First dates can be interesting. Women tend to handle them with style and grace. Some are versed in the art of dating, but most are simply playing it by ear. Either way, they’re composed. They rarely miss a note. Meanwhile, homeboy sitting on the other side of the table, too often, is struggling like Jodeci, circa 1991, to find the beat. K-Ci, Jo-Jo, Devante, Dalvin; it doesn’t matter which one. What I’m saying is he’s operating with two left feet. He can’t locate his rhythm. He’s out of synch.

By the way, the odds of discovering another R&B group comprised of four young black men that all suffer from deficient dance skill are slim, but not as slim as finding a man who doesn’t treat first dates like Russian roulette. Even though men mean well, women are keenly aware that, as we spin our game, we always have one dumb ass deal breaker of a move sitting in the chamber with which we’re ready to shoot ourselves in the foot. So on that note, allow me to offer up some don’ts for men going out on the first date.

Women, take heed and recognize the signs as they might tell you that not only is he not Mr. Right, he’s not even Mr. Right Now.

And if this doesn’t have useful application to your life, as you are married or have simply given up on dating, please share this with others who may find it helpful in preventing the first date from becoming the last date. There is a fine line between the two.

Men, don’t…

Offer up unsolicited denials such as “I’m not a player”

No matter how you spin the truth on this unsought testimony, it breaks down under scrutiny. First of all, only actual players or those suffering from player aspiration syndrome, feel compelled to disavow their motives in such a voluntary and disingenuous manner. Second, if you really aren’t a player, don’t worry, she knows it my man. You would be wise not to underestimate a woman’s intuition. Just be who you are. You don’t have the stamina to keep up the facade long enough not to be exposed and she doesn’t have the patience for your shell game.

Disclose your feminine side until you’ve firmly established your masculine side

This isn’t a machismo trip. This is about what women like. With exceptions, women prefer men who remind them of other men, like their fathers, however cliché those things may or may not be. Play the game junior. And speaking of the game, if this applies to you, DO NOT disclose the fact that you don’t like sports as you throw down graze on your teriyaki tofu salad. At that point, you might as well tell her that you do aerobics to maintain your figure. More women than you might realize are sports fans – especially during the big games so you’re best served to sidestep the topic like a White House Press Secretary. There is a time and place for such a disclosure. The first date is neither. I’m not saying don’t be yourself, but I am suggesting that you should slowly pull back the curtain in a need to know fashion.

Wear a Bluetooth earpiece

If you find yourself asking your date what’s so funny and she says “oh nothing”, you are correct to assume that it’s something. Just don’t let it be a mini-Star Trek Enterprise replica fastened to your ear like a phallic-like digital appendage of some sort. Inflated self-importance doesn’t exactly grease the skids for a second date. Come to think of it, you shouldn’t be caught wearing a Bluetooth earpiece outside of your car or the confines of your home, date or no date. If this describes you, feel free to join the rest of us in 2010 anytime now.

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