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Chapter 2
It's All About Respect

Successful dating boils down to one thing: respect. If a girl feels that youíre approaching her with genuine respect, just about everything else in this book will fall into place. Respect is a firm foundation for any relationship, dating or otherwise. In this book, respect means that you honor a girl and hold her in high regard. Itís being considerate and especially attentive to her feelings. Itís truly listening to her and being sensitive to her needs. Above all, if you respect a girl, you trust her judgment and allow her to make her own decisions.

Another way to look at respect is that you want to treat your date like a queen. This may sound a little dramatic, but itís her night, and one of your main goals should be to make her feel special. If nothing else comes out of a date, a girl should at least go home happy and feeling good about herself.

In this chapter, weíll break down how to be respectful into two categories: donít be a player and be a nice guy.

Don't Be a Player

Contrary to what some might have you believe, one of girlsí top dating priorities is to avoid the players. Accordingly, you donít want to be mistaken for one—and especially donít want to actually be one yourself. Letís start with a definition of what exactly is a player.

A player dates several people at once. Players often pit their dates against one another, using jealousy to start a competition for his or her attention. They think nothing of toying with the emotions of others, or of having physically affectionate relationships with more than one person at a time. To them, a kiss is part of the game—not something special. Rather than seeking a serious, long-lasting relationship, players are always on the lookout for the next best thing. They may have a lot of fun in the short term, but thatís just it; everything is short-term for them. With this game plan, players never really settle down and find a satisfying, enduring relationship.

Being a player doesnít sound too great when itís painted in this light, does it? Or even if it does still sound like fun, is this really the type of person that you want girls to peg you for?

Dating should not be a contest for your attention, no matter how much you would like it to be. Donít get me wrong—itís good to have options. You donít want to put all your eggs in one basket until youíre sure that youíre ready for that bigger commitment. If youíre casually dating a few different girls, just be sure to not talk about your "other options" when youíre out with one of them. She is the queen for the night and doesnít want to hear about the competition. Also, stay away from physical affection (apart from a hug after a date) until you narrow your options. Just holding hands with a girl can send very strong signals, depending upon the girl, so be careful where you draw the line. You can never be too cautious when youíre just starting out.

Players are notorious for teasing. This is part of what makes them successful at dating. Kind, fun teasing is healthy in relationships and can be lots of fun. Just watch out for biting sarcasm or saying anything that could be construed as mean or rude. Donít joke about her looks, her weight, her family, her job, or any other personal part of her life. Keep the teasing friendly. If youíre not sure how sheíll react to your next crack, then just keep it to yourself.

Be a Nice Guy

Many guys are convinced that "nice guys" only get stomped on in the dating world; that girls only want to date jerks who treat them like dirt. In some ways, unfortunately, theyíre right. All too often girls donít give nice guys half a chance as they actively pursue jerks that don't deserve their attention. Just accept this as a fact of life. However (and thankfully), not all girls think this way. In fact, a majority of girls think just the opposite. Many girls who gravitate towards jerks and players eventually realize with time and maturity that they are a waste of time.

Look at the big picture. Are you really going to be happy if your relationship is based on being a player, or rude, or selfish? Do you really want to be a jerk anyway? Iím not saying that you need to be a wimp or a pushover—just donít be mean or cocky. Jerks tend to be very confi dent, which may explain why girls so often go after them. Your goal is to be a confident nice guy. Youíll be much happier in the long run, as will your future spouse. "Easier said than done," I hear you saying. Donít worry, weíll discuss confidence in Chapter 6.

So what does it take to be a nice guy? Here are a few of the mandatory things:

- Open doors to cars, buildings, etc.
- Be kind and gentle
- Have good manners
- Be attentive to her needs
- Give genuine compliments
- Plan dates with her comfort in mind
- Avoid putting others down around her

Something that also merits your consideration is the simple act of not walking in front of a girl whenever possible. When you pick her up for a date, allow her to walk out the door before you. You may need to direct her towards your car, but let her walk beside you or in front of you. This is a very small way of demonstrating that sheís just as important as you are.

You never, ever want your date to feel uncomfortable or self-conscious. This may seem like common sense, but men sometimes just donít notice the little things that can really sour a date. One simple example is not letting a girl know how she should dress for a date. Guys often make the mistake of planning a surprise date and keeping it so secretive (on purpose or inadvertently) that the girl has to guess about what she should wear. All too often, the end result is that she dresses inappropriately and feels out of place.

If youíre going someplace nice, be sure to let her know that she needs to dress up. If youíre doing something informal, you certainly donít want her to show up in her prom dress, so let her know that casual dress is fine. If youíre going outside and it might be cold, donít miss the boat and forget to tell her to dress warmly. Her comfort is one of your top priorities.

Letís be honest, youíll probably get stomped on a few times in your dating life if youíre a nice guy. Youíll most likely go through a few relationships until you find a girl that truly appreciates your kindness. Itís worth the wait, trust me. Too much of dating and hanging out is superfi cial. Finding a "nice girl" will be both refreshing and comforting. Just hang in there.