First dates are pretty vulnerable for women. You probably want to be able to set boundaries on a date without scaring him off.
After all, you're dealing with a guy that could - at his best - be your next Romeo in Shining Armor.
And - at his worst - possibly be your worst college frat-boy, douchebag nightmare.
Again, most men fall into a nice bell curve - with Jerks on one end, wimps on the other end, and a hefty population of genuinely decent guys in the middle. There are far more good guys than crappy guys. You just don't hear from them as much because most men are a little intimidated to make a move in our current political climate.
(This is what they don't tell you about on TV, folks... and it's why I'm here to tell you the TRUTH about what men are thinking.)
Guys are genuinely confused and scared of doing the wrong thing when it comes to taking initiative with women.
And with so many mixed messages in the media, could you blame them?
I mean, it's about time people like Harvey Weinstein and the other creepy guys of the world were held accountable. I'm all for it.
And the unfortunate side effect is that now it's pretty scary for a guy to even consider asking a woman on a date when he doesn't know what's acceptable and what might get him labeled as another pervy dude.
Carlos Cavallo, Dating and Attraction Adviser
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The answer is YES -
And it's essential that you do set those boundaries, because you are also setting the playing field for your relationship with him - all the way to marriage and beyond! (Imagine Buzz Lightyear saying that last part.)
Your first few dates are where you get to test your intuition about him, so you want to ask good questions and set the right boundaries.
TIP #1: Don't say YES when you mean NO.
Not only is this incredibly confusing to a man, it's also leading him on.
I understand that it can be hard to be so plain spoken with a guy because you want to be nice, you want to be liked, you don't want to be a bitch, etc.
If you pull your punches and don't speak clearly with him, he won't get it. He'll misunderstand. And he'll keep doing whatever it is you want him to stop doing.
TIP #2: Speak your truth...
Many women are afraid to tell a guy what she's really thinking and feeling.
When you don't tell the truth because you're afraid he'll reject you, or you're afraid of any reaction he might have, you're disrespecting yourself. And you're underestimating HIM.
TIP #3: Don't let a man run your life...
It can be easy to "go along for the ride" with a guy's assertiveness and strong will. Sometimes it's just plain easier to go along to get along.
This happens on the first date when he picks everything - like the wine and the appetizers. Make sure you get your vote on these things, and don't start out with a bad pattern.
The go-along-to-get-along attitude is the #1 way to ensure that he will eventually lose respect for you, treat you like a rug he can walk on, and eventually he will probably leave the relationship or cheat.
"Wow, Carlos! Harsh!"
Unfortunately this is true in many cases where a woman lets a guy take over her life. She's basically in a 1-person cult. The cult of HIM.
Women are also known to put their lives on hold for a guy. She'll waste her time and energy waiting on him, and when he falls through, she's emotionally devastated.
The CEO of your life is YOU. Don't ever forget that.
Now, there are a few places you want to set some boundaries to make sure you don't lose your way in your relationship...
The End-zone in football is where each team is trying to take the football to score - and eventually win the game.
You have to know up front if he's a guy that's looking for a good time, or is he looking for a relationship. On the first date, you'll want to listen to the hints he drops in conversation. If he starts talking sexual with you on the first date, he's testing you to see how far he can get on this date.
So his end-zone would be the bedroom - AT FIRST.
Here's another secret about guys you won't find anywhere else:
"Men are always looking for a good time FIRST, and then a relationship if you turn out to be cool, fun, and compatible with him."
That doesn't mean that's how he WANTS the date to go. He's just testing, remember.
You might think that all guys out there are "commitment phobic" - the way they act up front and then grow distant later on.
He's just scared to commit, right?
(sorry guys - I'm busting your game wide open for the ladies...)
It's the one trick that guys use that works every time. Women have been fed this lie for long enough. Men actually LIKE that women think they're "commitment phobic" because it gives him the excuse he needs to leave when the time is right.
Before you start throwing old, mushy tomatoes at me - let me explain:
A woman is - most of the time - seeking a stable guy that will make a commitment to her. It's how most women are naturally wired. (C'mon, you have to admit that you're much more into a relationship than any Friends-with-Benefits arrangement.)
Guys are wired to commit to the woman that will unlock his heart by simply...
Wait - I'll explain more on that in a bit.
For now, just know that guys DO commit - but we do it differently than women.
You need to start out by finding out what he SAYS his boundary is for a relationship. If you're looking for a relationship and he says he's just dating around right now, you know how this song goes.
Instead, be clear in your communication - without being pushy, of course - what you're looking for.
One of the big mistakes people make when dating is that they try to make the first few dates a romantic fantasy come true. They make dates that do not resemble real life at all for the first few months.
Guys are most guilty of this, but you should be the one setting this boundary.
Because the woman gets attached to this "First Date Fantasyland", as it feels wonderfully romantic.
Who wouldn't? Romantic dinners, thrilling events, etc. The first date is often a bit too much - just go to coffee instead of dinner.
But it's not realistic for the man to keep up this level of expectation, AND it avoids the fact that you need to bond on a real-world level first.
Crazy all-nighters where he ends up sleeping over, or flying off to Mexico for the weekend on a whim is not sustainable. By either of you! It also amplifies the attraction hormones in your system to a level where you'll be tricking yourselves about your level of desire and commitment.
You want to know how this guy will behave in the real world that your relationship will actually take place in. Not in the dreamy world of supercharged dates.
You want to see his true colors as soon as possible, because BOTH of you are putting on your best behavior to attract the other one.
But a real long term relationship - and marriage - will not be like this.
This one can be tricky - and I'm really surprised more couples don't talk about it more. After all, if you don't know what your expectations are here, you could find yourself in a lot of awkward arguments.
You want to know what each of you thinks is the ideal amount of time to spend together, as well as the time you need apart.
Back when you were in high school, sure you could ditch school and make out on the couch all day long. (Okay, well maybe I did that one once or twice, too.)
But as grown-ups, we know what our limits are. You know when you need that me-time to get the grocery shopping done, hang out with the kids, head to the gym, etc. You've got a real life to manage.
Your guy might not have the same obligations or needs that you do.
So be sure to be clear about your needs up front so that you both know what time you have together - and apart. Misunderstandings are usually caused by one person not wanting to rock the boat, so they stay silent. They don't want to chance messing up this new romance.
This is a recipe for disaster in a relationship! Because eventually it will catch up with you.
People don't usually walk away from a relationship because the other person has boundaries. They walk away because the COMMUNICATION of the boundaries wasn't done well and now there's conflict, misunderstandings, and confusion.
On the first date, simply listen to find out what his past relationships were like.
Did that word just trigger a whole bunch of stuff for you?
And it's not because guys are particularly complicated in how they talk about things. They just communicate in a much different way than you do. Which feels very confusing because it seems to be coming from a completely different way of thinking.
I used to feel the same way about women until I read a few good books on the topic of communication, how women think vs. how men think, etc. And now I very rarely find myself confused.
This doesn't mean I don't have my moments, but for the most part I get how men and women go wrong when communicating.
So you have to know how to communicate with a man to get him to really HEAR you. AND you have to be willing to have a difficult conversation once in a while. The simple fact is that a slightly difficult conversation that you avoid now will turn into a PAINFUL conversation later.
Possibly even a breakup.
Remember, boundaries are not meant to be empty threats or harsh limits you set that make you feel uncomfortable.
And these boundaries tell him how you want to be treated in life and love.
On the first date, be willing to establish any boundaries around conversation topics - like sex, previous relationships, or anything too intimate too soon.
It's probably the toughest place to set a boundary, but it has to be done as soon as you can. The first date is not too soon. If physical intimacy comes up - it needs to be addressed right away.
The simple fact is that you might actually feel that this guy is incredible on that first date - maybe AWESOME. And you don't want to lose this chance with him. You might be really tempted to jump in bed with him on that first date just because the chemistry is so fantastic.
But the truth is that you can't do it!
"Easy" never really turns into "love" anywhere else but the movies..." - Carlos
I could probably go on for hours with more reasons why you shouldn't be suckered into this trap.
I realize it's tough when everything you see in the movies, hear about in music, and read about in romance books tells you that you should just throw caution to the wind and be as sexual as you want.
But it's all a LIE.
Let me be really clear about this: You will find that the men you make "wait" will be more emotionally connected to you than if you jump right into bed with them.
It's considered "sexist" to say this, but it's the truth - and most women understand that.
If you want a long-term relationship with him, it's not a good idea to pull the "bait & switch" - where you get him sexually connected first to rope him into something long term.
The women that really manage to find quality men and keep them don't use that strategy. In fact, these women have always been successful with men throughout history.
What do they do differently?
Instead, they understand that they can use something far more powerful to make him fall for you and lock him down into commitment.
He'll even WANT to commit to you!
You don't have to use shiny prizes to lure him - instead you use the power of promise with him.
Have you ever heard of The Cupid Effect?
Am I totally off?
Am I completely deranged?
Comment below and let me know what you think...
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