barriehomeboy saidForget about dating a guy as being something extraordinary. Make it a part of your life, like a trip to the science museum with a cute guy you know. Don't turn being with a cute guy into an event. Let it flow. Great sex, and great relationships, develop spontaneously.
Guys actually tend more to hang out than to date, in contrast to the classic, more formal sense we think about dating with men & women. So your comment about it not being something extraordinary is spot-on. Go to a game together, look under the hood of your car, eat at a sports bar, go over and help him with the yard work (or vice versa), watch TV, do guy stuff, whatever your generation does.
But every now and then, for a special occasion like his birthday, I would do my best to totally wow the guy. Usually without warning, cause I love surprises. Which meant sometimes I hadda pick a different day for it, or create some diversion to make him think I had forgotten it, or was planning to do it on another day. Or that we weren't going on a date, just a chance meeting.
But man, once I got him there! Reserved table, the best in the house, card as appropriate to the occasion already in place (I would plan this stuff days in advance with the restaurant staff), if not a birthday card then a "friends" card or something, perhaps some little gift or memento trinket already on the table.
Whenever possible a special meal done just for us, off the menu, that I knew he would love, served by my favorite waiter (I hate the word server). A wine bucket, with the wine or champagne I knew he liked having been prepared beforehand and standing by. The owner dropping by to offer complimentary drinks or desert on the house, naturally a birthday cake if that were appropriate. The whole thing already prepaid, prix fixe, or else settled later when I returned, to avoid the awkwardness of paying at the table with him there.
Let me tell you, gentlemen, nothing impresses your date more than when you start to get up from the table and he wonders if you forgot to pay, and where's the check, and you answer, no, it was all prearranged. He will know how special you think he is, how much trouble you would take for him.
And also, quite frankly, the pull you have. Plus he might live in the same world himself, which means he would be familiar with it all, and be reassured that you do, too.
But other days, I'd just go over to his place to work on his car, to keep my mechanics skills from atrophying, then hang out a while, and that could be a date, too. A date is any time I spend with a guy I like.