The good news is this: the first date was a success – the quirky, out of the way Thai place he picked was charming and he paid for the dinner discreetly. He didn’t inhale beer like a frat boy on a mission from God to get drizzzunk. His listened intently to your every word, and never, ever mentioned any of his exes. The hug goodbye wasn’t awkward, in fact, the both of you simultaneously lingered for a brief, awesome moment. On your way home, as you batted away the hearts and rainbows swirling around your head like little candy-coated moons, he texts you that he had a great time and he hopes to see you soon.
Indulge me as I imagine the single word racing through your she-noggin like a unicorn galloping through a lollipop forest. That word is “ZOMG.”
But the second date looms, ladies, and it’s your date to screw up.
It is the man’s responsibility to deliver the goods on a first date, and I question the testicular fortitude of any dude who would debate that. Even in this age of alleged gender equality, there are some things that men just do, and one of those things is to behave on a first date the way she expects you to behave. Men are aware of these expectations (we get so bored sitting on your toilet, that yes, we read the horrid, glossy fashion Bibles full of diets and sex tips you call “magazines”) and we don’t like those expectations. But we jump through the hoops anyway just to secure that second date. The second date, of course, gets us closer to all the subsequent dates that will, theoretically, conclude with some All-American boot knocking.
Check it out, though. Besides an unquenchable thirst for your ladyflower, men have expectations too. And some of those expectations need to be met by you on that second date. So be on your game, because it is possible to drop the ball (that’s a sports metaphor, FYI.)
Here are some tips, free of charge, on how to rock that second date. And rocking that second date is the best way to secure the third date, which is arguably the most important date after the first, because it’s the date that could lead you into a relationship, which is what all women want. I know that to be a fact, because I read it on page 86 of GLAMOPOLITAN’s recent feature article “DIET WHILE YOU HAVE SEX!”
Between that first rush of romantic possibility and your future husband lays date numero dos. No pressure, ladies.
IT’S NOT THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY, YOU CAN CALL ON HIM
We’ll never understand your gender’s obsession with period movies like Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice. Sure, it was a time of grandiose manners, love letters, and gentleman callers. But it was a time of smallpox, female servitude, and rampant body odor. It does not besmirch your honor to instigate the second date, and furthermore, it doesn’t compromise your virtue to suggest a place to meet up or something fun to do. You’re not emasculating us by taking a little control, especially on that second outing. It was our job to plot and execute MISSION: FIRST DATE with Delta Force precision, and you should reward us on that second date by relieving the planning pressure a little and suggesting, oh, that we go bowling, or check out a horror flick. We’re not above being courted a little.
WE LISTEN TO YOU BLABBER ABOUT “THE HILLS”; RETURN THE FAVOR
We spent most of the first date pursing our lips and raptly absorbing your every word, even when said words turned to your thoughts on chick-friendly cultural confections like anything on “Bravo.” We’re not bitching about this; it’s what we’re supposed to do. Look, it’s only fair that if we’re feigning interest in your charming, if rambling, monologues about shoes, celebrity gossip, and that new woman at work who eats nothing but cashews and is always wearing something low cut AND SHE’S NOT EVEN WORKING JUST POKING PEOPLE ON FACEBOOK ALL DAY, then you can ask us question about what we’re watching, listening to, thinking about. Would it hurt you to ask us about our NCAA brackets? No. Does it makes our pigskin-encrusted, machine gun shaped dude heart high five itself to think you care? Yes.
ADVERTISE YOUR ASSETS
Contrary to your darkest opinions, we don’t want to date a slut. We do, however, want to date a good girl who can be a little slutty. To that end, it wouldn’t hurt for you to show up to the date showing off a little of what Mother Nature saw, in her infinite wisdom, to give you. There is a happy medium between Puritan widow and turbo-whorebeast, and you are officially encouraged to find that medium. A tantalizing flash of your beauteous “declatage” is the sort of playful promise of fun to come. Now before you dust off your women’s studies text books and throw them at me, hear me out: PG-13 expressions of your sexuality will not turn us into date rapists, nor lower our opinion of your intelligence. Tantalize us, our gorilla brains love it.
A SHORT LIST OF STUFF NOT TO MENTION AT ALL
If a dude mentions his ex on a first date, it’s a total deal breaker. Chances are, it’s clear evidence he’s not over her. But you ladies, sometimes it seems your exes are always rattling around in your head, as if your brains are permanently haunted by the ghosts of boyfriends past. We know that, and accept that, and while you mentioning an ex doesn’t always indicate you’re still hung up on him, we don’t really need to know. Also, don’t mention brunches, tanning, diets, or candle stores. Especially candle stores.
GIVE INTO THE DARK SIDE OF AWESOMENESS
Don’t certain relationship experts suggest that women abstain from kissing on the first half dozen dates, in order to break his will? Go with your heart, dig? Dating is a socially constructed gauntlet designed for a reason other than making life miserable. It is designed as a safe place where two people, if they play the game correctly, can begin the process of revealing their true selves to each other. Each date is about peeling away facades, and if that second date goes well, if you respect him enough to make the effort he successfully made on the first date, then by all means, indulge in the fruits of your labor. You don’t have to go tonsil spelunking, but swooping in and planting one on his kisser will leave him panting. He’ll take it as a dare to make that third date the one that counts, the one that might lead to the messy, blissful quagmire known as a relationship. I mean, if that’s what you really, really want.