Monday, October 03, 2005

How to keep a date from bombing.

Recently, we were watching an episode of a show we like to watch
together called Numb3rs. Its a television series about a math genius
who helps his FBI brother solve tough cases by using math. I know,
sounds boring, but it really is a fun show, really.

During this last episode, the math genius finally worked up the nerve
to ask out the girl he likes. They spent the first part of the date
discuss mathematics but decide to talk about something else instead.
At this point the conversation dries up because the have nothing else
in common. The date ends up bombing due to a lack of anything to say
to each other.

Later he asks what he could have done differently. I was tempted to
shout the answer at the TV. However, through years of experience, I
have determined that the characters in television shows rarely listen,
no matter how loud I yell. Instead, I'll quietly post my thoughts
here.

Dating is as important in marriage as it is in courtship. What to
do on a date is very important. For some strange reason, dinner and a
movie is the "default date paradigm". Often, when we think about
going on a date, its "what's playing?" While there is nothing wrong
with dinner and a movie, there is very little right about it.

First, dinner. If you don't have much to say to each other, dinner
can be long, painful and boring. Then, the movie. You sit next to
each other not able to really interact. The movie ends and you can
spend a few minutes talking about it, then that is that.

Rather, when considering a date consider having a shared experience.
What is a share experience? A shared experience is spending time
together outside the comfort zone. Dinner and a movie is dead center
in the comfort zone. Move outside the zone and create a memory.

Some ideas include:
* swimming
* dancing
* hiking or talking a walk
* bowling
* air hockey
* amusement park

It doesn't need to cost a lot or anything at all.

What would I tell the socially inept math genius? Do something
physical and fun so you can have fun while you are being together.
This does two things. First, it make the current date a success,
Second, it gives you something in common to talk about on the next
date.

So keep dating, but do it outside the comfort zone. Dinner and a
movie is good every so often, but only after you have had some shared
experiences to keep the conversation going.

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