit and awkward silences occur, there is a tendency to start talking about yourself. When you meet someone in a work or family situation, and they don’t ask you anything but ramble on about themselves, it makes you feel unimportant. And you usually don’t want to rush to see that person again.
The same applies even more so in dating, as the person is a stranger with whom you are trying to get to know and make a good first impression.
Be mindful of boundaries here – don’t go too personal, too soon. But you can ask follow-up questions and discuss points they have brought up as the conversation progresses.
The point is to learn about each other, not conduct a job interview.
Hopefully, they will also ask you questions too!
To Flirt or Not to Flirt
Flirting is a possible danger zone and is open to interpretation.
Communicating by ‘flirting’ is not necessarily natural for everyone nor is it always necessary.
If the conversation is flowing well and the connection feels ‘right,’ you may find you both start to talk in more playful terms anyway.
‘Trying’ to flirt is possibly not going to come across very well, especially if it is unlike your typical communication style.
Instead of flirting, a sense of humour is probably a safer bet anyway.
Whether you touch someone while flirting (for example, in a friendly way on the arm etc.) will likely depend on the other party being receptive and comfortable. And perhaps it will also depend on the cultural etiquette surrounding dating and public behaviour.
Where to Go – Location & Venue
It’s easy to assume that dinner is the best place for a date. And it sometimes is the perfect option.
But it’s not the only option.
The problem with dinner as a first date is that it can be a little confrontational. You will be sitting alone with a stranger at close quarters, and the chance of awkward moments is high, especially if you are not great at conversation.
I don’t understand the movies as a first date as there is almost no talking, but for some, that may work.
Try to think where else you can meet, with less pressure and perhaps more ‘action.’ By action, I mean activities like an outdoor meetup at a park or event or a fun hobby, sport or game.
It’s less pressure than a dinner date, showing you have thought about your date and showing them a good time.
Home Ground Advantage
A first date is probably not the time to meet somewhere you have never been.
There is nothing wrong with suggesting places you know well so that you can feel confident and show your date a great time. Knowing the area means you might be able to show your date something ‘special’ or unique.
You will feel comfortable too, and be able to focus more on communication than logistics.
Of course, if your date prefers to meet on their turf, that’s great too.
This dating tip may seem obvious; however, be mindful that if you are meeting someone you don’t know through friends, you are meeting a stranger. Aside from that, your date is likely to expect this also.
Think about how you will both safely arrive and leave the date and that you can both leave independently.
One of the best dating tips for introverts or people who are shy and even if you are concerned about safety- it is to setup group dates.
There are multiple advantages of a group date. You can bring a wingman, get a friend’s opinion about the date, and have many more options for conversations. Group dating activities like bowling or large dinner parties can be fun and take the pressure off.
On the other hand, your friends could cramp your style, and the group could drown out the conversation with your date.
On the Date – Etiquette
I’m not sure who said ‘bad boys’ always get the girls, but that isn’t always what the girls say! Again, another possibly obvious piece of dating advice for men is to bring along your manners and best behaviour.
First impressions happen so fast and are usually lasting. Rudeness and a general lack of manners towards your date or people around you will likely end future chances.
Manners include punctuality, not leaving your date waiting, or becoming inebriated and a general public nuisance!
You do not want to present a false image of yourself. It’s more about showing respect. You should also expect the same in return.
Mobile Phone 101
Turn it off. Just put it away.
Although a modern part of life, it is still impossible to concentrate on your date while answering a text message! (despite people swearing, they can indeed do both!). You both may be addicted to your phones like the rest of us.
But consciously turning it off and putting it away shows you are more interested in your date than your existing contacts (at that moment, anyway).
Say Nice Things
Complimenting your date could easily be overlooked in the stress of planning and going on a date.
Or perhaps you feel you might sound cheesy.
But most people will remember a thoughtful and genuine compliment. People usually make an effort with their appearance for dates, so a compliment is often welcome.
Or a compliment about something they have achieved or an admirable personal quality you notice is a great way to acknowledge you are interested and observant.
Be Positive and Fun
Even if you or your date are both cynics, a ‘light’ feeling to the date is likely to feel more comfortable than an aggressive or analytical tone.
Think casual, fun, smiles, and friendliness rather than serious, critical, analytical or even angry about an issue.
Your date will likely be able to Google their own facts, so there is no need to turn into an Encyclopedia. And if you have one, bring out that sense of humour as the ever-popular quality.
Generally, this topic is not necessarily appropriate for first dates. However, many people have a significant part of their life experience tied to someone else so it may be unavoidable.
Discussing this topic may depend on whether it takes a positive or negative tone.
There is a time and place for such topics. Most people are mature and can understand someone has a past. However, people probably do not want a date ruined by a blow-by-blow description of an ex-partner.
Clothes & Grooming
Your date will notice what you are wearing. Possibly even see every little detail.
As mentioned already, first impressions are crucial in the dating world. So, one of the best early dating tips is to think about what you are going to wear. Putting some thought and effort into your date outfit shows you are interested in your date. And it will say a lot about you, too.
Think if your date showed up all wrinkled and too casual. In your attempt to be stylish, don’t go for something that isn’t you. Wear something appropriate for the occasion and weather, but also represent yourself.
Look up Pinterest for date outfit inspiration. Use an iron if you have to! Also read- Top Websites to Shop Men’s Clothing In India
I hope I do not need to explain that grooming and cleanliness are essential when going on a date.
Think fresh smells, fresh clothes, and fresh breath!
Take time to do your hair and groom your facial hair if you have it. Check the fingernails too. The grooming isn’t just for your date. You will feel confident knowing you are looking your best.
Hair Care for Men
If you don’t usually do much to your hair, a date might be a time to go to a hairdresser for a new, up-to-date style.
Once again, Pinterest is a great place to search for styles and save images of what you like to show to your hairdresser. You can also try hair products, which can alter the texture of your hair, keep it in place and add fragrance too.
Hair is one of the main things humans seem to notice about each other. But confidence is probably just as important, if not more so, than the hair on your head.
Skin Care for Men
One often overlooked area of grooming for men is skincare.
Not every guy has a routine to care for his skin, although it is a booming business these days.
A simple cleanser, exfoliation and moisturiser regime is perfect for a date. If you need more help, I suggest you to check this article out- Easiest skincare routine for lazy guys
Skin health is just as important (and noticeable) as anything.
If you have problematic skin or a skin condition, fear not. Most people are incredibly understanding and will not judge or care about that, although it can knock your confidence.
Focus on other areas like a great haircut or a stylish outfit. Good luck!
Jennifer is the co-founder of menPsyche. She holds an Applied Science degree in Public Health & Health Promotion and authored the ‘Personal Disaster’ book series.
Jennifer has a vast range of experience across many domains, including extensive international exposure.