About Sean Hoade

Author. Dreamweaver. Visionary.

The first chapter of my new Hugo Navikov novel, The Found World!

This is the first chapter of The Found World, the brand-new pulp by my alter ego, Hugo Navikov. It’s a quasi-sequel to Spinosaurus, but you don’t need to have read that to love this new one. (It’s a good read, though! Check it out!) 

The Found World cover

The man sitting alone at the center of the middle bench seat of the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter barely looked out either window at the jungle foliage as they landed a few hundred feet from the clearing made for the carnival. Six heavily muscled commandos in tactical gear sat three across on the bench in front of him and the one behind. Up front sat the pilot and the also—heavily muscled commander of the paramilitary troop. The man’s name was not Lathrop, but that is what he went by when on assignment. The mercenaries were under his nominal command, but they were not under his employ. The people he worked for had contracted these “soldiers,” much to his dislike. The fact that they were paid by the same entity didn’t mean he had to sit next to the beasts, however.

 If Lathrop had been given his druthers, it would have been himself and the pilot in a much less ostentatious mode of travel. His tasseled attaché, which matched the tassels on his pair of Bolviant Verrocchios, was his weapon of choice. It was loaded with ammunition—contracts and legal papers that served as modern letters of marque, enough to take down entire governments if his employer wished. But not just ammunition: within the galuchat attaché case were untraceable bearer bonds each worth millions of dollars and pre-signed deeds to properties in Dubai and Tokyo worth even more. It contained carrots as well as sticks.

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Okay, you’re a millionaire. But what kind?

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Many people, when they hear that someone is a millionaire, envision mansions, Bentleys and Ferraris, tailored clothing, perhaps a private jet. Whatever their exact level of wealth, they definitely have money at hand to do pretty much whatever they want, whenever they want.

But this image of millionaires isn’t always accurate—it’s just one dish on a pretty tasty smorgasbord.

To be sure, multi-millionaires (people with $2 million qualify, but this is generally reserved for the famous “1%” worth $10 million or more) may have the Cristal flowing from bottles brought by liveried servers while lying beside their custom swimming pools. Or they may have palatial estates which they never have to leave thanks to their private movie theater, exercise facility, bowling alley, and on and on. This kind of millionaire is not what I’m talking about, the fantastically rich who don’t need to waste their time working.

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Instead taking that time to launch cars into space.

“Paper millionaires”

We know these folks simply as “millionaires,” since they have a net worth of over $1 million—technically, at least. However, it’s important for those Attractives who might like to develop a relationship with such a Generous should be aware that he is a “paper millionaire.” This means that most, if not all, of his apparently huge net worth may be tied up almost entirely in property, long-term investments, and other financial assets that are not what economists call “liquid.”

And liquidity, Dear Reader, is what makes a Generous able to be a Generous with you.

For example, if a gentleman professes a net worth of $1.5 million, that sounds great, doesn’t it? But he may have liabilities (insurance payments on all his property, lawyer and accountant costs, college tuition for children, car payments, and other debts) that bring his net worth down to “just” $1 million. He’s still a millionaire, right? So someone to get excited about, right?

Not so fast. This hypothetical millionaire owns a small apartment worth, say, $500,000. It’s his property and so it counts toward his net worth, but in real terms it means he has “only” another $500K in the bank. He owns his nice but not spectacular house outright, and it’s worth $350,000. It’s lovely, but its value is hardly liquid. And it’s that liquid money that he can spend on you. His liquidity is no more than $150,000.

shutterstock_216862450Every dollar he saves on indoor plumbing is one more dollar he can spend on you.

Liquidity morbidity?

But let’s keep going. He loves to spend his weekends—the time he doesn’t need to go into the office or work from home—on the lake, so he owns a lovely catamaran worth $125,000, plus a few thousand per year on upkeep. This takes his liquidity down to $20,000, still a lot … at least, if you don’t count the alimony payments. Or the taxes for his various endeavors. Or this. Or that. It’s liquidity death by a thousand cuts.

Of course he still has his probably high-paying job, so there’s money coming in from that for his day-to-day expenses and activities, and this is where taking care of his Attractive new friend comes in. He has very little liquidity, but some of what he has he will spend on you.

This financial fact will probably mean no trips to Europe or stays at 5-diamond hotels, but it certainly could mean nice meals in town and the occasional high-end gift. Don’t knock it! Attention from a successful man is always going to be better and luxurious than the same amount of attention from someone without $1 million in assets.

The Other Kind of Millionaire

Enough with the paper millionaires. What about the ones who, y’know, have a lot of liquid cash?

Q12WARNING: Liquid cash is not literally a liquid.

These Generous new friends could have $1 million or they could have $80 million. What’s important is that they have access to a lot of cash–in other words, liquid money. (Most big multi-millionaires have both big assets and big liquidity, so here I’ll consider a man with exactly $1 million, some of that in the bank.)

Let’s say this kind of millionaire has a very modest house worth maybe $150,000. He doesn’t need a big house because he jets around the world a lot (with an Attractive companion, let’s assume) and should he and his companion spend the night together, it’s at a very posh hotel where they are treated to all the amenities. (After all, he’s a regular guest there and they know he likes to tip big.)

His wardrobe could be worth $20,000. His car, $80,000. He has never been married and has no children, so there’s no alimony or child support to pay. The taxes on his modest home are low, and his $100,000-per-year income is from annuities set up for him by his wisely investing grandparents collecting interest since he was born.

That means his net worth of exactly $1 million is made up of $750,000 in pure liquidity. That means he has three-quarters of a million dollars at his immediate disposal. And unless he spends more than $100,000 per year on a regular basis, that money in the bank will remain at that high level and even grow with interest. Spending “only” $100,000 (or a large chunk of it) on keeping his Attractive companion happy can mean exotic travel, luxury that boggles the mind, and the finest meals in the world.

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Or maybe all three at the same time.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a “paper millionaire.” But when our female SeekingMillionaire members are, well, seeking a millionaire, this latter kind of rich man is what they’re probably envisioning. These Generous men are out there, and when I say “out there” I mean have joined our website, attended our parties that bring together our Generous and Attractive members in real life, or are just finding out about the benefits of SeekingMillionaire.

Room for everyone

A millionaire is a millionaire. But they’re not all equal. Depending on whether you primarily want security and comfort with a hard-driving alpha male (who could later become that other kind of millionaire due to his own efforts) or mostly desire crazy top-shelf experiences with a trust-fund pal who sees the world as his playground, either might be a well-suited Generous for your kind of Attractive.

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.

How to impress your new love’s family

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Happy-cute-baby-pictures

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.