Friday, January 11, 2008

Out of nowhere, a dating advice post

For any of you who have ever had a hotmail account, you are probably aware of the various dating advice lists that MSN posts on its homepage seemingly everyday: "10 first date no-nos", "14 pitfalls in bed", "8 signs she's cheating on you with a short guy". These lists are about as useful as dick-flavored ice cream. They're filled obvious pointers such as "don't punch her in the face when you say hello", as well as empty platitudes like "just be confident". Even worse, they insult your common sense by bringing some "expert" psychologist to tell why talking incessantly about your ex-girlfriend on the first date is a bad thing...No really??

What a guy needs is a practical set of guidelines with strict steps to follow. Based on recent experience, I've made a set of ironclad rules that will help you in very specific situation:

How to order drinks on a drink date.

Let's get this out the way: The majority of women will tell that they want men to act like men. this means decisiveness. In this first drink date, you must display unwavering decisiveness, and it starts with how you order your drinks. Master this process, and you are on the road to a long and wonderful relationship where all of your decisions will eventually be undercut.

First of all, there is an unspoken rule about drink dates that both parties are required to follow: A two-round minimum. Two rounds of drinks on a normal pace will last about an hour to an hour and a half. If you meet up on a drink date and are disgusted by your date within the first half-hour, you are still obligated to go for two rounds. I guarantee there aren't two human beings in this universe who can't spend at least one hour together, no matter how unpleasant it may be. If you break this social contract, therefore, you are breaking the laws of civility. Unless of course, you are getting punched in the face by your date.

Second, as a guy, there's the issue of what drinks to order for yourself. No girly drinks (a given), but also no liquor on the rocks, because you don't want to give the impression that (1) you're an alcoholic, or (B) you're an old man. The exception is if you're an expert on scotch or vodka or something, but even that's pushing it. Reveal the eccentricity later.

Order hum-drum beers, or MAYBE mixed drinks. Again, you want your body language and your conversational skills to be judged on your early date, not your drink decisions to be endlessly nit-picked in her head.

Now to the difficult part:

Ordering past the two-drink minimum

Based on conversations with guys, here is the basic problem: When the server comes around and asks if you want another round, if you order and she declines, you end up nursing a beer for another half-hour while she watches. That's no fun. On the other hand, if you wait to see what decision she makes, or defer to her, you're going to be seen as indecisive and weak.

It's harsh to have your masculinity judged on such a minuscule decision, but it's a reality. Hell, a female co-worker of mine complained about this very thing a few hours ago.

Some girls might tell you, or you might be inclined to think yourself, that a cut-off at two drinks by the female is a sign of disinterest. From personal experience, I find that it's not true. There are myriad reasons for ending at two drinks, not the least of which is that drink dates aren't supposed to be marathon experiences anyway. Sometimes a girl is already attracted to you, and just wants a quick confirmation that you aren't an asshole (or some in cases, are) before she gets down. No need to sit around in a bar needlessly talking when both of you are ready to go.

No more digressions, however. Here is the rule:

If things are going well, always order the third drink

Don't wait for approval; just do it. Chances are she'll go along if she thinks are going as well as you do. If she doesn't order a drink, it may not make for ideal balance, but it's still better than looking indecisive.

NEVER, EVER, LOOK HER IN THE EYE FOR APPROVAL. Look, I'm pretty liberal, but I understand that on early dates, you should throw your PC conceptions of 21st century gender politics out the window. Almost 90% of women will throw out the "men should act like men" line out for the courting process. It's only later that concepts of balance come into play.

This decisiveness should be applied across all areas. Choosing restaurants, making physical moves, smoking a bowl even if she declines (god help you), and paying the bill. If you just go ahead and pay the bill on the first couple of dates, any decent girl will return the favor down the line. If she doesn't, you live in DC, and you should be planning on moving out.

For the next rule:

In general, do not bother past the third drink

Drinks should be no longer that two hours. Your standard answer when the server asks if you want a fourth round will be "check please", unless the girl jumps in and orders one before you do, though instances like that will be rare.

If drinks go longer than two hours, you risk stretching for conversational topics. You might end up telling some unflattering story about how you were addicted to adderal that one year you lived in Hyattsville, MD. Although girls sometimes are intrigued by guys with checkered pasts, you should follow the old creative writing adage: Show, not tell.

Even if the conversation is going extremely well, you should either call it a night, or move things to different location.

Since my advice in this post is confined to ordering drinks, and that's all the advice I will ever give because I really don't know shit, you are on your own after this point. I suggest finding a gimmick for getting her to your place. Perhaps you play guitar, or possess some black-and -white photos of Arizona? Do what you will, but to quote Roosh V, "if you don't make out on the first date, you have failed".


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