Last week, we introduced Darren Tardif, the Wanderer Online Sex Advice (WOSA) columnist. You sent in your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, and today, Darren responds to one of them. Without further ado:
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I was hoping you could help me out with some advice. I asked out this girl I really like in one of my classes, and she said yes! The only problem is that I have no idea where to take her for our date. What is the best place to take someone on a first date?
From A Hopeless Romantic
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Dear A. H. Romantic,
First dates can be tough and are full of those little destructive landmines we call first impressions. A perfect first date means something different to everyone. Your friends will often give you advice – take her to a restaurant, go for dinner and a movie, or bring her to your grandmother’s Friday night knitting extravaganza. Your friends are wrong, as usual. First impressions are so important in the dating world, and the first date you select reveals a lot about you to your potential mate. A good date allows you to get to know someone a little better, have a bit of fun, and move on to second and third dates confidently. A really bad date ends in fire, sirens and tears. Fortunately for you, I am an expert on first encounters with the ladies. Just don’t ask me about second dates; I’m still a little bitter. Through trial and error, I have created a small list of first dates that you should probably avoid.
1. The Fancy Restaurant
If relationships had a default setting, it would be the dinner date. Everyone uses this at one point in time or another. Grudgingly, I will admit that it works. So why is it on this list? The dinner date is fraught with peril, and forces you to sit in periods of silence while chewing in front of a stranger who is probably judging you. Accidentally spitting food at your date while telling a story? So hot. Sweating/crying in front of your date because the Jambalaya was too spicy? Sexy. Restaurants are what Kenny Loggins was talking about when he crooned about danger zones. Avoid this one like bad clichés about bad clichés.
2. The Theatre Date
Step 1: Pay ninety bucks
Step 2: Sit in silence for two hours. Laugh on cue. Get popcorn stuck in teeth. Deposit pride and 3D glasses in bin.
Step 3: Cry yourself to sleep for a week waiting for a phone call
Maybe I’m just cynical and jaded, but the movie experience seems like a terrible date. Sitting in silence and mashing food into my mouth while staring blankly ahead reminds me way too much of family dinners. As well, you barely have any time to talk with your date. For all you know, you could be sitting next to a serial killer who enjoys romantic comedies and grinding people into human coffee grounds. You’d never guess from looking into her gorgeous, icy blue eyes. All it takes is “Hey, that first date went so well!” You’re now three movie dates away from becoming a front-page headline. Now imagine what would happen if you managed to get in more than paltry small talk.
You: So now that we’ve established a modicum of trust through chatting all evening, what do you do for a living?
Date: I kill people to make human Popsicles because I’m a sociopath.
You: Uhh… My cat just called and is on fire. I have to leave.
I pretty much just saved your life.
3. The “Long Walk on a Moonlit Beach” Date
You’re a try-hard. Quit making the rest of us look bad. So what you walked along the beach under a starry sky and had a strawberry and champagne picnic on the sand while dolphins sang ‘My Heart Will Go On’ in the background. I could do that too if I wanted to be remembered as a psycho. Trying too hard is the equivalent of saying “I love you” on the first date. Tone it down a notch unless you want to grab two tickets on the first train to crazy town. P.S. those tickets are actually restraining orders. Plus, why exert so much effort for someone you might not get along with that well? That’s what 40% of marriages are for.
Now I’m not the type to point out flaws without providing solutions. What is my number one first date?
Question: What if my date doesn’t like bowling?
Find a new date. No seriously, this is a red flag and you should walk out of this relationship faster than that time you went to see Gigli. Bowling is a fantastic first date! It offers plenty of time to have a conversation while still maintaining breaks in the flow for showcasing your terrible ball-lobbing skills. It can also be cheap if you manage to find one of the decrepit ghetto bowling alleys. I hope you don’t mind sharing shoes with a biochemical weapons research program and eating nachos from 1944! If you are really good at bowling, don’t. Unless you can pretend to suck, you’ll be known as that asshole who shot a 221 and is still single. Instead, refer to my second choice for the perfect first date below!
Personal taste aside, a great first date involves a way to keep busy while maintaining some conversation along the way. Think outside the box and take your date somewhere that tells your story and reveals a bit about who you are. For me, I grew up in a bowling alley Tuesday nights. It’s a part of who I am, and I love the crash of pins and the ‘80s feel of terrible shoes and ugly collared shirts. Choose something that demonstrates a bit of your soul and proves you’re passionate about more than Call of Duty and pizza pops. Whether it’s kayaking, jogging in the rain, trying on ridiculous outfits at the mall, a music festival, or something else, your first date should carry a personal touch. Break free from the monotony of dinner and movie dates. Save those for your second or third date when you are more comfortable with each other and certain your love-interest isn’t a knife wielding psycho.
Close second: The Library Date
I can only imagine the incredulous look on your face as you read this. Hear me out, as what I’m about to reveal to you will blow your mind and I guarantee* it will work. The library is a perfect date environment. No talking? Reveal your inner bad ass and loudly chat away. Rule-breakers are super sexy. Make sure to switch to whispering every so often; this allows you to get in nice and close, building the sexual tension. Girls love a dude with a sense of humour. This is the perfect opportunity to walk by the comic section and casually mention how you’ve read every single Garfield book here. Bonus points for a bad joke about Mondays. Next find a seat and set the mood by reading each other passages from Fifty Shades of Grey. Just make sure that seat isn’t in the middle of the kids section during story time, as jail isn’t nearly as sexy as the movies make it out to be. To wrap up, pay your late fees in front of your date. You’re now responsible, yet still edgy enough to not return books on time. You know who else kept his library books late? James Dean. Proceed to your place and makeout, do not pass go or collect two-hundred dollars (that whole illegal prostitution thing, you know.)
Well, I hope that helps you out. My main advice is to come up with something unique that showcases your personality and allows you to entertain your date and spark conversation. Easy, right? Just stay away from dancing. Dancing leads to touching, and touching leads to babies. Ask your parents about the middle steps. I’m out.
*While I can’t actually guarantee you are cool enough to pull off the library date, you should try it anyway. If you fail, you can always hit on the librarian. Pics or it didn’t happen.
Remember that you can send your questions to Darren at email@example.com! He’ll be back next Thursday for his second installment of WOSA.