Most men and women are still trying to figure out what does and doesn't work for the opposite sex.
Despite the grand assortment of tips and advice being offered by the Internet, magazines, and best friends, we follow our hearts and make our own mistakes. Dating is not for the faint-hearted, but when you find 'the one,' it's well worth the madness.
In the meantime, it helps to know what the opposite sex is thinking while sitting across the table from you on a date. So here are the top five things that a lady appreciates in her date:
1 If you're calling it a date, dress for it. It's the first opportunity to get to know each other and since both of you have been courageous enough to call it a date, it's definitely a special occasion. A guy who knows what looks good on him and carries it off with modesty and charm is a huge turn on for any girl. What a man wears should enhance his personality not distract from it. It's great if you have biceps worth showing off but a date is hardly the occasion to flaunt them from under a body hugging t-shirt. Needless to say, body odour of the slightest kind is a total deal breaker.
2 Some chivalry would be nice. Getting her a drink, holding that door open, and dropping her home have absolutely nothing to do with a girl's independence. Don't let anyone tell you differently. Of course she can do all that herself. But the charm of being on a date, or even in a relationship for that matter, is to feel cared for. The expectation for chivalry is hard-wired into every girl's psyche, and it's a great turn on if done moderately and effortlessly. Every door doesn't need to be held open and every chair doesn't need to be pulled out for her. But on a date, absolutely!
3 Say what you mean and mean what you say. A guy with intellect and humility is a sure-shot guaranteed turn-on for any girl. Usually, it takes a girl less than 10 minutes to figure out if the guy across the table has these qualities working in his favour or otherwise. Men who brag about their achievements or the net worth of their father's business don't stand a chance against those who share their thoughts and are genuinely interested in hearing about their date's. What really helps is if you stick to a language you're comfortable with. Grammatical mistakes and SMS abbreviations in spoken language are hilarious not endearing.
4 Don't be shy. Be generous with compliments and praise. In fact, most women appreciate that quality in men. But the key is to be genuine. That's what makes a man stand out. An honest "I really enjoyed this and would love to see you more" or a "You have a gorgeous smile" is a zillion times better than any pick-up line in the world. A guy who speaks his mind and spells out how he wants to take things forward wins hands down, as long as he doesn't enter the creepy zone. Additional brownies for a guy who manages to steer clear of the "Let's be friends" zone and goes straight for the "I want to date you" target.
5 Please be yourself. When you try to be someone you're not, you're being a clown. Everyone has flaws. Everyone has had moments they're not proud of and most of us don't have smashing looks. That puts us all in the same boat. It's a big turn on for a girl to see a guy who is confident, sincere, and unpretentious. If you don't put on a fake accent, assert yourself unnecessarily over restaurant staff, and come dipped in cologne sporting a fake Rado, chances are you'll actually get a smile from the girl across the table. It's not so hard to just be your normal self. Try it.
Simran Mangharam is the co-founder of www.floh.in, a platform that connects singles in real-life.