The early days of dating can feel so odd. We’re starry-eyed and excited to discover more about this person, but we don’t want to come on too strong. We’re experiencing all kinds of feelings, and wondering if he is too. We’re trying to be ourselves, but are also on our very best behavior. But most of all, we’re attempting to understand who this guy is by piecing together bits of information we pick up on — what he’s wearing, how he speaks about his family, and what kind of dates he takes us on.
We easily get caught up wondering what he thinks of us and how serious he is. But, it turns out, we can actually answer a lot of our burning questions by observing the kind of date he plans for us. Here’s what we’ll learn about a guy just by the sort of date he takes us on.
If He Reserves a Candlelit Table for Two…
...this guy generally plays by the rules — which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If a guy sets up a fancy-ish restaurant date, he’s most likely on the traditional side, wants to impress us by taking us on an expensive, romantic outing, and is looking to have real, undistracted conversation.
He’s most likely on the traditional side and wants to impress us.
On the down side, he might fall back on this type of date too often, putting himself on auto-pilot as soon as we’re seated. Or worse, insist on footing the bill and then expect something in return.
If He Asks You To Come Over…
...he’s probably looking for something intimate pretty quickly, without wanting to put much effort in himself. He might assure us he’s not trying to pressure us into anything, but he’s probably also hoping we’ll go along with what hanging out at his place with a bottle of wine usually entails. Ultimately, a guy inviting us over tells us that he’s not overly concerned with wooing us, nor is he ready to be serious about a relationship — he’s mostly looking to have easy, noncommittal fun.
If He Takes You Mini-Golfing (or on Some Other Adventure)…
...he probably thrives on physical affection and is looking to have fun — what type of fun is what’s left to discern. When a guy plans out a day of gaming or adventure, like mini-golfing or hiking, he’s trying to gauge how well we adapt to our surroundings, most likely because he’s the type that likes trying new things. Along with that, he’s looking to engage in conversation while breaking down the physical boundaries that sitting across a dinner table creates — leaving the door open for hand holding or teasing.
He’s trying to gauge how well we adapt to our surroundings and to new things.
If He Doesn’t Have Much of a Plan…
...he’s still a boy, not yet a man. Yes, I know times have changed and now we split the bill, but can we just admit it’s still attractive when a guy cares enough about making a good impression that he takes the lead and plans something? This doesn’t mean he needs to have every moment planned out, but there’s nothing less charming than a guy who says, “I don’t know, where do you want to go?”. It lets us know that we’re probably going to be calling all the shots in the relationship and dragging him along for the ride.
If He Wants To Go to a Rowdy Bar…
...he’s probably not trying to have a deep heart-to-heart. A noisy dive bar date isn’t always bad news — sometimes it’s nice to unwind in a casual setting, and not be committed to a full dinner sitting across from someone we’re not even sure we like yet. But at the same time, it can set the tone for the rest of the evening, and when alcohol is flowing, it’s crucial to make our boundaries known and not let him pressure us into getting another round if we’re not up to it.
He’s probably not trying to have a deep heart-to-heart.
If He’d Like To Go on a Picnic (or for Coffee or Lunch)…
...he’s oh-so-wholesome and is actually interested in getting to know us. Setting up a date where there’s food or caffeine involved, during the day, and out in public all point to him caring about making us feel safe, and respecting us enough to avoid making us draw boundaries, as well as being invested in conversation and connection rather than hoping to get something out of the date.
Obviously, a guy has all kinds of reasons for planning the type of date he does, so we can’t make harsh, uncompromising judgements. But we can gather a fair amount of information about his desires, how interested he is in commitment, and whether or not his values match ours.