This article, as you can clearly see, is titled “How To Be A Good First Date.” Other prospective titles were “How To Not Be A Terrible Date” and “Literally Just Be A Normal Fucking Person.”
First dates are hard, especially if you’ve met over the internet or never met at all. You’ll learn a lot about another person on the first date, but you will also be surprised at how much you learn about yourself. You may find yourself regaling stories you haven’t told in years, opening up about your childhood and sharing your hopes and dreams to a near stranger. There are still limits and certain norms that must be followed to ensure that a first date leads to a second date, then ultimately marriage, then sex (in that order) (lol).
There is a fine line between talking too much about and not enough. Questions are your best friend. But like Larry King or Letterman, try to avoid straight yes/no questions.
“So where are you from?”
“Do you like it there?”
“Do you like it there” is an up or down, yes or no question. Instead, opt for something more open-ended.
“What’s it like there?”
Be curious. Dig deeper. Instead of asking if they like their hometown, ask what it’s like or ask to hear more about it.
Avoid being creepy
If you haven’t stalked somebody back to 2009 before going on a date then you’re either a Luddite or technologically inept. Instead of bringing up their community service trip to Costa Rica they took in 10th grade, ask if they like to travel. Then maybe you’ll get to the Costa Rica trip and can talk about your own experiences.
Don’t bring up old social media posts to spur conversation.
“I saw on Facebook that you had a miniature poodle named Nacho that passed away last year, I’m sorry,” doesn’t have quite the same charm as “Do you have any pets?”
Don’t look like a schmuck
This applies to both men and women. If you’re a dude and show up to a first date to coffee, lunch, dinner, or any date for that matter, wearing sandals then you deserve to get roasted by the WHAT ARE THOSE police.
General clothing faux pas for men:
– Basketball shorts
– Watches larger than your wrist
– Sunglasses inside
– HATS. DO NOT WEAR A FUCKING HAT EVEN IF YOU ARE BALDER THAN LARRY DAVID.
– Camo anything
This is not an exhaustive list, and it seems obvious, but when there are still homies preordering Romphims and forgetting to put on deodorant, slight reminders never hurt.
General clothing faux pas for women:
– So much animal print you look like you could pass for Snooki during her Jersey Shore days.
– Gym clothes (unless your first date is hiking somewhere, lose the track gear).
– Stilettos that you know you can’t walk in/won’t last all night in.
Again, just some things to consider.
Be on time
Please, please, please don’t show up more than five minutes late. Ideally, don’t even show up late at all! We’re all working professionals here, and meeting at happy hour at 6:30 comes with a great opportunity cost of either leaving work early or going to sleep later. Sometimes the subway breaks, work gets overwhelming, or family emergencies come up, but a courtesy text is a must in any of these situations.
Try to be normal
That means avoiding crude dead baby jokes, chewing with your mouth closed, not talking about your mom constantly, responding to questions, giving more than one-word answers, avoiding rants, not saying how much money you make, not saying how much money your parents make, and saying please and thank you. Again, this is not an exhaustive list; it’s just some things to think about.
Have a normal goodbye
If you’re going on a date then you’re somewhat thirsty. You may not be James Franco trapped under a boulder in “127 Hours” or sub-Saharan thirsty, but some thirst quenching is due.
Get one thing straight, though… you are not going to consummate the marriage that day or night. Just get sex out of your head and worry about more important things.
Let’s say absolute worst-case scenario everything could not have gone worse and you and your date could not be less compatible, a simple “bye” totally works. It’s weak and dry just like your interaction. Don’t go in for a hug or kiss on the cheek, and definitely not a handshake. Just say goodbye and go get drunk somewhere else.
If you can’t get a measure on your date and things went fine, not great, but just fine, a simple side hug to depart suffices.
Or, you hit it off. You were both laughing, touching, smiling. Kiss on the cheek. You have nothing to gain by going for a peck on the lips because
1. You just met.
2. If they avoid it then you shatter any illusion of casualty.
3. You’re probably in public.
4. If they’re super about a big ‘ole smooch then you leave them just wanting more.
It’s impossible to give a full script for a good date. If it were possible there would be no need for 90% of advice columns on the Internet. Conversation and the real world is dynamic and can’t be boiled down to a guide. However, if you understand the larger principles that apply to what makes a good date, then your odds are looking good. Plus, if somebody agrees to meet up with you in the first place then you must have done something right! It’s summer fling season so good luck to all of you going on your first dates in these sweltering months. Stay thirsty my friends, both literally and figuratively, because winter and cuffing season will be back before you know it.