by John Davis
Writer, Comedian and Star of Come Date With Me
Friday, 15th June 2012
So last time we had a five point guide for women on that all important first date. Gents, now it’s your turn.
Let’s assume you’ve chosen where to go for your date. Make it quiet enough to be able to chat but busy enough to avoid awkward silence and to give yourselves something to talk about.
And make sure you can afford it. You should be in a position to indulge yourselves without missing an opportunity to see her again for at least two weeks because your blowout means you’re eating fish fingers and thin sliced white for the next fortnight.
There is nothing wrong with going Dutch. Just make sure the ground rules are clearly established before the date. If you are going to be a bit short, explain that payday is two weeks away and somewhere that is quirky, quaint, or means something to you. Then you pick what you’re comfortable with.
However, if it is Little Chef or Wimpy (they still exist!) make sure you have a damn good back-story.
Even if you CAN afford that 800 quid bottle of wine, please don’t do it.
It’s not impressive and will likely make your date feel uncomfortable. I know we all like to think that being treated in such a way is great but what are the expectations? How is such an indulgence going to be repaid?
You may have a Post-Doctoral qualification in Gender Studies. This does not mean you can willingly disregard manners that have developed over thousands of years. Open the door for her. Walk road-side. Offer to take her coat. Offer her yours if she’s cold. Offer to buy the first drink.
It doesn’t mean you think husband still refers to husbandry, or that Jim Davidson is your favourite comedian.
And if she does take offence at you opening the door, smile coyly and say, ‘That’s okay. You can buy the first drink.’
Never use the ‘B’ word and NEVER EVER use the ‘C’ word. These are words that only women can reclaim. Using these words is the gender equivalent of using the ‘N’ word if you’re white then claiming ‘well you use it so why can’t I’. You probably read the Daily Mail. Oh, and if you really are going to use the ‘B’ word, never use it when describing other women, particularly your ex.
Men have a certain sense of solidarity when it comes to relationships.
We understand that, at least if you’re straight, we share a common bond of incomprehensibility when it comes to the more intelligent gender. We also know there is a subtle difference between undermining competition in their absense, and bitchy back stabbing. Men understand the former as a necessary part of the dating process. There is an unwritten rule as to where the line between the two lies.
However, whatever she says, DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES take her complaints regarding her ex and run with them. A consoling ‘that’s terrible’ or a more vague ‘I can’t understand how he could have done that’ is as far as you should go. This is as much for your safety as it is for maintaining the delicate bond that unquestionably helps maintain a degree of structural coherence in the male universe.
There are two reasons for this.
A) Women have word perfect memories. It’s upon your head if later in the relationship (should it develop) she responds mid argument with, ‘not only are you just like him, on our first date you said he was a bastard for doin such a thing! You’ve been lying to me from the beginning! What else have you lied about!’ And please bear in mind the last part of that sentence is a statement, not a question.
B) Statistically you too will become an ex at some point. As such you will be described in similar terms to her next paramour. This is entirely acceptable if you empathised without indulging. If not, you will fall into a guilt-laden depression that you betrayed the unwritten rules of male solidarity. You will fear stepping into a pub with your mates, paranoid that everyone knows your dirty little secret. Traitor.
Let’s assume the date has gone well and you’ve both expressed a (genuine) desire to see each other again. Never leave it at ‘So I’ll call/text/email/facebook/twitface/carrier pigeon you tomorrow.’ You’re a man. You won’t. And then you’re in a whole world of confusion.
Try something like, ‘So what are you doing Friday night? Why don’t YOU give ME a call if you fancy getting together’. She probably won’t call, but you’ve communicated a substantive desire to see her again AND you’ve avoided any painful awkwardness when you do finally get round to contacting her.
So that’s it. I hope you find these useful. Why not join make this a conversation and leave a comment below.
Like a modern day Moses, John Davis (formerly Jay Sivad) was rescued from under a bushel by the Dating Trail team. Cleansed of his past as a serious journalist, John emerged, the proverbial butterfly, as the country's leading dating writer. He's got practical skills too and can attest to being nation's most experienced dating host having run over 250 speed dating events for Original Dating. A stand up comedian, radio host, philosopher (it's true! He has the paperwork) and budding media personality (Channel Four's Come Date With Me), Jay turns a wry eye on the travails of modern dating and its participants.
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