A Guide to First Dates

YOUR RELATIONSHIP IS ONLY AS GOOD AS YOUR FIRST DATE

Dear Provo,

Why do you have this notion that first dates are “throw away” dates?

If everyone would stop planning the same, lame, run-of-the-mill first dates, then maybe there would be more success in the Provo dating scene.

It’s a common idea that a first date should be casual, cheap, and short. While that general concept isn’t bad, let’s get a closer look.

Dating is an INVESTMENT.

Look at EVERY first date as an investment. For the few of you reading that are not in the BYU accounting program: long term investments are made with a certain amount of money that grows over time. Typically, not a very large sum.

BUT, the bigger the investment, the bigger the return. You feel?

The thing is, all first dates don’t have to be extravagant, Bachelor-esque, trips to Paris.

Unfortunately though, a lot of guys plan to take all their first dates to Yogurtland, chat for 5 minutes, and then call it a night.

Sure, you’ll eventually, occasionally, meet a girl that makes the most Provo basic date exciting…but how many bowls of fro-yo are you eating before you get there?

How long should your first date last?

Ok, your first dates do NOT have to be a marathon. In fact, statistically, first dates should last between 2-2.5 hours for both people to leave the date happy–whether they end up being interested or not.

Reason being, at that point, if one or both of you ARE interested, you’ll want more. On the other hand, if one or both are NOT interested, it’s short enough that neither of you feels trapped into a date from h*ck.

What your first date SHOULD be.

The problem with planning the same first date for every girl, is that they feel VERY impersonal. Like, the guy couldn’t be bothered to plan a real date. Which is a huge turnoff.

So when you ask someone on a date, spend just 5-10 minutes asking them a few basic questions like…idk, what they like to do for fun, their favorite food, if they even like fro-yo, etc. Just basic human questions. You know.

Just plan a date around the person you’re going out with, and you’ll be amazed at how much better your dating life becomes. It won’t work every time, but if you have the right chemistry, and you plan the right first date, YOU WILL WIN ALL THE POINTS.

Active dates usually get a better response, because then the other person will associate you will an elevated heart rate/adrenaline rush. And that’s spicy.

But if you’re both more the reading type, then chill dates like painting, will trigger that “hey we can do what I like to do together and it’s fun,” part of the brain that develops crushes. Ask a doctor.

Stop being a cheapskate

Listen, this is Provo. The list of millionaires in the general vicinity is v short. So yeah, the vast majority of homies are not bringing home the big bucks.

That’s pretty common, so also accepted. Chances are, your date probably just assumes that you aren’t going to buy them a car and fly them to the Vineyard. IT’S OK TO BE POOR. But talking about your financial predicament on your first dates, (and arguably at any point in the courtship) is SO TACKY. STOP.

If you don’t have the money to take your hunny to eat at Sundance and then go for a moonlight lift, just plan another date.

If you make the person you are trying to pursue feel like they aren’t worth a $10 movie ticket, (even if you just genuinely don’t have the money,) is common and rude.

Be wise, but tactful. You don’t have to throw down all the cash, but you also don’t have to talk about it to your date.

And if you qualify your lack of spending by telling people you are “frugal,” guess what–everyone knows that is just code for being cheap.

Invest in people. Plan original dates. Be considerate of the other person while mindful of your own situation.

Stop treating dating like a conveyor belt, and you might actually get married.

Just do your best to make the other person feel special. That will make ALL the difference. And it leaves room for reciprocation, so that they will want to make YOU feel special. It’s a win, win.

XOXO,
TPC

PS. Don’t forget to share your own stories via email! Or leave them in a comment. Visual aids always help. With your help, I know we can make Provo Dating Great Again!

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