Are your first dates not turning into anything more? Perhaps it’s because you resemble one of these misguided dating types. Let lesbian romance writer Fiona Zedde and gay sex and dating columnist Michael Alvear help you get it right.
First date? Doesn’t matter. If you are the U-Hauler, you want to plan the rest of your life right then. Are you ready to get married? Do you want kids? The U-Hauler thinks picking out baby names is the perfect first date conversation. But you may not notice that while you are rearranging your house to fit your date’s furniture, he or she is backing away from the table or texting a friend a desperate SOS.
Fiona: Chances are, if you’re a U-Hauler then it’ll be easy for you to find another kindred soul to lure into a first date. But, if heaven forbid, you end up with another kind on your date and and see his or her eyes widening in terror at the description of the water-birth you envision for your next child, take note.
Living together is serious business. If you haven’t spent at least four consecutive days together under the same roof, don’t even consider bringing up a U-haul. Enjoying someone’s company over a half-price appetizer is not indicative of a match made in heaven; laughing over fully-loaded nachos can quickly turn into arguing over who’s going to clean up the bathroom.
Michael: If your date is paying attention they already know you’re a U-hauler by the way you talk, act and think. Your challenge isn’t in denying it but in seducing them into wanting that Class 5 trailer hitch you’re fondling. Do it by making them laugh, pause and think, not by talking about your towing capacity.
The opposite of the U-Hauler, if your first date style is the Hook Up, you have one thing on your mind — forget first base, you’re going for the home run. Right now, preferably. The Hook Up is so focused on getting laid you may forget to talk about anything else. What’s your name again? Can we go back to your apartment?
Michael: You don’t want to erase sexual tension as much as put it in its proper place — your eyes. Let them say what your words and action should not. That way you’re sending two balanced messages: “I like you and I want you.”
Fiona: First of all, get tested. A hook-up with a side of STDs is just no fun no matter how many times the bed broke. The second thing is, be an honest ho. A lot of people wouldn’t mind running into a (cute) Hook-Up. Don’t tell the date you like walks in the park and joint tax returns when all you want to do is take him or her for a long, dripping ride. When you’re on your first date, be up front. Let that be one of the first things you say: I’ll pick up the check, I like Piedmont in the moonlight, I’m kind of a ho. That way, your date can choose whether to grab your hand and head for a convenient dark corner or get up and leave you stewing in your own juices.
If you are the Interrogator, you want to make conversation, but don’t quite know how. Eager to get to know your date, you pepper the lucky guy or gal with questions, until your first date feels more like an interview. By the end of the night, you’ll know everything about them, and they will know nothing about you. Perhaps you should just ask for a resume.
Fiona: We all know there’s nothing wrong with questions. It’s how you ask the questions. Slow down. Let the other person play too. After all, it’s a date, an interactive exercise. Take turns with the questions: “I have a six figure job; do you have one too?” Allow time for the other person to answer the question. Most importantly, any question you ask, be prepared to answer the same. If you can’t answer with the same quick honesty — Where do you live and is there an alarm? —don’t ask it.
Michael: You’re asking questions because you’re seeking common ground for rapport. Instead of seeking it, assume it. People who assume rapport don’t ask questions as much as make statements. For example, instead of asking how many siblings your date has, state it (“I bet you’re the middle child”). It’s a much more exciting way of finding out information than asking cold questions.
THE ME FIRST!
Mr. or Ms. Me First would be the perfect match for the Interrogator. If this is your dating style, you have one favorite topic: yourself. You rarely stop talking to ask questions about your date, and if you do, you interrupt to tell how whatever your date is talking about relates exactly to yet another story about you.
Michael: Be interested, not interesting. You’ll make a much better impression by showing concern than blowing your horn. Paste this onto your bathroom mirror before you go out: “Great minds talk about ideas, small minds talk about people, no minds talk about themselves.”
Fiona: Date another person who is just as self-absorbed. If you’re at the club looking at yourself in the mirror and you look up and someone is doing the same thing, that’s the perfect candidate for a first date. But, if that’s too much a challenge, you could always date a mime.
THE EX FACTOR
Poor Ex Factor. Your last boyfriend dumped you for a cuter guy. Your last girlfriend ran off and left you with the cats. And if you are the Ex Factor, you are going to tell your new first date all about it — every little detail, all night long. Too bad that while you are regaling your date with stories of your last relationship gone wrong, your date is probably imagining how you would tell the same stories about him or her.
Fiona: If you’re still moaning and groaning about your ex-lover, you don’t need to date. Chances are you’re still mad at your ex. You need to be by yourself. Take a sabbatical from dating. Learn to masturbate in creative ways. Keep your money in your own pocket and enjoy your own company. You probably haven’t seen your mama in a while, so go see her. If you insist on dating, date someone you’re not really interested in. If you’re into fat girls, date a skinny chick. Date someone you don’t care about so if you end up babbling on about your ex and she gets up and leaves, you won’t give a damn. And she won’t either.
Michael: You should never, ever talk about an ex during a date — even if you’re being kind. If it’s a habit, interrupt yourself in mid-sentence and divert the conversation (“Oh, never mind about that, did I tell you about the fight I saw last night between two drag queens?”). Then, bring it back to your date with a fun question like, “Tell me five things about you, four of them true.”
It’s great to show your date that you are interested in current events, LGBT rights and other causes. And to be certain, there is plenty of bad news out there. The economy sucks. Republicans suck. Democrats suck. Working for the man sucks. Not having a job sucks. Even the weather sucks. And guess what? If you can’t find anything positive to talk about, this first date is going to suck, too.
Michael: You are never going to attract somebody with a sign that says, “Cynical Island. Population: Me.” The best way to counteract it is to stay away from offering your opinions about anything unless you’re specifically asked (you’ll just bootleg bitter into the conversation without even knowing it). You don’t have to focus on the positive, just on what you like. For example, you can be proud of the fact that you cheered for the shark in “Jaws.”
Fiona: Bring your date a bouquet of dead red roses so he or she will know what’s up right off the bat. If you’re lucky, you’ll end up with a sexy Goth into all things dark and dismal. Viola! A match made in a thorny heaven. If such cosmic happenstance is not in the dark stars, then for every depressing thing that pops in your head, smile to yourself and find the bright side. “The restaurant is too dark and the food is over-cooked,” becomes “This restaurant is trying for a romantic ambiance with these tea-lights, huh? And at least the food isn’t under-cooked. That’s how you get salmonella.”