Let’s Do It with Bri Pruett: Just Date!

Published on Oct.17th, 2014 in The Portland Mercury Blogtown, USA

SAMPLE PRE-DATE CONVERSATION:

“I’m so excited to hang out with you. Let’s hang out really soon.”

Right, yeah, let’s do that.

“No I’m just so into you, I just really want to hang out with you, like all the time.”

Good. Yes. Let’s do it.

“I just like you a lot, so I hope you want to hang out with me.”

Cool…. How about tonight?

“I… uh, now’s not a great time, but like I said, I’m really into you.”
What the fuck is going on here? A fascinating, new phenomenon, wherein a supposedly interested party evades a physical meeting. Perhaps it is a person who is more comfortable texting, maybe it is a person with anxiety or agoraphobia? Perhaps it’s good old-fashioned fear of intimacy. Whatever the case, it’s been my experience in dating lately and some of my friends have reported similar experiences in their personal lives and THIS HAS TO STOP.

Here’s the thing about dating or romantic get-togethers of any nature, THEY HAPPEN IN SPACE AND TIME, IN A SHARED REALITY, IN THE WORLD (unless of course you’re Joaquin Phoenix living in a high-waisted, ice cream-colored, future world). “Dates” are dates… like on the calendar. That’s where the word came from. And if you are a modern person you probably don’t have a lot of spare time hanging out on your calendar. If you want to get romantically tangled up with someone you must make a date. Crushing from a distance is cute, but long-distance adoration isn’t going to get you into a satisfying relationship. If you like someone, don’t tell them, show them by spending time with them.

Arranging a date is like any other kind of social engagement. People gotta know when the hell it is and it’s gotta work with everyone’s schedule, but don’t be overwhelmed! You’re producing a little event for 2 people (or more… I support you poly folks!), It shouldn’t be too hard. Let me show you the moves…

Step 1: Set that date

When you ask someone to make a date with you, come at it with a couple of calendar dates in mind (local writer and hustler Caitlin Kunkel wrote this run-down of how to ask someone out for a “networking coffee date”). Present a couple of dates, then you hammer out some details. The more definitive and specific the plans, the more nerds like me will relax; chiller folks will probably benefit from less restictive plans, “meet me at Gold Dust Meridian around 6 to catch the end of happy hour.” I’m traditional in just a few ways, and this is one of them. I think the sexiest thing a boy can say is, “How about dinner tonight? I’ll pick you up at 8.”

Step 2: Choose your own Date-venture!

Ok, you fucking hipster, you think a dinner date is too traditional for you? Then use your big, unappreciated brain and think of something else. A good first date should provide for varied amounts of stimuli. Things should happen. If you go to a movie you aren’t going to talk – unless you two are a real couple of assholes, in which case, you shitheads deserve each other. If you go to a bar/restaurant there may be too much space to talk and not enough stuff happening to talk about. The best dates are a shared activity. RELAX… it doesn’t have to be a cheesy TV thing. I’m not telling you to go wine tasting or make bagels together or something—actually bagel making sounds amazing. My roommate had a boy take her to the rock climbing gym; a cooking project is good, as is something involving retail: Powell’s, a record store, the Goodwill bins. See also: a rock show, karaoke, a stand-up comedy show (please support local stand-up comedy).

I know it might be scary to put yourself out there like this. To put some effort into researching and effectively “producing” the date of your person-of-interest’s dreams. If a big production is freaking you out, consider a mini-date or “part 1,” and if things go your way take it to “part 2.” For example: dinner then pie, or coffee then pie, or rollerskating then sex—see, I went the other way with it (bonus points if you keep the skates on). If one or both of you isn’t feeling the love, you/they can politely decline part 2.

If you’re poor, dating doesn’t have to suck. Try a long bike ride, a long walk, a blunt at the park, watching a stand-up comedy show (seriously, lots of local shows are free, go see comedy), a hike (see also: a long walk), or just a movie at someone’s house. Just let your date know that in this case “movie at my house” isn’t code for sex set to the soundtrack ofJurassic Park. I will say, If you haven’t banged to the colossal arrangements of Mr. John Williams, you are missing out. Just make sure you use a condom; after all, life finds a way.

Just like when you were making the date, have a couple of options in mind. Too many options doesn’t work though, you don’t want to spend your whole date deciding what to do. If you are the “asker” come with 2-3 options: “What sounds better, tapas or hand-made pasta?” Actually THAT is the sexiest thing a boy can say.

Step 3: ROMANCE!

All told, the planning is the easy part; the date itself could be trickier. Fear not! If this person-of-interest is worth your time follow these simple guidelines: be nice, give compliments, be yourself, and if you want to kiss them and you’re pretty certain they want you to, do it! You got this!

Wishing you great love and good sex,

@BriPruett