There is a lot of pressure and expectation in dating today. 2018 has seen the introduction of new challenges for men, such as Once’s review feature; allowing women to leave a rating and constructive feedback post-date.

Relationships on Female First

Relationships on Female First

So how can you be a perfect gent and make that all-important first impression count? Dating and Relationship Expert, James Preece, wants to stop gentlemanliness becoming a dying art and reveals his top five tips for that five-star date.

1. Call your date beforehand

Hearing someone’s voice before you see them can give you a much clearer idea of how they are as a person. It is much easier to engage when talking than through messages behind a screen. With all the social media instantly available, it takes just seconds to know where they last went on holiday, who their friends are, and what someone really looks like. A call proves you’re more than just a photo.

And on this note, it is important to use a photo that is recent and looks like you do now, so that all expectations are met! Once surveyed millennial men about its photo rating feature, and 41% said they would use their most accurate and current photos on their profiles if they knew they were being rated – there’s no excuses for photoshopping or a topless photo from six years ago!

2. Meet outside the venue

You have arranged where to meet and a time, so arrive a little earlier to greet her outside first. I can’t emphasise the difference this will make to a woman! You remove all the awkwardness of her having to look around and match a face to a profile image. Cue the opportunity to also be a gent and give her a kiss on the cheek, open the door for her, buy the first round of drinks and pull out her chair before sitting. A smooth winning start.

3. Lead the conversation

This is always an obvious one – steer the conversation – but it is a hurdle for many men as it’s so easily forgotten on the date. Start the conversation by referencing something you had spoken about before meeting up (this is where that phone call beforehand can come in handy). Did she mention a recent holiday, had she been out at the weekend? It shows you remember and are interested, and it will put her at ease if you lead the conversation.

Try to only talk about positive and happy topics, as opposed to complaining about the bar service, your day at work, or the terrible journey getting to the date. Negativity lingers and will add a sour tone to the date that will be hard to bounce back from.

4. Always pay on the first date

It’s an old school classic - but chivalry isn’t dead. On a date, women are subconsciously looking for a partner that they feel will be able to provide for them. A true gent would prove it by picking up the bill. It’s 2018 and many women will want to prove their independence by offering to split the bill, and that is up to you, but it is best to always take control of the bill situation to begin with.

5. Follow up the same day and check she got home

You would check in with your sister or female friend to see she got home okay, so it only makes sense that you do the same for the woman you’ve just spent an evening on a date with. It saves all the age-old worry about who is going to message first and when, and also shows that you care. Women look for a caring partner because it can be an indication that you would be a good father.

Let her know you had a good time and whether you’d like to see her again – you either found her attractive, funny and interesting, or, this is the time to politely say you didn’t feel the spark. Never be the guy that ‘ghosts’ her, it takes two seconds to politely let her know how you feel. She is much more likely to respect you and think of you as a gent if you are honest.

Curious as to how you are scoring at dating? Find out more about Once at and download for free from the App Store and Google Play