Mailbag: How to get over your nerves, first-message response rates, and when to kiss

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We’ve been getting flooded with questions and comments from readers looking to up their game. Whether they just haven’t been as successful with their normal approach or they want some clarification on things, readers have been speaking up. So we’re opening up a regular mailbag to answer those questions directly.

I’m super excited to connect with Beyond Ages readers and dig into answering their questions about dating. Dating, and especially dating older women, can be a hard experience sometimes. But when you get everything right and land a date or relationship with someone, it’s all worth it.

My goal in answering your questions is to help get you to where you want to be. So let’s see what our first batch of readers reached out to us with.

1) How do I get over my nerves on a first date? – Rashid A.

Rashid, you’re definitely not alone here. First dates are anxiety-filled for just about everyone. Meeting someone for the first time, trying to impress them and the understanding of why you’re going out can be a little overwhelming at times. Experience will help a little but there are a few simple things you, and everyone, can do to calm yourself down before a first date.

First is planning things out so you aren’t caught off guard. Make all the arrangements before your date. Be the man here and have a solid plan before you meet up. Make dinner reservations, check the theater times and make sure the movie she wants to see is playing the night of your meeting.

If you end up making a plan and the restaurant has been closed for six months, this isn’t a good first impression. It can also make your nerves go into a tailspin that’s hard to recover from. It has the added bonus of being sexy and relaxing to see a man with a plan. A chilled-out woman is more fun than a woman who ends up having to do all the work.

Next, give yourself plenty of time to get ready. Don’t rush and leave things until the last minute.

Give yourself a check in the mirror before you walk out the door to make sure you look your best. Some women love a little facial hair — A toothpaste mustache isn’t exactly the same. Noticing you have a wine stain on your shirt while right outside the restaurant will do you no favors.

Last, but perhaps most important not only in dating but in everyday life is to do some minor meditating. A little mindful meditation will help reduce stress and put you in the right frame of mind before you ever get upset.

To start, just close your eyes and focus on your breath. If your mind starts to wander, just bring your attention back to your breath — Focus on your breathing. Count four seconds when breathing out. Then breath in to the count of six. Finally, breath out for eight seconds. Repeat a few times and focus on your time and steady breathing. After about a minute, you’ll be focused, calm and ready to roll forward.

Calming yourself is that easy. Instead of shaking in your boots, she’ll see you as a guy who is in control and confident in himself. This creates instant attraction.

2) I’m sending out messages like crazy but I can’t seem to get any responses. Why aren’t women responding? – Steve R.

There could be lots of reasons why women aren’t responding to your messages. It could be something as simple as disinterest or something you aren’t handling quite right. Here are a few of the more common issues guys have.

  1. Women get bombarded with messages from men online and can’t respond to every guy. I used to respond to every message I’d get and it would take me 3-4 hours a day. If she doesn’t respond— Don’t take it personally.
  2. Your messages don’t intrigue her. Many guys send women cookie cutter messages like, “Hi,” or “You’re beautiful.” These don’t do anything to inspire her to message you back.
  3. Your profile photos need some attention. Most guys post pics that don’t show their best selves. So get a friend to help you take and pick the best photos.

There are a myriad of ways to improve your first-message response rate. Choosing the right photos, crafting a perfect first message and just being generally approachable online are the best ways to do that. If you’re looking to up your game, we’ve gone into detail about how to improve your first-message response rate with older women.

3) Is it OK to ask a woman out for a second date while on the first one? – Ari S.

We talked more about how long to wait between first- and second-dates in previous articles, so you’re not alone in wondering if you’re moving too fast.

To answer your question directly, yes you can definitely ask a woman out for a second date while on the first. I wouldn’t do it at the beginning and I wouldn’t harp on about it, but you can definitely set the scene for the second date if things are going well.

If you get the vibes that she’s into you and you’re into her— There’s no need to beat around the bush.

Be prepared. Look at the local paper and see if there’s a cool event going on. You can say something like, “There’s an art opening next Friday at the downtown gallery. Want to join me?” If she says “Yes,” sweet! If she says no, say something like “I’ve got Tuesday evening free too if you want to meet up.” We’ve written up a list of the better second date ideas if you’re having any trouble coming up with something yourself.

Remember to be accommodating of her schedule and of yours as well. Since this is happening a little more spontaneously, recognize she might not be 100 percent solid on the schedule right there. Ask casually and if the date is going as well as you think it is, you’ll be able to pencil in date No. 2.

4) I’ve gone on dates with women, but I’m never sure when to lean in for a kiss and it ends up making me nervous. Then I never end up doing it and I feel like I’m missing an opportunity or making her feel like I’m not interested. When is the right time to kiss a woman? – Bobby L.

It’s best if you’ve had some physical contact first. If she’s been touching your arm over dinner, that’s a good sign. If you meet for a drink or something, you can ask her to take a walk after.

Outside a restaurant, coffee shop or restaurant is best — Unless she’s putting the moves on you. Don’t try to lay a big fat kiss on her while you’re sitting at the bar or especially a classy restaurant.  A guy did this to me on a date once and it didn’t go over well.

If you walk her to her car or drive her home, this is a good time to go for it. It’s important to pay attention her body language, though. As we’ve pointed out before in our “Subtle signs a woman likes you” article, there are a few tips that can show you she’s interested.

  1. If she likes what she sees (You!), her pupils will dilate. If you see the blacks of her eyes spreading out so far you can barely see the color of her eyes this is a good non-verbal cue that she can’t hide. Nonverbal clues are the best.
  2. She’s touching you often, or responds to your subtle touch by smiling, flipping her hair and touching you back. It’s weird to go directly for a kiss if there has been no physical touch whatsoever. When she walks in the door you can touch the small of her back and see how she responds.
  3. She’ll mirror your actions subconsciously. Things like when you take a drink, how you hold a utensil or even just your posture. If you notice she’s doing something the same way after you, it’s a good signal.
  4. If she’s wanting you to kiss her she may start focusing on lip action. Licking, rubbing or touching her own lips

If she’s just sitting there flaring her nostrils at you with her arms crossed — You may be out of luck, or she might be cold and you should offer her your coat. Also, don’t think you must have an epic kiss on your first date, even if you see some of these positive signs — Women like to be teased a little bit.


Have fun on your journey learning about women, dating and of course, yourself. I hope these kissing tips get you to the next step.

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