Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Proper First Date Behavior (Part1)

3rd in a series. See below.

Let's see. Where did we leave off? Oh yes. You have the plan. You have made the date.

Oh, I didn't discuss lunch vs. dinner date or weekday vs. weekend date. Hmmm. You know, Phantom Hater had good logic behind his love of lunch dates. (See comments in last post.) But I'm a firm believer in Chris Brander's advice in Just Friends: Friends go on lunch dates. So if you are worried that you might possibly be in The Friend Zone (TFZ), dispel all confusion by taking Crush Girl out to dinner. Other than that, I'm going to say, go with whatever. Some people can't really afford to be picky about when their dates occur. *ahem*

Ironic that I've been posting about dating, isn't it? In the 5 years I've lived here, I've been single for 4 of them. WOW.

Anyway. Where was I? Oh yes. It's Date Day (or Night).

This is how to AVOID major foul-ups which could land you a slap in the face and/or Sunday Brunch ridiculing by your date and her girlfriends: Try and make a good impression by being polite and courteous. Try and get to know your date. Relax and have fun -- it's dating, not a job interview.

Oh! You want details? Well, ok. To make this more accessible for my male readers, I will structure this like a game. The more points you get, the better you do.

1. Clean your car. Some girls *ahem* watch this very closely. You might even call it "The Clean Car Test". Guys who clean their cars are out to impress. Be that guy. +/-50

2. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT: DO NOT BE LATE. It's insulting and shows a general lack of consideration. It's a good way to make your date feel unimportant. That's not good. Yes, I realize she will still be getting ready when you arrive. This does not mean you can fudge on 10 minutes. You must be on time. If you are going to be more than 10 minutes late, a PHONE CALL is required. And you'd better have a good excuse: your dog is sick, you got a flat tire, you are bleeding from your eye sockets, etc. If you don't have a good excuse, DO NOT LIE. (Do you really want to start lying to her already? You haven't even gone out yet!) Just tell us you're an idiot who lost track of time. We like it when you acknowledge your idiocy. This will actually score you points. If you are late, even with a good excuse, you are expected to make a humble apology. Three times.

Being on time is NOT THAT HARD. Suck it up, be an adult, and be on time. Please and thank you.

On time: expected, so no points. Being late: -100 points for every 5 minutes you are late. Apologizing for being late: expected, so no points. Apologizing fewer than 3 times, or just generally acting like it's no big deal: -100. Calling to say you're going to be late: +5

Note: If you are someone who is chronically tardy, do not worry. Some girls are lax on the tardiness rule, since they, too, are chronically tardy (gee...wonder who I'm referring to....). But the First Date is different. Better to play it safe and be on time. You can ask her during the date if she's a stickler for punctuality. This is called "Learning What She Likes" and it's another one of your goals.

Note: Do NOT show up 30 minutes ahead of time, like one guy did to me once. I had to entertain him for 30 minutes (he needed the TV remote, a drink, etc.) AND he had to see me without makeup on. Not good. Very irritating. Stick to no more than 10 minutes early. Any more than that, and you will lose 50 points.

3. Pick her up at her house (or place of employment). I cannot stress this enough. It shows you're willing to go the extra step. First of all, she's probably going to be running late (tweezing, powdering, outfit changing, hair do-ing, etc.) so you're going to be waiting on her anyway. Second of all, you don't want her thinking, "Gah, he can't even be bothered to pick me up on the FIRST date? This guy is so full of himself, he doesn't care about making an impression on me. Or else he's just incredibly lazy. What a jerk. I'm ordering the lobster." -- See? Like being on time, it's just better to pick her up. You can ask her on the date if she's cool with meeting up next time. ( "Learning What She Likes".) Most girls are considerate and accommodating in this regard, especially if decent amounts of time or money are expended in order to pick her up.

Picking her up for the first date: expected (usually). Picking her up, always: the points progress in value the longer you do it. So if you are still picking her up for everything 6 months into the relationship, you're getting about 100 points per pick-up. Picking her up, but whining about it: -25 points.

Note: Do not take it personally if she's a little on the paranoid side, and wants to meet you there on the first date. Some girls are just hyper-aware of safety. It doesn't mean you're creepy. If you were creepy, she wouldn't be going out with you. In theory.

Note: Another reason you want to pick her up is so that she doesn't have to wait on YOU to arrive. At best, she'll be mad that she had to wait alone, and at worst, another guy could steal your date! (-500 points)

Note: You will probably score lots of points if you are the guy who ALWAYS picks her up. If she thinks you're crazy for being that way or protests the idea, you can just say, "You're worth the effort." You will score even more points (+8,000). This will make it much easier to get into her pants later on.

Note: By picking her up at her place of employment/house, you can get a glimpse into her world: what she's like, what she surrounds herself with, whether or not her coworkers/roommate likes her. This is all good for information-gathering purposes. You can learn a LOT about someone by seeing the inside of their house. Good things to look at while you wait for her, ever so innocently: pics on her fridge, amount of clutter, books/movies/CDs/magazines laying around, evidence of an ability to cook, absence of objects which would indicate there's another man in her life.

4. Do not be negative, whiny or complaining. It's not fun to listen to people bitch and moan. Dates are supposed to be fun. People like being around people who are happy and positive. Feel free to keep track of how negative she is being, btw. No one wants to be dating Debbie Downer. Being negative: -25 pts. per incident.

5. One of the first things you should say is how fantastic/beautiful/gorgeous/hot/thin your date looks. Remember, we will NEVER get sick of hearing this until the day we die, so feel free to gush about it periodically throughout the date. Throw in a "Wow!" or a "No, really, I mean, WOW!" and you'll get even more points. Ca-ching! Ca-ching! Ca-ching! Can you hear the points racking up??? (+100 per compliment) Don't overdo it, though or we will stop believing you. 3 times per date is pretty good.

6. Regarding doors and their opening. Unfortunately, this is one of those things where Every Woman is Different. However, I would advise any unsure, single guy to continue opening all doors for her unless she tells you to stop or grabs the door first. That is her way of saying, "I appreciate your kindness, but this isn't 1886 and I can get my own door, thanks. In fact, how about I hold it for you, too?" Rare is the modern girl who would be grossly offended by your opening the door for her. So when in doubt, hold and open all doors: car, restaurant, building, etc. It's better to slightly offend a modern woman (-15 points) than to GREATLY offend an old-fashioned one (-25,000). Because as an old-fashioned woman, I can tell you it really ticks me off when I'm not even worth a door holding. It will blow the date, actually--dating privileges will be revoked. In fact, if the door is not held for me, I will patiently wait until it is. One guy was halfway to the restaurant table with the hostess before realizing I was still outside, waiting for the door. High maintenance? Maybe. But he was very embarrassed, let me tell you.*

* I would like the record to show that this is pretty much the only high-maintenance thing I do. Doors are a big deal to me. You don't have to take me shopping or drive a nice car to impress me. Just open the damn door. It's not that hard. And I'm sure I'm not the only girl who feels like this. Ladies, back me up.

Note: Feel free to stop holding doors open if she doesn't say "Thank you," each and every time. We should be polite, too.

Note: Here's a crazy notion! If you don't know if she would like the doors opened for her, ASK. (+25 points for caring enough to ask.) This is another part of that whole "Learning What She Likes" thing.

7. Keep in mind that women's bodies are not as warm as men's bodies. This has been scientifically proven. There's about an 8 degrees Fahrenheit difference between the sexes when it comes to "comfy". Women get cold very easily, so you will get points for asking her if she is hot/cold/comfortable when you're in the car or at the restaurant. This is called "being courteous." Guess what kind of guy we like to kiss. Ding! Ding! Ding! You got it. (+ 75)

8. Turn the music down when you're in the car. What's more important, her telling you something about herself or listening to "Panama City" for the 4,367th time? Don't you want to hear what she has to say? If not, then why are you on this date?? (+75)

9. Avoid introducing Crush Girl to your Inner Hulk. Deep breaths. No yelling at other drivers. We want to feel like we are out with gentlemen who are in control of themselves, not silverback gorillas who are proverbially beating their chests when their manhood is challenged. Also included in this category are temper tantrums, jealous behavior, etc. (Gorilla-like behavior: -500 per occurrence.)

10. Another one of your goals should be to make your date feel safe at all times. Guys don't think about it much, because they are big, strong, brave and know how to fix stuff, so they don't need to worry about these things. But girls are usually of a more fragile physical nature. A lot of us have no idea what to do when the tire goes flat or when a bird flies inside the house. And we live in constant fear that around the next corner is a mugger, waiting to rob us, rape us and slit our throat. That's why we all carry those little mace things on our keychains. It also plays a role in why we like muscles and tall men so much. Big and strong = safety. You can put your date at ease by reassuring her you can protect her in case of muggers/natural disasters/giant insects/Armageddon/scary things in general. (+5,000 for giving off the "you're safe with me!" vibe, with an extra bonus of 20,000 points if you actually end up protecting her from something truly dangerous. Unless it's a big bug, which only counts for 75 points per bug. If we have to call our fathers or brothers for help, because you are as useless as a little girl when a crisis arises, -25,000. If you carry a gun to work, I will give you + 10,000 bonus. But that's just me. Guns are hot.)

I remember I was on a date with a nice guy once. We were leaving a movie theater when a SUPER creepy guy walked up to us and asked to bum a cigarette. If I had been alone, I would have literally run away from the guy--he was that scary. So imagine my terror to find that not only was my date giving him a smoke, but he proceeded to sit and chat with him for about 5 minutes. Not only was he not quickly whisking me away from Mr. Creepy, he was exposing me to more Mr. Creepy time. That was the last time I went out with that guy. If a girl can't feel safe with you, you don't have anything.

Note: This does not give you license to get into fist fights over trivial matters while on the date. There's a difference between feeling like we are safe and feeling like we are babysitting. See #9, above. (Fist fight on a date = -25,000. In most cases, your dating privileges will also be revoked.)

Part 2 is tomorrow....

Comments? Criticism? Praise? Let's discuss.


Matilda Jane said...

I would write an entire comment, but my eyes have rolled completely out of my head to somewhere on the floor and I have to go look for them.

Stuck said...

I think I might have to post an entire rebuttal thread... but I'm going to wait until you're done with the series.

I'll just sum it up by saying that The Southern Gentleman is dead. I know this from first-hand experience. He was killed by the Independent Woman about ten years ago.

lenfercestlesautres said...

Um, that thing about feeling cold. I mean, maybe it proves that women never dress warm enough while men do?

kimmykins13 said...

I'm big on having the door held open for me too. It's just good manners.

Also, what about gently putting his hand on your back as if to steer you along when you are walking through a really crowded area and he is behind you. I think that is ok. Makes ya feel kind of protected without being to touchy feely.

RWA said...

Damn, this is educational.

You forgot in #3, about the various things to "check out," to include her lingerie drawer.

That is OK - isn't it?

And good point about opening doors. I'd much rather risk -5 than -2,000!!!!

Jonathan Zero said...

And Southern Gentlemen still do exist, we have just been beat down, chewed up and spit out and twisted in so many directions over the years it really is hard to know which way is up.But when I am on a date, first or otherwise, I do these things. In fact, I hold the door for women in general whether I am dating them or not. It is about respect; holding the door, asking if she needs more heat or a cool air, picking her up at her house(even though I am guilty of doing the lets meet somewhere, but it worked out in the end)and so on and so on. Anyway, this is longer than I thought it would be.

Baja Hockey Fan said...

Amen about the being late thing. The last date I went on the guy changed the time 3 times (he is a farmer) and I ended up having to rush at the last minute. I managed to make it to the restuarant by 8:07 (date at 8:00). Which I think is acceptable for a girl. He didn't show until after 8:30 and didn't apologize. Needless to say the date just went down hill from there.

Alison said...

You are so cute. :)

LowTide said...

I agree with the comments above. The Southern Gentleman was savagely beaten to death. I always hold the door open for a woman and stand when a woman enters the room. It is just the way my momma raised me.

True story, a couple of years ago I was walking into a store and held the door open for a lady walking in behind me. She had the audacity to tell me that she was liberated and could open her own doors. Being a Southern Gentleman, I did not say anything back to her. However, when I walked out of the store later, I saw a guy hooking up jumper cables to her car. I guess she could open doors but not jump start her car.

cmk said...

I am just having the most fun reading these posts! Seeing as I have been married for longer than a lot of you have been alive, this is an education I wouldn't be getting any other way! Keep it up, VB, you're doing a great job.

tazna said...

I've never really worried or taken note about the whole door thingy but.....NOW I WILL!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAA

teahouse said...

Fun post to read!

And unlike most girls, I get really warm and sweaty really quick. Always worried about whether my deodorant is working...

teahouse said...

Oh, and I should add that the door opening thing is definitely very important. I grew up in the Deep South, and my Fiance was born and raised in NYC. But he impressed me from day 1 with his door opening prowess.

one girl said...

I love love love these posts! You are too funny (in the absolute best way).

I was joking around with a guy once on the phone before a first date and he said (jokingly) that he would pick me up at my house at 7:08pm. He buzzed my door on the DOT- so cute. I found out weeks later, when we were bf/gf, that he actually got to my apartment 15 minutes early and wandered around the neighborhood waiting to ring my bell at just the right minute (awwwwwww!).

Too bad he turned out to be an @$$ hole!

I'm totally thinking that you need to do a series of these posts except for girls involving how to find a halfway decent guy :)

one girl said...

oh, and I love it when my date opens doors for me :)

crackfire said...

I have a question what if your date lives all the way on the other side of the city and it would take him a good 2 hrs to pick you up, then shouldn't you meet up at a place that is easily recheable by both of you ?

I am all for opening the doors and complementing and all the other stuff.

Meghan (The Declaration of MY Independence) said...

Again I love your posts, but you already knew that....

Totally agree with the door openings. I am a stickler for guys coming to the door when they pick me up. I remember the one time when I was about 16, my ex-asshole just sat outside beeping his horn expecting me to come running out. Well, Papa M wouldnt let me out of the house until ex-asshole came to the door. Did I mention that I waited in the house for about 20 minutes? Asshole.

Matilda Jane said...

Ok... now that I have found my eyeballs and a recent horoscope told me to stop being so frigid... I'll admit something:
I went on a date a couple months back, and the guy didn't open the door for me. I even hesitated in front of the door, and he didn't make a move for it. All I could think was "what is wrong with you? where are your manners?" Obviously, I have been infested by the southern bug because, when I moved down here... my take was "I have my own set of arms and am perfectly capable of opening things by myself." Oh, also... whatever happened to bringing flowers on the first date???????

Phantom Hater said...

As far as the Southern Gentleman hooey, let me just say this--I *know* girls appreciate doors being held and stuff like that. They all do. The girl who didn't in one of these comments needs to do a penis check, 'cause that's just stupid. I also always try to go around and open the passenger door (within reason) when she gets in, and walk on the outside of the sidewalk. Most women apparently don't even expect it and it can make for some awkwardness when you both try to open the door at the same time, but whatev.

My problem is that at some point, *all* women will start taking nice gestures for granted. At least, I haven't found one who doesn't. That's the cynic in me. Early dating is, to me, cake. Every nice thing you do in the beginning gets lots of points, but nothing later on unless you dole it out in small portions. Modern women see you as more of a whipped puppy than a gentleman.

~mj - I say, no flowers on the first date. Overdone and cheesey. I'm also not a big fan of red roses. I like to find out a girl's favorite color or type of flower and use that later on for flower choice.

crackfire said...

I also asked a question I know I may be not as cute but dang it ANSWER :D

Virginia Belle said...

holy cow. i don't even know where to begin. i'm amazed at the popularity of these posts, considering how dateless i am...

MJ -- ok, you will probably never be as old-fashioned as me. i'll give you that. but even you admit it's nice to feel special. :)

stuckey -- i look forward to your rebuttal at the end of the series. i think the Southern Gentleman is NOT dead. you and other guys (who have commented here) have proven that chivalry and manners are still around. i am saying, they are still valued by a lot of women.

len -- true, sometimes a jacket just doesn't match my outfit. but sometimes, i honestly think my body is just...easily chilled. and the scientists in that article have apparently proven it.

kimmy -- the hand on the small of the back? that's waaaaay past good manners, and into "things that turn me on! +500!!" -- but that's just me. it's HOT.

rwa-- i'm glad this is educational. i am trying to explain not only the "what" but also the "why". for example, do not look in their underwear drawer, because we will fear you are thinking about trying it on. see?

jonathan -- sounds like you don't need to read these posts! what was long, your comment or my post?

baja-- ugh. that sounds terribly inconsiderate. if he's like that on the first date, i think you saved yourself a lot of hassle. imagine what he'd be like on your birthday. when people show you who they the first time, believe them.

alison -- *curtsies*

lowtide-- i LOVE that story! too funny. and the Southern Gentleman must not be dead, or else you (and my other male readers) wouldn't be opening doors. right?

cmk -- be glad you are only reading about it and not living it. it's a jungle out here.

tazna -- you are worth it, aren't you??? i mean, it's not like it's HARD.

teahouse -- you and me both! sometimes i carry deo with me on first dates. just in case. your fiance is proof that door opening is not a Southern thing. it's a gentlemanly, manners thing.

one girl -- good! i'm glad you like them. i was worried i was being all Southern Belle on these, but I know you live in Brooklyn, so these must be universal truths, right? :) an yes, that is cute how he did that. too bad he's an asshole, indeed...

crackfire -- you know, people who live in big cities have asked me this before. and i'm just not sure. on one hand, i'm thinking, "what, you're not worth a 2 hour car ride?" but on the other hand, that is a significant amount of time. so my answer is this: now you know why i don't do long distance relationships. ;D

meghan -- if a guy sat in his car and beeped, he might as well keep on driving. because i sure as hell am not coming out of my house for that crap.

MJ -- i bet the guy ended up being really selfish and wrapped up in himself, didn't he? as far as flowers on first dates are concerned, um, that is news to me. is that a yankee thing? i don't expect gifts except on birthdays and holidays. shit, flowers on a first date would definitely score points, though...way to raise the bar, MJ.

PH-- you should be writing these posts. you are right on. and waiting to find out her favorite flower color? cha-ching! no wonder you can't shake EGF! you are on it, dude!

i try my darndest not to take stuff for granted. i'm not saying i'm perfect about it, but then again, neither is the guy. eventually guys stop complimenting or going to extra lengths to impress me. so i figure it's even. and that's ok. if no one gets pissy about it, that just means we're in our comfy zone. :)

crackfire -- i answered it, right? i mean, kinda. we need a guy's perspective on this....it's a tough question. if we were talking an hour away, then my opinion would be different. but two?? i don't know...

Matilda Jane said...

Ug... this reminds me of one idiot I dated that asked me my favorite color.... which is blue.... so what did he do? He got white roses and put blue food coloring in the water. Not only did they look like crap, but they also spilled all over my ex-roomate's tile counter, completely staining it. Idiot.

I've had quite a few guys bring me flowers in the past... whether they were store bought or wild... totally cute.

Phantom Hater said...

"He got white roses and put blue food coloring in the water."

That's pretty dumb. At least he tried, I guess. I was thinking more along the lines of a multi-colored bouquet with the dominant color being her fave.

TT is a dancer, so I've probably gotten her more flowers than anyone I've ever dated.

Flowers by themselves (especially red roses) require no thought or real effort. Any schmoe can pick them up at a florist or grocery store. I've never really understood why girls love them so much.

~crackfire -- I would say in that case, it would definitely be best to meet somewhere. That's a long drive for a first date, although you know if a guy does it, he is probably into you.

* meish * said...

i also love doors opened for me, but i ALWAYS make a point to say thank you.

being california born and bred, last summer was the VERY FIRST TIME that this guy at work would stand at the table at lunch and wait for me to sit down first. turns out he was raised in virginia. i felt weird and embarrassed at first, but it was such a nice gesture and i never expect it out of any other guy i know, but it can't help but make me feel special.

Virginia Belle said...

MJ- ugh. don't even get me started on that guy.

PH -- what does TT's being a dancer have to do with flowers? do i not get flowers because i'm a librarian? i am assuming TT is EGF 3.0? and yes, red roses are so cliche. so are apology flowers. i have a friend who hates flowers now, because all it means to her is that her man fucked up. not a good association. good answer to crackfire. i think that's fair.

meish -- yes, those guys are few and far between! definitely raised right! (er, properly...as grammar rules would dictate...)

Phantom Hater said...

"what does TT's being a dancer have to do with flowers"

Yes, TT is EGF Version 3.0.
After a concert, it's customary to give the performer flowers.

As a librarian, I guess I would give you...uhh...a dozen copies of the Red Badge of Courage? :)

Intensifire3 said...

Wow. Too many comments to read. I did want to add mine though. ha

First. I feel like the points are a little skewed towards the negative side. Granted there were several ways to get points; however, it seems that if you lose points, you always lose big. sucks.

Second. Carrying guns is not cool IMHO. It may be your thang...but since when did a gun do much but kill. If a guy is a real man, and the circumstance of another human drawing a gun on you happened (.01% chance).....he would take the bullet for you, then kill the other guy.

Third. Opening doors should be policy. Its not. but thats how you start off on a good foot.

Fourth. Thanks for helping me kill some time.