The ultimate guide to a first date.

STEP ONE, YOU :

Wear the best clothes you have that won't make you stand out. Your ill fitting prom tux might not be the best choice. Give the constellation T-shirt the night off and go for something that buttons down. Some loose fitting jeans or even a pair of khakis would be fine.  A pair of sneakers that aren't full of holes will tie everything together.  Even if you've never done it before in your life, take a shower. Wash and brush your hair, and getting it cut is not a bad idea. Brush your teeth and use deodorant. A little cologne never hurts either.  Even if she has seen you in your natural mode before, she's probably been hoping you're secretly someone else.

STEP 2, PREPARATION :

First dates can be a bit like real estate. Location matters. You want to go to a public place where there is, at least, minimal separation between you and others. If your chosen location is too private, she may assume you are just trying to get into her pants. If the location is too public, she might blend in with others or be able to claim it was a group thing and not a date. It should also involve an element of conversation. You want to give the illusion that she is getting to know you.  For this guide I'll cover dinner but other first date locations are easily acceptable (see below).  Attention to detail is always key. Plan ahead. You never want to bring a first date to a seafood place only to find out she's allergic to shellfish. Find out what's acceptable for her ahead of time and plan accordingly.  Be prepared to pay for everything.  Even if she offers to split the cost, insist you'll cover it.  This will show her chivalry isn't dead. Make a reservation, even if it's not needed. When she notices that you've planned, that tells her you can be responsible.  Try to avoid the "cookie cutter" Applebee's type of restaurant and take her somewhere fancy and exotic.  As a rule of thumb anywhere with a separate wine menu and jazz or classical music will usually do.  A little knowledge about the menu will also help. Being able to properly pronounce and order a glass of Castello del Poggio Moscato with your entree of Lasagna Rollata al Forno always looks a lot classier than just pointing at the menu and saying "I want that."  Do your research. Know what to expect.

photo courtesy of beinglatino.wordpress.com


Here's a short list of appropriate and inappropriate first date locations.
 
Coffee House                                    Strip Club
Art Gallery                                         Morgue
Go Carts                                            Slaughter House
Ice Skating                                         Brothel
Carnival                                             "Pay by the Hour" Motel
Museum                                             Aids walk
Amusement Park                               Funeral
Beach                                                Star Trek Convention
Movies                                               Jail or Prison
Preforming Arts Center                      Bum Fight
Putt-Putt Golf                                     Chemical Weapons Facility                                  

STEP THREE, CONVERSATION :

Here is a list of acceptable first date conversation topics: her, her and her. That's right. You want her to talk as much as humanly possible. She may ask you about yourself but let's be honest. She's really just being polite. Everyone wants to talk about themselves whether they admit or not. You may want to talk about yourself but you must remember you're running the risk of saying the wrong thing. Nothing will end the date faster than you accidentally mentioning that time when you were 12 and you humped that jar of mayonnaise. When she asks about you, give her as little information as you can. Place of employment is usually okay. With every answer, slip in a hint that you are boring and would much rather talk about her. This will give you a hint of mystery and at the same time make her feel like you're truly interested in her and what she is saying. Yes, you may have your own hobbies and interests, but talking about your level 85 Paladin with full tier 12 heroic gear is only going to bore her to death. You have your fellow geeks for that. If the conversation is running a little slow, try taking something from one of her last sentences and rephrase it as your own observation, along a follow up question. When she mentions how she loves listening to classical music while she goes jogging. Follow up with how classical music is great and inquire who her favorite artist is. Take the time to soak in what she's saying. Listen to her and pay attention while making short yet empathetic responses. If she likes to talk about the collection of corpses in her closet, a second date is probably a bad idea. If she mentions that her new triple piston, gasoline powered, turbo charged, ass jammer with scrotum cupping device and astro glide lubricant needs a new test subject, it's a judgement call.


STEP FOUR, CONCLUSION :

To kiss or not to kiss — that is the question
Hopefully, instead of an escape, by the end of the date you’ll be looking for a way in. The decision to go in for the kiss is a personal one. But if you don’t get any action the first night, it doesn’t always mean that your date isn’t interested. It’s really just a personal preference. The time has come to work on a second date. You should arm yourself with specific plans if you intend to succeed. Based on what you've learned about her, ask if she'd like to do something specifically designed for her. Don't ask if she'd like to go out again sometime. Instead quote that time she mentioned she liked classical music, and tell her you can get tickets to a future concert.  This will show her that you were actually listening to her and make it harder for her to brush you off.  Even if she's not interested in you at least you have accomplished something. You have been seen in public with a member of the opposite sex, and now you have some experience for your next date.

photo courtesy of howtodothings.com