1. She wants you to make plans. Robert Frost said it best: “Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.” If you love her, blow her mind by making a plan. Seriously, taking initiative goes a long way.
2. And please, be specific. Quite often she wants to know the place and time of day before you get together. This is called “planning ahead.” Or: “making a date.” She does not want to twiddle her thumbs at 6 o’clock on Wednesday when she’s leaving work and wondering why you haven’t texted her yet and if you really are getting drinks in 30 minutes.
3. She also wants you to make decisions. Like where to go for dinner. Since she more than likely makes decisions all day and is secretly D Y I N G for you to take the reigns and make this one.
4. She’s a feminist. So don’t bring her around your bro-y misogynistic friends. She doesn’t find their disrespectful, immature commentary amusing.
5. She won’t put up with being dicked around. Say what you mean, mean what you say—and if you like her but aren’t ready for something, please, for the love of god, tell her because she doesn’t have a minute to waste on your noncommittal ass.
6. She won’t sugar-coat anything. And she’ll definitely call you out on your shit — especially if you pull a stunt like tell her you want a relationship with her and then run into her at a bar while you’re on a date with another woman. Hell, she’ll not only call you out, she might just throw a drink in your face.
7. She’s not impressed by your band. Or the fact that you go out to nightclubs on Tuesday nights. A fist pumper does not a good partner make.
8. She expects you to actually listen to her, not just stare vacantly at her face when she’s talking. Because she will notice that you’re thinking about how much shit you have to do at work tomorrow or what body part you’re going to work out at the gym in the morning, and she’s not about to repeat herself.
9. Don’t have dinner with her with your phone on the table. Being on your phone with anyone while at any meal of the day is just plain rude. Plus, she’s just as busy as you are—if not more so—and she managed to make time for this date.
10. She wants you to call her. None of this I’m-only-going-to-communicate-with-you-via-text bullshit.
11. And if you do text, respond in a timely manner. These days people take their phone to pee, so you have zero excuse as to why she hasn’t heard back from you hours after she asked how your day was or whether or not you’re on for tomorrow’s date.
12. She is not a commitment-phobe and doesn’t want to date one either. She makes unwavering decisions and can commit to a two-year lease in the blink of an eye because she knows what she wants. And what she wants is you. So reciprocate in the commitment department and all will be right in the world.
13. But don’t bring her to meet your parents unless you think you have a real future together. Playing house and pretending you’re getting married was fun when you were 5, but now you’re both 30 and that game doesn’t have the same allure.
14. Don’t do dumb shit on social media, like post photos with other girls. She will see it and won’t be impressed. She is not in the business of being made jealous because you went out with your boys and took a picture with the bartender.
15. She wants you to be spontaneous. Because work hard, play hard, right? Surprise her with everything from breakfast in bed to booking a long weekend at the beach because she had a shitty week.
16. Do what you say you’re going to do. This is not a drill. It’s real life and everyone—especially the girl you’re dating—is expecting you to follow through. So don’t let her down.