Those of you following me on Twitter may be aware that I am going on a date tonight. He seems like a nice enough chap, but obviously this is something he will have the opportunity to elaborate on later. Sadly, there is a chance I will not be able to go as I woke up this morning with a stonking cold and I just want to lie in a darkened room listening to Interpol.
[EDIT: I've had to cancel my date for this evening and re-arrange it for the weekend, as I am really quite ill and wouldn't want to pass any of my germs onto anyone. You will get all the gossip later ]
Surprisingly, you may think, I don’t like the concept of “dates”. It’s nice meeting new people in a relatively stress free environment (like Skeptics in the Pub or at a festival) but there is a certain amount of pressure on a date to show yourself in the best light possible, which I’m not particularly apt at.
Luckily for me, I utilised the vast wisdom of my peers, who have come up with the following golden nuggets:
zeno001 Just be yourself! …and don’t look toooo keen!
eddedmondson don’t eat spinach
zeno001 …or garlic.
PaoloViscardi don’t wear wet-look leggings.
JemRoberts Advice for ‘dates’ would only be any use if all men were exactly the same, and all women too.
andyvglnt Avoid caffeine, especially if you’re nervous.
andyvglnt Don’t twitpic key moments. Some people think it’s weird. (Internet irony disclaimer)
mjrobbins “This is 2009 dammit.” – Okay then, Google him and memorize the list of “likes” on his MyFace profile.
imrankhan85 to be fair, asking for date tips on twitter is a bit like asking for health advice at the undertakers
naomimc Don’t on any account be yrself, drink alcohol, tell smutty stories, rant about things u hate.
uksceptic mimic him (slightly not so it’s creepy) and touch him on the upper arm. Get him to do you a favour and ask something personal.
Those are all marvellous. Especially that last one (very thorough). My three step plan based on ‘uksceptic’s’ recommendation:
- “Ooh, that’s a nice tattoo”
- “Could you pass me a straw?”
- “How many times a week do you masturbate?” – [is that too personal?]
Next I decided to look at a couple of websites. Below is a selection of tips that I didn’t even realise I should be aware of from Top Dating Tips:
Never reveal information you don’t have to. An enigmatic woman drives men wild.
I honestly cannot think of any information that he absolutely needs to know on a first date. If I was diabetic, maybe it’d be useful. I went on a date with a diabetic once who made me stab him and test his blood just in case he passed out over dinner. That’s important and necessary information, where ignorance could ruin a date. I’m not diabetic. I am slightly asthmatic, but it’s hardly life-threatening. Maybe we’ll just talk about music.*
Never be available when he wants you to be. Never be at the end of a phone when he calls and always let him leave a message or two first before replying.
Oooh oooh – I did this already. I was at work when he sent me a text, and didn’t see it until I went on lunch. Does that count? Does anyone deliberately wait for a prolonged period of time before replying to a text?
If he is available Tuesday, you are available Thursday.
What if I’m only available on the day he suggests? (which is what happened this week – woohoo District 9 tomorrow!) I’d have to rearrange all my other social engagements just so that he’d have to rearrange all his social engagements without realising that I was just being obstructive. If all that happens, and then the date goes badly, was it really worth all that effort? I mean, with the onset of climate change, is it ethical to add to the problem by wasting a load of time and energy when I was free in the first instance? And is it wise to begin a relationship with obstructive behaviour (if it gets that far)?
Keep your man standing on quicksand by shifting landmarks and goalposts constantly.
Who wrote this list? “Shifting landmarks”?! I do hope that’s not literal. And even if it’s figuratively, I’m not particularly keen on having to lie to someone about stuff. If he happens to ask me about my masturbating habits, I might say something coy like “Is that some kind of bird?” or “Is that that new shop on Oxford Street?” but I don’t think it’s necessary to keep him on his toes the entire time.
Ensure you are a good kisser. Men will walk away if you cannot kiss. Practice on a mirror if you have to.
Erm… I haven’t kissed that many people, but I seem to remember the experience was slightly different to kissing an inanimate object. I don’t think I’ve kissed a mirror before. Hold on…
No. That was nothing like the last time I kissed someone. It was quite cold actually. And not responsive at all. But it did fit in my handbag afterwards.
I’ll be honest, I’d be very disappointed if the date goes well, we have a good laugh, he walks me to the station, we lean in for a kiss… and then he goes “Nope. Rubbish. Can’t do this” and then walks off. It’d make a great anecdote though.
Never talk too much about your father and how your date measures up in comparison.
That’s just as well. I’ve never been on a date with my father.
So far this is crap. I wasn’t planning on doing any of that, maybe I should though? *I went on a date when I was a bit younger with someone who worked in my local record store. He’d asked me out after I’d had an argument with a customer about Opeth vs Dream Theater. He was so impressed, we went out for a meal a couple of days later but it was horrible. He asked me what music I was into, thinking I’d say “Oh you know, good music, like Opeth, Rage Aganst The Machine, System of a Down” (which I do, incidentally) but instead, the first band I mentioned was Muse. It was like that time I told Sunny Hundal I’d consider running for the BNP. Now my generic response is: ”All sorts of music – not really into hardcore slash metal though, but I can see it’s appeal”.
The Relationship Gym has this list of conversation tips. These do seem a lot more straightforward to be honest:
Keep the conversation light enough to allow them to open up rather than feel interrogated.
That looks pretty sensible to me
To sum up: I think ‘zeno001′ might have been right all along – just be yourself. It’s quite boring advice though. If the date gets a bit boring, I might pretend to channel the spirit of Beyonce Knowles and exclaim in no uncertain terms that he may not be ready fo’ dis jelly.