The Guysexual’s Guide to Four First Date Ideas and What They Say About You

The Guysexual’s Guide to Four First Date Ideas and What They Say About You

Deciding where to meet your date for the first time can be a tricky affair. You might have never met him, and in all probability, haven’t even spoken to him on the phone yet, which puts up a lot of questions with unexpected answers: What if the place is too busy? What if it’s not busy at all? What if the weather turns sour? What if he turns sour?

While asking someone ‘where do you want to go?’ is duller than the weather report in March, sometimes planning ahead can help you in the long run. Are you still confused whether you should grab burgers at the new pub or seats for the latest film?

Here’s what you can do to make sure that your first date is followed by a lot of repeats:

1. The late night movie

Spending two hours in close proximity to a guy while not talking to him is a great measure of how he is as a person – does he breathe too loudly? Does he have good posture? What is he doing with his hands? Does he talk too much? Does he talk too little? Is he sleeping? Does he snore when he does? How does he eat his popcorn? Does he slurp while he drinks his soda? Does he drink soda?

These two hours (three, if it’s a period drama) can tell you more than years of living-in together can. While men will disagree, a movie date — when played right – has the potential for its very own non anti-climatic happy ending (sixty minutes of lights out can lead to an interlude of opportunities and back row trysts).

Just make sure it’s a prelude to dinner, drinks or dessert – the last thing you want after a hundred minutes of HD level intensity is an awkward hug that leads nowhere (apart from your cold, single bed). Also, irrespective of whether you are watching a dark comedy or a breezy chick flick, pick a nice movie – that way, if your date isn’t turning out to be the blockbuster you thought it would be, at least you get to watch one on the big screen.

2. After-work drinks

If you are a corporate slave or a slacking night owl who prefers the streetlights to the sun, after-work drinks are the perfect way to end your night on high spirits (exclusive of taxes.) It’s casual, it’s unpretentious, it’s so indifferent – it could be the lead actress of any Satyajit Ray movie.

Many men will frown at getting drunk on a first date with their future (but forever) plus one – some will even say it’s the kryptonite to any budding romance. What if you are one shot away from shooting terrible zingers his way? What if that measure of single malt is stronger than his arms as he half-carries you back to your cab? What if the pitcher of sangria is the prologue to your messy story about the ex?

Sure, one man’s drink can be another man’s poison. But if you can find your drinks to match, pretty soon you’ll be matching bath towels back at the apartment. As long as you can differentiate a glass of wine from the bottle that you’d rather consume, you can flirt your way through a bar’s full list of aperitifs.

Who knows? Maybe after five rounds, you’ll have more than one set of Happy Hours to look forward to.

3. The casual dinner

The causal date is the easiest, because there’s no planning ahead necessary. All you have to do is show up, and you’ve already met your date halfway (unless it’s closer to where you stay, which is a strict no-no in first date etiquette – it shows you are lazy, and not willing to make an effort – and we all know that can never lead to any sort of a happy ending.)

Here, the key to a no-stress dinner date is to be your enigmatic self. Joke over a mint julep, charm your way through some charcuterie, be endearing as you eat enchiladas and finally win him over with a slice of white chocolate gateau cake – it can’t get any easier than that.

But remember, while dinner might be the easiest way to ‘doggy bag’ a date (go home and finish it because the restaurant just isn’t doing it for you), don’t forget one thing – you don’t want to be more into your Greek salad than you are into your dinner companion. Because if the most interesting thing on the date is the appetizers list on your menu card, there’s a high chance you won’t make it to dessert, both in and out of the restaurant.

4. Sunday brunch

The Sunday brunch is the ‘It Girl’ of first dates. Can anything with eggs benedict, polo shirts, khakis, Polaroid photos and unlimited cocktails ever go wrong?

Never – which is why everyone wants to be best friends with it.

Whether you are an investment banker who eats ESPN for breakfast, a surfboarding Masc4Masc who counts his calories like he counts the dead weights at the gym, a corporate lawyer who wings along as a social butterfly by night, or a Jane Austen-loving struggling writer who might have a closeted obsession with IKEA furniture – brunch is the unanimous meal of choice for guys when it comes to meeting men who love other men.

Just remember that the location is as important to a brunch date as the handpicked items on the embossed menu: you don’t want to be eating chargrilled burgers off a terrace garden on a blazing ‘forty degree’ summer day – we might love our meat medium rare, but not our skins.

Let’s get it straight; brunch is the single most important meal of the gay. It combines three of our favourite things – preppy clothes, artisanal food and endless alcohol, and brings it all together for that perfect picture on Instagram (#NoFilter). It’s fun because it’s casual, it’s not as serious as going through a five-course tasting menu or as low-key as getting a coffee at Starbucks.

For everyone who does not agree, I have two words.

Bottomless mimosas.

— Illustration courtesy Amrai Dua

Aniruddha Mahale