Call us old-fashioned, but the matchmakers at Luma believe that the way to a girl’s heart is by being a gentleman. Our matchmakers in Chicago talked to several single, successful ladies in and around the state, and, though they have diverse preferences in looks, interests, and careers, they all want a man who’s poised and polished; someone considerate of their date.
Does this mean you have to play the classic gentleman in a 60s movie to impress your date? Show up in a suit and top hat, and sport a sexy mustache?
You could, but you don’t have to.
Being a gentleman lies in the way you handle yourself in any situation. A girl wants a man who is genuinely interested in her and puts in the effort in every date. Someone who opens doors, leads her through a crowd, and walks on the dangerous side of the pathway.
That said, here’s a short, no-nonsense guide to donning the gentleman’s hat and set yourself apart from all the boys she’s dated.Dress the PartThis should be a no-brainer, but, unfortunately, a lot of men show up in unflattering clothes. Of course, dating goes beyond looks, and your wit and charm always outweigh your fashion choice. But wearing smart clothes is your chance to stand out from her pool of dates.
- Wear Clothes that Fit. It doesn’t matter if you have a $1000 shirt on your back; if it’s too loose or tight, you’ll look unkempt and unprepared for your date. It sends the message to your date that she wasn’t worth the effort of proper preparation.Other things to look out for when dressing with care: whether you’re wearing a dress shirt (for an Italian restaurant) or a long-sleeved sweater (for a movie night), make sure your pants don’t sag, the shoulder seams sit snug on the shoulder joint, and nothing limits your motion.
- Perfume or Cologne Is a Must. Bring out your Eau de Parfum. Trust us, this is not the time to skimp on scents. Your signature scent will do well, but if you’re looking to switch it up, a survey found that women love a fragrance with notes of vanilla, bergamot, and lavender.
- Bring a Hanky. There’s something gallant about handing a handkerchief to a girl. Even though your date has tissues in her purse, she’ll appreciate it the gesture all the same. And in case those first-date jitters give you sweaty hands and foreheads, it’s more sophisticated to use a dark navy hanky than a soiled paper towel.
Brush Up on Your Table MannersWe’re not talking about fancy little spoons and knives. Knowledge of how to use a salad fork is commendable, but the true hallmark of being a gentleman is your ability to keep the conversation interesting, delicately straddling the line between friendly and flirtatious.
- Lead the Conversation – Don’t let the awkward silence linger. Ask her about her day, her job or studies, her favorite part of the city. Is her pet doing well? What types of museums does she like visiting (a second date idea!)? Let your date talk about these matters.More importantly, listen. Girls love guys who are into what they say. Listen raptly and react — offer your two cents, ask follow-ups, laugh at her jokes. Doing so will put her at ease with you.
- Hands Off Your Phone – It’s tempting to check your work email or tweet about how great the date is going, but no gentleman chooses an electronic screen over the company of a lady. This is your one chance to impress the girl; surely a text from your buddy can wait.
Know the Right WordsThe best gentlemen are smooth talkers.
No, they don’t just pay the girl compliments at every turn. They have tact and know when they’re being overbearing. As a professional, you’re familiar with proper decorum; you need to extend this to your gentlemanly date night.
- Tone Down the Swearing. If you swear like a sailor, then think of dates as days you set foot on the shore. Swearing may be an emotional release, but a gentleman never does it on a first date. Some light-hearted gibberish swears are fine, but save the hard words for next time.
Why, you ask?
Always think about how your date would feel. She might be used to swear words flung about, but there’s also a chance that swearing makes her feel uneasy. Err on the side of caution.
- Check If She’s Still Comfortable. While we’re on the subject of your date’s feelings, be attentive to her language and non-verbal cues. Don’t press a subject she doesn’t seem to be enthusiastic about and don’t pry if she doesn’t want to indulge you with the details. The night is young, and there’s so much else you can talk about.
Lastly, when the bill comes, offer to pay for everything. She might insist on splitting but insist otherwise. If she insists the second time, then it’s your call. We leave it to your gentlemanly discretion to assess the right course of action.