1. An event wherein two (usually) willing individuals agree to spend an undetermined amount of time together, in which the two might eat food, drink libations, see moving pictures, or participate in any other activities together.
2. An awkward, anxiety-provoking, questionable outing with a potential romantic prospect, with outcomes that are usually really bad or really good.
3. A thing our parents used to do, but that we have since killed in cold blood with a butcher’s knife, in the study.
Dating already sucks on its own without us, as individuals, adding to its awfulness by pulling unnecessary bullshit on said dates. Here’s a small list of things to do and NOT do when it comes to dates and dating.
Have a rough plan.
I’m not saying that if you’re type B you have to suddenly change who you are and be an anal-retentive planner, but I am saying that you can’t just not have a plan. Flying by the seat of your pants is fine when it’s affecting no one but you, but when a new romantic prospect is involved, it’s super unacceptable. The worst seven words a girl can hear upon climbing into your car for a date are: “So, what do you want to do?” Equally as terrible, these seven: “What are you in the mood for?” And the worst six: “What do you want to eat?” Any inquiries among these lines have made me seriously consider climbing out of the car and walking back inside, while belting “That don’t impress me much!”, flicking him off, then farting–all in one, smooth motion.
Don’t be cheap.
At least not at first. Even if you’re the cheapest bastard on the planet, at least try to suppress those urges for the first few dates. Let us believe you’re a gem, a real gentleman who knows how to court and woo us. We have the rest of the month to be disappointed after that. If you can’t possibly stand by and watch yourself not adhere to your principles of splitting meals and equal opportunity dating, then at least try to not be so conspicuous about it. One time, on a second date with a guy, he took me to a chain restaurant in the mall famous for its reverse happy hour. Upon hearing about this reverse happy hour from a fellow restaurant patron at the bar, he dramatically threw the drink menu out of his hands across the bar and exclaimed, “Oh! Well then, we’re waiting.” This was after he had already asked what I wanted to drink (a vodka soda with limes, duh). I never got that vodka drink–he insisted I order one of the $4 happy hour margaritas that was mainly margarita mix with a dash of tequila. We saw “Ted” after that, and he covered my mouth every time I laughed out loud. Needless to say, I had him take me home early and we never spoke again.
Text us sooner than later.
There’s nothing worse than having set a date with someone, then not hearing from him until almost the end of the workday. Sure, maybe sometimes this is purposeful in order to give off the impression that he respects you as a working woman and doesn’t want to bother you with silly details, like what time and where. But here’s the deal: those aren’t silly details. They’re EVERYTHING. We are DYING over here, guys. Text us something, ANYTHING, before 5 p.m. and before we’ve fully convinced ourselves you’re flaking and you hate us and we’re going to be alone forever and why is life so terrible? Even if, for some odd reason, we’re not wasting half the day on Gchat or reading one of the 26 blogs we follow, you aren’t interrupting and we want, nay NEED, to hear from you. Waiting until our definition of the last minute to even say “hello” on date day and failing to give us a proper five-hour heads up as to what time you’ll be retrieving us that night is what keeps most girl in a heightened form of misdirected anger all date day long.
Don’t not get drunk.
Yes, you read that right. I’m actually advising you to consume a decent amount of alcohol on the first, second, and maybe even third date. I’ve said before that sober first dates are mutually exclusive–live that. But you also need to know the difference between fall down, slurry wasted and feelin’ good drunk. If you already have a hard enough time differentiating between the two, make a promise to limit yourself to two drinks, no more, no less. Be suave and suggest a pre-dinner drink at a location separate from the main event. Have a drink there and one with dinner. Suggest a post-dinner nightcap, and you’re three in and doing just fine. Of course, you needn’t rely on alcohol for liquid courage, but you should. Just don’t be completely sober, because that’s just awkward and helps no one in an already nerve-racking situation. Also, if you’re an awful drinker, whether it’s tipsy, drunk, or blackout, it’s nice to show the other person this right off the bat, whether you realize you’re doing so or not.
Be a gentleman.
Duh. But seriously, sometimes reminders are needed. Open doors, car and others. Let her order first. Walk on the side closest to the street, sacrificing your life and health for a girl you barely know in case a car decides to jump the curb. Don’t just text her, “I’m here!” Go up and get her, or, at the very least, call her and wait outside your car for her. Walk her to the door at the end of the night. Offer to accompany her to the restroom and wipe her bum. Cut up her food without her asking and feed it to her like she’s incapable. Get on Tinder right in front of her at table during a lull in conversation. You know–be a gentleman.