Great dates.

What’s a sign a date is going great? For me it means I don’t look at my phone once. It means laughing, lots and lots of laughing. Joking with the waiters. Wine glasses. Sharing dessert. Staying much longer than you had planned –  he picked you up at 9 for dinner and at 1am you’re still there, with the waiters now folding their arms staring at you because you’re the only customers left and they want to go home. They give you not-so-subtle hints, by constantly removing more and more items from your table. And even though you’ve worked as a waitress and know how annoying it is when you’re dying to leave and that couple in the corner just lingers on and on talking non-stop, despite all that, you barely notice their hints. A great date is above all, great conversation.

Have you ever had one of those day-time coffee or lunch dates (which is usually what I propose when I don’t really want it to be a date) but that turn out to be so much fun that you decide to go for a walk after, and then coffee in a different place, and then maybe even catch an afternoon movie? The non-date that turns into a date.

Last Saturday I had a lovely non-date with a good friend. Yes, I think you can have lovely kinda romantic ‘dates’ with a friend. We met for ‘coffee’ in the city center. He and I always joke that ‘having a coffee’ is like a concept, it often doesn’t mean coffee (can be a tea, a beer, a juice) but you always refer to it as coffee. In that spirit, we decided when we got there that today ice-cream would be our coffee. Ice-cream in the winter is fun. So I have banana and coffee-flavored ice-cream (does that make it coffee?) and he has a hot chocolate. We talk and talk and talk and laugh so loud  that the other tables turn to stare. They’re just jealous because they’re sitting there in total silence with nothing to say to each other. Is that inevitable when you’ve been with someone a long time? I like to hope not (to be discussed in another post).

Anyway, so after our ice-cream, I’m saying bye and tell him I need to exchange a dress at Zara for a friend. He says yalla, I’ll go with you. I’m meant to just get the money back for my friend, but while we’re there, I ‘bump into’ some pretty shiny shoes. So my male friend and I spend an hour trying on shoes, me doing the trying, and him carrying the boxes and asking for different sizes, and generally feeling out of place but having fun. After the shoes, I say I have to go to the supermarket to buy groceries for a dinner I’m having that night for my Spanish class. Again he says yalla, I’ll go with you. I’m super happy for the company, and he pushes the cart and I walk in front picking out things. The man at the cheese counter thinks we’re a married couple as does the man at the bakery stand. We get into the act and pretend to be complaining about each other. Having a blast even at a supermarket is a sign of a great date.

Another thing is the balance of power. Do you want a guy to decide most things on the date, or do you want to be in control? I think I’m very complicated on this issue. I like a guy to pick the place and make a reservation, because in the rest of my life I’m always organizing things, and checking up on details etc. So it annoys me if I have to plan the specifics of a date. But it’s cute when a guy asks something simple beforehand like: “do you like Indian?” That amount of thinking I can do. On the other hand, I tend to love to mastermind the ordering once we’re there. I love to try different things and I love to share food. I’ll usually leave the wine choice up to him, although inside I’ll be boiling to have a look and a say. It (perhaps wrongly) bothers me if a guy orders very expensive wine on a first date. And I never know what to say about it. I think it’s because if it doesn’t work out I feel guilty about him having spent a fortune on wine. Is that weird?

Ok so those are some of my thoughts on what makes a great date. I wish I knew whether anyone has gotten annoyed when I’ve wanted to decide what to order for both of us, whether it pressured someone to have to make the date plans. I wonder what men look for as signs a date is going ok. So… I’d love to hear from you reading this (male or female): what makes a great date?


27 thoughts on “Great dates.

  1. Loved it! :)
    I don’t really know what makes a great date for me (laughter for sure, smart conversation without a doubt, cool ambiance – not too serious…), but I definitely know what makes an awful boring date: talk about his mom, his financial resources, his readyness to get married (style you are on trial right now so that he can check if you could be a good wife and mom to his children), very bad sense of humor, trying to figure out to which political side you belong from your religious believes, telling you he wants you so badly on a 1st date… and the list can go on and on and on lol

  2. For some reason it’s difficult for me to list what I think makes a great first date, in part because great conversation, laughing, him being interesting etc. still doesn’t guarantee a great date. It’s been a long time since I’ve dated, but I think is absolutely necessary for us to be both feel physically and emotionally attracted to each other, for us to be intrigued and curios about the other, and for us to feel respected and listened to. I can definately say that I can’t stand it when a man thinks he’s being a gentleman by telling the waiter what we both want to order (not letting me speak for myself), and when he’s clearly trying too hard (ie, ordering expensive wine if he doesn’t do so regularly). Let me end with one final point- first dates aren’t usually great, but dates that come after getting to know each other well, after developing a level of closenes, intimacy, and a sense of securty- those dates are lovely, lovely, lovely!

    P.s. Your super-market date, before and after, sounds GREAT!

  3. Wow Blushing, that was a great post, and it made me nostalgic about my dating times…aaaaah that was such a long time ago. Anyways, I now know why you were rushing to prepare the Spanish dinner…haha.
    I share many of your ideas about a perfect date, and I agree with the reader who wrote about first dates being rarely perfect. To me, one key element of a perfect date is being able to be myself, and be silly (which may be the same thing :)
    By being silly I mean laughing at stupid things and going a little bit crazy. In one of my best dates, after lots of wine, we both vented out stress by screaming really loud, jumping from bench to bench, and breaking into a building in ruins. We don’t really know why and how this happened… In another date (with a different guy), we were remembering when we were kids and he said we were walking close to his kindergarten. I asked him “where is it, exactly?” he told me where and I took his hand…we jumped in, we visited the playground and…..we played (let’s leave it there). In my last amazing date (same guy as before) we broke into a natural swimming pool, and we slowly got into the water, with clothes on, while enjoying the most amazing kiss ever. Now that I am reflecting on this….I wonder how come I did not end up in jail after one of those dates…

    • Wow that’s amazing! I completely agree with the top ingredient being the ability to be oneself and to be silly! One of my life aims is to remain silly forever! My mom has accomplished that goal and that’s what makes her amazing. Your dates sounds out of this world. Craziness, doing unexpected and irrational things… Have you seen the movie ‘Notting Hill’? Reminds me of that. Glad you’re not in jail, so we can enjoy and share your lovely experiences! Thanks!

  4. As usual…. I read your blog and feel like I’m watching a cartoon…. a really good animation kind of cartoon that makes you go “aaahhhhhh”…. in the sense that it brings forth ideas that everyone thinks about, but in a very easy style.
    Oh… and about that “great date”… she definitely will blow it to pieces if she orders!!! I’m such an “orderer” … but that’s because I’m a foodie not cause I’m a guy!

  5. believe the first date is to come as you are and simply “BE”.. And if the person facing you is not “being”, without “facade”, then things are simple from Day 1.. If not, then it is a “facade” relationship. All is based on the intention from the beginning! Love the playfulness in your writings!

  6. Fun! :)
    I believe the first date is to come as you are and simply “BE”.. And if the person facing you is not “being”, without “facade”, then things are simple from Day 1.. If not, then it is a “facade” relationship. All is based on the intention from the beginning! Love the playfulness in your writings!

  7. j’ adore le détail des serveurs qui attendent pendant des heures que la dernière s’en aille et qui retourne les chaises contre les tables brusquemant…les homme en principe disent toujours ce ” yalla” its the first date??? les hommes seduisent avec leur disposition, les hommes parle et parle et ne laissent practiquement pas le temps a leure ” date ” de parler…typiques des hommes…mais il dit oui a tout et dans un futur proche ils dira non a tout…quand un couple voyage en vacance c’ est la femme qui a choisi le.pays qui a acheter les billet et qui tiens dans ces main la mappe touriste et qui planifie la journée, les hommes!!! du moment qu’ ils savent a quelles heure est la pose pour manger, une fois le ventre plein ils s’en foute , dailleur dans combien foto de vacance ont vois toujours les même foto de LA femme qui pose…les hommes n aiment pas les foto, bon pour être juste ils se font au moins une photo de i shotmyself avec leur “date” pour dire …aux début…c’ est le début…tous ces détails que tu adore de lui, deux ans plus tard seront les détails qui font de lui ce que tu deteste le plus…le son qu il fait quand ils mange, quand ils se brosse les dents, quand il sent que tu es un acquis et qu’il crois qu’il ne dois plus dire ” yalla” pour te séduire monsieur je dis oui a tout…les hommes ont tendence a voire les femme comme uj début il ont peur de la perdre, ils sont jaloux, mais dès que la femme dit son premier je t’aime et qu’ elle lui parle de ses règles ….le foot deviens une drogue pour échapper a leur manque de virilité….les homme naissent au travers d’un vagin et sendorme sur un téton…quand un homme a fini de faire l amour, quand ils deviens tout petit et reviens aux souches il a tendense a s’ éloigner…combien d’homme reste au près de leur femme après l’acte??? les hommes se comporte en couple comme avec leur premier amour …leur mama…ca fait peur en quelque sorte….choisisent ils leur femme en fonction de leur mére…un homme fera n’importe quoi le premier jour et dans le future ilsseront toua des politiciens…parler beaucoup et ne rien faire…..

  8. For me the best dates are the encounters that were never meant to be dates. Those times when you come across a person for the first time and from the opening moment everything just clicks. When the exchange of chemistry and knowledge flows freely and unhindered. Shyness and inhibitions melt away and open the doors to frank, candid and (here comes the cliché) “deep” conversations. Sure, having fun, hanging out, listening to music, watching movies, eating and sharing food, doing spontaneous things all have their place in life’s pleasures and help build each other’s comfort zones. Yet, to me, they pale in comparison to that moment when the souls of two strangers make contact for the first time.

    Sharing laughter is just as important as comparing sadness. While riding the wave of an engaging conversation, nothing feels better than learning from each other’s life experience and confirming that you both have had similar successes and failures along life’s path. I believe the validation of this metaphysical presence comes when the difference of age is waived away because of the uncanny similarities in core principles of perceiving life and interacting with people and animals. Learning that somebody is so similar and yet so different is exhilarating. I like it when I wonder whether I could have ended up like that person I just met had I chosen a different route in life – and if I would have been happier for it.

    Last Sunday, I had one of these “dates” and I hope it won’t be the last.

  9. J’ adore ton point de vue….j ‘adore le détail du serveur qui attends pendant des heures que la seule table qui reste s’en aille…les hommes au debut disent yalla a tout…pour but plaire, et les femmes planifient presque tout parceque les hommes sont plutôt passif dans le sujets, ils travaillent rentre à la maison et la femme cuisine bla bla bla le vieux cliché….le premier jour que tu te réveille a son côté il ronfle légèrement et tu te dis: comme il est mignon” 2 ans plus tard ce ronflement te tue etc….homme et femme, date ou simple dinner les hommes parle courbé de l’ avant et les femmes les observent….et l histoire se répète…. si il y a une chose que les hommes et les femmes ont en commu, ce sont les tétons!!! mais pourquoi les hommes ont ils des tétons ???

  10. Definitely definitely, the non-date date. The more unexpected the better. Humm.. just wondering that if it’s oooo unexpected that, it can actually happen, without you realizing that it was a date. so, what happens next time? back to complicated mode? so yeah, how many non-dates dates can one have back to back that it? (not waiting an answer here of course :) )
    Expecting the unexpected…

    • I was talking about the unexpected things with a friend. If we hang on to our expectations, even good ones, and hope they come true, we might miss out on the even more wonderful things that happen which we weren’t expecting and couldn’t even have dreamed of…

  11. I came back to read “Great dates” again after reading “I love you”…
    And I wondered about this friend whom you like for the way he makes you smile, laugh and joke… This way of liking and enjoying moments makes the word LIKE a big word too… maybe because I think I am still too young for love… maybe because I didn’t find a love that fits my idea of love
    “Si j’aime un homme, c’est pour la vie”…

    You know you are talented, Blushing :) Thank you for writing.

    • Thank you for coming back to read another post! And thank you for saying the thing about talent- this will push me to write another one this week even though I barely have the time to scratch my head. You are very right; LIKE can be a huge word too… A male friend of mine sent me an sms this week that said “I think I am totally in like with you”. Yes, like can be great. And take your time finding love, there is no rush…

  12. I feel that a quote from the Wedding Crashers sums up dating in general. Given the genre of this movie, it’s definitely meant to be funny rather than deep and meaningful, but I for one, definitely feel that conventional dating is too artificial and would rather have something like your non-date date. So here’s the quote: “Janice, I apologize to you if I don’t seem real eager to jump into a forced awkward intimate situation that people like to call dating. I don’t like the feeling. You’re sitting there, you’re wondering do I have food on my face, am I eating, am I talking too much, are they talking enough, am I interested I’m not really interested, should I play like I’m interested but I’m not that interested but I think she might be interested but do I want to be interested but now she’s not interested? So all of the sudden I’m getting, I’m starting to get interested… And when am I supposed to kiss her? Do I have to wait for the door cause then it’s awkward, it’s like well goodnight. Do you do like that ass-out hug? Where you like, you hug each other like this and your ass sticks out cause you’re trying not to get too close or do you just go right in and kiss them on the lips or don’t kiss them at all? It’s very difficult trying to read the situation. And all the while you’re just really wondering are we gonna get hopped up enough to make some bad decisions? Perhaps play a little game called ‘just the tip’. Just for a second, just to see how it feels. Or, ouch, ouch you’re on my hair.”

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