1. Show off your knowledge of celebrity families
She’ll assume topics like Kate Middleton’s baby bump and Suri Cruise’s divorced parents are only allowed when she’s with her girlfriends, so surprise her by knowing what’s up with A-listers and their offspring. OK! magazine’s guide to Hollywood’s cutest kids can help you brush up on the basics.
2. Scan the front page of the Wall Street Journal
Staying on top of what’s going on in the world can be as easy as reading a half-page section of expertly written news blurbs. Do it every morning while you wait in line for coffee and you’ll bank up enough knowledge to survive a conversation on Syria’s civil war.
3. Do your homework
It’s almost 2013—Google stalking isn’t as creepy as it used to be. You might uncover something you didn’t know about her, like that she blogged about a semester abroad or that she’s finished a few marathons. Find a (natural) way to weave those topics into a conversation, and watch her open up about what she’s passionate about.
4. Download a new app
They don’t call it a smartphone for nothing. If you aren’t up on the latest books, music, movies, eateries or whatever, there’s probably an app that can help you navigate the basics. Don’t know the difference between Malbec or Syrah? Hello Vino (free) helps you select a wine based on your taste preferences and what you’re eating. Heading to a raw bar but don’t know a damn thing about oysters? Oysterpedia (free) may be your best bet. We’re not joking—there really is an app for almost any topic.
5. Don’t ruin a good outfit with bad shoes
Skipping cologne and showing up with frayed shoe laces might not seem like a big deal, but when it comes to your style and grooming habits, girls appreciate the details, like good shoes on a good-smelling guy. These things tie your look together and show her that your understanding of style goes beyond an ability to match a shirt and a pair of pants.
Suck at selecting the right cologne? Check out this list of sexy scents for guys.