Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Worst-Case First Date Survival Handbook

I am a First Date Survival Evasion Resistance Escape Instructor. I have developed, written, attended, and taught first-date evasion courses around the world to more than 5 students - a civilian, an ex-CIA agent, an elite Navy SEAL's ex-wife, a politician's mother-in-law, and my next door neighbor. I have more than 10 years of first-date survival training experience, from Euro Disney to Madagascar, from the Suburban wilderness to the jungles of Hollywood, and beyond. 

Whatever the situation, whether you're out for coffee, lunch, dinner, or a random activity, "survive" means: 

To outwit, to remain focused or mildly amused; 
to go on to date again

The Rules of First-Date Survival

Rule 1: Be Prepared

Mentally, physically, and equipment-wise. First dates are an extremely harsh and unforgiving environment, and yet the Inuit people (Eskimos, to you and me) not only survive first dates, they have them at the top of the world. If you think dressing for first-dates is tough, trying looking your best in the Arctic. 

My recommendation is to be prepared for a little improvisation. 

Presuming you're not huddled up inside your igloo drinking tea to warm up prior to your first-date outing, go easy on the before coffee or tea, otherwise you'll end up excusing yourself every ten minutes or so, just to be able to endure the conversation. 

Of course, if you find yourself enduring the conversation, drink up. Order a second drink and explain to your date that you're really thirsty. 

Rule 2: Be Creative 

One date in the jungles of Hollywood, and you'll soon learn that just to survive you must be skillfully prepared and highly creative. In this jungle, everyone has heard and seen everything. To these experienced first-date daters, shrimp and a few slices of green mango are nothing compared to a skillfully prepared bamboo cooking tube you fill with scallops and exotic plants you gathered while trekking the Himalayas. Top off dinner with leaves from the taro plant, add water and place the bamboo cooking tube on an open grill, and you've got a good first-date conversation starter. 

After your first-date jungle feast, you might settle into the darkness of a tea-candle lit balcony where your projector is set to play old 80s Night Tracks and MTV music videos, streamed from YouTube. There's nothing like pitch darkness, being far from Hipster civilization, and sparkling apple cider to end a first-date on a high note. In anticipation of a second date, the more progressively-minded might send his date home with a coupon for a ballroom dance lesson, in the hopes that she will invite him along as her dance partner. 

Rule 3: Go Easy on the Vino

We all make first-date mistakes. Overcoming them is another form of first-date survival. If once before you found yourself feeling distressed, disinterested and "stuck" and frustrated about it so you decided to order a 2nd or 3rd glass of wine to pass the time, don't fret, you're not alone. 

The most important thing is to remain calm. To have a first-date survival plan. And your plan should consider the following essential elements: food, sparklers, water, and a brick, just in case your phone battery goes low and you need reinforcements to get out of your situation - or in case you can't drive home and need to call a friend or an uber. 

Should such an evening transpire, simply excuse yourself, explaining that you have to go home and change your air filters. Given the importance of changing residential air filters each and every month, your date should be very understanding, and if they have 1/2 a head on their shoulders, will take your excuse as their cue to swing by Home Depot to pick up a few filters of their own.

In reality, no one wants to breathe stale air, in particular air laden with last month's incense particles. 

First-Date Survival Motto:

"Go on to date again"

So, it's simple really. Just repeat our first-date survival motto over and over to yourself and before you know it, you'll be on date #2, either with this person or someone entirely different, and with a whole new set of rules to master. 

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