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.