Some people (mostly my mother) who claim to love me unconditionally say that I was born with an above-average helping of intelligence. Yet, this has hardly amounted to anything concrete in my 30 years of existence, apart from my ability to write snarky passages with infantile humour. I have therefore realised that to survive amongst other human beings, more is needed.
If they had a test to measure emotional and social intelligence, I would probably score lower than most feral children - those who have been raised by wild animals instead of human beings. With hardly any idea about how to interact with humans - especially the opposite gender - I sometimes have to face the pain of a terrible social event involving two people called a date.
North Koreans Do Not Go On Dates And They Are Very Happy
A date is a bane of modern society, and I will tell you why. Two people who hardly know each other are sitting together in an uncomfortable situation, surrounded by objects that are choking hazards hidden in plain sight - like food and drinks. As you sit there, sweating profusely opposite a person who has been judging you from the moment you stepped in, you wish you were taught at school how to deal with this.
Anyway, since this is not North Korea - where the ruling party probably selects a mate for you to live with till either of you die from starvation, radiation poisoning or a firing squad - I realised I needed to master the concept of a date as quickly as possible. With the entire scientific knowledge and the power of the Interweb at my disposal, once again, I started observing patterns.
Relax; A Date Is Exactly Like A Job Interview
A date is like a mutual job interview, where first impressions matter and stress levels are higher in magnitude. Drawing upon the similarities, I am going to share with you my six rules to not just survive, but ace a date.
#1 Please Do Not Listen To John Legend
"All of Me" is a terrible idea. Your mother (and yourself) might think you are special, but objectively, you are just a terrible mess surviving on this planet only because natural selection hasn't happened yet.
Forget all of you. Would you reveal everything about yourself at a job interview, like the fact that you take way more medical leave than necessary, or that you take frequent bathroom breaks to watch YouTube videos on your smartphone? "10 per cent of Me" is the way to go. Share only the bare minimum, and let her go home thinking you are a well-adjusted human being rather than a sorry mess.
#2 Dress For The Girl You Want, Not The Bag Of Doritos At Home
As you would know by now, I love spending most of my time at home in shorts covered in Doritos dust, expelling MSG-laden burps. If you think some other human being - especially those of the opposite gender - will find this endearing, you are better off dying alone.
Clean up, groom yourself and dress smart, because women care about all that. 80 per cent of our malls would not be filled with rows of shops selling clothes and makeup otherwise. The shorts and hole-ridden t-shirts need to be hidden until she is so emotionally invested that she will literally break apart if she has to leave you.
#3 The 5 Question Rule
If you have ever seen a therapist in a movie, TV show or real life (Guess You Have Bigger Problems), you'd have noticed that they hardly speak at all. All they get paid for is to ask strategic questions to keep you talking about yourself, and you go back home feeling absolutely wonderful.
Know that all of us are absolutely in love with ourselves, so to enhance the dating experience without having to do much, prepare 5 questions in advance, which will keep them talking for the entire two hours or so.
Some Sample Questions:
1. So what do you do ? (Simple start.)
2. Do you like what you are doing? (Stepping into the trap. They will suggest that their current jobs are not their ultimate goals.)
3. Why don't you do the other thing you mentioned? (This is so cruel, but will make them talk about the limitations they're facing.)
4. How does that make you feel, not being able to do what you want? (Almost a tear jerker. The words will keep flowing. If this gets too emotional, go to the next question.)
5. Anyway, what plans do you have for the weekend? The trick is to keep the other person talking. If you have extremely strong opinions like I do, keep them for the 10th date - or until you die.
#4 Do Not Speak Ill Of Your Ex
Just as you would not speak ill of your ex-boss in your current job interview, remember the same rule when it comes to dates.
Even if you had an ex-girlfriend who attacked you with a knife and set your clothes on fire, tone it down to: "My last girlfriend was extremely passionate; I just could not match her level."
Always remember to give vague answers like, "We loved each other but were incoherent in the way we were fond of each other."
#5 Explain The Gap In Your Dating Resume
As I have discovered through methods of scientific survey (and questioning people till they want to stab me), the more time a guy has spent being single, the creepier he is considered to be. If your girlfriend broke up with you 3 months ago, ladies will find you adorable like an abandoned puppy. However, if you have been single for 5 years, she will probably think you are a serial killer who does push ups naked at home. Depending on how long you have been single, have a very good explanation for the gap in your dating resume.
#6 Follow Up Afterwards; Ask For Feedback
As with a regular job interview, please follow up afterwards, thanking the person involved and inquiring when you can meet again. Obviously, in order to not look desperate, leave a few days after the initial thank you so that she does not realise how desperate you are.
If you are sure that it will not work out, ask for feedback. After all, continuous improvement is the way you can become better.