The most difficult part of any relationship, besides the soulless burden of constantly maintaining a debilitating façade of ever-increasing demands to keep the relationship civil, the emotionally empty trivialities of building a life together, and developing a workable furniture-purchasing consortium between all parties involved, is that very first date, the first time you lay your eyes on that shining jewel that you will call your soulmate and think silently to yourself, “I’d love to get into their pants right now, but I guess I have to buy dinner first.”
First impressions are very important, of course, and your first date with that special someone will be chock full of them. So you must be careful! Here are a few tips to help you get over your first date nervousness.
Don’t Come Across As a Prick! Make sure you’re creating an impression that fits what you’re trying to sell to the person you’re with. Your personality is the most important part of the total package, fourth only to your credit limit (for girls), size of your breasts (for guys), and willingness to put out (all of the above). So your personality is something you want to emphasize, since the other three factors are notoriously difficult to change in the short run (paying the mortgage on time instead of spending it at the Outback Steakhouse to celebrate major events such as coming home from work, months of expensive surgery, and increasing numbers of Jaeger shots, respectively).
But what kind of personality do you want to convey? Unless you’re Robbie Williams, you always want to be yourself, but that doesn’t mean you can’t emphasize your strengths and downplay your liabilities. Unfortunately, what may be liabilities to one person may be strengths to another. So you need to size up your potential mate and start creating that brief, shining PowerPoint of yourself.
Your Date: Emo Chick
Emphasize: Knee piercings, The Cure CDs you own, your ability to buy her absinth
Avoid: 2nd period English, Clear Channel Communications
What You Have In Common: You both say you hate American Idol, but you both secretly want to be on it
Your Date: That Cute Guy From Accounting
Emphasize: Your feelings about the undue restrictiveness of the corporate dress code, Janet from the mailroom’s unruly nose-blowing habit
Avoid: Pay Scale
What You Have In Common: “Boy, the printer on the south side of the second floor gets a paper jam error a lot, doesn’t it?”
Your Date: Country Girl
Emphasize: Dogs, Tennessee
Avoid: Japanese pickup trucks, Up!
What You Have In Common: Steaks rock, no matter what the animal.
Your Date: Latent Metrosexual
Emphasize: Highlights, Grey’s Anatomy
Avoid: His childhood priest, Bravo
What You Have In Common: You’re both wearing the same blouse
Your Date: Sorority Sister
Emphasize: The limits of her open-mindedness
Avoid: Past relationships, Dad
What You Have In Common: You both know the directions to the clinic
Your Date: Hippie
Emphasize: Your progressive position on the FMA, acid rock
Avoid: the fact that he’s 40 years old
What You Have In Common: You both have a ponytail
Men And Women Are Different! Both of you are looking to hit it off, but you’re both looking for different things. This is important! Women, for instance, are trying to make sure that this is a guy who they’re going to feel comfortable with; they are looking for an affirmation that this is someone who can be trusted; they are looking for signs that this is a guy who’s going to be fun to be with but also responsible with his life; they are hoping to determine if this is someone they will want to raise a family with; they are looking to make sure that this is not an individual that will hurt them, their friends, or their relatives; and they are looking to see if this is going to be the beginning of a relationship to spend the rest of their lives together.
Men want to get laid.
Try Hard Without Trying Too Hard! This may seem contradictory…but then again all relationships are contradictions! Isn’t that capital-W Wonderful! While you want to make sure that a first date is going to lead to a second date, you want to make sure that you don’t make the other person uncomfortable. If the other person involved isn’t sure if they feel the same way you do, they may feel pressured to either feel like they don’t want to string you along, or they may feel pressured to not tell you no even though they’re not interested. In either case, expect to have your heart broken! Seriously, you should. It makes things significantly easier. Also, diazepam.
In the final analysis, you can tell how the first date went fairly easily. A few short, common phrases can tell you quite a lot about how things went. Keep your ears open for the following:
Good Sign: “I had fun tonight.”
Bad Sign: “The fries were OK, but the junior bacon cheeseburger didn’t have that… je ne sais quoi.”
Good Sign: “This is a beautiful night tonight.”
Bad Sign: “How far a walk is it to the nearest turnpike rest area?”
Good Sign: “I can’t wait to hear your voice again.”
Bad Sign: “You don’t happen to watch Dateline NBC, do you?
Good Sign: “I’d like to see you again.”
Bad Sign: “I’d like to see you again.”
Above all, remember this: make every date your first date, and your relationship will never grow old. Plus, prepare to be broke.