Even in this fast-paced, globalized 21st century, many people in long-term relationships have managed to reach that stage by going on actual dates with their significant others instead of hitting them up on Grindr, Headero, or one of the other sex apps. Instead of merely “hanging out” or “chillaxing” with their partners until both parties became too out-of-shape and infirm to seek greener pastures, some of your besties have taken the old-fashioned route to emotional satisfaction: scheduling activities with someone they find interesting and then waking up before the crack of five p.m. to carry them out.
If that sounds daunting to you… that’s because it is. Once you’ve located a cool person the old-fashioned way—i.e., through “thirst trapping” with racy but not completely nude photos on Instagram or TikTok—you might be required to do something else with them in order to win their affections. This will often entail going on a first date, the onerous prerequisite to second, third and any other subsequent dates.
Fortunately for you, I’ve gone on hundreds of first dates. The tips and tricks I learned during these encounters aren’t transferable to later dates, but they’re guaranteed to ensure that you and your not-so-special someone have the “gr8est”—nay, the “gr9est”—evening imaginable.
So where to commence this awesome outing? At a fancy restaurant, of course, but also one that’s safely within your price range. Remember: Money doesn’t grow on those Uber Eats takeout containers you meant to throw out two months ago—mold does. And until there’s a mechanism in place to harvest that mold and convert it into cold hard cash, you’ll have to pinch your pennies, bearhug your nickels, and lovingly caress your 50-cent pieces.
If you’re looking for a luxury dine-in experience on the cheap, consider a top-flight burger joint like Five Guys. Budget about $100 for the five-six hamburgers, fries and sodas you’ll be consuming—nothing impresses a date quite like the healthy appetite of a hard-gainer—while reminding them as frequently as possible that you plan to “go Dutch” tonight. Here’s a classy example of how to do that through text messaging:
You: hey kid look I hope u know I’m not payin for yo ass tonite
Your date: yeah ok
You: so make sure you bring your own money cause like I said I’m not payin for ur crap
Your date: got it
You: that means u should have cash in ur wallet cause the $100 I’m bringin is 4 my own food
Your date: aight chill the f out, I’ll bring $$$
When you arrive at the restaurant, you’ll face another hurdle: small talk. Until now, you’ve probably been able to slide by with cute emoticons, carefully-angled racy photos, and monosyllabic texts. But how on earth are you going to fill those five or so minutes when you’re not stuffing your face with vinegar-soaked French fries and greasy bits of hamburger? Take a page from my book:
You: Hey, tell me an anecdote about your childhood. Anything will do, really.
Your date: Well, when I was seven, my parents took me to Busch Gardens, and I nearly drowned…
Here’s your chance. While your date drones on with this shaggy-dog story, you can resume your favorite activities: setting your fantasy football lineup, checking Headero or Grindr on your celly, texting the person you’re dating a few hours from now, daydreaming about what it’d be like to have so much money that you’d never have to get out of bed again à la the morbidly obese crime lord “Slug” from the Mark Gruenwald-penned Captain America comics, and so on. When your current date forces you to comment on their tall tale—and invariably they will—just do the following:
Your date: So what do you think about that?
You (after a pause so pregnant it might as well be in its 13th trimester): What an interesting story. My favorite part was the end.
After you’ve finished your meal, you might feel tempted to take your date to a movie or a bar. I must urge you to resist these impulses and do the right thing: Invite your date back to your rat hole of a studio apartment to chillax with your four roommates. If this person can’t hang with your besties, what good are they to you?
Once you two crowd into that filthy garret you call home, you should begin ignoring your date and focusing on the besties. You haven’t seen them for a few hours, and they deserve your complete attention. Sit as far away from your date as you can, and make little to no eye contact. Start saying whatever it takes to alienate your date. If your date happens to be a sweet, gentle soul, here’s the kind of coarse dialogue that’s sure to put them in high dudgeon:
You: Remember how our commode didn’t flush for four straight months, and we started wearing diapers but were too lazy to take the soiled diapers downstairs and just heaped them in the corner and eventually the place got swarmed by houseflies that laid eggs and then there were maggots everywhere and you were like, “Dude, what the f? Why are we wearing diapers?”
Your bestie: Ha ha ha, I’m wearing diapers right now!
Since it’s a tiny studio apartment, there won’t be any need to show your date the door. They should be able to find it unassisted, after which you can begin preparing for your second first date.
What’s that? As I hinted earlier, you should’ve scheduled a second first date for approximately two hours after this first one. If my experiences are any indication, you’ll have at least an hour to freshen up. You know the drill: Febreze your sweatpants, pick some of the caked-up makeup off your face, and squeeze a few drops of Visine into your eyes to kill off any remnants of early afternoon 420-friendliness.
Happy hunting, true believers. It’s a jungle out there and so forth.