To even begin with this post, I wanted to set the right tone, and find myself a really up-standing picture showing two men on a date. When you start googling things like ‘gay date’ or ‘gay dinner date’ or even ‘two men dinner date’- what kind of results do you get? Well let’s just say I hope your ‘Adult Content Filter’ setting is on high. Because most of the results look like I’m up to no good.
It’s a little sad that I could only find one, that’s right, one decent photo that kind of gets my picture across. Yet even this one is saying that you have to drink to go on a date. I’m not opposed to drinking, but it would be nice to think that it’s not a requirement to meet somebody new, no matter how thick the ice is to break.
The place you choose to go on a date shouldn’t be decided solely by one person, especially when you’ve met someone new. You never know if perhaps there are negative feelings associated with a place, an ex or creep who works there that you don’t know about, or if your date simply isn’t in the mood for your suggestion. It should be mutually agreed on, this way you’re setting yourself up for a nice night out.
This is a two-part tip. When you’re looking to even ask someone out on a date, or schedule it with them, a few hours’ notice probably isn’t enough to plan and make time. Try to ask them out a day or so before at the minimum. If there are conflicts or appointments, or even just the regular night out with the boys, you’re at least giving plenty of notice for your date to cancel, reschedule, or give a bullshit excuse to the boys as to why they won’t be showing up for a few drinks and RuPaul’s drag race.
Second part- Be on time. I’m sure this is a given, but when you set a time to pick your date up, or a time that you need to be somewhere, make sure you’re there at that time. You might even get yourself some brownie points by showing up a few minutes early. 10 minutes early is plenty early, though. Arrive any sooner and your date might still be dressing, doing their hair, taking out the trash- who knows. Being late only shows poor character, and missing your reservation doesn’t exactly set a good tone for your night.
When you’re out on a date, and you’ve finished your main ‘event’ for the night, whether that be a tennis match together, jogging, dinner, or a cocktail at some new bar downtown, the question “What next?” seems to pop up. This is a terrible thing to tell the person you’re on a date with! If you’re the one who asked someone out on a date, you asked them out specifically to do that one thing. You didn’t ask them out and then present them with a map of thing A to do, then thing B to do, then swing by and do thing C. You simply wanted thing A to do as an excuse to spend some time with your date. So to the date you’ve brought, if you are looking to spend more time with this person who’s asked you out, please feel free to suggest other things to do, and either start or end the sentence with ‘because I’d like to spend more time with you’. Saying ‘Whats next?’ without some kind of suggestion might come across as unappreciative, and may seem like a curve-ball question to your date.
To each couple on a date, there will be a different spin on it. One of my best friends has her own policy on money and dating, even when it involves her boyfriend of several years. Whenever they go out to dinner or out on the town or even to a movie, she tells me that she is always prepared to pay for the entire evening. In her words, if something were to go wrong with her boyfriend’s card, or maybe he forgot about a bill payment going through, it would be quite embarrassing to have to cancel their date because a card was declined or have to dig through your wallet and find another card or go find an ATM.
Now I think that’s a very practical way to go about it! However, when you’re asked out on a date, especially when you’re still new with someone, 2 out of three outcomes are acceptable to me. 1) He pays for both of you. This is a very sweet gesture no matter who you are. 2) He says ‘split’ when the server asks about the check. Now this certainly isn’t as sweet as option 1, but this is 2012, and budgets are tight right now. Im sorry if you think that assuming he will pay each time you’re asked out is the norm, but you need to get over it. Now of course, option 3 is simply unacceptable. If you’re the one that’s asked out, he needs to at least pay for his own dinner.
My last tidbit on money matters. I specifically said that those 3 options are how to handle ‘event a’ or ‘the main event’. He asked you out specifically for that. If you two decide to grab a few drinks at a bar after, or grab some frozen yogurt, or anything else afterwards, consider yourself on your own as far as money goes. If you asked them out, then you more than likely did not budget for extra activities. You are more than entitled to decline the offer to extend the evening, or perhaps you could make a suggestion that doesn’t involve money, and stick in there that it wouldn’t cost anything to either of you- this would politely let your date know that you don’t have the money for extra activities, and would like to either do something free, like a walk in the park, or simply end the evening. To the guy that was asked out- he just asked you out and you all had a great time, otherwise you wouldn’t be talking about continuing on. If you are able to, suggest that you would like to pay for ice cream or a drink or whatever the case may be- almost like ‘in return’ for dinner or bowling or whatever you were asked out for.
My last tip on modern-day dating for men. I’m sure there’s plenty of movies and TV shows that spin some comedy on whether or not the guy calls the girl after a date- but there’s some truth in it. Calling is more 2005. Texting is more2012- it can really light up a smile to get a text that says something like ‘I had a really great time with you tonight’ or ‘Thanks for a nice night out’. This goes to both of you. You don’t have to marry the guy tomorrow, but if you at least had a nice time, let him know. Now if one of you was an absolute ass, and the date ended kinda poorly, then obviously nothing more needs to be said. But if you did enjoy your time out together, you need to let him know. It really sucks to be the guy that thinks everything’s going smoothly, and then not hear anything from your date afterwards. You feel like you mesed up, said something wrong, had bad breath- or whatever.
All in all, nothing here is really that new. Perhaps my take on dating is old-school, but I’d like to think that some things- like common courtesy, respect, and chivalry will remain alive and well. I reflect on my own dating experiences as my references- some good, and definitely a lot of bad…