Nov 012010
 
Authors: Anna Baldwin and Eugene Daniels

*Anna Daniels
*
There’s nothing better than butterflies in your stomach before a first date. Unless those butterflies eventually translate into something that is being forced from your stomach due to nerves.

Regardless, dating should be fun and first dates should be an exciting and important experience in your life.

These initial dates are a big deal. Thus, for guys, the build-up and preparation before any before-mentioned encounter should be very thought out and planned.

Why? First impressions are what stick in any girl’s mind. Correct first date etiquette needs to be followed every single time or else risk ending up alone foreva, eva.

When I say etiquette, I’m including behavior, manners and appearance.

For behavior: be yourself, guys. We want to know the true you in order to weed out the crazies. Crazy tendencies that pop up later in a relationship aren’t good, we feel like we’ve been tricked.

Also, never ogle. This makes your date and everyone else in the eating establishment uncomfortable. This is when we use the pre-planned “emergency” phone call from one of our friends.

However, good eye contact is important. It’s common courtesy to make your date feel special. Eye contact means that you are paying attention to what we are saying. Or maybe try to appear you’re listening, it’s okay.

Also, don’t drink or smoke too much unless your date is also getting sloshed and chain-smoking. It’s all about reading the situation.

Correct first date manners are a difficult thing to do, because what if you’re being too nice? Most of the time this comes off as creepy. Although being inattentive is also bad. It’s a fine line. Just remember to hold the door open for us.

Another important thing to remember is to not be negative. This just ruins the mood and puts depressing thoughts in your date’s head.

And maybe stay away from talking about religion, politics or the number of kids you want. These topics are not safe to talk about this early in the game. In fact, I’d maybe limit conversation just to the weather.

Let me stress how men should try to look nice during dates. There is no excuse for looking shabby in this day and age, and not even making an attempt to look decent is an insult. Cologne goes a long way.

As a closing thought, I don’t have cable, but when I was at a friend’s house this weekend I saw probably 500 commercials for eHarmony.com and Match.com during one sitting. Apparently, online dating is running rampant.

This is just another reason for thinking hard about first date etiquette. And etiquette for online dating could be slightly different. Just don’t start the conversation with “So, I saw on Facebook that you … ”

Eugene Daniels

The First Date is nothing more than a first job interview. Except it’s not between a company and a hopeful employee. More like two companies that are merging together to hopefully make a conglomerate ready to take on the world.

Neither is in charge. Both are equally nervous but have done their research (i.e. Facebook) on the other. They have bought new clothes, taken a shower, brought questions and prepared answers to any that could be asked of them.

Unfortunately, there is no “career center” equivalent for dating. No one to help decipher what is the correct first date etiquette. Until now.

We’ll start with things that both sexes need to remember. First, nobody cares about your exes. That is not a conversation for the first date. Besides, that just shows that you clearly aren’t good dating material; your relationships end too damn fast.
The first date is all about being yourself, but your enhanced self. Be the self you are when your grandma comes around. You never know, there may be a different type of cheek pinching in store later on.

Also, always make sure that you have a way out. Don’t ever let the other person pick you up. This is a “just in case” move. For instance, just in case your date looks like Chewbacca or just in case their breath smells like 10 cans of shark dung. Drive your own car so if you need to make a break for it, you can fake a phone call or an injury and get the hell out of Dodge.

Guys, one thing we have to remember when getting ready for the first date is to not completely change our appearance. Don’t wear a suit to the date, if she runs into you later and you are wearing those dreaded man-pri things. (You shouldn’t be wearing those anyway because they are for women. Throw those damn things away.)

Make sure you can talk about more than just sports and sexy female celebrities. Leave Beyonce and Angelina out of the conversation. This makes women feel bad about themselves because they’ll think that you would rather be on a date with the celebrity than them.

Have an array of topics ready: from movies to cars to great vacation spots to family. Act like you’re a Renaissance Man (eclectic in all aspects of life). But don’t be a know-it-all. Accept her opinion too, even if you don’t care about it.

Ladies, there is only one rule you need to follow: don’t false advertise. Technology is so advanced what with make-up and girdles and bras and underwear with butts built-in that by the time you leave the house you went from Miley Cyrus to Marilyn Monroe!

That’s not okay. If you look like a Gremlin when you wake up, then on the first date, you be the best Gremlin you can be! Embrace it because there is probably a male Gremlin out there just waiting for you to cross his path.
_
Anna Baldwin is a senior journalism major, and Eugene Daniels is a junior journalism major. ‘Venus vs. Mars’ appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com._

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