I Can't Get a Second Date -- What Am I Doing Wrong???

Andrew Dalton
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The beginning, when hope springs eternal
It's spring break for the kids, and while you're too old for party boats and beer bongs and awkward beach sex (trust me, you are), that doesn't mean you're too old for crazy springtime love. So long as you heed the words of Ask Dad. Help me help you:

Dear Ask Dad, I can't seem to get a second date. Guys like what they see when they open the door, but by the end of the date, they are done. What am I doing wrong?

I think it's sweet of you to give men so much credit. You assume you're turning them off by having lipstick on your teeth or saying you voted for Ron Paul or picking your nose a little too obviously, when in fact they probably made up their mind about you the moment you waved from across the bar at the beginning of the night.

So let's go with it, be charitable, and pretend that what happens during those first few hours you spend together actually matter. It totally does for me. I was once on a date when I was young with a girl who was extra-super-smoking-beyond-belief hot.

This girl told me within the first hour that the reason she had given me her number when she saw me on the football field -- she was a drill-team dancer, I was a trombonist (of course I was, band kids got all the ladies) -- was because I reminded her both of Vanilla Ice and Jason Priestley from Beverly Hills 90210. She couldn't believe she'd found the qualities of both in one man! I thought of myself as a punk rocker and a poet, and I was mortified. If she'd said Gary Oldman and Michael Stipe maybe, though all celebs were lame to me, but Vanilla Freaking Ice and Brandon Goddamn Walsh? I tried to get past it long enough to at least get some make-out or maybe see some boob, but I just couldn't do it. So once the movie was over -- we saw Point Break, this was 1991, the height of the Swayze era -- I cut the thing off as quickly as I could and never called her again. And in the 20 years since I've only gotten more picky, and I get turned off even easier. So let me offer some mistakes you may be making.

  • Don't tell your date he looks like Vanilla Ice or Jason Priestley. I can't stress this enough.
  • Don't suggest watching Point Break together as the first thing you do. Though actually, that movie has aged very well, and it features the best, most quotably awful lines on film from Patrick Swayze, Keanu, and Gary Busey.
  • If you have more than one cat, you may want to keep it to yourself for now. It's fine! It's fine! Don't cry! Hey there! Your kitty love is no doubt real and true! You just don't want this society's horrible prejudice against cats and their ladies to get him thinking the wrong way about you. Oh, and don't -- DO NOT -- bring even ONE cat on the date with you
  • We at Ask Dad are mostly agnostic about body hair. But if you've got shag showing through your date outfit -- even if it's an awfully short skirt -- you may want to slip into the ladies' room for some last-minute plucking. Just make sure you clear up those tears before coming out. And speaking of which ...
  • I'm trying to come up with a scenario where crying on a date would be OK, and I'm really struggling. In fact it might just be on the list of nuclear-level no-nos (others include using the N-word, ironically or not). OK, maybe if he just saved you from a mugger as you were walking the night streets after dinner. Or because the bulge in his pants moved you like the first time you saw Michelangelo's David. But even then, be careful.
  • Don't tell him he reminds you of your daddy. This shouldn't need explaining.
  • Don't call your father "daddy." (Though you could probably get away with calling your date "daddy." If you pick the right moment and put a "big" in front of it.) 
  • Most guys of my generation think Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally is very appealing, but that doesn't mean you can show your high-maintenence side. Be easygoing. When you say you want your salad with dressing on the side, or you'll only sit in the back of the movie theater, what he hears is "I'll be wanting to change you as soon as possible. Maybe even on the drive home." Which leads me to my final tip ...
  • Don't try to change him. That's got to wait until the second date.


Image via Flickr/N1NJ4

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