I know that my last couple of Friday Guy posts have been a little on the bitchy/snarky side – and I promise to continue that trend next week. For now, though, I wanted to take a little side trip into more positive lands.
I present to you…
The Top Best First Date Moves
You’ve made a connection and now it’s time to meet face-to-face. This is a point of especial stress for many people – men and women both – because it’s so hard to know exactly what’s going to impress a potential friend/lover/mate/etc. Here are some of my favorite first date scenarios. (Tune in next Friday for the Top Worst Moves to make.)
1. Meals are always nice, but choosing a restaurant that caters to dietary restrictions is always a major double-awesome plus. For me, this matters a lot because I don’t eat wheat as much as possible. Having to risk a few doses too close together could endanger my ability to not strangle people spontaneously. I was invited out to a tapas restaurant back when my anti-wheat stance was more voluntary than health-related, and the date included fantastic and interesting food as well as a night free from complications.
2. Scheduling a first date fairly early in the day with nothing on the other side is actually one of those incredibly considerate and pragmatic things. Especial on a first date – and especially for people who are actively dating around, looking for the right chemistry – time matters. If things go well, you can extend a weekend lunch date into an evening date. If things don’t go well, you can always come up with something else to do that night. Your entire day is not spent, either way.
3. The language of roses and/or flowers is a total smarty-pants move that can impress the heck out of a person. Taking a little time to perhaps research and arrange a small bouquet based on what you’ve already gleaned from the person can create a point of conversation before you ever get there.
4. Talking on the phone first is, for me, kind of a prerequisite to going on a date. For me, the very, very best dates (even if they didn’t lead to anything romantic or permanent) involved continuing a conversation started on the phone and carried into real life. Double-awesome points for choosing a location that either 1) enables a lot of conversation or 2) ties in with the conversation that you’ve already had, such as meeting at the Balcony Club after agreeing that jazz is the bomb, or doing an afternoon art walk to bargain-shop.
5. Pick a spot that has a little potential for variety. My very favorite first dates have always been the ones where there is more to do than just sitting in a single location. We start off in a restaurant for some lunch or dinner, then walk around the neighborhood or catch a street show. Cocktails later with more conversation is always nice, or if we feel comfortable enough, a small concert or perhaps a movie.
6. Dress a step higher than what you think might be common attire, no matter where you’re going. Casual fare? Wear nice jeans, jewelry, the suave shoes, etc. A dressy restaurant? Make sure to spritz a little cologne. The opera? Break out the Fancy Shoes. (Actually, I’d never, ever go to the opera on a first date. See my mouse-over about movies.) The point is to dress to impress without automatically deferring to the suit-and-tie (unless that’s just your thing.) A proper lady is impressed by a man who knows how to dress and carry himself with a sense of style, and a real gentleman knows how to appreciate a lady who can subtly outshine every other female in the room.
Overall, the best advice I can offer for first dates are these:
- Communicate beforehand and figure out what you have in common, then narrow your choices to things that you’ll both like.
- Pick out a nice neutral location that is not too close to either of your homes (just in case), and meet up there.
- Picking someone up in your car for a first date (unless you were set up by your sister) is not just passe but also sometimes dangerous – both for the driver and the passenger.
- Make sure that someone knows where you’re going and who you’re going with.
- Relax and be yourself! Remember that if you’ve been honest, they already like you to some extent or else they wouldn’t be going out with you.
Have a great time, and feel free to comment and tell me about your best dates!