James Preece: Men’s Dating Advice From an Award Winning Date Coach

Expert James Preece: Men’s Dating Tips

In this, the seventh episode of the Love is Not a List Podcast with matchmaker Gillian McCallum, she meets James Preece, the well known British dating expert and podcaster with his own hugely successful show. In this exclusive transcript, Gillian sits down with James Preece to uncover his valuable insights into how men can date to maximise their chances of finding love and a long term relationship. 

James has a reputation for providing stellar dating advice to both men and women, and in this episode his focus is men – and what men need to do to ensure they are putting their best foot forward on a first date, to ensure an elusive second!

Whether you are a single man who is dating online, or dating through a top London matchmaker,  finding your right approach to dating can be challenging. James brings his wealth of knowledge and experience to this week’s episode, offering guidance, wisdom, and practical tips that will make a real difference to single men embarking on their dating journey to finding love. 

Join us as we explore the art of dating from a male perspective, decode the mysteries of attraction, and learn how to build meaningful connections with the person you want to build a life with. James shares his expert advice on navigating the modern dating landscape and shares his insider dating secrets to ensuring every date counts.

Whether you are a man who is new to the world of dating after a bereavement or divorce or you are a chap who has dated, but not as successfully as you would have liked,  let this transcript be your guide to unlocking the secrets of successful dating. Men, get ready to transform your dating life, one insight from James and Gillian at a time.

Read the full transcript of this engaging interview with James  – to find out exactly what happens when Britain’s Top Matchmaker meets Britain’s Top Relationship Expert.

James Preece – Dating Coach

[Gillian McCallum] : I’m so thrilled to have you back for this week’s podcast. I’m here with James Preece, the world renowned dating coach and dating expert. He also wrote the Amazon bestselling book, I Will Make You Click. I know that because I’ve got a signed copy from him. I’m a bit of a fan girl, so I’m thrilled to have him here this week. Thank you so much for joining us. We’re doing something a little bit unusual this week. Usually so much of the stuff out there is focused on women and how you can find a partner. But this week, it’s all about the men.

Welcome, James.

Helping Men Date Better

[James Preece] : Thank you so much for having me, Gillian. I am thrilled to be here on your podcast and to talk about all the things we can do to help these poor guys out there who need to get some coaching and some advice.

[Gillian McCallum] : Well, how many times have I read that? What does a woman wear on a first date? What do I do on a first date? Where do I go on a first date? Where’s the advice for the men? I mean, I’m pleased to say as a matchmaker, we’re giving out a lot, but there’s not a huge amount in magazines or online about what men should do. And not only is it sexist to assume that men know what they’re doing, but the guys need a bit of a chance, too, don’t they?

[James Preece] : Absolutely do. I think we all need all the help we can get and any little nudges or inspiration or advice we can give people, let’s just do it. I’m a guy. I’m always looking to improve, to be the best version of myself. So life is very short on an adventure. So, yeah, I’m really happy to help guys, and I do coach them all the time.

[Gillian McCallum] : So give us some of your best. I mean, first of all, what kind of guys are coming to you? I know as a matchmaker, people have some misconceptions about the kind of people that come to us. But tell us a little bit about the clients, the male clients that approach you.

Classic Date Coaching Clients

[James Preece] : With male clients, I have two different categories. In particular, I have the younger guys who are maybe in the early twenties to mid to late 20s who are struggling to connect with women because it’s very, very difficult for men in that age group.

They’re going on to the dating apps. There’s nine men on there for every woman. It’s very, very hard. People are meeting less and less socially as they used to, and not meeting from work. They confuse guys who want a bit of a helping hand there to get better with women. And later on, sort of 40s plus, we get the second time around dating male clients. Maybe they’ve been separated, divorced, even widowed, and they do not know where to begin because they’ve been so much used to being with someone most of their lives, and they are looking for a fresh start and they want some supporting hands and supporting voice to help them along their new adventures.

[Gillian McCallum] : I’m so glad that you’re out there. Like we are doing everything we can to help educate men. We, of course, when they come to us as clients, as a matchmaker, but even better, you’re out there getting as many people as possible up to scratch on what they have to do when they’re dating. And one of the really surprising things, I think, for men, especially when in their forties fifties when they’ve perhaps dated someone when they were very young, perhaps met them at school, first or second girlfriend.

They got engaged, got married, had some kids with and of course realised when the children are a little bit older that perhaps they don’t have as much in common as they did when they were 16,17,18 years old.

Relationship First, Sex Second

And I will never forget a client of ours who was incredibly good looking, charming, handsome, totally fabulous, and he came to us as a client. And the reason he came to us as a client was because he’d been on Tinder and because his friends had told him that’s what you do when you get divorced, you go on Tinder. And he said that every single woman he met wanted to have sex with him. And some of them succeeded. And he came to us because he said, I want a relationship, not just having sex.

So I think there’s certainly some preconceptions out there. There’s this idea that in order, first of all, for women to get the guy that they have to have sex with them quickly in order to make that happen. And I think for the guys out there, it’s a bit like, well, that’s not exactly what I was looking for. I really want something longer term. So are you getting a sense that maybe the genders are got a mismatched idea of what’s needed and what’s required? And again, looking at this from a male perspective

[James Preece] : Very much so. People are more confused than ever before, especially thanks to the pandemic, I would say to that: people are wanting something a lot more serious than they were three or four years ago. They’re looking for a real connection because no one wants to be on their own again and be coupled up to a bubbled up on their own.

So everyone wants to find someone and we are left with the situation where men and women do not understand each other as much as they should. Even things like on a first date, I’m getting a situation, many women are going on a really, really nice first date, having a lovely interaction and coming away thinking, well, I really like them, but I didn’t get any signals off them, so I’m not sure if they like me. And men get very confused by this. I think men do tend to assume women are much more intimate than they really are. They think that if a woman plays with her earring or twiddles her hair or something like that, then they really like them. And it’s not always the case. You have to look for a whole chain of things. And men are really confused by this. I’m sure you get that all the time. Men will assume you’re interested and they are. You’re not. You’re just being nice and being friendly.

And women, on the other hand, they’ve got expectations and they are confused because they think that all the men their own age are going to be chasing younger women. So we’re left in the cycle that the women looking at the guys and the poor guys out there that I work with, who they’re all very, very successful guys, but women aren’t looking at them particularly over the sort of age group because they’re looking for somebody younger. Because they’re assuming that these men who are older are not going to be capable of a fulfilling sex life or romantic life. All these things before. So women are going younger, men are going younger, supposedly, and we’re left with a mismatch. 

But when people start to think about what they really want and guys need to do this all the time and they work with them to say this, what do you really want in a partner? You want someone who is going to be supportive, someone’s going to laugh at your jokes, someone you can grow with and grow old together. And that’s all we really want, isn’t it?

What Men Look For in Women

[Gillian McCallum] : And misconception coming to a matchmaker about what it is that men are looking for in a partner. You’ll have had this exactly. And I am always asked, so I presume it’s a tall skinny blonde with big boobs. And I have to say, no, that’s not what they’re asking me for. I’m intrigued to find out what they’re asking you. But what they’re saying to me is that they want someone kind and without plastic surgery. And my follow up to the plastic surgery to any woman that I tell this to is, yeah, but guys actually can’t tell if you’ve had plastic surgery, so don’t worry too much about that. But what are you hearing from men? About what they’re wanting to find in a partner because you’re coaching a lot of these guys.

What do they say they’re looking for?

[James Preece] : They want someone who looks after themselves. And that doesn’t mean necessarily going to the gym for 4 hours every day. It means eating healthily, living a good life that is fun, active and just not really caring too much about the outcome because life is very, very short. They want someone fun who is not going to have a hard time, who’s not going to nag them all day long, but someone that does take some consideration when their personal growth.

I think anyone that comes to a matchmaker or to a dating coach is someone that’s

 very open minded and into being the best version of themselves and personal development. So they want someone similar, someone to have a good conversation with. No one wants to be bored with their partner or having a conversation. That’s going to go nowhere. And that happens with age gap relationships quite a lot. So a man dating a much younger woman isn’t going to be able to talk about all the things they did when they were growing up.

They’re not going to understand this. So all they really, really want, they want somebody who is going to just have an easy life with, who’s not going to be too high maintenance. And that’s what you’re saying about all the plastic surgery. People that have the plastic surgery do tend to be quite high maintenance. There’s a lot of well, there’s a big trend now, women having lip fillers put in and Botox and all the rest of it. And there’s one level of looking after yourself.

Absolutely. But some people can take that too far. And now we’ve got all these filters everywhere, on the apps themselves in particular, when anyone can take off ten years with the right lighting.

So people want someone who looks like their pictures. 

The “Natural Look”

[GIllian McCallum] : Absolutely. And we often hear from women that men say that they don’t want a woman who wears too much makeup. I think they’re talking about the bright red lipstick that you’ll see if you’re watching this on YouTube versus hearing this in the podcast.

And I think men are when they say they don’t want makeup, what they’re really seeing is a slightly more natural look. I think if guys are wanting to go in for a kiss, they don’t be too worried that the lipstick is going to be left all over their faces. But you also mentioned there earlier about the age gap and age difference and certainly there is, I think, a preconception amongst women that guys just want a younger partner. You touched on that there. And I think it’s important to say that from both of our experience of working with men that that’s often not the case. They do want someone that they can have something in common with and most men are not saying, I want someone significantly younger than me. And also it gets on to the next thing that we both know, which is that people are notoriously bad at thinking that they know what they want, but then when presented with that thing, they want something entirely different.

And that’s one of the important things that we’re always having to express. So you’ve talked about what men are looking for. They’re looking for someone who is going to be a life partner, who will laugh at their jokes, who perhaps doesn’t have too much very obvious plastic surgery. But what are the kind of difficulties that men are coming across when they’re dating? Because of course, I know that you work with really high value, successful men, but what are some of the issues that they’re coming across in dating and when they’re trying to find the right partner.

Has “Me Too” Affected Dating?

[James Preece] : I will tell you one of the new issues that’s happened in the last few years, and I love to hear your thoughts on this actually as well. The whole me too thing that’s come along. Men are rightfully so, then they’re aware of me too and where they need to behave themselves and to have be a gentleman and things like that. But it’s left them with all their power sucked away. They aren’t sure what’s appropriate and what they should be doing. They don’t want to offend anybody. So little things like starting a date off. They used to give them a hug or kiss on the cheek. Now they stand back and do a handshake. 

They’re not sure what’s appropriate. Men are very, very confused about what the rules are, what they shouldn’t be, and then we end up at the end of a date about the man is used to paying for the date, and we’re going to expect him to go halves.

So men are really, really confused by these new things over the last few years. What are your thoughts on that?

Physical Touch on a First Date

[Gillian McCallum] : Well, you know, it’s interesting that you touched on me too. And a lot of people are saying, well, men shouldn’t be confused. It’s outrageous that they’re confused. 

But I completely agree with you, and it’s not a confusion around should I have sex with them when they look like they obviously aren’t interested or when they’re very drunk? We’re not talking about that. We’re talking absolutely right about those little things.

So should they lean in and give a small kiss at the beginning of a date on the cheek? We’re not talking about the lips. Don’t get me started on that one. Okay. My strong sense is always that you should be leaning in and trying to touch, trying to connect with your date at the beginning because it sets the whole date on the right tone.

And I’m sure that’s exactly what you say as well. And I agree. It’s really, really tough for men because they don’t want to be accused of, well, he grabbed a hold of me and he tried to touch me. When someone doesn’t want that touching, what I would say is for most men, they should probably be able to tell on the face of a person whether they’re receptive to that.

And maybe it’s just simply a case of putting your arms out slightly and seeing whether someone responds to that. And if they don’t, you can then a little bit awkwardly move it to a handshake. But you’re right. I think it is important to have physical touch.

Andrew Tate and Misogynistic “Dating”

I can understand in those circumstances that men wouldn’t want to cause a problem or cause offence. And you know what, we’re talking about the good guys here. We’re talking about the really good guys who are worried about whether they might cause offence or whether they might be a problem. We’re not talking about the Andrew Tates of this world.

That’s one of the things that I was also going to touch on was the fact that I am so pleased to know you and proud to know you, because there are a number of date coaches out there for men in the UK who are doing really destructive, really misogynistic, really horrendous.

They’re teaching men really horrendous things. That Andrew Tate saying that you have to be this dominant masculine alpha and you have to dominate women. And we know that because he’s written about it. Never mind what we might think of him. 

He’s written about this and he’s done some really terrible things that, as we know, he’s been rightfully charged for. But what people might not know in the UK, it’s not just Andrew Tate sitting in Romania in a house worth 200 grand that would cost significantly more in the UK with rented Ferraris and boasting about how much money he’s got.

The Evils of Pick up Artists (PUA)

We actually have those people in the UK right now, and they’re called pickup artists. They teach PUA, which is the shortened version techniques. And there are a number of coaches for men whose focus and drive is to treat women like objects. They don’t really exist. They’re to be used for sex and money. And women are not human beings with consciousness and awareness and vulnerabilities.

They’re simply things, possessions. And so I know there’s a huge number of date coaches out there that promote that. And I know you don’t. And I know that you are someone who is treating men like adults and women like adults in order to get people into a relationship.

How hard is it for you to combat against pickup artists and the pickup artist industry? Because you’re fighting against date coaches who say, I can get you sex this weekend, to men who maybe don’t know. And that’s the thing. They prey on vulnerable people. They prey on vulnerable men who maybe don’t know if that’s right or wrong. And they become like a guru. It becomes like a cult.

How much are you coming up against that? Is that something you’re having to deal with in the job that you’re doing?

[James Preece] : Sadly so. But not as much as it used to be when I first got started in this industry, because people weren’t even aware of date coaching at the start of this, 18 plus years ago when I got into this. But I’ve been fighting this all my life. People assume I’m a some sort of pickup artist because that’s what they think a dating coach is.

That’s their awareness, things like the game. Neil Strauss. Interesting book. All women have read that book about being mean to women and negging them and horrible things like that.

But I would not be doing this so many years with so many companies and brands that use me if I was a pickup artist. And what’s happened now, it’s evolved slightly because pickup artists have now been kicked off places like YouTube.

They are being outed, they are being the press is really, really hounding them out, saying how awful it is, this is great because I’m a serious person, I get business because of this, for the opposite. But what’s happened is these pickup artists are now calling themselves life coaches instead and they are supposedly treating men.

This is what happened to Andrew Tate. He’s more of a life coach, we say, than he is a dating coach. And he’s teaching people, men to be more “masculine”, how to get fit and all the other things alongside this.

So they’re harder to spot than they were before, but they’re probably making more money ultimately, by pretending to be life coaches. They don’t work with women, they still work with men. And it is still teaching men to be nasty and to be in control. So I’ve been fighting this a long time, but I think, really, it doesn’t matter because men aren’t stupid.

They will look into this and think, well, it’s just manipulation. And you can teach a guy how to approach a woman, have a few pickup lines and a few things you can do for your routines, but then what happens? They will end up failing miserably when they get to the first date because they can’t sustain the conversation.

Dating and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

And what is happening now as well, you may have heard things like chat GPT coming off and AI conversations going on, and they are great, they serve a purpose. But you can end up with someone talking to each other on a dating app where the men are just looking up message to send to women and it’s great. But then what happens in real life?

You can’t pull out a phone, pull up the chat GPT and say, well, what do I say next? Is there a good chat up line? Is there a flirting line? You can’t do that. You have to have the inner confidence. 

And that’s what we work on there’s matchmakers and data coaches to build their confidence up, be the best version that they can, so they are capable of just being vulnerable and being authentic. So when they go on a date, someone will take them or leave them if they want them. Wonderful. But it does not rely on any tricks, any manipulation or any comedy routines to try and entertain them.

[Gillian McCallum] : So you’ve touched on so many things there. And when I’m thinking about the kind of advice that you’re giving men, the kind of quality advice that you’re giving men, and I’m so pleased that you share so much of your knowledge in a way that people can very clearly say that you are very much the holistic approach to dating and relationships, and you’re very renowned for that. You’re very known for that. 

I suppose I was just thinking about whether or not you’re having to compete against people who are saying, yeah, but I can get you this, this and this, which you and I know is not the way to form a long term relationship.

And thinking about men and the kind of advice that you’re giving them when they’re going on dates, certainly you mentioned the MeToo movement. We’ve covered that a little bit. 

Should Men Pay on the First Date

Paying on the first date. The advice that we give at Drawing Down the Moon is that they have to. All men should pay on the first date. That is still considered controversial advice. And you talked about this before.

Tell me why. First of all, why is it controversial? Who is it controversial for? And the most important thing I know that you always talk about is why one person in particular should be paying.

But you tell me if your advice has changed.

[James Preece] : No. I recently discovered I’ve got a lovely client. I’m working with a male client, and I’m empowering him, getting him to get those dates, which is wonderful. 

He was matched up with someone that I coached personally about five years ago, a younger lady, and they had a conversation on the phone and they talked about me because I’m something they got in common, which is cool.

 And it turns out she was saying, well, I’m not sure I really rate James’s dating advice. Now, he’s a bit old fashioned. His views aren’t really what happens now. 

And in particular, it was about who pays on the first date. So it’s still a very, very controversial thing, like you said. And that was the entire basis. 

Never mind the fact that I’ve matched her with one of my clients and I’m still helping her to this day. So I called her out on that another time.

But we’ll leave that aside for now because I don’t let these things stand. They build up to you, and I have to get it out of my system. There’s nothing major at all.

So to answer your question, I believe that the man should always pay on a first date. And why is that? It’s nothing to do with feminism, equality, sexism. Nothing to do with that at all. 

Old School Dating and Romantic Values

It simply is, as I’m sure you know yourself, it takes a woman a long time to get ready for a first date. 

Choosing the outfit, getting your hair done, doing the makeup and all these things, and getting yourself in a vulnerable situation where you’re going to go turn up at a completely unknown venue and approach a stranger you don’t know. 

A man might have a shower if you’re lucky, and put a shirt on. That’s it. That’s the entire thing. It’s about time and respect. I am very much romantic. I believe in old school values. I was brought up to believe that a man should always look after a woman.

Yes, absolutely. Men and women are equals. Women might have a more high powered job and even earn more. It’s about respect. That’s all it really is for a second date. 

If you want to go and do something, or the woman wants to take the guy out somewhere, that’s fair enough. I would normally wait for the third date for that, but if you’re comfortable with that, it’s absolutely fine. 

So I absolutely believe the man should do it, it’s purely about respect for their time and the fact they’re doing something that makes them a bit uncomfortable, because a man can walk down any high street that he wants at night and feel safe. A woman can’t do that. 

She’s going to feel vulnerable and feel this is a bit awkward. She’s putting herself out of our comfort zone just to come and meet you. That’s my thoughts.

What are your thoughts?

Men Pay on First Dates

[Gillian McCallum] : I completely agree, James. And it’s very interesting to me that when we’ve spoken about this for, I think you’ve also touched on the fact that allow them to do that thing. Allow the man to do that thing. And we never used to have that rule that men paid on the first date. And we had huge numbers of women extremely upset that men weren’t paying on the first date. 

And what’s fascinating is when we spoke to men about the fact that we were slightly changing things and that men had to pay on the first date, we did not have a single man who said to us, oh, I don’t think that’s reasonable.

Every single man said, well, of course I will. And I remember you saying to me one time many years ago, men know that they should pay on a first date. Yeah, that still stands. 

[James Preece] : Absolutely. It’s all it, it really is. But however, there are women now who will test a man on the first date and offer to go half. And there are men who aren’t sure what’s appropriate, and they’ll let the woman go half on a first date. Now, this is why I say, don’t go for dinner on a first date. Go for drinks. I mean, lights. It doesn’t really matter.

[Gillian McCallum] : Couldn’t agree more. Yeah, couldn’t agree more. Go for go for drinks, not dinner. Dinner is never on a first date. But if you find yourself in the dinner of first date, if any women are listening to this, don’t offer to pay unless you intend to pay.

And men, because of course, we’re focusing this really on men, if a woman offers and says, no, no, please let me pay half, say, no, I’ve got this, you get next time exactly the words that I tell them to do.

[James Preece] : Exactly. Because then there’ll be a next time, and you’ll know what’s happening. You’re very, very clear about what’s going to happen ahead of you. But if you go halves on a first date, then the man’s going to feel, well, okay, I’m not really sure where I stand if she’s interested or not. And the chances of seeing them again are quite slim because the man wants to look after you and she wants to have a nice time, just do it.

This doesn’t need all the debate, really, does it? Just go on with it. Man should pay the next time they can get it if you want. Just keep it light.

[Gillian McCallum] : Absolutely. And just thinking about it, sometimes in life we just need to have a rule and just follow it and it makes it simple and easy for everyone else. But as you said, you’ve had a bit of controversy in the past with people not necessarily agreeing. 

I know that most a lot of people out there don’t agree with that advice, but I completely agree with it. I think that’s exactly how things should be done. And I’m not really, maybe is old fashioned, but I think that’s only appropriate and right. 

Income Disparity and Dating

And the thing about it is, if you’ve got a guy, and this is, again, we’re talking a lot to the men today, if you are going out and dating and you know that there’s maybe an income disparity between you and the person that you’re dating, don’t think, well, do you know what I’m going to do? 

I’m going to go all out and I’m going to get the most expensive and it’s going to cost me a week’s income or whatever.

Don’t do that. Pick somewhere cute and local and nice and take them there. Because if you do have an income disparity, if you happen to know that they earn significantly more than you, you cannot sustain in the longer term, taking them to the priciest places in time. 

Sure, once a year, you can go and do that if you’re paying. But while you’re in the courtship phase, if you’re paying the bill, take them somewhere that you can afford to take them. And there are plenty of options and places that you can go where it is within every different type of budget.

We’re not talking McDonald’s, we’re not talking Starbucks. We still want you to go to somewhere quirky, somewhere that’s a one off, not part of a big chain. What other advice do you give men, James, about picking a great venue on a first date?

[James Preece] : It’s all about the location rather than what you’re actually doing, because all you’re doing is having a few drinks, but you do not want to go somewhere where there is no atmosphere, there is nothing there, everyone looking around at you, you feel uncomfortable, go somewhere that creates a memory. Does not need to be expensive.

I recommend, for example, a lot of people go to the Sky Garden, which is in London, top of the walkie talkie, there’s a nice Sky Garden, it’s free to go up there. 

You can buy a couple of the drinks, then you’ve got views of London and that’s talking points and they’re going to remember that. No one’s going to remember you sitting in a pub, buying a glass of Coke, having a coffee in the afternoon. No one’s going to remember that.

Make this date memorable. So look back on the first date and say, well, that was an amazing date. I can’t wait to spend more time with you. But some people, as you just said, feel the need, particularly younger guys, to spend loads of money to impress. And I call this the Instagram level of dating now, where everyone instagram is posing all their wonderful sports cars. I’ll say something else actually about this if I made it just the top of my brain.

They are posing with these pictures and they are going out, they’re showing how wonderful their lives are and all their nice suits and suited and booted trying to show off how much money they got to women. It’s just a lie. That’s not how they live their life every single day. 

Faking Your Income in Dating

What I want to sort of mention now, this happened to me yesterday, my nephew, his friends, all graduating from school, they’re all turning 18 and they have the graduation ball.

And what they doing now, they are hiring limousines or the parents are hiring limousines and sports cars for these children, even 18 vans and night rider cars. 

For these kids to appear at school, just to have pictures and show how wonderful they are, that is absolutely setting kids up in the wrong way, particularly these men. It’s telling them that you need to have these things and you need to go and splash money out or borrow money and get into debt to show how wonderful your status is. 

These guys are probably going to go and work in McDonald’s next week, at least over the summer before they go off to university.

What do you think about that? That’s very topical.

[Gillian McCallum] : Yeah, totally horrendous. James, I’m listening to this thinking, you’ve got kids, I’ve got a daughter. I’m listening to this thinking, this is the last thing that I would ever want for my child, is be in this sense of, it’s all about the cash, it’s all about the money, and yet it’s all rented. 

And you’re so right to draw the parallels between what we’re seeing happening with our kids and what is happening with men or what’s what’s being forced upon men, I should say, and upon women with instagram with this sense.

 Of you know, I mentioned Andrew Tate and his what they believed to be rented vehicles, that he’s always going on about how much money he’s got. And I think you’re absolutely right. There can be a sense for men of, can I even afford to date?

No Excuse to Be a Lazy Dater

Gillian and James are saying that I’ve got to pay on the first date. I don’t know if I can afford this. And it’s all about finding your level. Certainly. We’re up in the summer now. I think as a female, if I was invited on a date, let’s say we’re talking about London, and they said, Look, I tell you what. 

I was thinking about doing a Saturday early afternoon walk along the Thames, and I’m going to bring some drinks or a little picnic and that sense of I wouldn’t think, oh, that’s terrible. He’s not splashing the money on me, I would think that was wonderful that someone has thought this nice little walk.

Of course, in public places, guys, you know, to do that, you’re not going to take them to some secluded backwater to do this first date, but do it within your budget, but do it in a way that’s stylish. And the suggestion that James just gave about the talk of the walkie talkie where you don’t have to pay to get this incredible view.

So try and find something that’s got a talking point. Don’t be sloppy, don’t be lazy. Don’t pick the Starbucks that’s nearest to the tube station or the caffeine nearest. That’s a great place, but it’s not a great place for a date. It doesn’t show your date that you’ve made an effort. 

And James talked about this earlier, you’ve got to remember your date’s making a big effort every time they come and see you guys. It’s a lot easier for guys, there’s less to be done.

But women usually make quite significant effort before they’re going on a date. Not all of them, but most of them. And so it’s nice to reflect that in the venue that you pick that’s going to be within your budget. And again, outdoor dates are great. It’s summertime.

Well, we’re probably nearing the end of the summer at this point, but it’s summertime, so I think, don’t you agree, James? It’s nice to do some, I mean, what do you think about outdoor date? Is that appropriate for a first date?

Great Outdoor Dates

[James Preece] : Absolutely. But go somewhere it could be if it’s the winter, it could be a nice garden somewhere it could be somewhere outdoors with fairy lights on. Christmas and winter are great times for dating outdoors. You can walk along the South Bank. Everything’s very Christmassy. You get in the mood, have a hot chocolate, it doesn’t matter.

Walking along, it’s about creating that memory. That’s all it really, really is. Outdoor dates are great in the summer. You can go to the zoo, do things you did when you’re a kid, have picnics, go to the seaside, maybe not on a first date, but maybe later on. Seaside.

It’s a really, really magical thing to do. And one more thing I want to mention as well, because something I love doing personally with my wife. I don’t really drink much alcohol nowadays, but I can help it. 

The Afternoon Tea Date

But I love going for afternoon teas and afternoon teas, you can get them from 20 pounds ahead right up to hundreds of pounds ahead.

Go somewhere in a nice hotel that’s affordable to your budget and afternoon tea – to have a glass of champagne, some nice scones, some cake. Women love cake, men love cake, man love eating. Create a memory. 

You’ll be served, you’ll be treated, looked after, does not need to be expensive. You can go on groupon and get a voucher for afternoon tea if you want to. I wouldn’t necessarily bring the voucher out at the end of the date, but do that. I think it’s a great thing to do. 

Not on a first date, not on a second date, maybe a third date, just to do something magical that isn’t necessarily what everyone else is doing and that’s what it is.

[Gillian MCCallum] : And another bit of advice there, don’t complain to your date that it’s not enough food. So if you have a feeling in advance that it’s not going to be enough food, have a sandwich. Don’t tell them you’ve had the sandwich. And enjoy your afternoon tea.

Because remember a lot about the dating, a lot about the process, a lot about is about putting your potential partner, your potential girlfriend, in advance, putting them ahead, putting them first. 

And so if you do think I remember years ago going on a date for afternoon tea and all the guy did was mum the entire time about it’s not enough sandwiches, it’s not enough, I’m still hungry, can we go somewhere else?

What Men Should Ask on a First Date

I want to have something else. You’ve got to keep all of that down. Now, as for being on the date, from taking huge amounts of feedback from our female clients, one of the things that we hear a lot about, and you’ll know all about this, that I want to advise some of our guys out there is not asking enough questions. And so, for instance, one of the things that

I find that men often do is they are thinking they’re wanting to impress, great, why not? They want to show why they are potentially a brilliant date and why potentially they are the right person for the person they’re on a date with.

But what they do is they then talk all the time and so they’re trying to talk to say how great they are, what’s going on. And so my little bit of advice here, and I’m sure you agree with this, is try to stop and try to show an interest in the person sitting opposite you.

Even if you don’t think they might be right for you, even if you’re not sure if they are the right person, don’t make it clear to them they’ve still made a big effort. Give them an opportunity to smile at the end of the day and go their ways, even if they’re not right for you.

But is that advice that you would give your male clients to ask more questions, to be more engaged, to show more interest, is that something that you coach your clients on?

What Men Should Do on a First Date

[James Preece] : Very much so. I tell everyone this, I said people like people who like them, easy as that. Make someone feel special, feel important, and they’re going to talk about themselves all you want and they’re going to feel comfortable. And that is our job, to make them feel comfortable. 

But listening is more important than speaking because then you can show my wife said to me she liked me because I was a good listener. Apparently I never listened nowadays, but I did then, when I first got together with her. That’s not true, of course, hopefully, but I think listen to what they’re saying and it’s not important for someone, for a man in particular, on the date, what you talk about, woman’s not going to care where you’ve lived all over your life, all the achievements you’ve got and how many cars you’ve got.

All she really cares about in that first meeting is what are your values? Are you similar? Do you have things you can do in common? Are your life goals similar and gentle positive topics on the first date? 

There’s no point bragging on the first date because men then struggle with this because like you said, we’ll try and show off. It’s our natural instinct to show off and try and impress people. That’s what we do. But it’s not a job interview, so you got there to get to know each other. So and also people like people who are like them.

So the more things you can find in common and show you are interested in, the more likely they’re going to open up and talk about something that they’re passionate about. And if someone’s talking about something they’re passionate about, they’re going to gush that they’re going to smile, their heartbeat is going to be elevated, they’re going to be really, really excited.

All the same things as falling in love.

Complimenting on a First Date

[Gillian McCallum] : So what do you think about paying a compliment? Is that? I know you said that men sometimes find it tricky. I would err towards a little compliment near the beginning, and this is a tricky one, what kind of advice do you give clients on that 

[James Preece] : Always give compliments but use them sparingly. If you give too many outcomes, costs a bit disingenuous or fake, give them a nice compliment, but mean it. But thing is, brain can’t tell the difference anyway between real and imagined compliments anyway. 

It’s like a car salesman. The car salesman tells you, oh, you’ve got amazing taste, sir, I love your taste. You’ll know that’s not real, but you’re still going to get all the nice chemicals in your brain or feeling really good about it, but I think you got to be genuine with the compliments you really have. 

But say something nice about them, maybe you like their style. Style is a really good thing to do. For example, someone talking to you will compliment on your necklace. You wear that for a reason, to make an impact. That’s a nice thing. Men aren’t used to getting compliments, though, that’s an interesting thing as well.

Women give compliments to other women, but men very rarely get compliments because men don’t compliment each other in these ways. So use the compliments, but use them when you mean them and combine them with touch as well.

 I recommend maybe like 45 minutes into a date, pay them a compliment, say that’s a really nice necklace, and touch you on the arm at the same time. And then because it’s something called NLP, you are giving them a nice anchor, anchor for positive emotion. If you then touch them on the, on the arm again within the next ten minutes, they’re going to feel good in the same way they did when you gave them the compliment. So these are more advanced techniques.

I tell people and everyone sort of glazes over at that stage, but these are things that I know, I think paint on my compliment and touch them at the same time in an appropriate place, of course, which is between the wrist and the elbow. That is a nice place to do that.

And then you’re going to make them feel good and all we want to do is make people feel good. 

[Gillian McCallum] : And of course, as you say, you’re sharing your advice because you know it, but you’re also sharing your advice because you know it works. 

[James Preece] : Yes.

Planning the First Date

[Gillian McCallum] : Okay. So we’ve got: paying them a compliment, we’ve got picking a venue with if it’s something that’s memorable, something they’re going to remember. We’re hoping, of course, to get that second date. Another bit of feedback that I get from female clients is that they don’t know what the man thinks at the end of the date.

And this goes for men that want to see them again as well as men that don’t. There’s a sense that they don’t know. And touching on what you said right at the beginning, which is that men often think women are interested when they’re not. Really.

It’s the same with women, they often think men are not interested when they are. So we’ve got this kind of this difficult, tricky thing here. So what do you suggest that men do to make it more obvious to women that they are interested in having that elusive second date?

Feedback from your Matchmaker

[James Preece] : Well, the good thing about a matchmaker with people who work with a matchmaker, they’re going to ask for the feedback the next day anyway and that stops that.

But most people aren’t doing that, doing online dating and things like this. So the more conventional way to do this is I would simply say to the lady, let me know you got home safely, send me a text. And then they will send you a text saying thank you for a lovely evening. 

But what I recommend that you don’t do is try I used to recommend this a long time ago but I’ve changed my mind on it. I would get the man to almost ask them out towards the end of the first date and to not put them on the spot.

Asking for a Second Date

But if you’re both going really, really well, so I’d love to see you again, but then they’re going to say yes to that regardless and it’s going to be a bit awkward the next day and think, well, just agree to that? I’m not really sure. So I think what you do is say to them, let’s have a chat tomorrow and we can catch up or let’s talk in the week.

And then you can just see do not put a woman on the spot at any point and do not make her feel uncomfortable. But what I would do during the course of a date is I would hint of something you might be able to do on the second date. 

Put this idea into their head, male or female, that you are going to be seeing each other again. And assuming it, for example, maybe you both discover that you like afternoon tea. 

You say, I know this really great place in London. We ought to go there sometime, or we ought to go to the zoo when the weather gets a bit brighter, something like that.

Then they know when they go home, did you like me? I’m not really sure. We did mention maybe afternoon tea at some point or doing something else, or a new play that’s coming out or a new film. They’re going to have no choice but to see you in their future in their brain.

And that works really well. It tricks the brain because the brain, as I mentioned before, can’t tell the difference between real and imagined events. And you’ve sown that seed the seeds in their brain that you’re going to see them again, and then hopefully things will work out.

Texting After a First Date

[Gillian McCallum] : And what about the text afterwards? Because, of course, you and I are kind of of the rules generation, where we were told it’s got to be three days and then you wait. This number of days, I tell people to throw that out the window. I presume you do too. So what are we expecting from our guys then?

What do you need to do? So you’ve had a great date. You’ve done something a bit interesting. You’ve had a drink. It’s been within your budget. You’ve paid. You’ve not just offered to pay, you’ve paid. You’ve taken that. I’ve done that. 

You’ve managed to touch them between the elbow and in an appropriate place, if it’s appropriate, of course you’ve got your talking points. You’ve said, Please let me know that you get home safely and hopefully you follow up with a message. What is the next thing?

What is the follow up from a guy who thinks, you know what, I think that date went well. And this is the kind of person, again, we’re not picking someone for marriage at this point or moving in together. We’re not getting ahead of ourselves. But I’d like to see that person again, to see if we have some kind of connection on a second date.

What’s your advice next? What do they do next?

No More Three Day Rule

[James Preece] : My advice is not to wait three days before you contact them and all that rubbish advice that happened back in the 90s because people’s attention spans are very short now. You’ve got to act. just be true to your feelings. If you want to see them again, send them a text the next day, maybe not in the morning.

Give them time to process this, because when they’re sleeping, the brain is going to process it. They have a nice time. Talk to their friends about it, maybe late afternoon to text them, say 20 to nine. A really lovely time with you last night. I’m very much open to doing it again if you are too. Something like that. Nothing more than that.

If they come back and they know, what have you lost? Nothing.

[Gillian McCallum] :  So in other words keep it light. Keep it light.

[James Preece] : Yeah, and leave it open. Maybe you want to give them a bit of space.

But don’t leave it too long, because they’re going to assume they’re not interested. And sometimes, if you wait a few days, and then contact them even though they really, really like you, they’ve gone off you because it’s disrespectful like anything in life.

When you are seeing somebody and you start having a few dates, you may want to increase the amount of text and contact that you have, making them wait several hours for a reply just to appear to be busy. 

If you’re not busy, that is just game playing. And that doesn’t really work because then they’re going to wait two more hours. After that you’re going to wait 4 hours and you’ve lost contact very very quickly.

If you can reply, reply. It doesn’t mean you have to reply every single time immediately, but do it in a respectful period of time. If you happen to be eating, put the phone down, message them after. But really, the idea is to meet people in real life rather than texting endlessly anyway. That’s a common issue men have.

What to Say Next

[Gillian McCallum] : So in the message that you’ve said, you said, Look, I really enjoyed it, so there’s no kind of call to action in that. Would you suggest that people could also say, are you free any night next week to meet? And not saying next Thursday at eight, but would you recommend they also maybe put in a kind of a timeline? Let me know if you’re free this weekend, I’d love to arrange something else? Would you do something like that?

Try and get a time frame in there? 

[James Preece] : Absolutely. Because you want to do it relatively soon. You don’t want to leave it several days or several weeks before you meet each other again. You might just say, assuming you meet at a weekend, you want to meet them within that following week, a week later. Anything sooner than that can be a bit of rush. 

Give them a chance to miss you and get want to do that. But yeah, I think some sort of call to action could be a good idea most of the time, unless you’re really not sure how things went, then it can be a bit putting them on the spot too quickly. But most people do know this is quite a nice date. Had a good time, we laughed, we joked. I’m excited to see them.

If you’re really excited to see them you can bet they’re probably excited to see you too. It takes two to tango and you can read their energy. So yeah I’d love to meet you at  the weekend. Are you free in the next few days or something like that. But yeah, you can always say no and they can give you a counter offer if necessary. it’s when you don’t get the counteroffer that you know things aren’t going to proceed.

So don’t keep bombarding them with text. But people do get busy. Maybe they are genuinely busy that weekend and something’s going on, they’re going away and they might come back to you. So keep the conversation going.

Sex on the First Date

[Gillian McCallum] : What about sex on the first date? Let’s say it went incredibly well, you end up is that something you advise your clients on?

I know we do but what are you telling your clients on that front?

[James Preece] : I would say you’re in this for a reason, that’s to meet a long term partner and maybe you’ve been doing this already in your previous dating life. You’ve been having a bit of fun when you needed it. 

Always wait if you can several times in because it takes time to get to know somebody. As you said yourself many times, women get all sorts of chemicals and things happen when they have sex the first time which is like falling in love.

So you can get attached. In fact if you don’t have sex with somebody then men are more likely to fall in love with you quicker than if you do. And that’s an interesting thing. So the dynamics are there. 

Brenda’s Quick Fire Round – True or False

[Gillian McCallum] : Perfect. So what I’ve got now I have a very lovely friend called Brenda and she was at older that we were going to be meeting today and having this conversation and so she’s got a couple of true or false questions for you that I’d like to share with you and you can give me your opinion on them.

True or false?

According to a study, using a pickup line involving a pun is scientifically proven to make women swoon.?

[James Preece] : False.

100% false. If you’re using puns it’s just a dad joke. You can’t really do that unless you know them already. If you know them already it might work but generally speaking, no. Save your puns. You don’t know their sense of humour. It’s going to come across looking a bit like an idiot and don’t do that.

No, definitely false. This next one.

[Gillian McCallum] : I don’t think brenda. Brenda’s. Very innocent lady. Brenda. I don’t think she realises that this next one is actually tip or trick from PUA. I don’t want to be giving out their tips or tricks but I will ask you this question. We can talk about that in a second.

True or false?

Wearing a fedora automatically increases a man’s dating success rate by 50%.

[James Preece] : Wearing a hat increases it?  Absolutely false. Because what women have got now is something called hat fishing, where if a man wears a hat in pictures, they can assume he hasn’t got any hair. And men do that to disguise it. 

So I’ve been in a situation before. A woman was wearing sunglasses because she had a glass eye, and I’ve mentioned that very many times in my own podcast. That happens. 

If you are hiding something, why are you wearing the hat? What’s that about? Maybe in one picture, but generally speaking, no. It’s going to look very, very strange.

Peacocking in the PUA World

[Gillian McCallum] : And of course, we also know that it’s a PUA (pick up artist) technique where they put some kind of colourful hat on, so they’ll be chatting up someone in the street in order to have sex with them in the next 24 hours and then get rid of them.

They wear a bright, funny fedora or something unusual as a talking point. So that’s one of the things that we know.

So watch out for that woman. But of course, you guys listen to this. I’m not going to do that. So very funny.

[James Preece] : That’s called peacocking, by the way, in case you wonder. Not that I know all these terms, but I do.

[Gillian McCallum] : True or false?

Date coaching can transform any man into a suave castanova capable of charming dolphins and impressing robots.

[James Preece] : Impressing robots. I love that. Who wants to impress a robot? Are we talking about chat GPT again? I don’t know. The answer to that is no.

Unfortunately, as good as I am, I cannot change people. Every single person. It’s the same way that you can go to a gym. 

You aren’t necessarily going to get fit if you get a personal trainer. People have to want to do things for themselves. You can’t make someone become something that they’re not. 

And what day coaching really is, is making someone be all the things that they want to be, that is really in them, bringing out the best side of them. And you can’t turn into a castle nova if that’s not your style, because some people are introverted and really, it’s a complicated world. So the short answer, that is absolutely false. Unfortunately.

[Gillian MCCallum] : Well, perhaps not unfortunately, because we want to make sure that those introverted guys know that they don’t have to pretend to be an extrovert to find love. 

In the same way that we definitely don’t want women dieting to go on dates. I hear a lot of that as a matchmaker. We don’t want that to happen because you don’t want to be on a diet for the rest of your life.

James, this has been incredible. So much information, so much knowledge. 

James Preece: Best Life Advice

So, finally, I would like your best piece of life advice. What have you got? What are you thinking?

What would you like to share with the listeners?

[James Preece] : I’ve got so much life advice you could probably realise. But I’m going to tell you something that I always end all my seminars with, whether it’s a life coaching seminar, a business seminar, sales seminar, and it’s as simple as this. Always leave people, whoever you’re speaking to, a date, a business meeting, a friend in better condition than when you found them.

That’s all I say to people. That way they’re going to remember you, they’re going to think that’s a really, really great time and you’re going to make an impression. And that’s how you become memorable in life. That’s how you become successful. 

And I think I’ve been trying to do that for 18 plus years, maybe all my life. But really treat people with respect and leave them in better condition than when you found them, because, goodness me, the world certainly needs more love the world certainly needs more love right now, doesn’t it? 

[Gillian McCallum] : Leaving us with the message of be kind, the end.

[James Preece]: Yes, that’s exactly it.

[Gillian McCallum]; Thank you so much, James.

[James Preece] : Thanks a lot. Thank you. Bye.

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