Dating is tough to navigate. With the advent and popularity of online dating and matchmaking services, we are finding ourselves going on more dates where we have no idea what level of chemistry will ignite. Add to that uncertainty the loosening (if not casting off) of sexual mores and boundaries, and every date has the potential of ending in a sizzling “night cap” up against your date’s apartment wall. Putting yourself out there by making a proposition can be scary, however.
Here are some tips on how to read your date’s interest level.
1. It’s the first date…and you don’t offer to pay
The chances of you getting lucky on your first date are fairly low to begin with. Generally, the only time you will get lucky on a first date is if you are the first guy she’s been out with since a bad break up (and then you had better hope that you’re only there for rebound/revenge sex—don’t get suckered into the rebound relationship!) or if she’s just looking to get laid and you are so appealing to her she doesn’t stop to find out if you’re a psycho.
If she does happen to fall into one of these two categories, you will most lucky ruin your already slim chances by expecting her to pay for the date. It’s not as if women are looking to be lavished with money and gifts, offering to pay just says that you are a stand up guy, and that you like to treat your woman well.
It is possible that she will offer to pay her share (although not guaranteed—only offer to pay if you are not going to resent her for taking you up on it), but you will significantly raise your stock with just a small gesture. [Note: I would like to think this doesn’t have to be said, because it’s not 1950, but just so we’re clear: just because you pay, doesn’t mean you get a taste. Period.]
2. She wears something more casual or conservative than on the previous date
When a woman has decided that there’s even a faint possibility that she is going to sleep with someone, she will do certain things. First, she will shave and/or wax pertinent areas of her body. Second, she will start signalling her interest with the sexiness of her dress. The first date, she will probably wear something that she knows looks good, and that represents how she wants to be seen by you (conservative, sporty, sexy, etc.).
If you manage to secure a second date, her level of interest will be subtly evident in the shift in her manner of dress. If she is unsure, but still interested, her outfit will probably be a little dressier or more alluring (to keep you interested until she decides what she wants to do with you). If she is definitely attracted, she will step up the sauce: a little more cleavage, a shorter skirt, some higher heels.
The more sauce, the better your chances of that night cap. If she is leaning toward liking you in a “buddies” kind of way, however she will dress more casually to signal her casual feelings. If she breaks out the sneakers and hoodie on the second date, you’re going home cold.
3. Body language
The more you learn about body language, the more you can use it to your advantage. Not only can you learn to emit the type of signals you wish to, you can also learn to read the body language of your date. If you date is attracted to you, she will try to maintain eye contact, or blush when she cannot. If she is just averting her gaze, or constantly looking around, she either has ADD or else is finding you dull.
A closed stance—shoulders turned away from you, arms crossed, legs crossed and pivoted away from you—all signal lack of interest or very high defenses drawn. These signals all say that she is either not drawn to you, or else she is not ready to trust you.
4. Oppositional conversation or behavior
If there are certain things that you say you stand for—or are against—politically or in your lifestyle, and she grasps onto those things, chances are she is toying with you, but will not be playing with you later. For instance, if you say that you hate smoking and she immediately pulls out a pack, lights up and stares pointedly at you, it’s not a good sign. If you say that you like George Bush and she immediately launches into his dismal human rights record, chances are that’s the only bush you’ll be discussing that night.
Some women get off on a good debate, but these women will only be bedded by you if you can intelligently hold up your end of the argument. Don’t make the mistake of caving, thinking that agreeing with her will appease her. If you are trying to bed a debater, the worst thing you can do is back down.
5. Conversational lags: The spark of a budding relationship can first be found in conversation
This means different things for different people. For higher functioning beings, this can mean intelligent conversation sparked by rousing debate and interesting differences of opinion (see above for the limits of this spark). For those of us who are more basic, it can mean someone who has as perverted a sense of humor as we do and is willing to see how low each can go.
If you are struggling to find something to talk about, chances are that you will not get enough chemical momentum up to score an invite up to her boudoir. While aesthetic attraction is great, many women require just as much emotional or intellectual stimulation to get their juices flowing to the point of a naked frolic. This is a good thing for guys, who often don’t realize how unimportant their looks are, as long as they can carry a good conversation.
Women can be coy, but it is not impossible to figure out their codes. This list of five signals that you are not going to make it upstairs or down her pants is only the beginning. For more ego-saving tips, stay tuned for part two of how to read your date’s easy-factor.