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(This is an article I wrote for my romantic advice blog for men — The Leading Man.) When I was a teenager, my driver's ed teacher taught me how to properly jump-start a car. Most people do it wrong, he explained. They connect both cable clips to the dead battery. Watch a professional do it. The pro connects the red (positive) cable to the battery, the other to an unpainted piece of metal under the hood. The way the majority of people do it does often result in a successfully started engine. But it can also create sparks, which might cause the battery to explode. The odds of this happening are relatively small, but a pro doesn't take chances. Professionals do it the right way. Part of being a professional lies in knowing what not to do. When you understand romance, you notice all sorts of things that guys do which indicate that they have not attained a high degree of mastery in this area. They make mistakes — some huge, many sloppy and small. I was in a restaurant the other day, and saw a guy come in with a young woman. Over the course of ten minutes, I witnessed: 1. She opened the door when they entered. 2. As they stood inside waiting for the hostess to come over to them, he put his hand on the back of her neck and began rubbing it. 3. When the hostess said, "You can sit wherever you like," the guy turned to his girl and asked, "Where do you want to sit?" 4. Once at the table, he talked excessively. He complained. He swore. 5. When their food arrived, he mostly looked down at his plate and concentrated on feeding his face, barely making eye contact with the woman. One might argue that these are minor issues. They are. But romance is very much about "little things" — details that demonstrate that a man is aware, that he is sophisticated and mature, and that he knows what he's doing. Romance isn't friendship. It's not enough for a woman to think you're a cool guy with an interesting personality. It's not enough for her merely to like you; she has to admire you, and experience you emotionally as her protector. A high-quality woman wants to sense that you are a cut above the masses of men. She needs to feel that you're special and different. At best, every error that a guy makes in romance represents a missed opportunity — a moment when he could have made a positive impression, but didn't. There's no better way to come across as "different" in a woman's eyes than to study romance, internalize its principles, and put yourself across at all times in a professional manner! P.S.: 1. A professional man opens the door for a woman. 2. A professional man does not put his hands on a woman in public. 3. A professional man selects the table in a restaurant. 4. A professional man doesn't talk too much; he keeps his conversation polite and positive. 5. A professional man makes relaxed, easygoing eye contact with a woman, casting her in the spotlight of his awareness. He makes her feel seen, heard, acknowledged and important. © 2013 Kevin Delaney