By Jane Hoskyn
Women have a lot to think about on a first date. Should I go halves on dinner? Is he just after sex? Will he want to see me again? Will I get home in time for Peter Andre The Next Chapter?
If it’s any comfort, he finds it all just as perplexing. Here’s what he wants you to know:
1. He is nervous as hell.
2. In the five minutes before he sets eyes on you, he’s bursting with anticipation about what you’re like.
3. Once he’s set eyes on you, he’s bursting with anticipation about whether you’re good in bed.
4. If you don’t intend to have sex with him tonight, at least leave him time to meet up with his mates before closing time.
5. He really, really wants you to think he’s funny, so laugh with him – even if you find his jokes as funny as mould. Men love women who share their sense of humour even more than they love women who can put their ankles behind their ears.
6. A woman who talks too much about herself is a woman who doesn’t get asked out again. Help the conversation along by prompting him to expand (“I’ve been to Mexico”/“Did you travel around much while you were there?”), not by bringing the subject round to you (“I’ve been to Mexico”/”Me too! I had an amazing time backpacking…”). If you find him interesting, he’ll find you interesting.
7. If he wants to go halves on dinner, it doesn’t necessarily mean he isn’t keen. Though it might.
8. He will find your hair far sexier if it’s got a hint of bed-head sexiness about it. Over-glossy Cheryl Cole locks make you look high-maintenance.
9. He will fancy you more if you wear minimal make-up: a bit of concealer and mascara is all you need. Girl’s World make-up and botox cases are not sexy.
10. Nor will he care if your mousy roots are showing through. Having your hair cut or coloured just before a first date is not a risk we’d recommend taking. You won’t feel or look comfortable, because you’re not sure what you look like.
11. If you’ve got a bit of a belly, he probably won’t notice. If you bang on about your bit of a belly, and refuse to eat anything, you’ll spoil your chances of getting a second date..
11. A first date is just a getting-to-know-you session. You’re not in a relationship yet, so don’t plan out your joint future when there’s still froth on his first pint. Start saying things like “I love New York, we should definitely go there one day” and he’ll recoil in terror.
12. Men (and women) hate it when women (and men) answer their mobile on a first date. It’s the height of rudeness.
13. He does not want to hear that your mum would love him.
14. If he fancies you, he wants to have sex with you. If you want to do it, fine – it won’t automatically kill your chance of a relationship. Just make sure you use protection. If he doesn’t want to see you again after having sex, he didn’t want to see you again anyway.
15. If you keep mentioning your ex, stop immediately. Doesn’t matter how interested your new date seems to be. Talking about your ex means that your date thinks you’re not over the past, and it’ll put him off seeing you again.
16. If you make any embarrassing trip-ups on the date, you’ll notice far more than he does. If you fall up the steps or had bolognese on your cheek all evening, he’ll probably think it was cute.
17. If he doesn’t want a second date, begging won’t work. Ringing him up and saying “but please, I don’t normally talk about my ex all the time, I promise” is not going to change his mind. Desperation is never a good look.
18. If he chair makes a scraping noise, he’s terrified that you’ll think he farted.
19. He over-analyses just as much as you do. “What did it mean when she touched my arm?” “Was she really laughing at my jokes, or does she think I’m an idiot?” “Why didn’t she invite me back to hers?”
20. Something to chew over while you wait the obligatory three-days-after-first-date before picking up the blower. Phoning him the next day (ie, when you want to) will delight him if he likes you. If he doesn’t like you, phoning him won’t itself drive him away. Phone.