Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Guy's Thoughts on a First Date

Bored Jewish Guy had an awesome post about a guy's thoughts leading up to and throughout a first date. He challenged girls to do it, which some have (Not Far From the Tree, (not) The Girl Next Door and Up the Beanstalk, and Bad4 has been updating the list of people who do it), but I think another guy's perspective may be necessary, so here goes.

The Preparation
Shaving and showering are obviously mandatory, along with teeth brushing. The only question is shaving during s'firah and the three weeks. (I'll save that for a different post). I don't spend a lot of time picking out clothes. I don't wear suits, nice pants and a button down shirt will do, and I read somewhere that girls base a lot of their judgment on the shoes, so I make sure to wear the brown shoes with the brown pants and the black shoes with the black or gray pants. Blue pants get tricky. I spend time going over directions and time. I despise relying on the GPS, so I check out google maps or hopstop (mapquest has never once steered me right) and check up directions to the house/apartment/dorm and to the destination (more on this later) from her place of residence.

The Drive to the Date
I usually listen to something mindless on the way. This could be a game or sports talk radio. I always make sure to leave it on a CD that I like so that when I start the car it gives me a chance to see if she recognizes it and it may give us something to talk about right off the bat. If I'm on a subway I'll take something with me. It could be my Zune (don't judge me), a book or even some school work which I need to finish. I always make sure to the best of my abilities to show up 5-10 minutes early and wait in the car or around the apartment building until I feel it safe to make it known that I am there. I don't want to seem too anxious or too confident.

The Meet
Out of the NUMBER CENSORED girls I have gone out with, only one lived with her parents, so I have little experience in the meeting the parents department. Usually, I will call the girl and let her know that I have arrived and wait patiently for her to come down. There seems to be a problem with the Stern elevators and it always takes approximately the length of the Roosevelt administration for her to come down, but I wait it out. As is the case with most of the girls I have dated, I know what she looks like (either from a previous encounter or a picture) so I usually know what to look for. The first words will always be awkward. I will usually say something stupid (like usual) like "shall we?" and we're off.

The Trip
My car is very date-unfriendly. It has no remote or keyhole on the passenger side. Opening the door is decided for me. I can't do it. It's not possible. The only option is leaving the car unlocked, but I live in New York. This is not going to happen. I unlock the door from my side and hope she doesn't hate me. I usually come prepared with two or three (sometimes four) options. The first question is always "are you hungry?" If they answer "yes, " we need to decide on milchigs or fleishigs. If they answer "no," I use my two "go to" places. I hate lounges. they are dark and weird. I usually will go to a Barnes and Noble/Starbucks in the winter. this way, if the conversation ever gets dull, you can walk around and look at the books. There will always be some topic I feel confident talking about. In the summer, I like going to the Staten Island Ferry. Girls love this place. Many have never been on it and have possibly never been on a boat at all (plus it's free). However, these two answers are never the case and we will usually discuss our hunger patterns in semi-intricate details until we decide that we're not hungry or maybe we are. Anyway, it's time to start the car. Music comes on- works like a charm. I let it play for 3-5 seconds and BOOM, instant conversation. Musical tastes dominate the rest of the ride.

The Date
I don't usually have trouble finding a topic of conversation. Both go to places have conversations built into them. Barnes and Noble has books and the ferry has the scenery. Dinner dates are easy as well. If all else fails, you can talk about the restaurant or other people there. Cafe K is a great place to play "count the dates" (record is 14). I also like to gather information that might help me come up with a second date (usually an activity). I try to see if one of the things mentioned can be turned into a date and make note of it. I don't worry about excusing myself to the bathroom or asking a waitress for some napkins or ketchup. I just do whatever comes to me.

The Dropoff
It's always difficult talking more in the car once you spent the whole night talking, but there is always more music to talk about. Sometimes I'll let her choose a CD and we can listen to something on a really low volume while we talk. If it is a song she likes, she might interject with commentary here and there. I will always, ALWAYS get out of the car and walk her to the door. Once or twice I have been offered to come in for a drink. I will always refuse. This is classically the most awkward moment every time. I will always go back through a shadchan after a first date. Saying goodnight can sometimes take longer than it should and often end with Michael Kaye's "see ya." I turn and she closes the door. End of date.

The Decision
It's usually not difficult. Did I have a good time? Were there any outstanding issues (completely different directions, looks, personality problems)? Based on these answers, I make my decision. Only twice did I not go out a second time. In other words, there needs to be a glaring reason not to go out again.


  1. There seems to be a problem with the Stern elevators

    Possibly my favorite observation of yours in this post.

    In the summer, I like going to the Staten Island Ferry. Girls love this place.

    Great choice. (Plus it's free :P) Another really fun (and free) thing to do (in good weather) is walk a bridge (like the Brooklyn Bridge).

  2. " It could be my Zune (don't judge me)"

    I'm trying very hard not to make fun, it's not easy. Aside from that, good post.

  3. I have never judged a guy by his shoes--frankly, I couldn't care less. Nor have any of my friends ever commented to me about a guy's shoes. I don't think you need to worry about it too much.

    Other than that, I like your chilled-out attitude. Sounds like it's working for you.

  4. What do you wear with navy pants?

  5. SJ: I've always been told that girls judge by the shoes and the glasses. Personally I've had two girls compliment me on my shoes, so there could be something to it.

    bad4: I always wear black shoes with my navy pants. What do you do Jughead's Hat? BTW, we need a shorter way to refer to you.

  6. Have we dated? I remember one guy who had to open the front passenger seat manually also; it was cute 'cuz I gotta do the same thing in my car!


  7. As for the pants, it depends on the shirt. I could wear a brown/blue mix (I have lots of those) and then be able to wear the brown shoes. If not, I go with the black.

    BJG- you can choose the name with which I shall be referred. It just cannot be initials (like JH). Be more original than that. It's now in your hands.

    Chan- I am assuming your name is Chani, and I know that I have never dated a Chani. However, I could be wrong and your name may be Chan, in which case I am sorry, but I have never dated an Asian either.

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  9. SEE YA
    im gonna call you JUG because if i post your real name here you will delete my post (again).
    dont forget the BELT has to match the shoes and pants too.
    My older sisters who are all married now used to judge the guy's shoes. They liked the fashionable modern square type toe and not the old school yeshivish my-dad-is-a-rabbi-who-drives-a-beat up station-wagon dirty black sneaker/shoe.
    No one talks about the first phone call in these dating prep things! Like hello, thats the hardest part.

  10. BJG- I hear you. Good point. However, it seems as though Simmy has done it. I will take Jug. If you say that, I will know who it is you are trying to address.

    Simmy- good points

  11. Simmy: The belt has to match the shoes, not necessarily the pants (e.g. navy pants with black belt and shoes is OK). Also I didn't talk about the first call because I've never made one and I hope not to have to. I don't understand why people feel it's necessary (assuming you're dealing with some type of shaddchan), you both know it's forced and uncomfortable, so why do it?

  12. BJG: That first phone call is much easier than just through a shadchan, if for no other reason than just to find out a time to go out. One side calling up a shadchan with times to date and the shadchan calling up the other side only to find out that those times aren't good, etc. is just too complicated. The call makes it simpler.

    I didn't address it because this post was about the first date. That is before the date (probably a few days). It is its own entity and deserves its own post which in my case will come later.

  13. Jug, I could see how it might be advantageous to talk before the date but it seems to me the awkwardness probably outweighs the benefit. Setting up a time for the date hasn't been much of a problem for me, usually the shaddchan just sends a few text messages and we're set. That could be because I'm usually very flexible about when I'll go out.

  14. What's wrong with a zune? You won't get a good shidduch as long as you go against the edicts of the rabonom and listen to music while we are still in galus anyway

  15. Heshy: There are lots of things I could say are wrong with the Zune but this family guy clip sums it up pretty well

  16. My name is not Chani, and I'm not Asian.

  17. Whew, well at least we cleared that up. But no, I have not dated a Chani.

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  19. Oh, I'm sorry, Chan. I must have read that too quickly. Then maybe we have.

  20. Came to this article from Bad4's blog...

    Just had to say, that as a Staten Islander, I've run into friends on a "Ferry Date".. I usually will just say hi for a minute then leave before the ferry boards... but it's a bit weird since I know they're somewhere on the ferry, lol.

    I'm actually drawing a weekly comic for the Staten Island Advance about the SI Ferry, starting the first Sunday in April... wonder if that would make a good strip...

  21. That would make a GREAT strip. Do non-Jews use the ferry for dates too?

  22. Hmm, I'm not sure... need to ask some non-jews, lol.

    I wonder if it's a good idea to shorten "Ferry Date" to "frate"...

  23. lol, I had to google those words, and I only found Jorts on urbandictionary...

    Is swest short for south west or sweater vest?

  24. lol, I like sweater vests!
    But now that it's spring I have to put them away... sniff sniff

  25. "The only question is shaving during s'firah and the three weeks. (I'll save that for a different post)."

    It's time!! :D

  26. That's fair. Comming right up...tomorrow.