Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Expiration (on the) date

When I told you about the two-date night, I mentioned that I liked a place with quick service for a first date. When I explained about date number one from that night, you understood why.

Thing is, it doesn't matter if you meet your date online, or at a bar, or at a church mixer. The truth is, you don't really know how a guy will be on a date until you're on the date. By then, unless you've planned ahead, it might be too late to save yourself.

I've been on bad first dates. There was the guy who suggested the restaurant, then handed me the bill; there was the guy who left the theater to take three separate phone calls; and more than one that nearly bored me to tears.

They were all different dates; parks, movies, dinners. What they all have in common is that there's no real time limit. If there's one thing I learned from last summer's dating marathon, it's that a first date really should be short and sweet.

I like something with counter service (like a coffee shop). If you want drinks, I suggest meeting at the bar. Why? First, it eliminates the need to wonder who is paying. In either situation, you can order (and pay) separately.

It also slaps an expiration on the date. Coffee's done? No reason to stay. You met for coffee because that's what you had time for - a cup of coffee. Having met your obligation, you can get to that next thing on your schedule - whatever it may be. "I have to run...things to do....meeting my friend the police officer...." Whatever.

You're not at the mercy of a slow kitchen, and you don't have to wait for the waiter to bring the bill. You don't have to wait for the credits to roll, or figure out a way to steer the "walk" back towards the car. Having transacted the business-end of the outing up front, you really don't even have to finish your latte. Just make sure you get it in a to-go container.

But, if things are going well? You're still open to more date. Suggest a movie, or ask if he wants to grab a bite. In a mall? Ask if he wants to walk a bit and window shop. Near a park? Maybe there's a free concert or something else going on.

Leave yourself the option to continue - or end - the date on your terms, instead of someone else's schedule.

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