As a hetrosexual male in his mid-20s, I’ve gone on a few dates with women in my time. Some of these experiences have been good, though many have been bad. Likewise, I’ve been around many other individuals (both male and female, independent of their sexual orientation) who have also decided that going on a date was a good idea at one time or another.
Frankly, I find the concept of dating to be ridiculous, however I can see why some people find an appeal to it. Dating allows a person to seek out a potential life partner without making any long-term commitments such as seeing the other person ever again((Unless you want to)). In many cases, dates (particularly first dates) include awkward conversation with someone you’ve never met before. I promise you, their interest level in your story about being a drummer in an indie-country band is on par with your interest when they start talking about how their pet chihuahua fits in their Coach purse((If I ever heard that conversation taking place at a restaurant in real life, I’d consider self-lobotomy)).
That said, there’s plenty that I’ve learned in my dating past that I’d like to share with all of you. Some of these items may not be applicable to your personal situation, however we all know someone (a brother, a niece, a cousin, Vivette from The Lusty Leopard Club down the street) who could benefit from the following advice. Feel free to leave comments adding your own thoughts.
- The best form of birth control is not abstinence. It’s dating a girl with a father who is a 6’7″, 450 pound ex-cop who has night terrors from his time in the Gulf War((Also ranking above abstinence? Literally, nothing. In practice, pretty much everything.)).
- Being stood up on a date isn’t the worst thing in the world. Now you have time to do something constructive, like yoga, Sudoku, or masturbation.
- Always ask for ID. Always. If possible, go to a place that requires you to produce ID to get in/consume alcohol.
- Online dating sites aren’t as filled with creepers as you may think. I would encourage singles to try their luck there if traditional dating attempts have failed.
- Avoid discussing politics, religion, or Israel on the first date. Unless your first date is in a Fox News studio((You know there’s someone out there who would think this is the perfect first date)).
- If a girl hits you because “it would be fun to see a girl hit a guy for once”, she’s not the girl for you. Or anyone((This actually happened to me. More details to come in a future post.)).
- Gentlemen — always offer to drive if any part of your date requires travel.
- Learn what you don’t want in a partner early on. This will help you weed out bad first dates before committing to a second date.
- Communication is key. A simple misunderstanding often turns a calm first date at a park to turn into a trip to a dark basement filled with occult flags, a giant black dildo, and Renaissance Fair regalia((Sadly, this also happened.)).
- If you meet somewhere for your date, ask your date how long it took them to get there. If their time is more than three times what yours was, there’s a good chance this will be your only date.
- There is a distinct difference between city people, country people, and suburban people. Learn which one you are and which category you want to belong to.
- Shower before your date. Even if you plan on showering with your date at some point that night((Related note, guys: Trim your beard/mustache before a date if you’re not clean shaven. Facial hair is fine for a date, but look presentable.)).
- Ladies — Beware a man who wears a three-piece suit on any first date that isn’t a black-tie affair.
- Gentlemen — Beware a smooth-talking redhead in a dress of any length.
- The larger the cross necklace someone is wearing (regardless of their gender), the less likely it is they go to church.
- If your date asks you to call them by a nickname because it’s what their ex-significant other called them, bail. Quickly.((Especially if said nickname sounds like something an overly affectionate aunt would call an annoyed tween.))
- Unless it’s obscenely hot out, wear layers. It gives you something to give to your date if they’re cold.
- Google your date first. Even blind dates.
- When in doubt, throw everything I’ve said out the window and just roll with it…except for the asking for ID part((Seriously though. Ask for ID)).
Front Page Image credit crises_crs via Flickr. Used under a Creative Commons License.