The Dating Nerd is a shadowy figure whose whereabouts and identifying details remain unknown. What we do know is that he is really, really good at dating. He’s been on more dates than you can shake a lengthy bar tab at, and he’s here to help the average guy step his dating game up a notch -or several. Need his help?
The Question
Dear Dating Nerd,
I asked this girl out and I wish to impress her because I’ve had a crush on her behalf for some time. Now that I’ve the chance, I wish to treat her right. However, I don’t possess a huge amount of money. What’s your advice for an extraordinary first date? MUST I splurge just to create a good first impression? Is there good date ideas that don’t cost quite a bit? I don’t have a huge amount of dating experience, and I understand how to proceed on the average date (dinner, movie, drinks), but those seem so boring. I’d like her to learn she’s special. What’s your advice?
– Debating Dirk
The Answer
Hi Dirk,
Firstly, congratulations on being truly a thoughtful son. That quality is sadly too rare nowadays, I find. Seeing a man who cares about his date’s experience and not simply their own is heartening. Whatever happens with this date – be it a success and results in a long, relationship, or whether you flame out and she never speaks for you again – understand that you have your heart in the proper place. Trust that someone notice.
Now, when it comes to impressing someone on an initial date , the simple truth is, everyone will undoubtedly be impressed by various things. Unfortunately, there is no blanket advice I could give you that may definitely impress your crush. What I could give you is really a few ideas, plus a set of guidelines to follow.
I’ll begin by addressing your question about splurging. There is no dating law anywhere that says you absolutely can’t splurge on a romantic date, and rare may be the woman who’s searching for a guy to spend less on her than more. Not to mention, wanting to show off a bit on a first date is a totally understandable approach.
You want to be your best self, appearing well-dressed, well-groomed, and articulate with regards to the worlds of art and commerce, all while being capable of making your date laugh. Spending a little extra is right in line with that.
I’d warn against that approach, however. Beyond the fact that you might not have the ability to actually spend the money for expensive date you’re intending, the problem with blowing a bunch of cash on a first date is threefold. Allow me to list them:
First, things might fizzle out due to a lack of interpersonal chemistry. First dates are notoriously tricky things to nail, and the likelihood that you’ll never go on a second date is just as good, if not better, than things working out down the road. That’s the reason most first dates these days are just two people going to a bar. Why expend energy on something that most likely won’t work out?
Second, spending more money doesn’t necessarily equate to impressing your date. Sure, brunch in a French chateau is objectively a more unique experience than hitting up a Denny’s. And yes, much of our society is trained to accept the equation more money equals a better time. In actuality, that convenient bit of math ignores the fact that your date might go against the grain and prefer cheaper alternatives, or might find upscale establishments stuffy or uncomfortable. You might be working extra shifts to make this date work only to realize you were actually shooting yourself in the foot.
Third, and probably most important, is the question of honesty. On a first date, you wish to show your very best self. The keyword there is not best,” but rather, is self.” You ought to be showing who you’re, not who some imagined version of yourself is. Spending way above your financial comfort and ease to impress a romantic date isn’t only bad money management, it is also dishonest. That is clearly a pretty bad solution to start a courtship.
Rather than attempting to impress your date with a version of yourself that’s completely (as well as relatively) artificial, make an effort to impress her with a version of yourself that is true to you.
Select a first date proven fact that lines up with who you’re. It appears like you’ve known her for some time, so hopefully you have a good idea about a few of her needs and wants by now. Take action you imagine she’d appreciate.
If you’re both right into a certain kind of cuisine, bring her to a hip new restaurant showing off your knowledge. If you are both outdoorsy, taking a walk in a striking park with some coffee. If you are both film nerds, suggest looking into a retrospective from the legendary director playing at a nearby repertory cinema. You obtain the idea.
In a nutshell, you’ll impress her most by showing that you value her having a great time, not by throwing wads of cash around. In the end, if things work out between you two, it’ll be because of the things you actually have in common, not the things she thinks she has in common with a fake version of you.
You don’t want to trap yourself into having to pretend you’re someone else all relationship long.
The final bit of advice I have for you is to be flexible. After all, you’re doing all this to impress her, not yourself. As much as coming up with a cool and unique date idea is a good approach, it’ll be all for naught if that means forcing her to suffer through an evening she hates. While I definitely recommend going into your conversation with a plan in hand, it’s just as important that you remain willing to compromise.
If you propose an idea that’s very much you” and she counteroffers with an idea that’s very much, well, not, that’s a tough feeling. But don’t panic! So long as her idea isn’t an absolute 100 percent no-go for you (and if it is, you have my permission to pass), give it a whirl. If it pans out, you’ll have an opportunity to ask her out on a more you-styled date next time.
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