"When someone shows you who he is, believe him." Maya Angelou's sage advice would come in mighty handy on many a first date! So, how do you know if your date is a frog or a prince?
Hot or not
Watch the early signs
Even if your first date is on his best behavior, there are signs we all should know to look out for. Does he peep other women as they pass by? Does he get the car door for you, walk on the street side of the sidewalk? Does he bring you flowers and feign undivided interest in every word that falls from your lips? These are great starting points — but still be wary.
Men are cunning when they want to be and can be rather good at performing when they really want something, as in getting into your knickers! A smart, self-confident guy will be able to keep up the fun, flirty banter.
"Prince Charming whisked me away on a five-star vacation in Italy only to transform into Robert De Niro's Taxi Driver character mid-flight!" says Pam Suchman, TV writer/producer and author of the forthcoming book, The Woman's Survival Guide to Difficult Men -- And How to Know When They're Worth Keeping.
Looking back, Pam remembers ruling him out the first time they had brunch due to incompatibility markers. He was a midnight rave attender; she was a book club nerd in bed by 10 p.m. He was a city mouse, and the countryside sent him into a quiet panic. She was the opposite. "I remember walking home from our first date thinking, 'Yeah, I like him but we probably don't fit...' Unfortunately, I was so blinded by my desire for love and companionship, I let these clues slide right past me!" she says.
Who hasn't been out at happy hour and heard stories of friends who had a date who expected payment for a burger in the form of sex after one date? That's one great exhibit of a frog!
A prince is a nice guy. He does not criticize his ex or put the waitress down. You will feel comfortable talking to this person. You will be able to relax. You should not feel pressure. There should be a flow of conversation, once you both relax a little.
Pam's lesson? Learning to view dating encounters — especially an early date — more like business meetings. Be prepared!
Approach your first date with journalistic interest. Forget about impressing him. Ask plenty of questions (without him feeling water-boarded). Find out about his family, his upbringing, his views on life. Had Pam done this, she might have learned that her Prince Charming's alcoholic father told his brilliant, successful son he was a dope all his life and that he had issues with the fact that he'd never attended college (this made him feel unworthy of someone who had, which revealed itself in general snarkiness).
Trust your gut
He might be perfect on paper but something in your heart tells you you're not quite the right match. Had I listened to my gut, I might not be divorced right now and I might have met my soul mate sooner.
Make yourself available for someone who is right for you. And enjoy some "me time" in the meantime.
Sometimes you have to get through a few frogs to find your prince, though.
Martie from New Jersey tells us about the prince she met after a slew of toads. "Shortly after, I met my current boyfriend. He once drove to my house at 6 a.m. before I left for a trip just to leave flowers on my car and a birthday card!"