Cross-cultural Dating: How does a lady date a man?

Dating has become a taboo topic these days. Men who date are players; women who date are desperate. There’s a lot of talk about “just hanging out” or “becoming friends first”, but ladies, you can call your date a meeting, a coffee break, or even a mistake–it’s still a date!

Throw in a culture gap, different expectations, and past emotional luggage, it’s no wonder dating gets a bad rep. That doesn’t mean you should stay away or drop out, though. After all, you can’t catch fish unless you go fishing. Here’s a roundup of a few tips on how to charm your next date–like a lady!

Plan ahead
Before you go on a date, whether a blind date, a group date, or an overnight trip with a bunch of friends, you should know what you expect from it. Anticipation can be very exciting while dating, so be like Anna in Frozen and dream about your prince and all the things you have in common. Then, move beyond Disney censorship and think about how far you want to go on this date, what rules you want to honor, and at what pace you’d like your relationships to proceed. Ask yourself:

Should you shave your legs just before your date? Pack your makeup set? A toothbrush?

Might you eat first so you won’t impatiently expect food and then scarf down your meal like a dog in a sausage factory…? Or will you schedule something for after, perhaps even another date, in preparation for a quick escape.

A lady doesn’t just get dolled up for a date and let the man lead, she prepares for it like a warrior on the eve of battle: with a war strategy, a battle plan, and a hunger for victory!

Play the game
Did you know dating is supposed to be fun? Often I hear women complaining about dating like it’s a chore–there’s even a commercial where a friend comes over to help pick an outfit, matching hair and make up, but in the end she cancels her date and they both stay in to eat chocolate! Why? Because apparently
eating chocolate is more fun than going out on a date with a guy. Can you imagine a similar commercial for men?

I have never heard a man complain about taking a woman out on a date (of his own accord–arranged dates are different). It’s us ladies who think it’s so much trouble to get our facials and waxes, make up and hair done, and then prance around in our fancy dresses and heels. Since it’s such a time and effort investment for us, we often have high expectations–followed by deep disappointments. Hence, dating is often a means to an end (marriage, partnership).

When we treat dating like work, it’s no fun. We go in with all the pressures of our age, family, academic background, bank account, and lifetime aspirations, hoping to discover our dates would make a good match. The problem lies in our expectations and how we go about discovering what we want to know. Women who ask their dates twenty questions over a meal are not dating, they’re interviewing. Don’t be that woman. Be a lady who expects a knight in shining armor and don’t fear that you’ll never meet him.

Humans are conditioned to respond to potential mates who are “good enough”–that’s when love at first sight happens. Unfortunately, your body doesn’t know a man’s educational or family background, the numbers in his bank account, or his career readiness. So spend some time and think about the human aspects of your ideal man: is he tall? Is he funny? Will he ask the waiter to bring you your fifth fork because you keep dropping them? Or is he clumsy and cute? Find out what you like, and then treat dates like a treasure hunt! You can’t ask the map to driver the treasure, but you can follow it along and experience adventures!

Don’t break rules
Dating rules are not set in stone, so whether your following your mother’s advice, Sex and the City, or a book on relationships, doesn’t matter as long as you have carefully selected and considered your rule set. A lady should be committed to a set of rules she’s before she dates. She definitely does not make them up as she goes depending on how much she likes a guy.

Remember, the rules exist for a reason. Not only do rules help structure your dates, but they also help you weed out the wolves from the golden retrievers. Examples of rules include:
– [ ] Give every invitation one date (he could be your frog prince!)
– [ ] Only accept an invitation sent at least two days in advance (so if he wants to see you this weekend, he should ask by Wednesday or you’ve got other plans).
– [ ] Decide if you like him enough by the third date and demand girlfriend status if you do (no more “just hanging out”).
– [ ] Don’t put out until your boyfriend has put effort into wooing you (the origins of the weekend getaway).

Be independent
Although there are cultural distinctions, a lady should follow her gut feeling. Just as you wouldn’t want to go out with someone who expects you to cater to their desires and then pick up the bill, most men can appreciate financial independence in a woman. Think about what you want to eat, watch, or do, and vocalize your decisions. Bring your wallet with small change so that you can offer to pay at each junction–if nothing else, your date will appreciate the courtesy you’ve shown him. Whether you like a man who lets you pay is up to you.

Know your ending
Remember how a lady plans ahead? Well, you can plan all you want, but you won’t know how much you like a man until you’ve dated him. Which is why you should be thinking long term during your date. Do you want to see him again? Do you foresee a future? Would you break rules for him (don’t do it)?

Decide during the date when and how you want the date to end. If he suggests another place, do you want to go? Would you like a coffee or an early ending? Is he going to take you home or are you going to part ways early? Are you going to end with a hug or a friendly “just friends” handshake? By knowing your ending before the end, you can confidently say your peace and avoid awkwardness.

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