None of this stuff is set in stone. If someone has comments or critiques, by all means, post them.
When it comes down to it, your presentation when you "pop the question" is pretty critical. Here are some rules of thumb I've come up with, based
on my own painful experiences, input from friends, and from my wife.
Ask youself a couple of questions before you ask her out:
1. Does she expect this from you? (if you catch her off guard, she'll say no.)
2. Does she trust you? Does she have a reason to?
3. Do you think she is interested in you?
Unless you can say yes to these, back up and "meet her" again for a "non-date," until you are confident that you have at least a fighting
1. Ask for a date at least 2 days in advance.
If you ask for a same day or next day meet, you increase the chances of getting a "no," in part because she may have already made plans. On a
deeper level, a short-notice date implies that you expect her to be available on short notice.
Suppose you say to her, "Look I've got two tickets to the Autobahn
concert tonight. Wanna go with me?" If she says yes, you don't know
whether she likes you, or if she just wants to get to the show and will go with anyone to get there. For her part, she has got to suspect you a bit,
too. Why are you asking at the last minute? Did you "first choice for the date" reject you, and she
is the runner up?
Show her some respect, and ask with enough advance notice that she can plan for the date and get ready however she needs to.
2. When asking for the date, make a specific offer.
In love, as in business, it is always easier to reject a vague offer. The worst possible way to ask for a date is the way most young men do it today;
they are trying to be nonchalant, but comes off sounding like they are unsure of their own desires:
Hey . . . would ya . . . ever wanna . . . go out with me . . . . sometime?
See, that's horrible. If she says no to this request, she's saying "NO!" to you forever. You give her a specific request like this:
I really enjoyed our conversation about classical music the other day. Did you know that there's a quartet of musicians from the symphony that will
perform a benefit concert in the park on Sunday? It will go until 5 p.m. I've got tickets, and I would like to take you to the performance. Would
you like to go?
Now, that's a bit much. But it illustrates a couple of key points:
-You have spent some time planning a date around her interests.
-She knows exactly where you plan to take her, and for how long.
-She can say no, without ending the friendship.
3. Do not apply pressure
If she says she wants to think about it, or says "no" outright, then accept it and move on. Do not beg, urge, or wheedle. Show her the respect of
letting it go if she isn't interested.
4. If she says declines the date, accept it gracefully, but listen carefully.
This is one of those moments when you are able to refine your technique. If she doesn't volunteer her reasons for declining, fine. But if she does,
pay attention. If she says she has to attend her uncle's birthday party, it may be the truth. If she seems uncomfortable with you, or like she
didn't expect to be asked, then you need to work on that part of your technique.
5. Pick a date that optimizes the time you can spend interacting with her
A movie is a really poor choice for this. You will sit in the dark, where you are not supposed to talk for 2 hours. Much better is an art show,
tickets to a museum, an auction, or some activity where skill isn't critical. This is why miniature golf is so popular. Especially if you are
confident and funny.
When I lived in Austin, there was a steak place called " U R Cooks." One of the happier dates I've had was taking a girl there, and cooking steaks
for both of us. You picked your steaks from the fridge, with a butcher who explained the cuts of meat. Each couple had a brick barbecue pit, ready
to cook, and you seasoned it yourself, etc. She had never grilled a steak before in her life. Me, I grew up grilling steaks alongside dad in the
back yard, but at the time I lived in an apartment where I had no grill. It was a near-perfect evening. We both laughed so much that our faces hurt.
She just kept hugging on me, laughing at her lack of skill and my "expertise" in the kitchen. (I knew from a prior conversation that she liked
steak, but was unschooled about how to cook one.)
See, that was a good experience, because we got to know each other over a non-critical activity that we could laugh at. Picking a good date is kind
of like writing the plot for a sitcom. Choose something that she will be good at, or that you will be good at (and she will be interested in), or
else something that neither of you knows the first thing about.
Pick something you've always wondered about but never tried. If niether of you has ever been rock-climbing (but are fit), then an afternoon at a
training course might work. Or the filming of a local TV show. Maybe a croquet tournament or a trip to the carnival.
Best are events where the two of you can talk about your respective tastes and opinions, and learn about each other in a neutral or light-hearted
environment. A wine tasting (you don't get drunk, you spit it out if you want), or a fashion or painting show. If she is an art conniseur, ask for
a tour of the local museum.
Be careful about picking stuff YOU are interested in, but she may not be. Also, don't take her to YOUR favorite bar, restaurant, etc. Take her
someplace she has never been before, but neither have you.
6. A date should last 4 hours, max. Hopefully, with an option to end it sooner.
One of the things I used to do was pick an event (say, a concert), with coffee afterward. That gave me a chance to talk about the event with the
girl. If the evening wasn't going well, I'd have an alternate restaurant planned, one with faster service. Or maybe none at all if the date went
REALLY bad. On the other hand, if we hit it off, we could sit and talk over coffee for an hour or more.
7. The date should end with both of you wanting "more."
Don't drag it out until your urge to be together is sated. Plan it so that the evening should end on a positive, upbeat note.
8. Don't try to kiss her "good-night" on the first date. If she is pressing, give her a peck on the cheek.
That's my style anyway. The one time I broke this rule was with the girl I eventually married. And I asked permission before I kissed
9. Don't press her for a commitment to another date.
Let the evening stand on its own. Don't say "this was fun, can we do it again next week." if she
expresses such a sentiment, wanting to
make plans for the next meet or date, say simply, "It's been fun, hasn't it. Can I call you tomorrow?"
10. Call the NEXT DAY. and do a telephone debriefing.
The purpose of this phone call is to thank her for the date. Even if it was a total effing wreck, find something nice to say about it; just don't
lie. Say something you liked, tell her that you hoped she had a nice time (or is recovering nicely, whatever), and wish her a nice day.
Generally, I would not plan on setting up the next date. If she asked me if I wanted to go out again, I'd probably say yes (if true), and then tell
her I'd call her in later in the week with a definite plan.
If you get shunted to voicemail, I'd probably say "I'm just calling to see how you're doing. I had a nice time last night, and just wanted to
thank you for the evening. Talk to you later." I'd give it one more try, and if I got voicemail again, I'd feel like, hey. I tried, right?
By that point, I think a young man ought to be developing his own style and sense of what works for him. And wouldn't need to read crap like this
written by pontificating, self-satisfied old barnacles like me anymore.
I figure I probably erred by only asking girls out when I was pretty darn shure they'd say yes. If I was doing it over again, I'd have asked a lot
more women, even if the odds were long that they'd go out with me.
I probably got a "yes" 40-50% of the time; I probably should have been asking out twice as many women. I figure it wouldn't have changed by odds
much; I just would have gotten an active social life a lot faster.
Figure that if you want to get women, more than the men around you, you will have to apply yourself more than the rest of them do. You'll have to
spend time studying women, learning their likes and dislikes, and learning to meet those desires.
Just like with any endeavor, the people who commit themselves to excellence will meet their goals consistently.