First dates. Those nerve-wracking job interviews as a potential sex partner that we’ll all have to go through if we don’t want to die alone. Don’t stress too much about it though, it’s only going to happen until you meet the love of your life, or if you have Tinder, when basically every weekend until you become a jaded husk of a human who is only able to feel emotion while joylessly scrolling through pictures of the opposite sex like a sort of Top Trumps date addict. So here’s a handy how to guide to negotiate the dating minefield.
Confident Body Language
One of the first things a fellow human will notice is how you carry yourself. So if you come across like a nervous rescue cat but with more body fat and a visibly sweaty brow then she’s going to be instantly put off. If it helps, just imagine yourself as a more confident figure – like a buff and shirtless Ryan Gosling fresh from a hard day of chopping firewood simply by staring at it with his steely alpine gaze. Use your body to show how relaxed you are, like a Pablo Escobar taking a lie detector, or Samuel L Jackson in sunglasses.
Show Them Your Pearly Whites
So on the date you might feel a bit like anxiously fidgeting with your hands, taking constant sips of your drink and looking at your feet, but you need to control yourself in the same way that you fight the urge to just blurt out the phrase “I want to fuck everything about you”, the moment you see your date. Practice a bit of self control and, regardless of feeling nervous, smile a bit. Not too much though, not a Patrick Bateman plastered-on smile that never reaches your eyes, the kind George Clooney might wear to effortlessly pull a woman 25 years his junior.
I know in the previous two tidbits, I’ve been drawing comparisons between how you should behave on a date and how the super-hunks do, but bear in mind that you’re probably not one of them. You’re a slightly pudgy young man who probably drinks too much, doesn’t get up till past midday and thinks chips and ketchup are two of your five a day, so you can’t just sit back and wait for your mystery woman to fall at your feet. You’ve got to talk, and not about yourself, or if PES is better than FIFA, but about her – that probably equally nervous human sat opposite you. People generally like to talk about themselves, so unless your date is a strange kind of masochist who doesn’t like to talk about herself, or only does so incredibly shyly, then she’ll be charmed by the genuine interest you’re showing in her love of internet cat videos/Kate Bush/Chelsea/flying light aircraft. Whatever – she’s into it and you give a shit.
Stop Fiddling With Your Phone, Look Her In The Eyes And Listen
There’s no point in asking insightful and engaging questions that you pulled from a list in Men’s Health before you came out unless you actually hear what your date is saying. If you ask her how many siblings she has, don’t then switch off and think about your fantasy football team while staring at her mouth until it stops moving, jolting your reverie long enough for you to mumble ‘brilliant yeah’ like some kind of shit parrot repeating the same nonsense phrase. Who knows, if you listen you might discover that she’s a bit bloody brilliant and funny.
Show Her Your Ambitious Side
While it might be tempting to complain about how you work in Wetherspoons part-time while studying computer engineering, don’t! Even though you hate both because working in a pub is a special kind of hell and studying computer engineering involves a lot less sitting around playing Grand Theft Auto (I imagine). Complaining or bitching about your lot will ring alarm bells for your date like you’ve just told her you like stuffing dead animals on the weekends. Talk about your passions and ambitions, where you’re going, rather than where you are. Even if being an all action, hostage negotiating, F1 driver who writes existential novels during the spare time he gets in his Ibiza mansion is a silly pipedream that’ll never come true (it fucking will, I believe in you) she’ll appreciate that you’ve a bit of drive and ambition.
So that’s it, be confident, engaging, ambitious and relaxed, that’s all you can do. Chances are she’s as nervous as you are so the sooner you just take a deep breath and cool your jets, the sooner you’ll be enjoying yourself.