I'm a gay guy. I go on tons of dates, but I don't really seem to be having much luck. Any advice?
-Queen of Bums
Hey, Queen --
Depends on the "luck" you're looking for, really. We're going to use "they" b/c these suggestions could work for guys or girls. Here are a few general pointers for getting to know people and/or getting them interested in you:
1. To get to know a person, just start talking to them. Ask, "What do you like to do for fun?" or "What fun things are there to do around this city?" If they recommend something that you like, then ask for more information about it: "Could you send me an email about that?" or "Can I get your number so I can ask for more information later?" or "Would you let me know the next time you go?" You can also use the common-interests card to arrange for a second date.
2. If you're picking up a girl or guy in a bar, saying "I want to dance with you" usually makes 'em feel flattered. If they're interested, they'll probably say "yes." (Especially if you're cute.) And you can also say, "Come dance with us," and drag them over to your group of friends. Or meld groups together and get to know even more people.
3. You're a great catch. Know your own good attributes and be comfortable talking about them. If you're good at salsa dancing, then take the person out salsa dancing, or recommend places to go, or talk about your experiences/funny stories/beginner's mistakes. If you're smart, then talk about your research, your job, what you're interested in, or what you want to do. If you're a sexpot, introduce that into the conversation. Don't be arrogant -- that can often be a turn-off. If you're really good at something, it's okay to be somewhat cheeky or cocky about it, but don't come off as a snob -- instead, be more teasing or just plain confident.
4. Don't be afraid to tease. It's a form of flirting, and lets the person know that you're paying attention to them. If you do make fun of someone, follow it up w/ a compliment. Some common things to tease about: height (if they're tall, you can follow it up w/ "it must be great to be able to reach things..." or "Can you get that [thing on a high shelf] for me? Oh, I'm so glad you're tall..."), race (careful on this one; Asians tend to be open about being Asian, and you can usually tease white boyz about All-American stereotypes, esp if they conformed to the stereotypes, but some people can be picky about cultural identity). And tease kindly, so they know that you're just having fun, not making fun of them.
5. Ask questions. About the past (high school, college, family/siblings), present (stuff they do, stuff they like to have fun with, people they know), future (what they want to do w/ their lives, where they see themselves in 10 years, what they're doing to achieve their goals). Travels: where they've been, how it's different, where they want to go. Food: what types they like, what they don't like. Movies. Entertainment -- dancing, reading, movies, cooking, drinking, outdoorsy stuff like hiking or rock climbing. Comfort levels -- what they're comfy or not comfy with, in terms of relationships or touching or PDAs. What they find attractive, versus what turns them off. Find things you've got in common and things you don't have in common.
6. Depending on how comfy you are, you could open up a dialogue about the date itself. How it's going, how it compares to other dates, what the other person looks for in another person, what horror stories they've had. Determine what they find attractive versus what they don't, in general. Note: If the person says that he really doesn't like a particular thing, then avoid that particular thing.
7. Jokes! They tend to showcase your humor, and help you find similarly-humored fellows. Nerdy pick-up lines are great for the smarter crowd; see http://askthebeaver.blogspot.com/2005/01/q5-pick-up-lines_20.html
for some ideas. Compare pick-up lines and stories and success rates. Usually, witty and quippy jokes work better than lewd or vulgar, at least for a first date. Depends on the company, though, of course. :)
8. Alcohol. Don't be a lush, but feel free to loosen the tongue and inhibitions a bit w/ a few light drinks. If you say something offkey, then you can always blame the OH groups. Ask what their favorite drinks are. Buy them something, either your favorite or theirs.
9. Take in your surroundings. Especially if you run out of things to say. Comment on something around you, but put a twist on it that makes it different, new, refreshing. Many people who go on dates are tired of the same ol', same ol'. So be different. Not uber zany or just weird, but be as original as possible. Make a unique first impression.
10. Be polite or civil. Hold open doors. Offer to pick them up. Don't be late. Listen. Don't interrupt. Dress well; no scrubbiness unless you're going to a place where you'll get scrubby, like painting or paintball or working out. Don't overstylize, and certainly don't overdo the cologne or aftershave. Also, the person who initiated/asked for the date generally does the paying.
11. If all signals point to "yes," then go for a kiss. If you talked about what your date expects from dates, you can lead into the kissing or not kissing. You might want to refer to some of our flirting-without-really-flirting techniques entries, also.
Link to previous questions and answers:http://askthebeaver.blogspot.com/2005/01/links-to-questions-and-answers.html
Q10: We're friends... but I think I want more. What should I do? http://askthebeaver.blogspot.com/2005/02/q10-were-friends-but-i-think-i-want.html
Q11: I like this guy... what do I do next? http://askthebeaver.blogspot.com/2005/02/q11-i-like-this-guy-what-do-i-do-next.html
Q22: Does my co-worker like me?
Q24: There's this guy in my French class... http://askthebeaver.blogspot.com/2005/08/q24-theres-this-guy-in-my-french-class.html
Hope that helps!!! Let us know of your success or unsuccess. :)
[Note: If this didn't answer your question, or if there are more details you'd like advice on, feel free to email/IM/post again! :)]