In general, men eat at a faster clip than women. They're on a stroll. We're at a solid trot. Slow down. There's no deadline for you to finish your meal. Plus, if all you're doing is shoving food in your mouth, how are you going to be able to carry on a conversation? Which leads us to...
A great way to slow your eating down is by listening to what your date has to say. She's probably pretty interesting (or better yet, very interesting). Of course you don't want to overdo it, and make her feel like she's delivering a lecture to a hall full of grad students, but pay attention to her, not the other guests in the restaurant, your oddball waiter, or any of the other distractions flying around the room.
Chances are you'll be having a nice glass of wine. So enjoy it. If you want another? Go right ahead. But having a third drink over dinner almost guarantees that she won't be up for another cocktail once the check comes. And even if she is, you won't be at your best by then. See? Easy stuff. And unlike the specials and the orders the waitstaff have to commit to memory, these shouldn't be too much to remember. Get all of this right and you might even land a second dinner date. Even if you spent half the meal with a piece of spinach stuck in your teeth.
As long as it’s not a total dump, you should be wearing a sports jacket or blazer, regardless of the dress code, when on a date. And get it tailored. Why? Because when you sit, you take a major hit to your shape. Women like guys with shoulders. And when you’re in a chair (or worse yet, some kind of booth), it’s easy to look like you’re collapsing in on yourself. A tailored, natural-shoulder jacket will help you maintain that athletic V-shape. It doesn’t have to be wool, and it shouldn’t have rigid shoulder pads. Even Old Navy sells casual cotton blazers for around $50 that, when tailored, will do the job. Plus, the inside jacket pocket gives you an easily accessible place for a card case or the other supplies in your gentleman’s arsenal. So at the end of the meal, you’ll get to effortlessly remove your chosen form of payment from your jacket instead of from under your rear.
And that begins the moment you pick her up. She’s the first to get in the car because you’re holding the door for her. Same goes for walking into the restaurant. She’s also the first to take her coat off because you’re assisting there, too, and the first to sit down at the table. She looks at the wine list first, and orders first (unless you’re sharing a number of agreed upon dishes — then it becomes your job to order for the both of you). She also gets to pick the first piece of bread or whatever appetizer shows up before the entrée.
As men, we’re selfish. We’re used to fighting for that slice of pizza or the last beer amongst our equally selfish man friends. Show her that she is your priority. Not the wine, not your steak, not the crème brûlée. She is.