Jamie Reidy has just three words for you to remember on a first date: Be. The. Man.
You meet her. You like her. She doesn’t vomit at the sight of you, so you ask her out. (Or, like Ryan Gosling in Crazy, Stupid Love, you tell her she’s going out with you.) She agrees to the date.
(I’m not going to get into the whole “When do you call her?” thing. I call the next day. Actually, I text the next day to find out when would be a convenient time for me to call that night or the next night. Thoughtful? Check. Considerate? Check. Sure, Vince Vaughn had his “industry standard.” But keep in mind that Swingers could’ve issued a commemorative fifteenth-anniversary Blue Ray in 3-D last year; do you really want to follow the advice of a movie that came out before the ubiquity of Smartphones?)
You call her to chit chat and confirm the night and time. She confirms. Then you inquire as to food allergies or food loathing. Relieved – and impressed – that you asked, she giggles and admits to a dislike of chicken. And shrimp. Either of these would be a hold-up-in-court breakup excuse, but she’s pretty hot, so you let them go. No pressure, but, short of proposing to her, your next move is the most crucial one you will ever make in this relationship:
Tell her where you are taking her.
Let me repeat that: you tell her where you are taking her.
She does not get a vote. More importantly, she does not want a vote. Not tonight, anyway.
She wants you to be The Man. Look confident by making a decision and showing some initiative. She wants to know that you can take control. She won’t want you to run things all the time, obviously, but she does want to know you’ve got it in you.
Basically, she wants to know that sometime in the future you are going to bend her over the couch. And she will love it. Not tonight, probably, but in the sooner-than-later.
If you ask her where she’d like to go, you look insecure and indecisive. That guy is not getting a goodnight kiss, let alone leaving hand prints on her right ass cheek someday.
Now, don’t go insisting on picking her up at her place. She might not need you knowing where she lives already. In this case, soliciting her input is smart. “Would you like me to get you on the way or do you want to just meet there?”
This last tip should go without saying, but I will say it just so we’re all clear: you are paying. Dinner or drinks or coffee or whatever, it does not matter. You. Are. Paying.
What will happen if you go Dutch on a first date? See earlier kiss/handprint-on-ass comment.
It doesn’t matter if she earns more money than you do, or if it’s Anno Domini two-thousand-and-fucking-twelve. Here are two non-negotiable rules in life: the ground can’t cause a fumble and the girl can’t buy on the first date. There will be plenty of opportunities for her to pick the restaurant (she will) and pick up the tab (we hope she will).
But for Date One, show her there’s a new sheriff in town and his name is…you.
—Photo Elmo H. Love/Flickr