Last week, I gave you the one topic of conversation that can turn any date awesome. And yes, it did involve having sex with dead people. This week, however, I’m giving you the opposite: ten things that will make a date not at all awesome. People say to never discuss religion or politics on a first encounter, but you’d be better off talking world peace on a date with Dick Cheney than you would be bringing up any of these bad boys. Not that you should be going out on dates with Dick Cheney. I mean, he’s married. And Dick Cheney…
So here are Ten Worst Things To Discuss on a First Date. Trust me, I’ve done ’em all.
10. Bed Bugs
I honestly think it would be easier to tell a date you have AIDS than tell them you have bed bugs. And if you even mention the words “bed bugs”, they’re gonna assume you have them. Or that you might have them. Or that you knew somebody once who went to a movie theater where they might have had them. And nowadays, that’s just as bad as actually having them. So you can say “bed”, and you can say “bugs”, but if ever say ’em back to back, expect to see a dust cloud where your date was just sitting.
This weekend, a woman said the following to me: “I was gonna hook up with that guy, but then I found out he was a vegan. Fuck that.”
People hate vegans. Enough said.
8. The Bachelor
I once built an entire relationship around an interest in Jersey Shore. Worked great. I’ve talked The Hills, Vh1, Top Chef, Gossip Girl and even Gilmore Girls, with women to great success. But The Bachelor is a whole other level of trash. Women get weird when they talk about it. Even the darkest, most cynical female will turn into romantic goo in The Bachelor’s gaze. They start at, “That show is contrived and objectifies women!”, move to “I think it might be real love this time!!”, and end, inevitably, at “how could he give that other bitch the rose!” They know it turns us off, and they don’t care. That’s the power of The Bachelor.
Football used to be totally out-of-bounds as date conversation. But with the advent of fantasy football, a lot more women follow it. So that should be good, right? New territory for playful banter and gently competitive flirtation, yes? Witness this crackling little interlude I had with a young lady recently…
Young Lady: I love football! What’s your favorite team?
Me: I grew up in Boston, so I’m a big Patriots fan.
Young Lady: I want to punch you in the face.
Me: Ha, that’s fu-
Young Lady: No, I really want to punch you in the face.
It’s like a lost scene from Casablanca.
6. Ryan Gosling
In my list of Ten Movies Not To See on an Internet Date, I included anything starring Mark Ruffalo. As simple men, we are no match for his complicated smile and endless facial hair stubble. But there is another foe even greater, a being so powerful that to even mention his name is to guarantee your date’s disinterest and wandering thoughts. He is handsome, he is talented, and he is a motherfucker. That man, of course, is Ryan Gosling.
Oh, and did I mention he breaks up street fights?
But hey, if you think you can compete with a gorgeous, civic minded millionaire, by all means, discuss him on your first date. See how it goes!
5. Going Dancing
Women are put on this earth to try to get men to dance. Men are put on the earth innately knowing this one truth: “if she ever sees me dance, this is all over.” The rest of our lives is simply a playing out of those two necessities. It’s cruel, actually, when you think about it. But don’t lead her on, men, talking about dancing like it’s a thing you’ve done and one day might do again. Have a heart.
4. The Holocaust
You might think this is obvious, but believe me, it’s not. I used to date a girl who worked at a Jewish cultural society, and she brought up the Holocaust at least once an hour. We’d be having a nice little picnic and she’d toss in a “Did you know they killed over a million Jews at Auschwitz!?” Or I’d be trying to steal a kiss in front of her apartment, and she’d remind me “Married couples weren’t allowed to kiss for years on end in the Holocaust.” It was like going on a date with Elie Weisel. And she would always discuss the Holocaust like she was the only one who knew it happened. “I went to see the death camps once, they did such awful things there.” Yeah, no shit. That’s why they called them death camps. We all saw Schindler’s List too, so just relax.
Right now, somewhere, she’s saying the word “atrocity”, I’m sure of it. And if she reads this, you know what I’m going to get? An email accusing of not caring enough about…the Holocaust.
Compliments are great for first dates. But complimenting a woman on how she smells is the sort of thing that Buffalo Bill would do before he pushes her down into his lady pit. Keep it on eyes, hair, smile, or skin smoothness, eh gents? Actually, on second thought, skin compliments sound kinda serial-killery too. Just tell her she’s got a nice rack, it’s an oldie but a goodie.
2. Other Internet Dates
This one is tricky. “So, tell me about your last awful Internet date,” is usually one of my go-to first date sentences. But it can be dangerous. In my case, I have a lot of awful stories, as you may have heard. And rattle off one too many wacky nights and your date is either going to think you have a thing for wackos, or that some of these wacky nights are actually your fault. Neither of those things are good. And chances are, both of them are probably true. At least for you, anyway. I’m merely a victim of circumstance.
Of course, you could just tell them not to worry, that you only collect all these stories so you can write them up on your blog about Internet dating, except…
1. Your Blog About Internet Dating
You want a date to end in an hour, tell him you’ve got a blog. You want it to end in ten minutes, tell him the blog is about Internet dating. I’ve told two women about this website, and both of them either lost interest immediately or died. I can’t say which for certain, because I never heard from either of them again. People don’t want to think they’re gonna turn up in a story, and I can’t say I blame ’em. That’s why I play it safe and tell them my website is about one thing and one thing only: bed bugs.