First dates are tough, because like any other experience that occurs in life, there is potential for it to not to go how you wanted it to.
To avoid complete failure, it’s generally a good idea to talk about some lighter topics — topics that involve getting to know your companion in a way that doesn’t tackle things too deep, dark, or socially absurd. In other words, because humans are a collective tyranny, you’re supposed to wait a little while before you reveal you’re crazy. Initially, it’s best to just stick to the following:
Movie discussions are a pretty safe bet. If you find that you have different movie preferences than your potential partner, it means you’ll have somewhere to go when you need to escape their wrath. If you have the same movie tastes, it means that this meeting was definitely fated, and that you should definitely attempt to conceive your first child within the next two weeks and name it Jonathan.
Travel makes you appear sophisticated. If you haven’t been to a rural town in Ireland that totally changed your perspective on everything, you are pretty much useless.
3. Teddy Geiger
John Theodore Geiger II, more commonly known as Teddy Geiger, is best known for his 2006 single, “For You I Will (Confidence.” For your nostalgic pleasure and convenience, see the video below this text.
Talking about Teddy Geiger is a foolproof date activity, in which you could further gauge your partners knowledge about 2000s one hit wonders.
4. The K.Q.B.
I was in Williamsburg, Brooklyn last week, when I walked by a restaurant whose chalkboard-thingy said “Today’s Brunch: Kale Salad with Quinoa.”
I thought about tweeting a picture and saying something along the lines of “how many hipster buzzwords could you have in one sentence?,” but I decided against it — tweeting ironically about kale, quinoa, and brunch is a pretty hipster move in itself, and would only further perpetuate the disturbing trend in our society that is “aligning with things that you don’t really value, but force yourself to value more given their propensity for social validation.” In other words, tweeting that picture and caption probably would’ve given me a few favs and RTs, but not the type I’d feel good about. I enjoy kale and quinoa, and, while they do certainly merit being poked fun at every now and again, I’m trying to limit my internet irony. The whole craze has gotten out of hand, and too much internet irony removes tone, robs everything of context, and allows for jokes to be made purely at the expense of the joke itself. When it’s about random foods it’s pretty harmless, but when we apply that to individuals it feels gross and disturbing. Also, while I don’t consider myself too much of a hipster, the fact that I’m writing this weird treatise, saying the word treatise, was in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and am talking about things that shouldn’t matter but somehow do, probably makes me kinda a hipster. If hipsters had an email chain, I’d probably be on it.
That last paragraph has very little to do with the topic of this article, but I just needed to get it off my chest. Also, it’s probably somewhat important to gauge what your partner thinks of the K.Q.B. — better known as “Kale, Quinoa, and Brunch.”
5. Morning Routine
Ask the person across the table from you about their morning routine. Watch their eyes light up. Notice how excruciatingly detailed the whole thing is. Hopefully there’s a radio show or podcast involved.
If your relationship progresses, it will eventually be Documented — it will be Documented Online, where it will Exist in the Cloud for all of Eternity.
While this isn’t intrinsically bad, it does leave you out in the open. People increasingly seem to be moving one of two ways — either saying everything online, to the point that nothing they’re saying is that noteworthy given the sheer volume of content — or saying very little online, only posting on Facebook during a major life event, or to signal some sort of notable trip or occasion.
While people with two different online schools of thought could certainly co-exist, fusing them can sometimes be dangerous — in the sense that awkward and uncomfortable situations may unintentionally, or perhaps inevitably, arise. If a very “involved” person tags, mentions, or tweets something that doesn’t really work with how the quieter person does things, it will likely result in a thinkpiece about dating in the digital age.
7. The Song ‘Who Let The Dogs Out’ By Baha Men
Personally I prefer the barking mad remix. The original version makes me feel like I’m trapped in some sort of dystopian metal chamber. The second makes me think like I’m about to embark on a very exciting montage sequence in a silly, yet critically-acclaimed movie starring Zach Galifianakis.
8. Where They Think This Is Going, And If They’re Cool With Putting the Kids In A Montessori School
Light banter of this nature is usually a good barometer of whether or not you should go on a second date.