7 Things To Avoid On A First Date
How Internet listicles can change your life to bring you love & happiness!
As Medium is pretty much my only exposure to social media and as I ruthlessly dismiss stories and writers whenever they hold no interest for me, I don’t get to see most of the fluff that passes for content in our short-attention-span era. But Medium’s content recommendation algorithm seems determined to prod me to reconsider my preferences and occasionally presents for my reading delectation one of those Five Toxic Things Everyone Does articles, or Seven Behaviors That Will Bring You Love.
We humans do love simple primes and our threes, fives, and sevens are apparently irresistible to a great many folk. Who knew, before reading Three Reasons Yak Milk Will Extend Your Life, that the lacteal product of a Mongolian ruminant could be so marvelous? Turns out, thanks to a very scientific study involving two people and sponsored by the totally impartial Yak Milk Marketing Board of Ulan Bator, that drinking 200ml of Yak milk each day will extend your life by 83% compared to the lifespan of someone eating 12 double bacon-cheeseburgers every meal.
While Yak milk may, alas, remain a minority taste until the Yak Milk Marketing Board hires George Clooney as their brand ambassador (at which point 47% of US residents will start ordering it) there’s never any shortage of need for solid dating advice. And so it is that in all humble modesty I proudly present: Seven Things You Should Never Do On A First Date.
Thing One: Stabbing
Everyone knows the first date is super important and making a good first impression is vital. Many people will be surprised to learn, however, that the word impression is actually meant figuratively and not literally. And the word vital isn’t supposed to refer to the organs of the person sitting across from you at the table. While many of us would consider a small friendly stab or two from a concealed blade to be nothing more than harmless foreplay, in some parts of the world this can sometimes be construed not as playful teasing but as something rather more serious that will almost certainly lead to the evening concluding in a sweaty tangle of bodies — unfortunately these being the bodies of several burly police officers rather than the naked and eager body of your erstwhile date.
Thing Two: Conversation
It’s important to put your date at ease, and there’s no better way to do this by revealing a few personal things about yourself early on so as to allow your date to connect with you on an emotional level. This is especially effective if your conversation is subtly self-deprecating and thereby takes the pressure off your date to live up to your many accomplishments and achievements. It may be best, however, to keep in reserve the story of how you accidentally confessed to several crimes over the lunch you had with your previous date, who unfortunately turned out to be an off-duty police officer. At this point, your current date may feel you’re putting too much pressure on them to get naked with you prior to your court appearance tomorrow morning.
Thing Three: Hobbies
Life can be very confusing at times. On the one hand, people are always saying we should do what we love and, better yet, find a way to make a living from doing what we love. On the other hand, some people may react poorly when, during your first date, you talk enthusiastically about your home methamphetamine lab and the street value of your weekly production. It may be better to stick to talking about more socially acceptable hobbies such as taxidermy. Your date may even have their own annoying neighbors too, in which case you can offer practical lessons in how this skilled craft is performed, thus opening up the possibility of some pleasing together-time in the near future!
Thing Four: Uniforms
If you’re a guy (and let’s face it, who isn’t?) you’ll probably have heard that women can’t resist a man in uniform. So it may seem like a great idea to let slip the fact that you personally have spent many years in uniform. Sadly, it turns out that while women generally get all hot & bothered over a man in military uniform, fireman’s uniform, police uniform, and sometimes even a paramedic’s uniform, they usually just get bothered when it turns out you’re talking about an orange jumpsuit. Especially as you weren’t even allowed to keep it after you were released last week.
Thing Five: Your Ideal Partner
First dates are tricky. Both people are trying to figure out if the person across the table is a potential long-term prospect or just hot enough for a one-night fling or naïve enough to buy the line about going outside to make a quick call (to Uber). It’s obviously helpful to be clear about your preferences so your date can calibrate themselves appropriately. You may not be aware, however, that it’s possible to over-specify your idea of a perfect partner. For example, the first date may not be the right time to go into detail about how you’re looking for someone who, if the alibi doesn’t hold up, knows enough about plastic explosives to break you out of jail next time round. For a first date it’s best to keep things general, like asking if they’ve done a refresher course on evasive driving recently.
Thing Six: Families
Over-sharing is an easy habit to fall into. After all, it’s the Number One pastime in the United States. Who hasn’t sat down next to a total stranger on the bus and heard all about their gender re-assignment surgery, their ongoing battle with stage-four lung cancer, their slightly unusual hamster fetish, and that long story concerning the time they got lost in Mexico and ended up married to an iguana? It’s important on a first date, however, to avoid over-sharing; especially when it comes to the topic of families. Even today it’s not totally common for people to marry their mother so your date may express mild surprise if you let this slip over appetizers. Moreover, we’re still unhappily some way off from living in a society where most people are willing to accept the fact you’ve literally no idea whatsoever how many children you may have. Worse still, they may not then respond positively to your announcement that you’re always willing to make a few more provided your date can split the cost of a budget motel room.
Thing Seven: Expressing Love
Over the last few years there has been increasing realization that different people have different “love languages.” For example, Suzy may express her love by giving her partner a carefully gift-wrapped bowl of cold oatmeal on special occasions while Dan may express his love by giving his partner a set of roofing tiles and some epoxy resin. Alternatively, Carol may her adoration multiple times per hour (especially during business meetings) while Eric may express his love by casually grunting in appreciation after his partner brings him a bowl of nachos during the big game. It’s important, therefore, that you are aware of the possibility you and your date may have quite different love languages. Those zip-ties you casually place on the table-top are your way to say “I want you to stay with me forever (or at least until the cops find us)” but your date may be expecting something more conventional such as two first-class tickets to Bali. Moreover, letting your date know that you’ve researched them online and know their address and the addresses of their parents and closest friends may not have quite the aphrodisiac effect you were hoping for. Likewise casually dropping into the conversation your knowledge of their bank account and credit card details may be something best saved for post-coital pillow-talk.
These are of course just a few life-changing essential tips to improve your prospects in the Great Dating Game. Sign up for my weekly Lovers Tips email newsletter to receive more must-read advice that will change your life forever. Send $24.99 and a non-ferrous ice-pick to The Occupant, Cell 27, Block 3, Yanela Corrective Facility, Iowa 28786. Remember to include your residential address and typical times of day when you’re probably not going to be at home.