And so yesterday marks the end of my military life (for now) and the start of school life. We were tasked to come up with a feature article on the topic of ‘Dating’ at today’s Feature writing class within 30 minutes. Here’s what I make of this jargon.
P.S. I threw in a standfirst, byline and lead paragraph and touched up the grammar just a bit.
Six DO’s And DONT’s To Surviving The First Date
By Reuel Eugene Tay
We all get the glitters at the mention of first dates. Here are some tips to surviving the first date and hopefully clinch the next.
So, you are here because you have asked [or am about to ask] someone out on the first date. Or you’re on the receiving end of the first date. Whichever it is, much is at stake here because you could either appear to be a complete bore and be friendzoned, find yourself coming forth as too desperate or a total insensitive moron, or you could come up tops to clinch the next date. Either way, you’re here because this first date matters, to you at least. So here’s some general tips for you ladies and gentlemen to making it through this either pleasant or hellish night.
1. DO some background research
Sun Tzu said something like ‘know thy enemy as thyself, win a hundred battles’. It is never more essential than to do a little background research on your date for the night prior to meeting him/her. This may sound hypocritical, but you could be in deep trouble if you’re going in blind; being clueless about your date. Finding out about his/her likes, hobbies, interests or even philosophies gives you a rough overall impression of what kind of person you’re about to face. It makes for good conversation starters (Just don’t let him/her know that you did your due research, be natural and cool about it). Plus, if you’re not interested in the other party anymore after finding out more about him/her, there’s time for you to back out rather than to be a moron on the first date.
2. DON’T just talk too much or sing praises about yourself
You’re not going for an interview, do not hard-sell yourself. You’re killing your date. Give the date some breathing space. However, do not allow the other party to do all the talking either, it will make you look like a complete bore. Engage in the conversation as well. Dating is like playing tennis. [Only] serve when the ball is in your court.
3. DO allow the date to take its natural course
While there might be a certain level of expectations for the first date, allow the experience to be organic. Weather-talking and talking for the sake of talking [to break the awkward silence] is many times uncalled for. Last thing you want is for your date to feel even more awkward than he/she is already is or worse, find you to be someone of little ‘depth’. Sometimes, a brief moment of silence may not be too hurting at all. It allows the other party to think through his/her thoughts and make calculated decisions in engaging the date. A proverb said, “Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace”.
4. DON’T complain
One of the major turnoffs for guys as with girls is the obsolete art of complaining. Complaining about how bad your day has been or how much you hate your job is going to take out massive points from that dating experience. Be positive and inject as much positive energy into that 2 to 3 hours of dating time. It will do a world of good for you and him/her.
5. DO engage in activities that you can interact with each other
Dinners are a given for first dates. However, once you’re done with dinner, skip the usual movie-going. While movies may be a good way to spend time with the opposite party without having to [risk talking] much, what it really means is ‘You have wasted two full hours of interaction time with your date on the first date!’ Engaging in activities that allows one to know the other better is always a bonus as it increases the possibility of a second date. A stroll in the park could be nice as your attention span will be fixated on each other and each other only. If you’re not ready for that, catching a live street performance for example is an alternative that is free, fun, and allows for conversation. But that would also mean you need to do your due diligence in researching for interesting places. of course.
6. DO be yourself.
After all that is said and done, while you’re trying to impress your date to secure the next, you need to be practical. Pretending to be someone you’re not will only burn you out eventually or even be the underlying factor to potential big-ass quarrels in the future should you really get together. If the opposite party doesn’t seem to respond positively to the real you, perhaps it’s time to just move on and wait for the next one. Somewhere out there, there’s someone who likes you for being you. Till then, pull up your socks, grit your teeth, and prepare for the next first date.