Now that you’ve survived Thanksgiving, Christmas, Memorial Day, and Juneteenth, you need to buckle down for the next major holiday: Valentine’s Day. Since most of you are probably too focused on the two-way exploits of baseball hero Shohei Ohtani to search for a “sweetie” or “bae,” I’ve decided to share some more of my award-winning dating tips with you.
First things first. You have to track down the person of your dreams as if you’re a bloodhound and they’re a fugitive from a chain gang. Although there’s a good chance that the dream person is sitting right next to you in your Intro to Psychology class or Zoom meeting window, there’s an equally good chance that you haven’t a clue how to go about talking to them. Here’s an easy opener: find out their full name, connect with them on LinkedIn, and send them messages about wanting to schedule time on their calendar to learn more about them. They’ll eventually either block you or reply, and at that moment you’ll have your “in.”
Once they start communicating with you, wow them with some witty banter. Top dating scientists like pick-up artist Mystery and the “Return of Kings” guy discovered two decades ago that people respond best to “negs”—targeted insults that cause them to feel self-conscious—and “alpha breathing,” in which you mimic the respiration of a great ape. Since most people are glued to their phones all day, you shouldn’t be too subtle with these negs or that gorilla posturing. Here’s a fun neg you can use: if someone has crow’s feet under their eyes, tell them that they look as wrinkled as a claymation California Raisin. Rest assured—they’ll eat up wisecracks like those as surely as if they were a handful of delicious California Raisins.
Now that you’ve got them laughing, it’s time to schedule the date. Few meals are as sensual as a big pizza dinner, so take them to one of those local chain pizzerias and buy a dozen or so $5 Little Caesar’s pies—though don’t quote me on that; inflation might have driven up the prices a dollar or two. No matter—nothing loosens up a person like a gut full of pizza pie.
Goodness—we haven’t said anything about grooming yet! Since this is likely going to be a date between “millennials” or “iGens,” the dress can stay casual. You might consider upgrading those loose sweatpants or outside-use underwear to a pair of distressed denim jeggings, but there’s no reason to go crazy here. Since there’s an excellent chance they’ll be impressed by the various lies you’ll tell them about the all-star athletic career that preceded your phony knee injury, feel free to wear that tattered old high school sports t-shirt you’ve got, too.
If you want to win them over, consider cultivating the secret weapon in every millennial’s sexual arsenal—the goatee. It’s common knowledge that nobody can resist these little beards, especially if they’re styled in a zany manner. Chinstraps, royales, moutees, French forks, ricos, and Van Dykes are just some of the options here, but you’re assured of victory no matter which way you go.
Once they’re stuffed with pizza and negs and blown away by your great ape breathing, it’s time to take it up another notch. They might be in thrall to your distressed denim jeggings and sweet new moutee, but the deal is by no means sealed. At this point, you’re going to have to move beyond negs and start making some pillow talk. A good way to prepare for is by brushing up on things that other “young” thirtysomething or fortysomething people of your generation care about. You can discover most of this information by skimming the Drudge Report homepage or listening to Joe Rogan Experience clips. If you’ve been too busy mowing down innocent civilians during marathon rounds of PUBG: Battlegrounds, just mumble some stuff about Taylor Swift’s boyfriend, Vanderpump Rules, this new show where you guess which celebrities people are related to, and other crap like that. Feel the vibes and vibe the feels, my friend!
After you’ve treated your new friend to the conversation of a lifetime, get down to business. Everybody loves to half-watch streaming television, so you can turn on Netflix, Hulu, Peacock, or HBO Max (now just MAX, I believe). Here’s a great line to break the ice: “You want to watch this one show? I heard somewhere it was good.” Then, after they say “yeah, whatever,” you can fall asleep on the couch, belly surfeited with pizza, while they sit on a nearby chat and study the ceaseless notifications on their phone. Now that is modern love.
But what if this person rejects you and your dreams of passing out on the couch while watching some show you “heard is good” don’t come true? Well, just block them on LinkedIn and start the process anew. It’s always tomorrow somewhere, true believers, and you miss 1000 percent of the shots you don’t take.