I’ve talked a bit about first dates in posts in December 2009. I have a few more thoughts on the early stages of dating, then next week I’ll begin blogging about Actual Relationships.
If you’re still interested at the end of the date, a kiss on the cheek is okay but nothing more unless she seems interested (e.g., she goes for your mouth when you’re aiming for her cheek, or she invites you to her house, or the date has gone on longer than either of you had planned). But don’t feel you have to do anything if that’s just going to make you nervous the whole date. She won’t mind (probably). I used to say don’t shake her hand at the end of the first date--too impersonal and will leave her wondering if you’re interested. But it may not be a bad idea to shake her hand if you’re too anxious and if you express your interest in some other way--like by setting up a next date or by telling her you had a really good time (if you did) and saying good night.
If things went well, then she laughed at your joke about what Spock found in the Enterprise’s toilet (no, really, don’t tell that one on a first date), she smiled a lot, and the conversation wasn’t a back and forth of monologues that didn’t interact with one another. If it went well, ask her what she’s up to the next weekend. This gives her the option of telling you she’s busy if she doesn’t want to see you again. If she really is busy but she likes you, she’ll suggest another time to get together. Do *not* ask “Can I give you a call this week?” unless you’re certain it went well. Most people are not going to say no to that question even if that’s what they want to say. It gives you no clue about how she really feels. If you’re not sure how she felt about the date, stick with “I had a good time talking with you” and wait for her response. If she responds in kind, give her a call that week. If she smiles and nods but doesn’t say she had a good time, too, wait for her to call you. In either case, have a date already set up with someone else. It will hurt less when she isn’t into you if you have another date looming with someone else. And if you weren’t into her, it’s less disappointing if you have other options. And if you are into her, having the other date will help keep you from obsessing about her and thinking that you have found love at first sight. Which doesn’t exist. I know your logical brain knows that, but your emotional brain might not. Hence the dispersal of attention by dating other people.
On Friday: Things Never to Say to a Woman