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Match.com

Want to make a great impression thatíll guarantee theyíll be gung-ho for date #2, #3, and beyond? Below, five things men and women look for.

By Cate Mitchell,
Match.com

So many potential love connections begin and end with a first date. Sometimes itís obvious why two people donít click. But a slew of baffled singles are still left scratching their heads wondering. Was it something I said? when a first date turns out to also be the last. Since that initial encounter does make such a strong impression, we asked dating experts and real men and women what spells success.

What men want women to do on a first date:

Tell him where you want to go
If your date asks, Would you rather go to this new wine bar I heard about or just catch a beer at the local pub? quit trying to second-guess what he wants to do and just state your preference. Guys want to do the right thing, says Jillian Straus, who interviewed more than one hundred singles across the country for her book Unhooked Generation: The Truth About Why We're Still Single. There are few things guys fear more than a woman who complains her mealís too hot, too cold, or just plain not quite right.   If you have a preference for where you want to go or what kind of food you want to eat, and he asks, tell him. It takes the pressure off him and lets him make you happy.

Donít stress if the mealís not quite right

Sure, Harry found Sallyís quirky eating habits endearing, but there are few things guys fear more than a woman who orders her dressing on the side, her steak rare-to-just-slight-medium-rare, but not a tad past that or who complains her mealís too hot, too cold, or just plain not quite right. A guy hopes that whatever the date brings, she can have a good time and go with the flow, says Steve Nakamoto, author of Men Are Like Fish: What Every Woman Needs to Know About Catching a Man. After all, if youíre this much of a perfectionist about your meal, how high-maintenance will you be? And what kind of imperfections will you begin noticing about him if he sticks around? íNuf said.

Make a genuine offer to pay

If asked, most guys would say theyíre happy to pick up the check on a first date. But that doesnít mean you should sit back while he pulls out his wallet. Why? He doesn't want to feel like he is being taken for granted, says Straus. He is willing and most likely plans to pay, but he wants you to appreciate it, not expect it.

Be courteous
You donít need to read Emily Postís etiquette advice before he picks you up, but a little courtesy goes a long way to making a guy feel appreciated. And, while refraining from checking your Blackberry or cell phone is a given, there are smaller things women often neglect that can make a big difference. Say Thank you for the lovely dinner at the end of the meal. Tell him you like his shirt. Let him know you appreciate his making the reservations. Those little niceties count in a big way.

Kiss him already 
Finally! he thinks as he leads you to your door, a great date with a fun, interesting and Want to see this woman again? Let her know at the end of the first date with a ďAre you free for dinner Thursday?

attractive woman. What next? Simple: Itís no secret that guys put a lot of stock in sexual chemistry. So if you had a good time, donít be shy and ruin his hopes with the dreaded cheek-turn. Thatís right, kiss him if youíre feeling it. A peck on the cheek is sweet, but if youíre smitten with him and willing to smooch on date #1, a kiss on the lips will make his night. Not necessarily a make-out thing, says one 43-year-old dater from New York, NY. But one that is just slightly more than a peck on the cheek is a total thrill and gives me the go-ahead to call her for another date.

What women want men to do on a first date:

Give a little advance notice
Sure, itíd be nice to think So, wanna get dinner tomorrow night? would be taken as a sign that youíre really into the girl, but it actually has the opposite effect. By asking to see her so soon, youíre subtly implying that her scheduleís a big blank slate and that she has got nothing planned for a Friday or Saturday night. ďím just as busy as he is, so itís great when he calls at the beginning of the week to make plans, says Emily Rukin, 30, of New York, NY.

Have a game plan
Women love a man with a plan, so be sure youíve got at least one great idea of what youíd like to do on the big date. Just say, Was there something in particular you want to do? I have a couple ideas... Weíre not saying she wonít nix your suggestion and propose an alternative, but sheíll like knowing you havenít just kicked back and left all the planning up to her. Women hate when men ask ĎWhat do you want to do?í says Straus. He needs to do his homework, too. Women love a man with a plan, so be sure youíve got at least one great idea of what youíd like to do on the big day.

Confirm the night before
You called her Monday and agreed to go out that Friday. Donít wait until 4 p.m. the day of your date to check in. Instead, call her the day before to figure out where you are going to meet and at what time. Sheís probably gotten a manicure and perhaps even bought a new skirt. The last thing she needs is to wonder the day of the date if itís still a go.

Be a gentleman
Pulling out her chair or opening doors in front of her may feel a bit too forced these days, but many women love being treated like a lady. So give it a go, and remember to compliment her when you see her at your meeting place. "You look wonderful; great to see you," is fine. Let her order first, or ask if you can order your favorite appetizer for both of you to share. Thank her at dateís end for a lovely evening, and reference something specific, like, What a great night. And now that Iíve heard your opinion, I definitely do have to get that other Malcolm Gladwell book.

Ask for a second date at the end of the first one
Want to see this woman again? Let her know at the end of the first date. I like when he asks me out again at the end of our date, says 32-year-old Melissa Wright of Sterling, VA. Not just a general ĎLet's do this againí but a specific ĎAre you free for dinner on Thursday?í It shows he's interested, and it takes a lot of the anxiety out of wondering if and when he's going to call. And whatís better than ending a great date with the prospect of another one to look forward to?

Cate Mitchell is a freelance writer in New York City.

Want to jump-start your love life? Try our new free Starter Kit, packed with tips and advice.
Match.com

 

Can you find Romance online? If you're looking for a love match, you may find him or her on the Internet. So, why not try out one of the online dating agencies that are available online? Choose from online matchmaking and online personals.

Online Matchmaking requires members to fill out a detailed questionnaire about themselves. Interests, hobbies, values, faith, education, desire to have children and some psychological data are used when the members search for a match. With a few checks and a click of a button, you can narrow down a database to find your best romantic match.

Online personals, require members to take the initiative. Here you place an ad describing yourself, your interests, and what you are looking for in a relationship. Then you browse other people's ads to see if anyone interests you. Little matching data is used. Details are up to the member to post.

When you find a match, you can send them an e-mail. They will get a copy of your profile and then will decide whether or not to correspond with you. The initial contacts are all anonymous or on a first name basis. Most of the online dating and matchmaking services cost between $20 and $25 a month.

After you have updated your photo, try the online photo personals for FREE:
 

Match.com

Match.com Free 3 Day Trial     One of the MUST TRY Dating sites to find your perfect match. Match is a leader in online personals, matchmaking and dating. The Match.com Free 3 Day Trial    is really free!   Meet singles in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia: New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Denver, Phoenix, Kansas City, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Miami, Toronto, Vancouver, London and Sydney.

85 MILLION SINGLES. 1 IDEAL MATE. YOU DO THE MATH.  

  • 15 million members with profiles

  • More than half a million new members register each month

  • Over 500 million pages served each month

  • Profiles are viewed approximately 6 million times a day

Dating doesnít have to be a numbers game. View Photos   of 15 million discriminating, eligible singles in Match.comís searchable database, a great date may be just a mouse-click away.   Itís anonymous. Itís fun. Itís FREE!  Plus, youíll be seen by millions of singles searching for someone just like you!  You get FULL ACCESS to all the features of Match, including searching, matching, instant messenger, and sending anonymous email to other members.  Save Time:  Exclusive Match Technology finds your most promising matches and delivers new Matches and Search profiles directly to your inbox.   Connect for FREE! Make contact for 3 days without paying a dime!  Get your Match.com Free 3 Day Trial   and find your perfect match!

Dating Tips for Single Men

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REVIEW: Feature dating and matchmaking sites

Great places to meet singles locally and find dates

Writing a Great Personals Ad  Stand out online dating profile

You've Got Mail. Getting to the First Date Dating etiquette

Make a Great First Impression and Get the Second Date! Look better online and on the first date

Meeting Singles for the First Time.  How to Date Safe

Red Flags and Dealing with Weirdos, Losers and the Socially Challenged First date rules

Cool Dating Books  Where to start? How do you get past the first date or even keep a relationship going? Try a few of the recommended books.  Learn how to create great impressions and find the love of your life today

Singles Need A Date? Find Local Singles Photos and Profiles

What are the best ways to meet singles in your city?   Go to as many singles events as you can. Variety is the key.  Don't focus on any one type of group.   First: Meet young single professionals at fundraisers, singles charity and civic organizations. Second: Join sports leagues, singles hiking, biking, outdoors, or adventures clubs.  Third: Join a church or religious group for Christian, Catholic, or Jewish singles. Also check out singles cruises and  travel.   Newly divorced or single parent? Get help at a singles support or divorce recovery group. 

What about online dating? Check out dating advice on Singlesonthego.com to learn how to place personal ads to meet single men and women online.  Find great dating advice for online personals and meeting singles by using various dating services, dating agencies, matchmakers, introductions services. Check out the singles scene in your area to find a new relationship today!  Check out the list of online dating services above categorized by general, foreign/ethnic, religious, alternative, senior and single parents.

   

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