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.