06 April 2009

The Shark Tank's Guide to a Successful First Date

A first date, according to a study I read somewhere a few months ago, is one of the most stressful situations for a human being to put themselves in. Many have simply not mastered the fine art of mating. Well, I'm here to help. Follow these tips and you'll have a great first date and be on your way to the kind of relationship most people (most other people) can only dream about.

Early and often. This may go against your modest and polite nature, but you know what? Your polite and modest nature is going to leave you alone and desperate, drinking bacteria-infested water out of some creek in the middle of a Michigan forest.

Now some will complain, "But I don't have anything worth bragging about!" To this, I say "Nonsense!" Everyone can brag. Sit down and make a list of all your accomplishments, no matter how small and seemingly inconsequential. Did you graduate college? There you go. Only high school? Brag about it! Less than high school? Let's find something else to talk about!

"I can beat Super Mario Bros. in less than eight minutes."

"I was voted MVP of my T-ball team."

"My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard."

All of these make fine and decent brags, certain to impress your date and set the stage for a wonderful evening.

Tell an Uncomfortable Truth
Most people go out on a first date with the idea of "putting their best foot forward". Well, if you keep putting your best foot forward, you're going to wind up at a home for retired circus clowns, sucking down Jamaican ginger extract and slathering greasepaint on your old, wrinkled face. Not only is honesty the best policy on a first date, uncomfortably frank honesty will show your date you trust them and will engender a deeper connection. Some examples:

"I have an incurable foot fungus."

"Sometimes I poop in my cat's litter box."

"I have an unopened bottle of Crystal Pepsi I'm planning to drink when I lose my virginity."

Feel free to improvise with your own.

Forge a Bond
You might think it's impossible to forge a real bond on a first date. You might also find yourself sifting through camel dung in your later years, looking for something edible and moist as you make your way across the vast Arabian desert.

One of the easiest ways to make an instant connection is through the use of magic. Invite your date to think of a two-digit number between 1 and 50. When they have the number, do a little wave of your hand and guess, "37." Most of the time you'll be right, and your date will be utterly taken aback by the psychic connection you share. If the number was not 37, grumble, "Well, the trick only works with smart people." This will leave your date feeling ignorant and defenseless, possibly bringing them down to your league.

Gender Specific Advice
You're probably saying, "Come on, Shawn, isn't this enough? How am I going to remember all this?" You'll also probably be saying, "Hear ye, hear ye," as you accept a job as a town crier at Colonial Williamsburg just a few days shy of your 80th birthday, you sad, pathetic loser.

Guys: Flip a coin to see who pays for dinner. If you win, lucky you! If she wins, tough break, sucker.

Girls: Take off a shoe and place it on the dinner table just before dessert. Say, "I'll be your Cinderella."

Guys: Research one topic for a week straight before your date. You can then talk over your date's head for most of the meal, which will subconsciously remind her that, as a man, you are naturally smarter than her.

Girls: Spend at least 1/3 of the meal repeating the phrase, "I could have made all of this at home for much less money." Increase percentage to 1/2 if the dinner costs more than $100.

Guys: Place a condom in your wallet. "Accidentally" let her glimpse it when you pay the bill. If she's not looking, mention it directly.

Girls: Casually mention that you've had sex with so many guys this month that you're sure your AIDS test results are no longer valid. Guys like a sense of risk and adventure.

Getting a Second Date
Truthfully, I don't have a lot of experience in this area. Feel free to offer your own suggestions.


shopgirl101 said...

Thanks for the great dating tips! I will be trying these out the next time I have a first date. Who knew I was doing everything wrong all these years.

Marissa said...

Getting a second date - For the ladies: Give him your sweetest smile at the end of the night, rub your belly lovingly and say, "Little Sam's gonna need a dad to raise him. I hope you're not busy for the next 18 years. Then whisper seductively, "CALL me."

Funnyrunner said...

LOL. "If she's not looking, mention it directly..." LLOL.

alantru said...


I like your approach and have suggestions for your second date…

Start the evening off by reacquainting yourselves as you share a romantic pre-dinner drink in an alley. Remind her to bring a paper cup if she’s not fond of guzzling from the bottle. From there you two dine in the finest restaurant in town. She gets to know the real you as you insult the waiters and DEMAND that she pick up the tab. Next the two of you participate in the robbery of a small convenience store and subsequent high-speed chase with the police. Yup it’s handguns and shenanigans as you crazy lovebirds experience the whole Bonnie and Clyde feeling. Later, your date really begins when we check into the Fantasy Land Hotel. (Trust me, at this point, this is a done deal.) I recommend you request the Marquis De Sade suite and five live ducks. As for sex, well the way I see it, it should be caring, loving, and worth the 200 bucks you’ll charge her for it.

Soda and Candy said...

Wow, you are so suave!

If only I wasn't married, then I could take advantage of these tips!

Shawn said...

shopgirl: You're so welcome. Please let me know how they work for you!

Marissa: Awesome! Speaking as a guy, I know I wouldn't be able to resist.

Alan: I have nothing to add. Your mini-masterpiece shall stand alone as a beacon of wisdom and light.

S&C: 'Tis a shame, but you obviously figured something out on your own.

Thinkinfyou said...

Pooping in a cat's litter box! LOL! That much honesty must always get you a second date!!

Steph said...

I only WISH i had this advice two years ago. I probably could have landed a hotter girl than the one I have now :)
(ps...Jojo..if you are reading this I think your hot and I love you).

Heather Cherry said...

I once tried the Cinderella shoe schtick. Unfortunately my incurable foot fungus kind of ruined the moment.

P.S. A tip for the guys... on a first date, don't tell the girl you're with that you enjoy frequenting gay bars and drag clubs "just for fun." As I told Shopgirl the other day, THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED TO ME.

Jenn Thorson said...

Gosh, I think a few of the fellows I went out with have been coming to this post for advice. Are you SURE you just wrote this?

I mean, because, WOW. Between the guy who told me how good he looked in his suit. And then the one who told me over dinner his recent tale of public urination, well... I think they're batting pretty high here. :)

Shawn said...

Thinkinfyou: It's not as foolproof as you might think, but maybe it weeds out the wrong ones?

Steph: Indeed. And nice save.

Heather: Don't knock it. They always have the most delicious milk in gay bars for some reason.

Jenn: This post is a consolidation of a highly successful newsletter I wrote and advertised in the back of Swank magazine in the 80s. Good to see you ran into some practitioners!

Jeff Tompkins said...

I must have done something wrong. I tried one of these at lunch (the "guess a two-digit number between 1 and 50" trick) and the girl said, "You can't be serious. I bet you poop in your cat's litter box, don't you!"

Unfortunately, it was a lunch/job interview. Thanks a LOT.

JerseyGirl said...

"My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard."


this brings back so many damaging images.

: )

nipsy said...

LMaooooooooo... and I wonder how I still caught "the man" without all this great advice..

Now, as for the Super Mario Bros.. are you sure you want to go there?? LOL

Me-Me King said...

Wow, no wonder I'm still single. I've been approaching this dating thing all wrong. Thanks for the tips. LMAO!

Phillipia said...

Awesome advice...I wish I had this a few months ago...

Kirsten said...

Excellent suggestions! However you forgot to mention that it's good to talk about yourself the whole time and don't EVER ask your date about themselves.

Chris said...

Sharky, with your dating wizardry and profound insight into both the male and female psyche, I feel a little amateur in my dating prowess.

Consider these printed, folded, and stored in my 2010 diary (yes I actually have bought one already) for when I actually manage to go on a date.

Winky Twinky said...

So Shawn.................... Are you telling me that my cat's mousie-on-a-stick isn't working? Well..okay, I guess it isn't.... OMG, HELP!!!!

RockstarMama said...

Wait a minute... you're not supposed to poop in a cat's litterbox?

Wendy said...

I tried some of these out tonight to see how they would work and when I finally get home now my husband is pissed at me. Thanks a lot. (I just don't get why he's so uptight.)

Also, here is a great classic you need to add to version 2.0. Someone tried it on me once and it's pretty smooth. File this under "gender specific"... Guys: When a girl says she thinks getting intimate with you is a bad idea and that she would regret it, smile really cheezy and say, "Baby, that's what regrets are for."

ettarose said...

I want to know if this is how you landed the wonderful girlfriend you have?

Dalton J. Fox said...

Shawn, you don't get many second dates, do you?

Shawn said...

Jeff: I'm sorry, there's a whole different set of rules for a job interview. I'll post these up soon since they're probably in high demand due to the economy.

JG: Yes. Some things you cannot un-see.

nipsy: Er, good point.

Me-me: No problem. I won't say they're guaranteed to work, but it is an overall road map to success.

Phillipia: Well, at least others can now benefit.

Kirsten: Good point! They say no one likes to be interviewed, so just make the conversation about the most interesting person you know!

Chris: With these tips, it's going to be a great 2010.

Winky: Not unless you're planning to date outside your species.

Rockstar: I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it. Just unusual, is all.

Wendy: That's a great line! I'm sure that would seal the deal. Sorry about your fight.

Ettarose: Pretty much, yes! So you can see now the way to a beautiful relationship.

Dalton: As I said, not really. I think it has to do with something else, though. I can't figure it out.

dizzblnd said...

I am so glad I am married and don't have to do the dating thing anymore. I can see how your tips greatly improve the chances for procreating though!

dani c said...

OMG this was too funny... I almost wish now that I had dated someone that would have done some of this shit...I would piss myself..

C.B. Jones said...

I wonder how effective bragging about catching an incurable foot fungus from the cats litter box would be.

I prefer flipping condoms to see who pays. At the end of the night, we both win!

The Stabbing PEn said...

Usually I just print out a girl's Myspace/Facebook profile beforehand and bring it with me. This way I can covertly/occasionally reference it as I pretend to like the same crappy music and TV shows she likes.

Shawn said...

Dizzy: Most definitely!

Dani: Which is also a turn on for some guys...

C.B.: Doubling the embarrassing truth means double success!

Stabbing: That is wisdom, my friend.

Winky Twinky said...

I often date outside my species....it's soooo much more fulfilling...who'dof ever thought???

Tina said...

Great advice! You should also add that you should tell your first date that you won't sleep with he/she until they get tested for STDs. That's a great conversation starter;)

Shawn said...

Winky: Sounds like a book waiting to happen.

Tina: Absolutely right. Nothing goes with an appetizer like a detailed discussion of genital warts.

Candy's daily Dandy said...

Simple rules everyone should live by.

Thank you for doing the dating community this public service.

Charlene said...

You are a genius! This might explain why I've been single for so long. I'll take these tips to heart immediately.

Shawn said...

Candy's: You're very welcome. I think the judge will accept this as part of the "giving back" mandate.

Charlene: Do so. I guarantee a total change in your dating life.

myconversations said...

hmmmmmm... never really had a date... like a real first date. think i'd like to get drunk, hopefully get laid, and forget the whole thing altogether. but the experience while it's all happening would be fun!

WorldOfIllusion said...

This will make my next first date so much easier! With all this great advice there's no way anything could go wrong.

Shawn said...

myconvos: Sounds like a perfect first date to me.

WOI: Let's not use the words "no way". I'm more comfortable with "little chance".

Chris said...

That was a long way to go for that "second date" punch line, but you know what? I laughed my ass off. EXCELLENT work. You are now on my "blogs to read regularly" list.

Take care,