Sunday, October 24, 2010


Another thing I like about Sunday (apart from the obvious....NO WORK!) are the supplements that come with the weekend papers. This is where I get my dose of all the latest diet, style, travel, hot cars, celebrity goss, exercise, recipes, horoscope, yadda, yadda, yadda information (not that I pay any attention to it, usually!). One of supplements that I don’t miss is ‘The Sunday Telegraph’s BODY + SOUL’. And this week, Dr Gabrielle Morrissey (Pg 28, Sunday 24 October 2010) brings you “First Date Etiquette”.

After my last rant, it is clear that manners and etiquette is a dying art in this day and age (a fact established by all the negative comments I received on MUTTERINGS #36) I can understand why Dr M may be projecting on that subject. She focuses on three aspects of dating: appearances; talk the talk; and rapport.

She goes on to say that dressing well is a must and a no brainer. Ok, I agree, to an extent. Because dressing well can mean being clean i.e. no B.O.; Garments pressed (I have seen people coming to interviews with crumpled shirts etc) and dressing accordingly to the date venue, i.e. cocktail dress to a bowling alley (but who cares). But it seems appearances are everything according to Dr Morrissey. What a load of hogwash and how shallow that she thinks the human race is? But then maybe we are. I admit a nice looking guy will get my attention (I am not dead, yet!) but it is what he has to say and his values and the similarities to mine and his thoughts about ME that count the most. On the other hand, I idolize some celebrities because they are BEAUTIFUL people. But then I ask myself, “What about these days and the world of Internet dating and relationships?” Nine out of ten times, bloggers for instance, don’t post their pictures on their sites. It is the person’s values, blog matter, how and what they write about that attracts the cyber visitor, not the person’s looks.

Next on Dr M’s list is ‘talk the talk’. She says that one has to balance talking with listening. Agree. Totally. No matter how much I love my own voice (joke), I’d like a response and not be the one to do all the talking. Then she says stick to easy cultural topics such as music, books, food, hobbies and humour. So, no talking about the ex, the rash on your foot (what did you think I was going to say), what you thought about the crap labor government (oops, I just broke the rule here, didn’t I) other words lie??? So when do you tell the truth?

Finally one has to focus on building rapport. Somehow I think this is linked with “talk the talk” and me thinks Ms Morrissey has nothing else to say and therefore needed to come up with another point.... hence point three. “Be wary with giving away too much”, she says. Not sure what she means by this. Wouldn’t work with me, I am a blabber mouth.

After all that...I have to let you on a’s been 20 years since I have dated.....and here I am, arguing with the expert!!! So on that premise, I’d like to know what you think is essential on your first date? What emphasis do you put? What maketh the second date and the third....etc, etc? What's the clincher for you? Do tell.



Veen said...

Ok, I am cheating here. This is a comment by Veen. Why is it people shy away from the issue of dating, love etc. I hope by seeing a comment in the comment box, I could get the discussion rolling. You can remain anonymous if you chose....just get into the spirit of discussion.

Steve said...

Okay, here goes. I believe conversation is the key to how a relationship develops. You can dress well, be an executive ... but if you cannot hold a conversation, you have lost me. What a person has to say reveals a lot about them. Sometimes, too much. Casual conversation for the first date is crucial. I find intense conversation - my ex or their exes - put me and them off.

I say dressing well is important for that first date. I was put off by a woman who came to a date in sweats. I was also put off by a woman who dressed in less. Keep all this for the time when we know each other better. Dressing well, by the way, does not mean tuxedos or gowns. Jeans will do. If you want to wear a gown, by all means. Just dress appropriately.

These are the two things I find are important for that first date. For the second date on, anything goes. I find that being comfortable with a woman on the first date, and her with me, lends to a better, more open second date.

Veen said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you Steve, for getting the ball rolling. I am with you on conversation mate...that's the clincher for me.

Sweats? Ouch. That's really taking the term casual to the extreme. I have this thing about un-ironed garments. You one can't be bothered, purchase garments that don't need ironing.

Your last para...totally spot on. Again, thanks for your opinion.

Matthew Orme said...

It's all about smell. Pheromones play a very important role. I believe it is the basis for love at first sight.

Clean, no scents, venue appropriate dress is the place to start. Mute the wrinkled clothes phobia. Guys are easily trained. If the guy comes with an unpressed shirt (and you otherwise are attracted to him), tell him that it is a turn off for you, and see what happens next time. The test is if he listens and tries to make you happy. I've actually bought brand new shirts because I couldn't iron with crap.

Like a frog that can't see a fly that is not moving (the brain actually does not register the fly), men see things differently.

I think Steve has it wrong. My last relationship lasted 8+ years, and ended for external reasons (she was sued by my kids mother for instance). She purposely wore "frumpy" clothes on our first date to hide her "assets". She wanted to downplay her looks and body to see how I otherwise reacted. If I had let wardrobe play a factor, I would have missed meeting one of my soul mates (no kidding). The thing was, her clothes were the least important thing that night. Maybe she just smelled right, but she really made a permanent impression.

Really great guys can be idiots about many things. Don't eliminate a guy that "smells right" for things that are easily corrected.

Conversation is a skill that not all (especially men) have mastered. The first dates are really a mating dance. Your ears will tell you if you are compatible on an intellectual level, but your other senses will tell you more.

Be open to the "opposites attract" thing. Being able to have civil and rational conversations about subjects where you have different opinions is the key to making these work. "Agreeing to disagree" will not work. Each has to want to hear the others thoughts and feelings.

You will know within seconds if your first date "rings your bell". The thing that is important is to be emotionally available. We sense these things with no real facts to support our feelings.

Over the long term, sex is incredibly important. You can get everything else, including conversation, from friends, but no one else can give you the feeling that you just can't wait to get his/your clothes off.

I have had relationships where we could talk all night, and others where just being together was enough. The best part of my last relationship, and what I really miss, was morning espresso. I would get up and make coffee and sit in the chair next to her side of the bed every morning before showers and getting dressed for work. We would talk about everything and nothing for the time it took to drink our lattes. Those moments were as intimate as anything else we did, even though we did not look or even small our best first thing in the morning.

All women want to feel desired. They want to see the look of hunger (for her) in their beau's eyes. I am sure a beauty like you knows the look. Their love fades quickly when they don't feel desired anymore.

You (we) need someone that adores you.

blah blah blah. I've rambled on long enough.

Veen said...

Hi Matthew,

Thanks for visiting and for your comment.

Wow, Pheromones! Back to the basics...the way it is meant to be. Nature’s gift. I have to admit, that concept was one I never thought about. Thank you.

You make some really interesting observations Matt, and you are right, if you had been prejudicial, you would have probably lost your soul mate….And this prejudice, it has been responsible for one or two bad decisions in most people’s lives, I am sure. I know it has crossed my path.

But the premise that I agree whole heartedly with you is your observation that all women want to be desired….not only in a sexual manner but on an emotional and intellectual level.

Beauty? Fades with time, mate and can be a curse. Just like Marilyn Monroe….she was beautiful and was desired….but at the end of the day, she still ended it all, because she did not get the one desire she wanted the most….to be loved not only for her beauty but….

Know the look? LOL…if only I did….