My boyfriend and I had been dating for a few months and he was coming to town so we could go to a New Year’s Eve party together. I knew this was the make it or break it date. I was wildly sliding between not telling people we were dating (my thinking was that if history is any indication of the future, then we’d be breaking up soon) and trying to figure out how to work his name into every single conversation (I was crazy about him!)

It wasn’t the dinner or the flowers or the fact that he had traveled halfway across the world to see me. New Year’s Eve turned into my Let’s Make This Work night when I realized that I loved being me when he was there. It was not just how I felt about him when I was with him; it was how I felt about me when I was with him. Being with the best looking man at the party was fun, and I appreciated (and still do) that he has formal (but not in a stuffy way) manners. But I could tell from the way he introduced me that he was proud to be my date. It meant that he was serious about us and made me proud to be the girl he had chosen.

My guy is funny and smart and someone that I couldn’t stop staring at when I met him. He is also someone that makes me feel good about me, just like you would do for someone that you love.

There’s No Tone In Your Text: By S.K.

I love my iPhone and all of the features that it has, but they have yet to come up with an app that can include tone and inflection in a text message. Over the past couple of years, the majority of men that I have met communicated with me mainly via text messages and email.

Now I don’t know about you, but I get more than my fair share of these throughout the work day and the last thing that I want to do when I get home is continue that with someone who has the potential to taste my cooking (something I love to do for the most special of people in my life). I’ve had everything from the ‘Hi’ text, which is apparently supposed to prompt a fruitful conversation via my thumbs, to the annoying ‘LOL’ included after every single text even one that said,’ Sorry you had such a bad day…LOL’. Really?

About 7 months ago, I was pleasantly surprised when my now boyfriend whom I had just met actually picked up the phone and called me to talk and continued to do so almost every day. My career has me on the road frequently and can often hinder my ability to develop a meaningful relationship with someone. But, he made it a point to know what time zone I was in so he could call me before I went to bed and made it feel as though he was sitting right next to me asking me about my day.

He and I were able to get to know each other in a more intimate way and actually hear each other’s laughs versus being texted that they were ‘ROTFL’. Of course we text throughout the day but my heart still smiles the most when I hear his voice on the other end of the line.

Come In From The Cold: By L.S.

Sometimes it is not what a guy does on a date that sets them a part, but what they do prior to a date. While there is a wonderful excitement of meeting someone, being attracted to them and hoping they feel the same, don’t let the girl stay in the hoping stage too long. If you play it so cool that you leave a girl trying to figure out if you are interested in her or not, she will start dating someone that she knows IS interested in her.

I admit, it is a fine line.

A girl does not want some guy that she just met calling, texting, and e-mailing her all the time. She wants someone that shows that they are interested, but still leaves her guessing a bit. Just enough to build the excitement. You don’t have to show all your cards up front, but you do need to give her something to work with.

Get her number, call her, ask her out and make sure she knows it is a date. Oh – and no need to wait 2 days to ask her out. We all saw “Swingers” too and would like to note… DUDE writer.

I recently met a guy when I was out with friends. While I would have guessed him to be a game player and did not really expect to hear from him, I was completely wrong. He got my information, called me that night to make sure that me and my friends made it home safely, and asked me out for dinner. He clearly showed he was interested, no games. And that got my attention.

1,001 Days: By A.S.

My boyfriend will tell you that he waited a 1,000 days for me, and I hope he thinks it was worth it. What finally set him apart from all the rest was his patience with me, and the fact that he never tried to push me into liking him.

Over the three year period, we became really good friends and after dating all the wrong guys, I finally realized that the man I wanted was right in front of me. I’m so thankful that God gave my boyfriend the patience of Job because I think most men would have given up a long time ago and I would have missed out on amazing guy.

Effort Is Worth 1,000 Words: By E.D.

When a girl has multiple options in online dating world, how does a guy stand out and snag her attention? It can all be summed up in one word: “effort”.

I don’t mean falling over yourselves with grand gestures right off the bat, or spending a ton of money on an unforgettable evening… although both are good for the occasional sparkles that relationships need. I mean taking the time to put in the effort into making the moments you have with your girl of interest count. The whole “actions speak louder than words” thing put into practice.

A few years ago, I was casually dating a handful of guys. One of which included a very nice guy that was great on paper, but for a couple reasons I didn’t feel the spark. I remember telling some friends of mine, “He’s really nice, but a little too nice, and while I’m willing to go out with him a couple times to investigate, I’m pretty sure that he just isn’t really for me. ” (OK- be kind! I know I was a “bad-boy” addict, but I’ve gotten much better!)

In any case, Mr. Nice Guy called and asked me to meet for drinks after work for date 3, and I accepted, planning to use the opportunity to give him the “let’s just be friends” talk. Instead, Mr. Nice Guy surprised me with an over the top outdoor picnic complete with multiple options of wine, cheese, crackers, and fruit because he didn’t know which one I’d like and wanted to be prepared. He even brought insect repellent and a toy for my dog.

I expected the usual drinks at a restaurant, and instead I got a wonderfully thought out surprise. His effort in planning showed me that he thought I was worth more than the average date. He also showed that he thought enough of me to go to those lengths and he demonstrated that he was one of those people who actually put his words into actions. It was enough to make me pause and rethink my decision.

He ended up putting just as much effort into date 4… and it was the other guys I ended up telling to “just be friends”. Mr. Nice Guy and I ended up in a relationship that lasted several years.

He never knew just how close I came to cutting it short. And while we aren’t still together, I have him to thank for ending my “bad boy” addiction, and for instilling in me a more open mind toward guys I initially think “just aren’t really for me.”