It’s a fact that older men are attracted to younger women. Sometimes much younger. If you are an older man, maybe divorced or widowed, and getting into the dating scene again, then it’s likely that you are just about as nervous as a teenager. And that goes double when the object of your intentions is a younger woman who can probably have her pick of the field of guys.

Here are some tips to ensure that both you and your date have good time on that important first date – and how you might even get to make it to a deep, intimate and lasting relationship.

Choose a place that isn’t intimidating

If your date is much younger than you, it’s possible that she won’t be used to, for example, attending the opera or a serious play, or eating in a very fine restaurant. The dinner and a movie formula is still a winner, but choose something light hearted as your film – the best thing is to ask her what she’d like to see – and find a medium range restaurant – a great Italian is ideal. If she asks you to choose the food, it’s probably because she isn’t familiar with the cuisine. Be nice, and order something simple but delicious. Avoid things like lobster which are simply not very easy to eat with a person you don’t know really well!

Don’t apologize

You’re older than she is, you know it, she knows it, get over it. She said “Yes” when you asked her out, so don’t spend the evening apologizing for being an old fuddy duddy. Chances are she is proud to be seen out with you, so don’t give her reasons to think she should be ashamed.

Dress your age

If you still look great in jeans and a white t-shirt, and you’re taking her out somewhere casual, then fine, go with that look. But don’t try to dress younger than your age if it doesn’t suit you. Fortunately, the guidelines about who wears what at what age are pretty well non-existent compared to a few decades ago, but, if in doubt, go a little more formal. You can always ask a trusted female friend for advice on what suits you.

Pay attention to grooming

No, do not rush out and dye your hair! But do make sure you have a good hair cut, you’re well shaved, if you are clean shaven, and of course, well showered and with every item of clothing absolutely clean. Don’t drown yourself in after shave or cologne; less is more as far as male perfumes are concerned. Go for something light and woodsy or citrusy, and try to coordinate deodorant, shampoo, body wash and so on so that so are not a mish mash of perfumes. Try not to smell of the cream you rub in for your joint pains!

Listen to her

The sexiest thing that you can do on a date is listen to the lady. Take a real interest in her, her life, her family and her concerns. And when we say “real”, we mean “real”. Don’t just wait for her to finish and then jump in with all of your stuff. Ask follow up questions. “So, where is your favorite place to ski?” “Have you ever thought about exhibiting your paintings?”, “Do you enjoy living in that part of town?”.

Answer her questions about you briefly, not so briefly as to seem elusive, but turn your attention back on to her as soon as possible. You are older, wiser, and you could easily overwhelm her. Refrain from boasting about all the stuff you have and the money you earn. If she’s attracted to that, you might have found a gold digger – bad news. Play things down if anything, after all, you are looking for a girl who likes you for yourself, not what you can give her, right?

Compliment her, don’t paw her

Pay nice compliments, not sleazy ones (despite what you might be thinking). “I love the color of your eyes”, “That dress is beautiful”, “Great shoes!” “Your hair is so pretty.” are all in the right area. “You really turn me on!”, “You look so sexy in that dress.”, “Nice boobs!” – well, we don’t have to tell you…..but, even the wisest old dogs can make these elementary mistakes.

And whatever you do, don’t paw or grope her. You are not Donald Trump. (And if you are, please make notes.) A hand briefly and lightly placed on the small of her back – waist height and no lower – to guide her to the table – is appropriate. A hand briefly placed on hers to emphasize a point allows you to gauge her reaction; if she pulls hers away as if she’s on fire, you’re going too fast.

The end of the evening

Make sure you escort her home. See her to the door, and give her a polite kiss on the cheek. Tell her how much you enjoyed the evening and ask if you can see her again.

Never forget that your maturity and gentlemanliness are your aces in the hole. If a much younger woman has agreed to date you, it could be because she is tired of callow young men, so don’t YOU behave like a callow young man.