Tuesday, April 26, 2011

First Dates and "Going All Out"

After a slew of horror dating stories, I feel obliged to actually blog about a good date – no, not a good date, actually a dream date.  Do they exist anymore?  I thought no, but my friend proves they have not gone extinct.

This one’s for all you romantics out there…

My friend (we’ll call her “A” since she asked to remain anonymous) lives in Savannah. She’s had a string of bad luck with men. Poor thing no wonder she enjoyed reading my book.  She’s not a pessimist when it comes to love, she’s just realistic… cautiously optimistic on a good day.

Anyway, she’s known this guy – we’ll call him “G” – for over a year. Apparently, he’s liked her for awhile but didn’t ask her out for various reasons all related to the complexities of life.  (I’ll let your wild imaginations fill in those blanks. She asked for anonymity so I am trying to respect that.)

G finally asked her out on a date – a first date. A “first” in anything must always be taken in with the right amount of symbolism. At the end of my first trial, my co-counsel (a veteran trial attorney) told me immediately after the jury returned its guilty verdict:

“Take it in. You’ll never have a ‘first’ again. After this it won’t feel quite the same.”

He was right. Lesson learned: a first is an experience in and of itself so don’t let it go without the right amount of reflection which is why I am posting this blog for A since she can’t do it herself.  I am hoping she will remember this.  A first is a first, period.

So back to the date… It was on Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday.  Here’s what G did right, according to her, and I’ve got to admit – I agree!

He arrived at 7:20 PM on the dot.  He did not arrive alone however – he arrived with a huge Easter basket.  Score!  Why?  Well, from a gal pal’s perspective, we all get to share in the spoils.  I plan to munch on her Easter basket for the rest of the month since one little girl can’t possibly eat THAT much chocolate.  Seriously though, the Easter basket shows a profound thoughtfulness which can be rare in this day and age.

After depositing the Easter basket on her kitchen counter, he took her to the Melting Pot.  They ate fondue which is a unique dinner choice.  It’s not pretentious like some of the ultra hip places he could have chosen.  Instead it’s fun and adventurous.  Two people cooking a meal together.  It can speak volumes for the future.  I mean, if the guy lets the girl do all the fondue-ing, well that’s not a good sign.  Vice versa is bad, too.  Hopefully, the meal is a collaborative effort which is really what life should be, right? 

At 9:15 PM, the dessert portion of the fondue was wrapped “to go” because a horse drawn carriage picked them up in front of the restaurant to take them on an hour-long tour of the city.  Can you say “romantic”?  Those good old-fashioned values we women dream about may not be so out-dated after all… And well, even though I may not know from personal experience, I can imagine that a horse drawn carriage through the cobble-stone streets of Savannah would be about as charming as it gets.  I just may have to take myself on one this Friday!

The carriage dropped A and G off in front of the newest bar in town.  I can’t remember the name of this place but it had an outside patio and that’s a good thing in my book!  They drank whiskey.  I’m not a whiskey fan myself, but A tells me that a common love of fine whiskey is as good a sign as sharing the same favorite movie to us film buffs. 

After a few more cocktails and great conversation, A and G went to some more bars, ran into mutual friends, etc. and so forth.  The rest of the night was a blur – yes, she was having that good a time.  Around 2 AM, they agreed to call it a night.  His car was parked blocks away so… and here’s the sweetest part in my opinion… instead of making her walk, he picked her up and piggy-backed her all the way so she wouldn’t have to walk in her high heels.

No kiss at her front door either, he was a gentleman.  A hug would suffice for a first date.

She called me at 8 AM Sunday morning with all of the details (as all good girlfriends should do).  I almost wish I’d gone on this date myself!

Later that night I got to thinking… why was I was so surprised about A’s date?   Why did I feel the need to call my mother and tell her about it, stunned that it had actually happened to someone I know?  What does that say about first dates?  Have we women lowered our expectations to such an extent that a first date like I just described above would seem unreal… out of a fairy tale even?  I mean, isn’t this how a first date is supposed to go? 


But we’ve gotten so accustomed to “playing it cool.”  We’ve gotten used to first dates being about “grabbing a quick drink” or “having a cup of joe” or “meeting up somewhere” that we’ve completely overlooked (and forgotten) just how important a first date can be.  It sets the entire ball in motion.  I “guess” I “get” if you want to “feel it out” before you “go all out” but honestly why?  Life is fleeting and unpredictable.  It can pass us by in a moment, and even when someone tells us that life is short we forget in a short time.

So from here I say:  forget about “playing it safe.”  If you like a girl, then hire a horse drawn carriage.  Pick her up and carry her when her feet hurt.  Buy her an Easter basket.  If it doesn’t work out, at least you can say you gave it your best shot.  And if it does work out, well you’ll have a great story to tell your kids.  Either way, you’ve only got one chance to make a first impression, and it could just end up being a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  You never know, and wonders… well… they never cease. 


  1. Okay, aren't there key differences in first dates between:

    A. Someone you've known a long time and you know you both like each other (as is the one you described)

    B. Someone you met while out and flirted with (so there's already an attraction)

    C. Blind internet date/First Meet

    I would say that the described date is probably too much for a C situation and probably for a B situation unless there's been a lot of advanced flirting.

  2. Valid point. Although if there has been a lot of advanced flirting and you can tell that you really dig this girl, then why not go all out? :-)

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  4. I would like to call him McDreamy

  5. With the "B" situation, i would guess it depends how well you've gotten to know each other before the date. Not a good idea to go "all out" if you don't know what you're getting into. For instance, she could be looking for something more casual and get freaked out by such a romantic gesture.

    As a guideline, i would say the "all out" time is the generally the 3rd date when you feel comfortable with one another and have built a rapport. Plus, if we went "all out" on all of our first dates, then how do we answer when you ladies inevitably ask us "Do you do this for all your first dates?" Then we say "Actually, yes." Then you say: "Goodbye!"