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First date, last date? Follow my dating do’s and don’ts to make it to round two

Is anybody else out there wondering at what point it’s easier to just stay home rather than keep putting yourself “out there” first date after first date?

It’s a crazy world here in Sarasota for singles. I’m not sure what they put in the water down here, but Sarasota men, I’m sorry, have got the rest of the country beat when it comes to being deadbeat or dysfunctional dates.

I know. I know. I’m going to get blasted for being a snob and a princess and an anti-feminist and a bitch, etcetera, etcetera. But, is it too much to ask for a guy who acts like a man, and has some manners to boot? I’m pretty sure I’ll hold up my end of the bargain by acting like a woman and I pinky promise not to drink all the wine and steal French Fries from his plate.

Oh, I just know people will hate me after this column, because I’m aware that I sound like a terrible snob and I’m equally aware that correcting manners, even in the anonymous fashion of a blog posting is a major faux pas of its own, but I can’t help it! I just want a man who doesn’t rub his fingers all around his nose, scratching apparently at some nonstop itch, and then try to reach for my hand to hold it — is that too much to ask?!

So, generous gal that I am, I’ve developed a little primer of dos, don’ts, and duhs — all culled from real life first dating duhs and disasters in Sarasota (except one). Yup, real-live experiences from first dates — which became last dates, for obvious reasons.

Don’t show up for dinner wearing shorts. Not on a first date. It doesn’t matter that we’re in Florida. It doesn’t matter that we’re going someplace casual. It doesn’t matter that eggs are frying themselves on the sidewalks. First date? Put on some pants!

Do open the car door for a woman – whether it’s her own car or yours. And here’s the crucial step that, weirdly, most men in Florida seem to skip: stick around long enough to close the door after her.

Do understand when to lead and when to follow your date to a table or theatre seat. It’s simple: if there’s a maitre d’ or usher, the woman goes first; if there’s not, you lead her and she follows you. It’s not rocket science! If there’s no one on hand to guide your woman to the best table or seat, then you need to rally your inner Indiana Jones and lead her through the jungle of tables or people crowded around a bar or dark theatre aisles, until you find the best spot for whatever you’ve come to do. Trust me — if you lead, she’ll follow.

Don’t, good lord, don’t even THINK of putting your fingers in your mouth to dislodge or ferret out bits and pieces of chewed up food from between your teeth with your fingernails. Unfortunately, here in Sarasota, this is a near-constant occurrence whether you’re out with men or women, on a date or at a business meeting. It’s really shocking, and I’m not exaggerating. I’ve never seen this kind of horrifying crudeness displayed anywhere else but here. I kid you not, folks, I’ve actually been on a date in this town with a man, very well dressed, very nice restaurant, very impressive resume, who not only picked food from between his teeth, but then absentmindedly put his finger BACK in his mouth and, I guess, consumed the tasty morsel a second time. Good grief, I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Sorry, Sarasotans, but just stop! Of course, it’s particularly important for a man on a date not to do this. I mean, you ARE trying to impress, seduce, or at least pass for civilized, aren’t you?

Don’t, definitely don’t — wait until I’ve spent two hours getting ready for a date, walked through a crowded, hotspot restaurant full of people I know in a very small town, been delivered to your table by the maitre d’, let you order a glass of wine for me, started to relax, and already be thinking, “Hey, this could be going someplace” … before telling me about your wife and two kids.

Don’t, please don’t — lean across the dinner table after our dinner orders have been taken and conspiratorially tell me about your incestuous relationship with your married sister. That’s not conversation, that’s just plain crazy.

But do — absolutely do — develop the art of real, non-crazy, conversation. Be able to tell interesting stories about your life and the world around you, and ask questions that prove you’ve got a head on your shoulders. A first date is a time to scintillate, charm, seduce, wow. Not a time to chew on ice, stare at the menu and say, “So, do you know what you’re having?”

Under no circumstances, ask me to “throw in a couple of bucks” to pay for the two drinks and a shared appetizer we just shared on our first date. In fact, don’t say these words any time — not ever if you’re the one who asked me out, but especially not on a first date. This is such a deal-breaker, I don’t know where to begin, but it’s just not done. If you invite, you pay. It’s excruciatingly simple. If you’re dating a woman with anything to her, believe me, she’ll know when and where to return the favor, and no, I don’t mean in bed!

Speaking of which … never, ever ask a woman what her favorite sexual position is — especially not on a first date! What are you thinking?! Asking this question on a first date ensures you’ll never find out on any subsequent one. In fact, I’d say this question is a loser question to ask even after two people have become lovers. I mean, come on, if you have to ask, it means you’re not paying attention. And yes, I mean in bed.

P.S. For all of you thinking I should hightail it back to whatever snob-riddled town I came from … um, I’m a Florida girl — born right here!

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Posted on March 20th, 2009Comments RSS Feed
One Response to First date, last date? Follow my dating do’s and don’ts to make it to round two
  1. John W. Perkins
    March 20, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    An item to add to the list that is one of my pet peeves.. Most men don’t seem to know the courtesies involved in wearing a hat. The list of which I won’t even begin to type out (wearing basball caps at the table of a fine restaurant is #1, to me).

    Guys ! Learn how to cook and how to keep a clean home. Chicks dig that.

    Oh, and shut up and listen. T

    “I pinky promise not to drink all the wine and steal French Fries from his plate.” It’s ok with me. I’d love to share what I have with such a lovely lady like you.

    Reply

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