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Drunk High School History Teachers, Dr. Paul, and the Topic of Dating: Part One

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In Maryland, it was inebriated educators. Awhile back, I remember feeling a bit unnerved by an uncategorizable number of people who wanted to know about what a date meant. And heck, as of this week my friend Dr. Paul had his own questions about the “legitimacy” of dates during 50/50. So, to quote my Minnesota man Carl, let’s talk dating!

First, let’s just look at some terms and try to get on the same page about dating in general, and where I’m coming from on my journey through 50 first dates.

What is a date?

The dull answer that Jane Austen probably could have spiced up if she’d been given a job at a major dictionary: a social engagement between two persons that often has a romantic character (thank you Merriam-Webster).

The more convoluted answer as defined by Urban Dictionary: Two people getting together for an activity when the possibility of romance between them has been broached but not ruled out. (Broached, but not ruled out? Sheesh-ka-bobs, that’s…a lot of unspoken communication so it seems.)

My answer: Two people meeting up (with one another or in the context of others) to suss out whether or not they want to meet up again, and attempt to decipher whether they want to progress down a platonic path, a romantic path, or if they want to burn all paths, bridges, phone numbers, or anything else related to one another.

Okay…So What is a Successful Date?

The internet: Holy. Mothballs. I could write a ten page essay on what I found when I typed “How do I know if my first date was successful?” or “what makes a date successful?” into Google. Let’s just say the responses are not decisive, and focus either on how to know if a girl might sleep with you or give you tips to how to have a successful first date, though never is that term defined.* The best advice I found was from WikiHow, and even that was meh at best:

  • Signs of a good first date include regular eye contact, playful flirting, time passing without either party being aware, physical gestures (touching hands, brushing up against each other, etc.), ease of conversation, open body stance, mimicking each others’ body language and speaking of doing things together in the future.
  • Signs of a bad first date include 1 person or the other talking too much, excessive egocentric talk, bringing up past relationships, extended uncomfortable silences, checking the time, overtly sexual flirting, texting or phoning during the date, closed body language (crossed arms), frequent trips to the restroom, criticism, rudeness to other people, unwarranted affection, lack of response to wanted affection and unexpectedly ending the date early.

My answer: Honestly, it just means it doesn’t suck. I may or may not want to have a second date. We chatted, we laughed, we felt comfortable enough to hug at the end, hopefully there was some honesty and maybe, just maybe, we see life from a different point of view and were able to share that.

So, Are These Real Dates or What?

Next time, people. Next time. 

* Seriously, go read that article linked above from AskMen.com. That, my friends, is what men are being told about dating. No wonder things like Delaware happen.

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