Collectable and shareable pearls of wisdom for guaranteed romantic wins, from a man who married well above his station.
Tip 1: Brush your damn teeth
Your date doesn’t want any clues on what you had for lunch, breakfast, or what you’ve been generally chewing or sucking on. Get yourself a mid-range e-brush, some Mega-Mint cleansing paste and scour the debris for a minimum 2.5 minutes at least half an hour before your meet up so that the eye-watering mint cloud can ease back a bit. Hit that tongue too. Clean teeth mean nothing if your tongue looks like the welcome mat outside The Warehouse. Pro-tip: No garlic at least 48 hours pre-date. There’s a reason it deters vampires. It seeps out of every pore in your body and makes you smell like a badly maintained wheelie bin.
Tip 2: Prepare some damn discussion points in advance
You’re basically entering a sales meeting and your job is to ensure the buyer likes you and wants to do business. That doesn’t mean you need to yack endlessly about your shelf of rowing trophies and how many times you work out each week. Craft yourself a set of questions you can also answer meaningfully so it’s a conversation, not an interrogation. What are you reading at the moment? Who is your go-to on Spotify right now? What podcasts are you following? And ease into the funny stuff gradually. No politics, no gaming, no internet conspiracy theories. If any of these start coming at you on date one, pay the bill and gap it politely. “I think I’m getting a Covidy throat thing.” Boom.
Tip 3: Leave your damn phone in the car
Mr Blackwell categorically forbids you to take your phone into a dating situation. Whipping your phone out, even in the dunny, is a tragic act of tech addiction and a sign that your brain has been completely captured by Zuck or whoever owns TikTok. And if you get it out at the dinner table? Pathetic. Get some help. Mr Blackwell doesn’t care if your parents or grandparents think it’s cool to have their phone at the table. It isn’t. They need help too. Now, if your date gets their phone out while you are mid-punchline of an epic Seinfeld quality anecdote or life lesson, simply pause, smile and fake apologise for taking them away from their one true love. Then gap it. “I just lost my sense of smell. You think it could be Covid?” Boom.
Tip 4: Use some damn cotton buds
Most men only deal with what they can see, smell or hear, according to Mr Blackwell. Can’t see it? It doesn’t exist. But this narrow, prehistoric perspective has tripped up humanity since time began. In the dating context, peering into one’s own ears pre-date to check for waxy overload is nigh on impossible. And although they’ll warn you never to put cotton buds in your ears to save themselves from a lawsuit from some idiot pushing it in like a Covid RAT test, the truth is that Johnson and Johnson sell billions of cotton buds every year that will be stuck in ears to remove wax. We know it. They know it. And just in case your date gets all ear nibbly, you should attend to it too.
Tip 5: Don’t go to a damn movie
Gentlemen? A movie date is the laziest, most uncreative and low-effort option you can choose for your inaugural date, unless it’s part of a big day out buffet of dating activity. But even then, it’s inevitable there’ll be a male star on the big screen oozing charisma, showing off highly defined abs and an incredibly lush mane of hair that will cause your date to breathe out audibly and rethink his or her future and why they are spending it with you when it could be with Mr Cruise on a highway to the danger zone. A date is all about getting to know someone. That tends to involve conversation, and people who converse during movies are imbeciles. Please take your date to a nice cocktail bar or restaurant and invest some personal energy in getting to know them.
Only five? Good heavens no. This is just a tease of what resides in Mr Blackwell’s brain. Stay tuned, romantically ambitious gentlemen.