Many of my divorced guy friends are frustrated because they go on first dates, but the second date eludes them. They've come to me for help because my BFF, Kathleen Kinmont, and I started a spoof video breakup company, and subsequently, many men have been asking for advice. Countless clueless dudes have watched our online clips, where we break up with guys for a boatload of reasons. They sit and rethink the date, pondering everything that could've gone wrong (and obviously did, as the girl won't return their text). So, to save them from wasting more time and getting nowhere faster, I'm giving all the men who are blown off after the first encounter some tips on how to land a repeat outing. If you have kids, think of it as a Father's Day gift, and if you don't have kids and want them, then this might help in your quest to create a family.
I'll start with some basic "Don'ts," which include talking about how great your ex-wife is/was. It only makes you look like you're still in love with her. If you must say something about her, don't let it be the story of how you two fell in love and how wonderful your sex life was. It's a miracle if you're still very close to your ex, and you tell her everything, but don't let your companion for the evening know that your ex helped you dress or gave you dating advice.
Please don't send hourly texts right after the date. The air of mystery, whether or not you're really into the woman, goes over better than stalking does. Please don't text pictures of your plate of food, yourself, or your apartment. Timing is everything, and you can't insert yourself into her life, if it's not the right time for her. She might be the perfect girl, and you the perfect guy, but if she's not ready for an instant boyfriend you might have to back off... indefinitely. Don't plan the next year with the woman when you're not even sure you will be dating in a month. A huge red flag to a woman is when a man says, "What're you doing next New Year's Eve?" after meeting you on January 1st.
Don't tell your date about how you've had to hire prostitutes because you can't find a "bed buddy." You should certainly have this conversation down the road, when you both decide it's time to get intimate, but first dates are not the right time. I've heard that "hiring help" is a common thing for some men, and I'm sure there are some women that are cool with it as long as it was in the past and they practiced safe sex. After a few encounters with your date, you will be able to see how sexually open-minded she may or may not be. Don't freak her out with the number of women you've slept with or your STD history.
If you have limited time with your kids, don't hire a babysitter to go on a date. The girl will actually see you in a better light if you tell her, "I have my kids this weekend, can we make it next week?" Divorced dads who choose dates instead of their kids on a regular basis should realize that kids grow up and move out. Your time with them is limited, but your time dating could be infinite if you prioritize your responsibilities. Trust me, this will be appealing to the right girl. When a guy is just a little busy, and can't hang out all the time, it actually shows that they have things going on and aren't just bored and lonely.
Now on to the "Do's'", which includes tipping at least 15 percent (20 percent is better) at a restaurant. Leaving anything less makes you look cheap and ungrateful. Don't brag about how much money you make, especially if you just left a horrible tip. If a girl offers to pay on a first date and you let her, chances are you blew it. Being taken care of on a first date is something girls should enjoy. I know there are exceptions to every rule, but if you can't afford a meal, then take her to a free museum and work at getting your financial life together. Girls don't mind picking up the tab, but she's not a sugar mamma. Unless you just met her at the Waldorf and she supplied you with pocket money and a suit. Finally, don't choose McDonalds.
Do keep your plans with the girl unless there's an emergency. Flaking on a first date will definitely end any chance you had for a second. It's disrespectful to cancel the day of the planned event, unless one of your kids desperately needs you or unless you have Montezuma's Revenge. All other excuses, short of death, make it seem like she's unimportant. If you can't be trusted with a plan, should you be trusted at all?
Do listen to the lady; just make that a habit in life. It's a known fact that girls like to talk, so let her enjoy herself on a first date. If you don't shut up, even for a breath, the girl will assume you're doing cocaine or worse, you're doing lots of cocaine. Guys shouldn't do all the talking unless they... no, they should just never do all the talking, period.
Divorcés should remember to be mindful of their words, both in quantity and quality. Today is all we have for certain, so live in the moment -- not the relationship future. Put away your phone and computer and make the time you have useful. Remember, internet stalking is only considered good if you're a detective. Divorced dads: enjoy your kid. Be sincere, kind, generous and upbeat. Positivity and patience go a long way towards a second date.
Follow Lisa Marie Wilson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lisamariewil