A Minute to Myself (105)
A Minute to Myself (106)

Looking for Love Online: Tips from Women to Men (for Women and Men)

The following are some basic rules for men who would like to date women, or for men who are looking to develop a relationship with a woman and not just jump from unsuccessful venture to unsuccessful venture. These rules apply to the part where you meet on-line and then to the part where you hopefully meet in-person.

1. Tacky ads. You know, some of us really do love walks on the beach and candlelit dinners—don’t mock them and us, the people who have managed to remain romantics in spite of all the odds.

2. Do not send an old or untrue photograph. Truth is better than fiction in this instance. If you’re bald, shine the lights on it. If you’re fat, reveal it (well, covered, please). If you have a wonderful smile, show it.

3. Do not send pictures with your children. You are probably the best father in the world, but, honestly, it feels like you are using your kids to get to a woman, and that is just not good—it is not what a good father would do.

4. Do not send pictures with or of your wife (whether she is dead or you are divorced). Really, how could you think that a woman wants to see her before she has met you? If your plan is to show what a great wife you had, then get a bottle of wine and stay at home to watch the wedding video.

5. Do not send a photograph with you and a vehicle of any type. We will not assume that the size of the vehicle, you know, represents your size, although we may assume that the speed does correlate to your speed.

6. Leave the driving to her. You might have some biased opinions on women drivers, but you really should keep them to yourself. Assume that a woman you are interested in is able to get to the destination without your assistance. She can GoggleMap it, she can use her GPS system, she can consult a map, she can even remember how to get there from a previous unsuccessful date, but please don’t assume that she needs you to guide her.

7. Exhibit patience. If you really need a cup of coffee, then have one at home before heading out for your big date, or stop at another coffee shop and get your caffeine fix there so that you will be able to wait for the woman to arrive without first ordering a cup for yourself. But on no account are you to bring the cup from that other place with you.

8. Eat or drink something. If you are meeting in a coffee shop, order coffee, tea or something else, anything (except water—even bottled). If you are meeting in a restaurant, order something to eat. In no way are you to say you are not hungry or thirsty—that’s not the point, and that will make the woman you are with uncomfortable.

9. Do not be cheap. On the whole, we still expect the man to pay—at least for the first cup of coffee. If you can’t afford to buy a woman a cup of coffee (assume a venti Caramel Macchiato, I can pitch here can’t I?), then don’t date.

10. Dialogue is not monologue. Ask questions and do not just talk about yourself.

11. No list conversations. Have a conversation, do not recite things you have done, and especially do not recite the steps you took to do them—that is not a conversation, that is a spoken power point presentation. Seriously, do you really think that a woman wants to have a romantic relationship with a man who can explain in great detail what he did last weekend, including the roads he had to take to get to where he was going? And when the woman talks, make sure to ask questions, draw her out, hopefully she will do the same with you. If not and it becomes a dueling lists discussion, then end the date gracefully and say ciao, because it cannot develop, unless you are both happy being bored.

12. Look her in the eye. When you talk, look at her directly. Seek to make eye contact; it is not good if you avoid making eye contact, that will seem as if you have something to hide or are not there with her. 

13. Do not tell her what to do. Under no circumstance whatsoever are you to tell her what to do, or what not to do. This goes back to point 6, she is a big girl and can handle herself. She does not want your stock-picking expertise, she does not want your career guidance, she does not want your advice on how to deal with her ex, and she especially does NOT want your advice on how to deal with her children—that is not what you are there for.

14. Do not make plans for the two of you. This will put her in an uncomfortable position, she might just need to mull over having a relationship with you and that just puts her in a corner—and that is not a good place for anyone to be in.

15. Do not assume familiarity with her children. It may seem that you are caring, but really, it seems like you are pandering to her through her kids. She is a complete woman with a complete existence and mind outside of her kids; give it time to develop, and if so, you can be sure that you will be hearing about the kids.

16. Do not ask for or attempt a kiss on the first date. This, of course, applies to those people who do not assume that there will be sex on the first date (if that is the case, then ignore all of the above and instead discuss sexual desires, possible STDs, and condom usage, then go to it). Take your time, relax, talk, become comfortable with each other. I have no desire to kiss someone who I have just met. I am a woman who knows that relationships are not about probing tongues but about emotions that need more than an hour to develop. I need time to know that I want you to touch me or me to touch you.

Women, do you have some tips to add? Well, come on down, you’re invited to add your own. Let’s make this a comprehensive list for those men, because goodness knows, they really seem to need it. Hopefully they will get the message.



Duly noted! This is great advice for any guy dating right now. Not me at the moment, but heh, you never know when you might get called to active duty. As it were. OK, in my case, hopefully never. :D

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Woman

goodfather, I'm thinking that you must have known what to do without these tips. I've been surprised by the things men do and say on first dates; this past year of dating has made me realize that perhaps, just perhaps, men really do need women to be social creatures.


What a great list! The only thing that I would add to that list is, "Don't be oggling other woman while you're with me. Staring at other women while you're with me, is not only rude, but say's that you're not really here with me." I will take this a step further and even say "Don't be hitting on other women while you're with me because you have realized you are not interested in me. End the date with me and then go do your thing with other women." And absolutely don't make comments about other women to me. I know you find other women attractive but this is not attractive.

The only other thing I can think of that could be added is about cell phone use...either talking or texting while in the middle of a date. You might be popular and want to show that other people like you but this is plain rude.


This is so funny. Sad because it is actually pointed at real errors, but still funny.


I'm thinking this is good material for a book on dating etiquette. Lori's point about the cell phone use is so pertinent these days. If I were on a date with someone who couldn't turn his phone off, that would probably be our first and last date.

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Woman

Lori, thanks for your additions. I haven't encountered the cellphone man yet, although I did have one date with a man who referred to his GPS as Alice. The other night, on date two of only two, I was looking at some people who came into the restaurant and he called me out on it--what, I'm not allowed to look at other people? I wasn't ogling anyone, just being the curious member of society that I am. This admonition may have helped me formulate point 13.

JC, some of the stories are here (in my Looking for Love Online section). I'm thinking that the man whose wife had a brain tumor and who left me throwing up in the bathroom deserves a whole chapter on what not to do. Do you think I could make this into a children's story?

phhhst, I started dating mr ex at 22, so this dating ineptitude is new to me. You would think that midlife men would know how to act in public.

Small Footprints

Great list ... and so funny (possibly because it's so true)! Here's one to add (actually happened to a woman I know):

Never make a life change after one date ... like changing jobs to be near the (now) beloved. Too much, too soon!

BTW ... this is the first time I've visited your blog. I enjoyed it very much!

Take Care!

Small Footprints

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Woman

SF, that's really scary and dare I say controlling. I dated a man who told me he wants to move in with me, and even that I thought was too much since it was a decision of his and not something jointly-made. How we see things surely depends on previous experiences.

Midlife Slices

The photos I dislike the most are the ones where the guy is obviously posing and thinking he's looking really cool. Also the photos of him on his Harley.

Not that I've been in the market for a while, but I'm just sayin.....

Midlife Slices

The photos I dislike the most are the ones where the guy is obviously posing and thinking he's looking really cool. Also the photos of him on his Harley.

Not that I've been in the market for a while, but I'm just sayin.....

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