Creative First Dates Are For Suckers

I don’t want to go on your thoughtful and creative first date.

. . . I know that this sounds bad.

When approaching the habits of thoughtful, considerate men, it’s hard to be critical. Disparaging considerate behavior, even when it’s warranted, can’t help but feel wrong . . . the sort of thing that would make a nice man doubt himself, or worse, complain about me on the internet. So allow me to be clear: Women do, overwhelmingly, prefer to date nice guys. The type of guy who calls a woman on the talking part of the phone and kisses her on the mouth even if she has cold. That doesn’t mean, however, that they want to go to a pottery class with you. They don’t want to play mini-golf with you either, or laser tag, or go go-carting. They don’t want to row a boat with you. Please don’t ask them to.

“Unique” dates are awful, particularly at the beginning. The first few dates are, at their core, about two people silently judging each other. It only seems fair to make that process as comfortable as possible. Until you know all about her interests, hobbies, likes, dislike, strengths, weaknesses, fears, allergies, and the sort of vehicle she’s most likely to puke in, you should not be dating out of the box. Crafts are sticky, nature is unpredictable, and some people just fucking hate board games. Just take her to a bar, or if she doesn’t drink, get cheap sushi. Bitches love sushi.

For three excellent reasons why you should never do a creative first date, let me walk you through one of my nightmares.

Years ago, an ex-boyfriend decided to take me rock climbing for our first date. It wasn’t a horrible idea, I was down, but he wanted make the activity a “surprise”, and didn’t give me a single detail when asking me out. When the day came and I walked out to meet him in high heels, his first words to me were “Go home and change”. Again, kindly meant, but at the time, I sort of felt like I’d failed the date before we started.

Later, at the rock climbing gym, I was unable to understand the belaying demonstration. This forced me to confess a learning disability type-thing to him, something very dumb and confusing about myself that I would have rather saved for the tenth, or maybe the twentieth date.

The outing ended with him failing to climb one of the hardest walls, which we both laughed off, until a 70-year-old man scampered up the rocks like it was nothing. I didn’t think it was a big deal, but from that point on my date was surly. The highlight for both of us, I think, was leaving the rock climbing gym, heading to the closest bar, and downing a few drinks in silence. Later, when we got to know each other and actually had shared interests, we’d go on good dates again.

Now, my first dates consist of either alcohol or coffee. If that doesn’t take up enough time, you can’t really go wrong with a walk. In certain circumstances I will get food, but only attractive, easily maneuverable food like sushi, or chopped salad, or French fries. You don’t get to find I’m messier than most toddlers until I’ve known you for at least a month.

Mika Rekai is a Toronto-based writer, humourist, and self-designated sex guru. She does not feel the need to justify that last part to you. She asks that you just be cool and go with it.

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