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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Dinner on a First Date?

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Don’t even think about it.

It kills me how unoriginal some guys are when it comes to planning a date. How are you going to stand out from the last five guys she dated if you are doing the same things they did?

But before we get down to business, I want to point out that by 'first date,' I am referring to the first time you are out with a woman you have already met in person. If this is someone you met online, your 'First Meeting' should be for drinks in a place where you can bail if the other person is a total weirdo. Of course, you are free to change venue if things are working out.

Now let’s look at some of the reasons that going to dinner for a first date is a bad idea:

1. The dinner date has been grossly overdone and is disgustingly cliché – Ask any of your female friends how many times guys have taken her on a ‘dinner and a movie’ date (a movie, by the way, is the only first date idea WORSE than dinner – how can you get to know someone while staring at a screen for 2 hours?). A dinner date lumps you into the same category as every other chode she has been out with. Be different! A quick Google search should give you PLENTY of creative ideas for a first date.

2. It is unnecessarily expensive - One thing I have learned from the 2 or 3 dates I have been on in the last 10 years is that there is absolutely no correlation between how much money I have spent on a date and how much fun we had. In fact, if anything, there is an INVERSE relationship.

Now by no means am I saying for you to be cheap – quite the contrary. But I see no reason to needlessly waste extra money on an activity that is not going to yield you positive results in return.

And then there is the gold-digger factor. Women who are truly interested in you could care less where you guys go for a date – it’s all about the company. But gold-diggers, professional daters (those that will only go out with you because they have nothing better to do that night) and other losers expect to be compensated for their time.

You need to weed out those women out ASAP before they make your life a living hell - and an expensive restaurant is NOT the place to do it. They will be offended by your offer of a bowling/pool date and flake on you - but this is a good thing!

My mentor Doc Love once said, “If women stopped going out with guys they weren’t interested in, half the restaurants in town would go out of business.” He couldn't be more right.

3. It restricts your ability to interact with her - You are sitting across a table from one another. There are probably a number of dishes, glasses and other items in between the two of you. If the place is noisy, you have to lean in to hear each other. How are you supposed to gague her body language under these conditions? If she is laughing at one of your jokes, how is she supposed to tap you on the arm? How can you start a thumb-wrestling match or show her the Beer Trick if you are too far away? Restaurants are a obstacle, not an asset, for a first date.

4. It can be perceived as manipulative - Assuming you have chosen an emotionally healthy woman with good morals, the more expensive the restaurant, the more she will wonder what is wrong with you that you have to spend all this money to try and impress her. And if she doesn't like you, she will then start to feel guilty about you paying for everything. Then she will start to wonder if you going to be expecting any 'return' on your investment, which will creep her out even more. Let's not forget our buddy Darren from JDate.

5. It sets up the wrong overall ‘vibe’ for your interaction with her - Rather than just being two people enjoying each other's company while trying to get to know one another, this type of situation puts her into 'date' mode with all the accompanying features (trying to qualify you, holding back physical intimacy, etc.).

It also sets a bad precedent. If you dropped 100 dollars on date one, you have now set a benchmark in her mind. If date 2 is a lot less expensive (unless you have found the err of your ways and come up with something ultra-creative), she may start to wonder if you were just showing off the last time you were out.

So what to do instead?

Do something interactive. Bowling, pool, darts, foosball or a bar with board games is always a good place to start. How about a museum? Or the zoo? Or if you REALLY want to score some points, show her that you are the first guy in the history of mankind that actually listened to her, and take her somewhere she said she enjoys.

And if you ABSOLUTELY feel the need to acquire some nourishment while out, make it seem like it is spur of the moment. "Hey, I'm STARVING. There is a good [Italian, Mexican, Viking] restaurant not too far from here... join me."

Happy Dating!

Alexander Stone & Stephen David
Copyright 2008 - All rights reserved
Online Dating Edge / Approach Dynamics


Anonymous said...

Viking food? Nice!

Anonymous said...

"One thing I have learned from the 2 or 3 dates I have been on in the last 10 years "