3 Ways Men Need To Step Up Their Dating Game

In Advice and Encouragement, Dating, For the Guys by Debra Fileta18 Comments

Q: Why do men say they want to go out on a second date, but never follow through?

A: Boy meets girl.

Boy likes girl.

Boy and girl go out on a date….then things get weird.

We’ve all been there. We’ve all seen it happen to one of our friends. The question is why, and what can we do about it?

Before we dig in to this topic, let me introduce myself. First and foremost, I’m a guy…so I’d like to specifically address the men out there today. Second, I’m a husband (shout out to my incredible wife, the author and creator of this relationship blog!) I’d like to think I’ve at least sort of figured out this “dating game” stuff considering I’m now happily married with three children.

So guys, three things I think you can do that will not only enrich your dating lives, but also show women the respect they deserve.

TAKE INITIATIVE: I’m shocked when I hear the stories of how some men ask some women out. Sometimes it’s via “text”. Sometimes it’s implied or never even said at all. Sometimes, a guy just hovers around a girl hoping she’ll get the hint…and instead, she ends up just finding him creepy.

My challenge to the men out there is this: be intentional. If you want to spent time with a girl, she seems interesting, and you want to get to know her: tell her that. Tell her you would like to get to know her. It can be as simple as, “Hey, would you like to go out for coffee this weekend?” It always helps if you actually give a time-frame, rather than leaving it open ended. This way it’s harder for them to say no, but it also makes it a lot more clear when things are going to happen. When you ask, make sure it’s face to face, because nothing beats real-life interaction.

Asking someone out on a date isn’t a marriage commitment, so take some of the pressure off and view it as an opportunity to get to know someone a little bit better.

But out of respect for that person, be clear about it. This is a date because I want to get to know you. *Sidenote, I also want to say that I’m a firm believer that whoever does the asking should also do the paying. Guy or girl. My wife Deb has some articles out there about the women doing the asking, but that’s a topic for another day.

BE DIRECT: So you’ve just gone on your first date, and you took initiative, now it’s time to be direct. You don’t need to know that this is the person you’re going to marry after the first date – but you should know this: Is this someone I could see myself spending more time with, or is this someone that clearly has some red and yellow flags (see True Love Dates Chapter 5) that I should not be spending more time with. In EITHER case, the next best step is to BE DIRECT. If the first date when great and you’re ready for number two – ask them. I think it’s funny that people have all these formulas about how many days they should wait to call a girl after a first date, when really if you enjoyed your time, communicate that as soon as you are ready. That could even be the next day (I do think texting them on the drive home is a: unsafe, and b: a LITTLE too early….).

Now for the slice of awkward cake: if things did NOT go well….you should communicate that you are glad you got the chance to hang out but you think it would be better if we were friends. Be direct. While it will be awkward the next time you see that person (I don’t think there’s anyway around that), at least you were open and honest, so that both of you can move on.

I think where us men do a disservice to women, is when we leave them hanging.

We may have even enjoyed our time together, but if we don’t see a next step, we need to be clear because leaving it linger is when things get sticky and when emotions get hurt.

BE A MAN: I maybe should started with this point, but I’m going to end with it because it’s the most important one. Be a man. The key to your dating success and future marriage rests on you being a REAL MAN. A sign of a real man isn’t defined by the car you drive, how much money you make, how strong you are, or how well you hide your emotions. It’s exactly the opposite of that.

Real men love God. And because they love God, they respect women when they are with them and when they are not with them.

What I mean by that is this: you view that girl you are on a date with as God’s beloved child, and could even be SOMEONE ELSE’S WIFE someday, so you respect her by not pushing the physical boundaries.

You also respect women when you are NOT with them. You talk about women respectfully and not degradingly in your circle of friends. You honor them with your eyes. Job said it his way, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully upon a woman.” You keep yourself in check by not looking at pornography and in turn, you change your view of women. It’s time for this generation of men to stand up and step up against the norms of society that objectify women and don’t value them as the beautiful daughters of God that they are.

You’ll be amazed at how rich your dating life (and in turn, your future marriage) will become by taking initiative, being direct, and becoming real men. It’s time for men to step up their dating game.

Comment below: We’d love to hear your feedback about this article….so leave us some love in the comment section! And spread the love on Facebook using the share buttons below. 

Up next at TrueLoveDates.com: 3 Ways WOMEN Need to Step Up Their Dating Game

John has been married to Debra for a decade, and experiencing “true love” has been the greatest blessing of his life. His day job is in the medical world, but he loves working behind the scenes at TrueLoveDates.com, helping his wife spread the message that healthy people make healthy relationships. You can read more about their story in Debra’s book, True Love Dates: Your Indispensible Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life. Connect with them on Facebook or Twitter or book a session with her today!


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18 Comments on "3 Ways Men Need To Step Up Their Dating Game"

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Gabriel Lopez

We need stuff like this every day. We need to cut the wordly expectations of ours and step up our game. Be a Man. That’s the dream. Be a Godly Man…The Goal. Gpd bless.


This is a good article 👍

Sarah Y
My current boyfriend of almost three years did exactly what you mentioned in this post! Now, it’s not the be all end all, but I loved how direct he was and how open he was about his intentions. I, on the other hand, had to work on being open and transparent since I grew up in a family where open communication wasn’t practiced. Thankfully, we invested in resources to help our relationship and I’m a lot more transparent than I was when we first started dating. All of these points are dead-on! I didn’t wait around for my boyfriend to… Read more »
Brenda Valentina

Great article ! Maybe if men did view and treat all women with this kind of respect, there wouldn’t be so many single men and women. Future husband : I’ll be waiting…..:-)


What I find is that even when being direct, that can still not be enough. There seems to be a wall that has been built in conservative Christianity that make women reluctant to take even the first steps to get to know someone. It is very frustrating. I can take the right steps (at least, I think I am), and still find a resistance to even the first steps of a relationship. It is immensely frustrating. Not asking for the world, just a chance to get to know someone better.


All women are not the same, so it’s not correct to put us in the same boat. Sorry for your experience, but some women do want a man to be direct and clearer make their intentions known.


Scott, I’m sure when u meet the right woman that God has for you, there will be no resistance. Keep the faith.

God Bless.

I don’t know if other women have experienced this, but ending with “I’m only interested in being friends” doesn’t work on most guys. Instead of seeing it as an opportunity to widen their social circle and just be a friend, they somehow seem to think it means “I don’t see a future for us now, but if you keep pursuing me as ‘just a friend’ maybe someday it will work out.” I’m over dealing with that and the drama/heartbreak when they eventually realize that you were honest and serious right from the beginning. I won’t ever be telling another man… Read more »
Sam T.

When an experienced man hears from a woman any form of the phrase “Let’s just be friends” he knows what she really means by this. It means he has NO CHANCE of a relationship with her. If he attempts to continue a “friendship” with her he will be friendzoned and/or get more rejection. The smart men will dump her and quickly move on.

Luke Urban

I think this goes the other day as well. I went on a date a while back and this happened to me as a guy. I went on this date with this girl and she gave the impression she wanted a second date but never called or texted me back. Anyways, maybe this was God saying she was not the one to pursue in a long term relationship.

John, this all sounds soooooo wonderful in theory……problem is….not enough of the male population thinks as you do. I believe men need to see a lot of other men doing the right thing, and doing right by women. If there was more of a positive, and righteous male influence for young boys, they would grow up to be great men of God, and think as you do. Sadly, this is not the case. Too often boys are raised by daddies who are “rollin stones.” Influenced by uncles, maybe even grandfathers, and male friends of the family who are “players.” They… Read more »

Apparently at some point in time, the female gender was told play hard-to-get with us men. Guys like me don’t play games, and if you don’t show interest, I’m not going to ask you out on a second date, maybe not even a first one for that fact.


I agree Sam. We’re too old to play games with each other, and life is too short for that. All it does it wastes time.

Scott M.

Thx for a great article, John! This is just what I needed to hear! Take initiative, be direct and be a man (by treating women with respect both in person and when they’re not around).

Lately, I’ve been feeling like God’s saying, to me, that in order for me to be able to offer a woman my best, I need to be my best for God.
Thx again and God bless you and your family!

Thanks for the reminder. I tried to do that with a woman I was visiting at church this morning. I try to have a tentative plan in mind to take initiative, but my problem is the moment it takes an unexpected turn in the communication and I make the slightest miscue I end up not knowing what to do about it. While I didn’t really mess it up, I always tend to blame myself for my weaknesses, even those that I am getting better at. Despite my attempts to prepare, confidence always seems to elude me in actually communicating my… Read more »

Peter don’t ever give up. God loves you and he always sees the best in us, even when we don’t see it in ourselves.
I’ll keep you in prayer. Always be confident in the guidance that God give you.

God Bless.


Yes to all of this! One thing I would tweek – if I go on a date and we’re not interested in another, we’re probably not going to be friends. Saying “let’s just be friends” sounds tacky and unrealistic to me. I think it’s just better to say you’re not interested in more, as kindly as you can.

I don’t think men should leave women hanging, and I don’t think men should lead women on. Far better to never ask her out to begin with. If a woman must know why you don’t date, you can give her the simple facts: – Women are not desirable as long-term partners any more – Relationships are all cost and no benefit for the man – It is dangerous to even approach a woman because of all the false rape accusations going on Women are unstable, and will very likely divorce you or cheat on you some day. When this happens,… Read more »