I recently asked a question on the Ask Penelope group on brazencareerist.com:
Will a girl come over to my house for dinner on a first date? Versus meeting for drinks? I’m trying to keep it real and skip the BS.
What I thought was basically an innocuous question (okay, a little provocative…hey, it’s me) got me massacred on the forum and again on comments in Honey’s post How Safe is Too Safe? Which was totally fine because it got everyone thinking.
A little background. I communicated with this girl on Match.com, we emailed back and forth, and it turned out she worked at the same firm as one of my best friends. Her and my friend went out to lunch for work (which they do occasionally), and at one point during the meal they talked about me. I was vetted. Not only that, but she and I were already Facebook friends so she had a wealth of information. I figured at that point it was pretty safe to skip the “normal” first date of drinks/coffee and just go for a dinner at my place. We lived within walking distance of each other, so in my mind it made a lot of sense. I was thinking: grill-out, bottle of wine, hang out on my porch, talk about literature, movies, travel, etc.
This is my idea of a perfect date. I like this because it’s comfortable, it encourages fantastic convo, there’s no wrangling over checks, she can see how I live, and it’s a kickass meal. Time flows easily. It’s even a little romantic. AND, if things are going well, we can always play tonsil hockey on the couch. Yeah, I said it.
This isn’t me trying to seduce a woman and get her into my bed as quickly as possible. This isn’t me using my house as a weapon. This is me honestly trying to have intelligent conversation and breaking bread with another human being and making a no bullshit connection, something that I really want to do and is a little harder to do over expressos at Barnies. Am I being too idealistic here?
Almost everyone threw safety and the specter of date-rape in my face. I got called insensitive, callous, a douchebag, and it was even suggested that making dinner might make me a psycho. People, please. I get the safety issue. I’m not a fucking idiot. I’ve had one girlfriend who was sexually assault at gun point while on a late night run (sisters, don’t ever do this), and another girlfriend who worked at a women’s advocacy center. I listened to horror stories about domestic violence and rape every night for a year. I respect this issue and understand the seriousness of it.
Here is the frustration I want to express. The market for 20-something, attractive, high value women is highly highly competitive here (and most other places). If you don’t hit it out of the park right away, you will not get a second date. If she’s online, she is talking to 10 other dudes and has dates lined up from here to Thanksgiving. Remember, on Match.com, 41% of users are female…but a far smaller percentage are attractive, high-value women. Think something closer to 10%. (And no, I’m not talking about perfect 10’s here, I’m talking about run-of-the-mill cute, smart girls.) If she doesn’t have dates stacked up, she’s probably sleeping with somebody: an ex-bf, a fuck buddy, a rich guy, her attractive bartender friend, whatever, which further muddies the picture. If you’re short and fat, you’re not getting the date. If you’re broke, you’re not getting the date. If you’re ugly…you’ve got problems. That’s the no-bullshit reality of dating for someone at my age. It’s crazy competitive. Coffee dates and sipping Bud Lights simply will not do. You must hook and make an intellectual and emotional connection immediately.
I think all the women who flamed me on Penelope’s forum are women who don’t have dating problems. They’ve got boyfriends or husbands and they don’t get what a jungle it is, just like Honey doesn’t get it any more. They advise to meet for coffee, when the reality is coffee dates are boring as hell, it’s hard to make any kind of headway, and you’re probably going to get dropped because she met someone with a) better game or b) higher up the social ladder.
What I would like to see are solutions for men and women to get to know each other and make real, deep connections. Dating should not have to be a callous, war-like activity where the first things we think about are rejection, violence, and fear. It should be safe. It should be heart-centered, focused on relationship building, about exploring ourselves and making deep connections with another person. It isn’t, but it should be. That’s what we all want at some point, I think.
If that doesn’t work, I’m going back to using game, wielding attraction, and making out scoring same-night-lays with girls in bars within the first hour of meeting them. I’ve done that plenty of times before and I know it works just fine.