Asian man toasting wine on date.

Between 2018 and 2023, journalism firms like The Guardian and even finance website Marketwatch reported the death of the dinner date. Thanks to Tinder swipes and “Netflix and chill,” the age-old intimate get-together over a meal has been kicked to the curb, next to paper maps and compact discs.

These days, the casualness of relationship maintenance and the ease of gratification make a dinner date feel slow-moving. But, as cliched as it appears, a good sit-down is still the ideal way to get to know another person. It creates an . You can pick up her mannerisms, habits, and preferences. Likewise, you can show off how thoughtful and attentive you are.

It’s time to bring back this, er, tradition. Here’s how to woo a woman with the perfect dinner date.

1. Ideate the perfect dinner date.

Whether the first or the 32nd, you should always put a lot of thought into your dates. A simple home-cooked meal can be special with proper planning and intention. Whatever you decide, make sure to take in her preferences. Don’t take her to a if she’s not at all outdoorsy.

2. Make a reservation.

Being No. 8 on the seating list isn’t romantic, and a hangry woman is hardly the best way to start a dinner date. Call ahead if the restaurant allows reservations. This shows that you planned the outing carefully and not just on a whim.

3. Be on time.

Now that you have reservations, honor them. If you’re meeting at the venue, be there a few minutes before the designated time. If you’re picking your date up, make sure to allot room for traffic jams (this is Manila, after all) and other potential incidentals. Showing up promptly tells your date that you can’t wait to spend time with them – and you don’t want to waste any minute of it.

4. Keep the surprises smart.

Most people like surprises. Imagine scoring seats to the hottest restaurant your girl’s been raving about for months. Perhaps you can take her to this underrated hole-in-a-wall and impress her with your cultural astuteness. Or, how about lifting that cloche and revealing pasta you made from scratch?

However, understand the difference between a surprise and a whammy. Again, you wouldn’t want your date to glam up only to be whisked away to a muddy picnic. Even if you have things up your sleeve, give a modicum of what to expect.

5. Present a gift.

Speaking of surprises, don’t neglect the impact of traditional flowers or a box of chocolates, especially if this is the first date. You should want to put your no matter what , but the early stages are all about proving what you can offer.

6. Dress to impress.

. Bring out the jacket and Oxfords if you’re going somewhere fancy. Even a Binondo food crawl warrants a shirt without any holes in it. Fix your hair, wash your face, brush your teeth, and trim your fingernails. Remember to spray on some deodorant.

If you want to make a lasting impression, use AXE Body Spray Dark Temptation. Its warm and spicy scent comes with dual-action technology that combats odor-causing bacteria, warding off BO for up to 48 hours. Going for the opposite vibe? AXE Body Spray Ice Breaker blends sage, mandarin, and mint for that fresh feel.

7. Have options

Don’t take a vegetarian to a steak house. No matter where you have dinner, make sure the menu has something both of you can enjoy. That said, even with all your meticulous planning, you should always have a Plan B in case the place turns out to be a bust – or if you suddenly feel like doing something else.

8. Be present.

Put your phone away and focus on the conversation. . Ask your date questions. . Pick up on her comments. Notice her preferences. Did she pick off the tomatoes from her salad? Take note of that for next time. Don’t forget to share information about yourself, too.

The dinner date might have evolved to cater to the changing preferences of the dining population, but you can keep it alive with these tips. By the way, don’t forget to . That should be a given.