The most effusive praise of straight-up whoring yourself for money you’ll ever read

 

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“Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.” — Woody Allen

Dating someone with a lot of money may sound like an ideal situation for someone who likes the finer things in life. That’s because it is. If you’ve ever dated a poor person—maybe an artist or even a blog writer—you know how completely not worth it the whole experience is, even if you get a few funny/sad stories out of it.

No, spending romantic time with a rich partner is where it’s at. Here are 4 reasons why one should be quite thankful to be “dating up.”

cmimg_72554“God bless us, every one who has money!” — Tiny Tim, opportunist social climber

1. Cars

Even if you’re not poor poor but instead on an average salary with average bills and debt, your car is probably serviceable at best. A 2006 Toyota is nothing to be ashamed of, and a 2014 Smart Car shows that you care about the environment enough to make accommodations for it in your lifestyle decisions.

When you’re dating someone with money, however, the car in which you ride isn’t only about getting from Point A to Point B. Like many things in the lives of the wealthy (and their companions), it’s about luxury on the inside and about inspiration on the outside. A creamy real-wood old-school dashboard housing the very latest in automotive technology creates a pleasing dissonance in which the rich can delight.

Of course, wending a top-end Jaguar XJ Ultimate, classic Rolls Royce Phantom, or customized Hennessey Venom GT through a sea of lesser vehicles means that your luxury transportation gives all those other drivers something to aspire to. Yes, some guy might be driving his girl around in a 2005 Hyundai, but when they see you and your significantly wealthy other in this kind of automobile, your attitude of gratitude and thankfulness will inspire each dream of driving a Bentley or a Ferrari, too. Or at least being driven around in one.

celebrity_vehicles_wrecked_exotic_richard_hammond_top_gear“You’re welcome, plebes!”

2. Food

Fashionistas and actresses, as well as some high-society divas, need to stay abnormally skinny and so may have to settle for smoking a cigarette or licking a stamp as their “lunch.” But for the relatively normal rich folk (and those who date them), the world is your oyster, Rockefeller.

pun-dog-pun-husky-00(Rimshot.)

Oysters aren’t the only delicacy available to you when you’re out on the town with a wealthy companion. You can have regular old luxury dining like kobe beef steaks, sushi prepared by the world’s top Japanese chefs, and the freshest seafood even in places like Las Vegas not known for their large bodies of water.

Depending on the mood of both you and your rich pal, there are very exclusive eateries catering to the tip-top of the 1 percent. Here you can choose steaks from lions or giraffes, try edible orchids, and dig in to some endangered species with entrees like grilled panda claw, bald eagle fritters, and baby seal fillet with au jus made from Sarah McLachlan’s tears. (Okay, not really, but most high-end restaurants will bend over backwards to find exotic, unique, and very expensive meals for their best customers.)

That’s something to be thankful for every time your tummy grumbles.

3. Hotels

Sure, the well-to-do usually have spacious homes, even mansions, and/or condos in a big city’s most exclusive high-rises. But what if you are not the spouse, but rather someone who’s kept comfortable and dated by the wealthy man or woman? That usually would mean that “home” is a no-go zone.

But, as with most everything in the life of someone dating at the diamond level, there is an even more alluring alternative to the normal, even stultifying, atmosphere of a family home: the très chichotel. With every kind of service available to the well-heeled and their companions, you might find yourself getting light-headed with thankfulness for all that luxury.

Dressed-Well-Man-002For example, this is just the bellhop.

4. Less Stress

So far we’ve discussed only material goods and the thankfulness one should have for how they make us feel. But an important—actually, a central—benefit of dating someone with money (and who knows how to spend it) is peace of mind. Stress over bills got you down? A wealthy paramour can knock that worry right out of your life. Stress over marriage or have-a-baby pressure? Not with millionaires, who may already have their domestic dance cards quite full, thank you.

Dating up provides a unique respite from “the real world.” Special times with a wealthy friend or romantic partner make for a fantasy experience like no other, and that’s worth all the gratitude in the world.

Don’t worry, be wealthy

Although it may not be you who has the cash in the bank and the platinum credit cards with your name on them, dating a rich beau lets you live as if you are. Romance and spending quality time together are vital for any dating couple, but when one of you is wealthy and you both know how to appreciate the finer things in life, everything is just that much better, isn’t it?

Image result for gold toiletLike, everything.

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How to impress your new love’s family

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Sorry, any romantic relationship. Babies are just in it for the boobs. (Actually, this is like some romatic relationships. Never mind. Carry on.)

In most dating situations, ultimately one partner will bring the other home to meet the family.  And these days, it’s entirely possible that such an event could mean meeting the other half’s children among all the other important people in their life. Close-minded people may not approve of or even understand their relationship, but usually one can probably expect a family to want to be well-disposed toward the new addition.

Since this was originally written for a dating site catering to “sugar daddy” arrangements, it looks at what can a Sugar Baby, the special woman who fills a real role in a Daddy’s life (it feels so dirty now to say that, but it’s a legit thing, okay?), do to make sure that the meet-and-greet is a happy one? For our purposes, let’s say that the family is having a home-cooked meal to welcome the Sugar Baby. Here are three suggestions for what a young lady can do at this kind of gathering to make a good impression on the other important people in her Daddy’s life.

1. Zero In On Grandpa

As an average man gets older (but not rich), he does not become unattractive to attractive young women. He becomes invisible. While a Sugar Daddy has wealth and probably influence to boot, his father or even grandfather might not have been as lucky (or perhaps hard-working and educated). So young ladies pay them no mind, and they certainly don’t act flirty with them.

0 2“Can I get a Big Mac … and, if it’s not too forward, your home address?”

Although this does make sense (we all seek out people who we consider relevant to our own goals and lives, not to mention worth procreating with), it can leave an old guy feeling sad and neglected.

Enter the Sugar Baby! You need to find where Gramps is and start giving him nice (but not overly fawning) attention. Talk to him and try to make him laugh. Touch him on the shoulder or the knee. Make him feel like a million bucks. But most importantly: make sure the family sees you doing it. Everyone will love you for it.

2. Don’t Eat Like A Supermodel

At most family dinners to meet a new belle—that’s you, and you’re legit no matter how you and your gentleman met—a nice meal is prepared, perhaps by the females of the house or by everybody lending a hand. So the last thing you want to do is refuse to eat anything (or take nibbles smaller than that of the average housefly) and tell the gathering that you care more about your figure than about your beau or his family.

On the other hand, you don’t want to stuff your face so full that your nice black dress looks like a maternity outfit. And you certainly want to avoid making the family (or your Daddy) think you belong in front of a trough. Is there a happy medium between starving/insulting and overeating/disgusting?

hambananaSome dishes stand no chance of making you overeat.

You bet there is. Sample a bit from each dish (if it’s a pass-around), and be sure you say something nice about how the dish looks or smells. (Vary your comments a bit in content and timing: exclaiming “What a wonderful [X]!” every time as a dish is  passed to you will look rehearsed and suspicious.) Then, when you take a bite, even if it’s just one, make a nummy sound either to your Daddy, to the cook, or to the room in general. Your appreciation has been registered even if you don’t eat another bite. Everyone will love you for it.

3. Hug Everyone

Your Sugar Daddy could come from most any walk of life. He could have been raised in a wealthy home or he could be an entirely self-made man when it comes to finances. He could be a complete WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant; think country clubs and Martha’s Vineyard) or his family could literally have gotten off the boat from Ethnic Albania when he was a baby. No matter what his family’s background or current living situation, you should hug every man, woman, and child at the get-together at some point during the evening.

Does that sound weird? It shouldn’t. Remember giving Grandpa a little attention, back up there in suggestion number 1? This is like a diluted version of that. A nice embrace of well-wishers when you walk in, finish a conversation, thank cooks and servers for the dinner, and when you’re leaving will do wonders for your first impression. The family will believe  that your Sugar Daddy has found a keeper who makes him happy, because you made them feel happy.

And everyone will love you for it.

group-hug-e1324736447271This is either three cats hugging or two police cats boxing in a fugitive.

 

Glasses, glasses everywhere, for every drop you drink

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For those new to the glamorous life, the high-end dinner table or cocktail party may seem impossibly complex. However, not every elegant diner who seems preternaturally at ease with fancy dining paraphernalia learned her skills at finishing school. In fact, most fanciness newbies learn the difference between a grapefruit spoon and a caviar spoon, or between a tumbler and a highball glass, by experience and study.

We’ll leave it to you and your companion to decide where best to practice, but below is a primer on the many different kinds of glassware designed to bring out the best in your wine. Keep those pinky fingers extended, ladies!

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Every element of a wine glass is there for a particular reason.

Nice stems

Just about every glass meant to hold wine has a stem. These may be tall stems in relation to the bowl, as in sherry glasses and champagne flutes; or they may be stubby, as in port and madeira glasses. Most glasses for standard red and white wines, however, have a stem length roughly equal to the height of their bowls.

Cocktail glasses sporting stems include those for martinis, with their signature cone shape. Another spirits glass is just for grappa and has a unique and charming bubble shape at the bottom of its bowl for this strong brandy that must be kept cool to remain palatable.

Actually, keeping wine and spirits cool is the reason for stems in glassware. You don’t put ice in wine or in a martini, for example, but these drinks must remain at a relatively low temperature to provide their ideal taste. The stem allows an imbiber to hold on to the glass and sip at her drink while not making it undrinkably warm from the heat of her hand.

shutterstock_147933443Champagne flutes keep the bubbles flowing.

Glass class

If a glass has a wide mouth and a 1-to-1 bowl-to-stem length, it is probably for wine. The larger of such glasses usually hold red wine, and the smaller white wine.

Very small stemware is for dessert wines such as port, “standard” sweet, and sauternes as well as the aforementioned madeira and sherry.

Narrow stemware such as tulips and flutes are intended for sparkling wines, since not as much of the liquid is exposed to the air. This helps keep bubbly … well, bubbly longer. The best sparkling wine glasses incorporate a single notch near the bottom to create a steady stream of intoxicating bubbles.

shutterstock_112887727The madeira glass is perfectly designed for this dessert wine.

Miscellaneous glasses

Alsace and hock glasses have very long stems when compared to their small bowls. It would be best practice to just ask your sommelier or a bartender to demonstrate use of these specialized pieces of glassware. (Remember that cocktail creation specialists grow tired of the making the same old thing and may jump at the chance to show off some little-used but impressive part of their mixological repertoire!)

While you are likely to see wine glasses in a fine dining situation, at a cocktail party any kind of glassware may be used, depending on what the guest is drinking.

Glasses for spirits

Naturally, cocktail parties will offer wine from red to white to dessert to sparkling, so all of the stemware covered last time will be on display. Now, however, many other fun variations may be seen. Each different cocktail glass not only provides the ideal taste experience for its matching drink, but also embodies a signature “look” for the lady or gentleman holding that cocktail.

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The Rocks Glass

A “rocks” or “old fashioned” glass is perfect for aromatic spirits and liquors which you keep cool with ice. This is the classic cocktail glass. This is the glass you’d see in the hand of Don Draper as he unwinds at home after a day at Sterling Cooper. (The other hand would be holding a cigarette, of course.) A man or woman holding a rocks glass gives off an air of old school charm, a bit of throwback bite with his or her practiced savoir faire.

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The Collins Glass

Thin like a champagne flute but the same diameter at the top as at the bottom, the Collins glass is perfect for drinks utilizing soda water for bubbles and ice to keep the drink cool as it’s held in one’s hand. The narrowness of this glass serves the same purpose as a flute for bubbly, as it minimizes the liquid’s exposure to air and thus keeps the drink fizzy for a longer period of time.

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The Highball Glass

Highball glasses are similar to Collins glasses in height, but the former is used for more aromatic drinks than bubbly ones, and drinks in highball glasses usually incorporate a lot of ice compared even to a Tom Collins. This is the glass universally preferred for Bloody Marys and Zombies. (Why does a highball glass hold such “horror”? Discuss.)

Glencairn Whisky Glass 1(2)

Glencairn Whisky Glass

If a lady wants to impress her man of her alcohol bona fides, she can do no better than request that her whisky drink be served in a Glencairn whisky glass. Also known as a “dram glass,” the Glencairn was introduced in 2001 by a cabal of five master distilleries searching for the perfect glass from which one could enjoy whisky. Its unique design is reminiscent of a grappa glass, with a bulge at the bottom, but much wider are larger to accommodate the aroma of fine whisky. There are other glasses specifically designed for drinking whisky, but the Glencairn is the only glass used by every distillery in Scotland.

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Mixologists and Pretty Ladies

Those new to the more rarefied air of cocktail parties and exclusive pubs shouldn’t hesitate to ask their bartender or other mixing professional to demonstrate what glasses are used for what alcohol. Believe me, an attractive woman seeking some esoteric knowledge from her male barkeep makes a welcome addition during a shift that often seems repetitive and unglamorous. Requests (during slower periods) from an elegant lady for him to demonstrate some underappreciated area of his expertise will rarely be refused.

Once you develop an understanding of the different glasses used for cocktails, you can impress a date by asking for a custom drink and then telling your server or bartender what glass you’d like it in. Sophistication in drinking is like sophistication in wardrobe: It’s not strictly necessary, but it will be noticed—and much appreciated—by those with taste and class.

How to come between your man and video games

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Many years ago, when Megalodons walked the earth and I was in the key 13-year-old nerd demographic, our video games were 8-bit simple. You had big red shapes shooting tiny white squares at big blue shapes. Or pixelated Indiana Jones rip-offs jumping on the heads of crocodiles to … fetch gold and silver? Meet enormous scorpions? I don’t remember, but unlike the games of today, which can be “finished” or “beaten,” my childhood Atari 2600 games went on until your little avatars died.

giphy.gifOr went blind from eyestrain.

Now, however, video games look realistic, involve A.I. that would put 2001’s HAL to shame, and can be “solved,” “beaten,” or whatever else you call it when you have finished the narrative of the game. (Also, today’s video games have narratives.)

There could be games involving WhatsYourPrice.com-type virtual hookups; there may already be games in which you time travel using your family’s old home movies; and there could even someday be a game in which you steal cars, listen to a 6-hour radio stream on the cars’ radios, or even bang hookers in the back seat.

giphy.gifThe InvisiCar is not recommended for hooker-banging.

In theory, this is awesome, of course. Who wouldn’t want an immersive video game, especially a completely immersive one with headphones and microphones you can play in real time against other remote human players? Games where you can lose hours and hours in this fantasy land?

Who wouldn’t? How about Sugar Babies, girlfriends, wives, and small children? They see Daddy/daddy mentally absent from the time he gets home from work to the time he falls asleep on the couch, then wakes up in time to get a few more hours in before work. In extreme (but by no means unusual) cases, he loses or never gets one of these “jobs” his significant other is always on about and just plays video games pretty much all day, pretty much every day.

Time To Take Control!

The question for these ladies becomes “How do I get my gentleman back from the land of Los Santos or Hyrule or New Vegas or wherever? The garbage is piling up and my vibrator battery budget is gone just five days into the month.” Fortunately, there are a few ways in which you can overcome the tyranny of the game console and bring your boyfriend, husband, or random-hookup-who-won’t-leave back into his life here in the meatworld.

1. Destroy the Portal of Evil

giphy.gifIrony, thy name is “pew! pew!”

This, admittedly, is the “going nuclear” option of ending the video game madness. He might break up with you because you just killed all of his friends. He might leave you and the children to live in a motel with his new PS4. In either of these cases, you have ripped the Band-Aid off quickly, even fatally. You’re alone now, but is that what you wanted? (Also, he might not leave, but instead just buy a new game console with that money put aside for the car repairs or engagement ring. Awkwaaard.)

2. Set “parental limits” on game time

This may sound a little like treating your man like a little kid, but don’t forget that men are essentially little kids. As in you’re trying to get him to stop playing freaking video games all day. There are many good timers and such that will shut the console down after an hour or however long he can remain in the World of Warcraft before you want him back in the World of, y’know, the actual world.

giphy.gifLimiting his video game time allowed Timmy to discover fun new activities.

3. Become his favorite video game

What, you can’t put on a Zelda costume every now and then to help your relationship? Let him see what happens after he saves the princess (spoiler alert: it’s sex). Maybe have a male friend join in and they put on fake moustaches, take ’shrooms, jump over your pet tortoise, then see what happens after they save the princess (again, it’s sex). Get him an Assassin’s Creed hoodie and let him murder some people you invited over to a “tricornered hat party.” In other words, have fun with your man.

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There may be some resistance at first.

Don’t get discouraged. You’ve got extra lives.

And by “extra lives,” I mean, “Lives where you don’t have to watch a man-boy rot his brain during what should be your quality relationship time.”

The three kinds of first dates

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What is a date? Yes, it’s two people meeting and spending time together with the possibility of romance but the immediate goal of a good time being shared. But when we say someone went on a date, do we mean dinner and a movie? A stroll through the park? Skinny-dipping?

For the purposes of this article—and as a reminder to get the best results from your first-date experience—let’s assume that falling madly into bed with each other is not the desired outcome. Sex is great, but what’s the rush? Are you so horrible you’d never have a second date, or a third? If not, let the anticipation build.

shutterstock_157354478But if so, hey, go for it.

Anyway, back to our date debate:

The Three Kinds of First Dates

I think it was Aristotle who said, “There’s dates and then there’s dates, amirite?” He had a good point, in that there are significant differences in the essence of each of the three kinds of date. Different people prefer one of these varieties, and that’s good! You just want to try to get a first-date partner who likes and expects that variety as well.

The Friendly First Date

In the seven years I spent in high school, this may have been the most prevalent kind of date I saw. Think of it: Most teens don’t know what their future holds, or even what they want it to hold. Treating a first date like a step toward marriage doesn’t make any sense when you don’t even know what state you’ll be living in, should college be in your future. And if it isn’t, what about the other person?

This is why friendly dates are perfect when two people just want to spend some enjoyable time together without any big expectations or assumptions. Having dinner and seeing a movie are great friendly-date activities, since you can enjoy sharing the experience of the food and the flick without worry that you said or did the wrong thing that might make the other person not want to marry and have kids with you. Just dinner at Marie Callendar’s and a scary movie with a new (or old) friend. If you fall in love and want to do a more “serious” second date, go for it! Perhaps contrary to conventional wisdom, The Friend Zone is actually an awesome place to start a personal relationship of any kind.

shutterstock_144637685Okay, maybe not any kind.

The formal first date

This is when (traditionally) the man asks the woman to do something explicitly romantic with him. Dinner isn’t going to be at Cracker Barrel. It will be somewhere elegant, somewhere that the woman feels special and where the man feels like he is providing a singular experience. A movie is never a bad date, but is it a romantic movie? Most women and more men than will admit it really get into a love story, and it keeps the focus on the romance even as you sit not actually speaking to each other. Also, there may be the holding of hands and a knee squeeze or two. A formal date is honest and up-front about being a test to see if these two hearts want to grow closer.

A formal date is what most of us think of when we think of a “date.” But it hardly needs to be an expensive this and a fancy that. Maybe a carriage ride after a high-priced dinner is what a couple wants; or maybe it’s visiting an art museum and doing something else inexpensive that still elevates the evening above the average.

shutterstock_214027750Or perhaps something very expensive.

The blind first date

Maybe the two of you were suggested to each other by a mutual friend. Maybe you met online. Maybe you used a dating service like WhatsYourPrice.com to ensure that you both know you’re dating a person you want to be dating.

No matter how a blind date was arranged, it can still be nerve-wracking because it falls somewhere between a friendly date (you don’t know if there will be romantic interest there) and a formal date (there may be an expectation of romance, but it’s not explicitly being sought).

The best activities for a blind first date are things like carnivals or bowling or something else that’s (a) practically guaranteed to be fun; and (b) allows you to talk with and get to know the other person. And the best part is that even if your opposite number turns out not to be one you’d want a second date with, what you’re doing on that first date is distracting and fun enough to make it not matter if it’s ending up as a friendly date or a formal date.

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For example, watching Eugene, Oregon’s annual “running of the bears.”

The date you want is what’s important

Whether it’s a friendly date, a formal date, or something in between is something you can discuss with your date-to-be. If the man has gone the WhatsYourPrice.com route, everyone is happy even before the first date starts. She has a little money for a new dress and new shoes, and he knows he’s proven his interest in her. This way gives each party the date they want, no matter which of the three kinds of dates it might be.

Chivalry might not be dead, but it does seem to be getting slightly confused

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Dating has become more sophisticated, if not downright tricky, over the past few decades. It used to be that dinner and a movie or maybe the proverbial long walk on the beach would suffice for a couple just getting to know each other. There are pitfalls, however, as social mores and gender roles have grown more elastic. Here are a few conundra you’ll be hard-pressed to avoid, along with our WhatsYourPrice opinion on the matter.

What we call “chivalry” in the 21st century is a far cry from the “loving but never touching” rules of the Middle Ages, of course. Now there are niceties such as opening doors for one’s date, or pulling out her chair for her in restaurants, or even who pays up when the waiter brings the check.

shutterstock_193313522Still popular, however, is the old “make sure she’s not a witch made of wood” routine.

Opening Doors

This is a classic paradox facing all men and women on dates. On the one hand, opening restaurant or car doors and pulling out chairs shows respect and consideration on the part of the gentleman, and graciously accepting such tokens of chivalry shows class and thoughtfulness on the part of the lady.

On the other hand, however, opening doors and making other moves to show what a chivalrous bit of maleness you are can backfire. Women—and not just those some call “radical feminists”—may feel that they are being treated condescendingly, like they are unable or unwilling to do for themselves. Women may resent the implied quid pro quo this creates: “I’ve done all these nice things for you; how about you doing something nice for me?” It may not even be conscious for either person, but nonetheless it may hang over the date like a pall.

shutterstock_205755949“Wait, I can’t come into the ladies’ room with you? Have you forgotten how I unlocked your car door?”

So what to do? Act chivalrous (for men) or accept such chivalry (for women), and risk falling into stereotyped gender roles right off the bat? Or acknowledge that women can open doors, go get drinks for themselves, and put their own coats on without manly assistance and risk looking like a thoughtless jerk and adding no value to the date?

Our take: Men lose nothing by starting out a date with opening doors, pulling out chairs, and otherwise acting in a “gentlemanly” manner. If a woman doesn’t care for it, she will let you know.

Paying the Check

Couples on a modern first date have no history yet and haven’t established any kind of  financial understandings between them.

With this in mind, what happens when the dinner check comes? Serving staff at restaurants used to always give the check to the man, assuming he would be paying for the meal. (In fact, some very high-end restaurants such as Le Cinq in Paris, still give menus with prices on it only to the male, while the woman gets only the description of the food.) These days, the check is usually placed very deliberately in the middle, with the knowledge that either party may foot the bill.

So should a man grab it and insist on paying because he’s the one who asked for the date? That might seem awfully presumptuous. But he can’t really ask the woman if she wants to split it or give it to her to pay without that being agreed upon or at least discussed in some manner. This is thanks to many, many years of tradition: the man is, frankly, expected to pay the check is another arrangement has not been worked out in advance.

shutterstock_211124530“This is her card. I’m very controlling.”

Pay the check or ask for a split or even for the woman to pay? Much like the opening of doors and the pulling out of seats discussed above, what may seem chivalrous to one party may seem rude or unromantic to the other.

Our take: Gents should play it a little ironically. When the check comes, whether it is put directly in front of you or placed in the neutral zone, pick it up and say to your date with a smile, “Okay if I get this one?” It solves both problems, since the man has acted thoughtfully in several ways at once and, since he put it forth as a question, his date can tell him if she’d rather they split the check or even pay the whole bill herself. Win-win.

To Movie or Not to Movie?

As mentioned above, dinner and a movie is a classic and fun date. But paradoxes abound in taking one’s date to the Bijou. First is that while it’s an intimate setting—arms touching, sharing a bag of popcorn, you’re sitting together in the dark, you can sit in the back row, and so on. But you’re supposed to be watching a movie. You could go make out on her couch at home and save $25 if you’re not going to watch the flick!

Of course there is the venerable drive-in movie fooling around, but even then if it’s a first date, do you want to make those car windows steamy on a first date? We advise against it at WhatsYourPrice.com, since it’s throwing away all that anticipation and replacing it with satisfaction too early, which can make a relationship seem boring just when it could be building.

In any case, some pitfalls with going to a movie on a first date can be:

•  You’re together to get to know each other, yet you can’t talk in a movie

•  The movie could have extreme sex or violence in it or portray controversial political or social viewpoints that would be uncomfortable to watch with a date

•  You might find out your movie tastes are utterly incompatible. This might not matter in an established relationship, but when your time together so far has been half taken up with a movie, if you didn’t both like it or both hate it, that might be seen as a sign to bail before the best part of the date, the walk or drive home where fun stuff—not to mention discussion about a second date—happens.

shutterstock_216384451It’s like you can reach out and touch the awkwardness!

Our take: Unless you both are excited about a particular movie or show (think midnight premieres of hotly anticipated sequels), skip the theater altogether and spend that two hours getting to know one another better.

Competitive anything

You know what sounds like a fun and casual first date? Playing some mini-golf, maybe bowling a couple of games, or even shooting a few hoops. But beware, ye who would enter the world of competitive sports or games on a first date. Here there be tygers.

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Also beware, ye who would take a first date to the jungle for some reason.

Why? Any kind of competitive activity which involves two people who should just be having a good time places their date smack into the middle of a paradox: If the man wins, he also loses, because the other party may feel (even if it’s silly) a little sad by losing. A chivalrous man, if he happens to be better at some one-on-one competition, is inclined to “let her win” so the activity stops being about who wins (in his mind, at least) and is more about the fun of the activity itself.

At least, that’s the intention.

Sadly, however, a man who loses at a game or sport loses twice. The gent who lets his date win at, say, air hockey may not seem chivalrous at all, but instead look weak and pitiful. (The woman may not have this perception at all, but the man may think she does, and then it twists off into a tornado of self-doubt and self-recrimination.) If the woman knows she’s lousy at it, she may pick up on him letting her win, and that would be uncomfortable at best and disastrous at worst.

Our take: Don’t do it. Seriously, just don’t.

Chivalry can be fun

Humans are full of paradoxes, believing one thing and doing the opposite, wanting and then not wanting and then wanting again some toy or experience or feeling. In dating, it’s no different. To skirt possible painfully complex issues, treat each opportunity for chivalry as a little bit of fun, and she’ll see that you just want to do what makes her feel good, giving her the occasional opportunity to take her turn opening the door for you. Hang loose and have fun—that always makes for a great, non-paradoxical first date.

shutterstock_211632100Maybe wine and pizza. Hard to go wrong with that.

Is he ‘the one’? Probably not.

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The old adage “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” has never been more true than it is today. Whether you’re a waitress or an heiress, dreams of a more exciting life differ only in the specifics. Expanding your world can be made much easier and more fun when you know people who can act as a companion and a guide.

Your best option for meeting the people who can help make your life more lively may be through online dating. A first date could involve a nice dinner or night out on the town, or it could be the start of something longer-term. Either way, going on dates with a variety of people may greatly increase your chances of developing a wider, cooler life. Think about Ryan Reynolds—he’s sexy and popular, but his romances with even hotter stars Scarlett Johansson and Blake Lively arguably increased his visibility.

shutterstock_200851274At least something positive came out of Green Lantern.

This isn’t without its pitfalls and caveats, however. There are a lot of … well, jerks out there in the dating pool. I’m not referring here to criminals or poor guys pretending to be rich—our dating site works hard to weed them out. No, I’m talking about guys who just aren’t what they make themselves out to be. Here’s my list of people who will not be making your life better, more comfortable, or any fun at all. These are guys on whom aspiring young women should not waste their precious first-dating time:

Freddy the First-Date Fornicator. Look, you’re an adult. You can do anything you want, including bedding a guy on a first date. But it should always be your decision. Men who pressure you—especially those who pay for the privilege of such a date by reimbursing expenses and whatnot—are treating you like a hooker, not a date. A better future is rarely on the plate when he can’t even wait for a second date. It doesn’t matter if he’s a millionaire with his own private jet if his sole intention is to put another notch on his belt. Listen for these deal-breaking utterances:

“What am I paying for here?” (He’s paying for your outfit, your time getting ready, and your potential interest in further dates.)

“Sex is the only way to know if we’re really compatible.” (If he says this, you already know that you and he aren’t compatible.)

“Let’s go back to my place so we can discuss the fact that I’m a millionaire and I have a private jet.” (Even if he does, how will that improve your life if he considers getting you in bed already bought and paid for?)

“The jet also happens to be ‘my place.’ ”

Sammy the Somewhat Sketchy. Let’s say that, in addition to being young and attractive, you’re also aiming for a career in some hard-to-break-into field, whether it’s acting, singing, lobbying, stockbroking, any career in which “who you know” is a foot in the door. A date with someone who can not only genuinely open those doors for you can be extremely helpful (again, avoid that first-date sex). However, anybody can get a business card with “Producer” or “Agent” printed on it. If you do go on a date with such a guy, be sure to do a little research and ask him a slightly esoteric question or two to see if he’s full of promise or full of something else. If he’s the real deal, you’ll get immediate answers. If not, you’ll get a blank look and sputtering confabulations.

Movie producer: “What’s better, points in a back-end deal or up-front compensation for those above the line? And why?”

Record producer: “What’s the difference between Payola and today’s pay-for-play deals with industry power brokers?”

Agent/Talent Scout: “Up yours.” (This isn’t technically a question, but you should say this to anyone claiming to be an agent or a scout but seeking a date with you. Actual agents and talent scouts don’t go on dates with prospective clients. How you hold a fork or what wine you prefer has nothing to do with whether you’ll make them money with their 15% cut. That is what professionals care about—as it should be!)

ariel_by_julietessence-d56zan9I guess how you hold a fork might make a difference.

Nick the Name-Dropper: This one is both the easiest and the most difficult to resist being suckered by. That’s because, like David Duchovny on The X-Files, we want to believe. On a first date with Nick, you might hear industry superstar names oh-so-casually mentioned: “That reminds me of what Beyoncé told me one time …” Or “Tom Cruise stole my lighter.” Or “If you hook up with me, I’ll get you in front of Simon Cowell.” (This last one may seem laughably obvious, but what if you have always dreamed of getting on X Factor? Our brains can fight the adrenal system only so long.) But be strong and don’t let your aspirations beat out your common sense. To root out the truth about this (potential) door-opener, go to IMDb and check for any credits. (Also Google his name—if he’s worked with top actors, it’ll show up on there somewhere.) If he allegedly has the ear of Jay-Z, check for his name in music trade magazines, of which there are many. Some tips:

Don’t let him tell you he uses a different name for showbiz, so his background is under [Name X]. He’s lying.

Check his Google account (if he has one) and look for pictures of him with some famous people. Nobody with (alleged) connections can resist posting these pictures anywhere they can.

Remember: Even if he does know all of these people, that doesn’t mean that he’ll necessarily use those connections to do anything to help you. Don’t give him everything he wants … at least not until he comes through with that meeting with Spielberg.

shutterstock_57860005“Harvey Spielberg, at your service, toots!”

You can improve your life through dating different guys, getting to know them, and letting who they know become who you know. Then you can chase your dreams on your own merit, and maybe end up with a great romance too!