So you've met a girl. She's cute, she's flirty and she's agreed to go on a date with you. That's great news - but where are you going to go?
At this point, all you're thinking about is spending an evening in her company. Perhaps you're hoping to spend the night. You certainly haven't thought beyond the first few dates.
But she has.
Almost without exception, when a girl meets a guy she likes she starts imagining a rosy future with him. It's not that she necessarily believes you're The One, but she's mulling over the possibility. There's nothing you can do to prevent it - but you can avoid encouraging her.
Below are the five dates guaranteed to get a girl fantasizing about cakes and white dresses. If you want to keep things casual for now, steer well clear.
1. Romantic Comedies
The movie theater is a popular first date destination. The film negates the need for conversation, the darkened room creates a feeling of intimacy, and the plot gives you something easy to talk about afterwards. But do choose your movie carefully.
Romantic comedies might seem like harmless fluff but avoid them at all costs. Far too many rom-coms involve grand romantic gestures, huge white weddings and tedious plots. Going to see one means risking giving your date unrealistic expectations and putting the pressure on you.
2. Her Place
Women are forever being told that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach; this is why so many of them are keen to cook for you. But going to a girl's apartment means giving her control.
Cooking you a meal will make your date feel feminine, nurturing and intimate. She can fill the room with candles, play schmaltzy music and wait for you to praise her homemaking abilities. In short, she can act like your girlfriend.
There's nothing like watching a happy couple celebrate their love for one another to put ideas in a woman's head. Accompany her to a wedding and you can guarantee that your hand will be squeezed throughout the vows, meaningful looks shot your way during the speeches, and excited giggles aimed in your direction whenever an elderly relative speculates about whether your date will be next down the aisle.
4. Taking a Walk
If you barely know your date, avoid taking a romantic stroll together. Going for a walk in the country means the two of you spending time alone together without any convenient distractions. Either you are going to bore each other into going home alone, or the chance to talk to you without interruptions will convince her that you share a special connection. Prepare to be described as "Mr. Right".
5. Meeting her Friends
Meeting her friends, family or even just her colleagues will instantly elevate you from casual date to partner. Once you've met the important people in her life you will be an official couple.
What's more, the future of your fledging relationship will no longer depend on whether your date likes you; it will depend on whether everybody else does, too. If you fail to impress them, you can forget seeing her again - but, worse still, if her friends really like you, they're going to start telling your date to expect a surprise proposal.
Your first few dates should be upbeat and enjoyable. The emphasis should not be on establishing a solid commitment to each other; it should on establishing whether or not you want to aim towards one. Forget intimate moments and aim instead for a few hours of fun.
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