Eager gentlemen, you have no doubt been holding off asking the object of your burning desire out until publication of the remaining five of Mr Blackwell’s pearls of wisdom for sure-fire dating success. Mr Blackwell apologises for the agonising delay and hopes the intensity of your ardour hasn't singed unsightly holes in any items of your clothing.
Here they are. Read. Learn. Triumph.
Tip 6: Buy a new damn shirt
Yes, it’s a nice shirt and it looked very crisp when you bought it five years ago. Mr Blackwell understands that it’s your favourite. It seems to work well hiding the plump shelf area above your belt using the extra body length you tug out of your pants to give yourself that relaxed look. But that shirt’s been through the washer / dryer more times than you can remember and there’ s a sheen on the fabric that gets sheenier every time you iron it. And the very worst thing that shirt now delivers is a surprisingly amplified tang from the pit zones at the mere hint of warmth or exertion. Years of slow-burn embedded body odour has essentially wrecked it and, soldier, the shirt could now very well wreck your romantic intentions. Don’t risk it. Get a new shirt.
Tip 7: Choose your damn chat topics carefully
Today’s humans seem to believe that whining equates to conversation. It doesn’t. Your historical or current crises are not going to create sympathy leading to empathetic forearm touching leading to passion. This simply will not happen, no matter how many times you try it, date after date, time after time. I’ll get specific on topics that are totally off limits from now until your death bed (and even then, the only topic your death bed gatherers will want to discuss is your PIN number): 1. Your mum. Of course you love her. Move on. 2. Every single thing that seems to be wrong with your body. Go see a specialist and tell them about it which they are going to charge you for and so they damn well should. 3. Your ex. (Mr Blackwell shakes his head side to side with his eyes closed) Please. 4. Your boss and what a creep he/she is. All bosses are creeps. It’s how they got there. Move on. 5. Your farts. These of course should be discussed and demonstrated in great detail with people you like, but have no physical attraction to. Keep your romantic interests and your buddies clearly separated.
Tip 8: Add a damn classy pre-dinner drink to your personal brand
Preloading on Speights so you can arrive at your date full of gas, confidence and stupidity is the kiwi way. But it’s time to evolve. You don’t have to go deep on the research to understand that your date is going to love it when you confidently order your signature drink. With that in mind, your order should not be a Red Bull and Vodka or something that requires a paper umbrella protruding from it. That’s for Fiji, well after the wedding. Instead, go for the classics. Think James Bond. I’d personally vouch for a handcrafted Greytown Distilling Company Gin Martini with a twist of lemon or a maximum of two olives because that not only looks like you know your stuff, it assists my personal bottom line. But feel free to venture into an Old Fashioned or a Rye Whisky Sazerac. Your 23-year-old hipster bartender will nod back at you with respect, pop out the back, Google how to make one and deliver a version you’ve never had before in the wrong style of glass. This doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is how cool you look when you sip it.
Tip 9: Get your damn hair under control
It is perplexing to most males as to why, from age 40 onwards, our body thinks to itself: Hmmmm. Some extra hair would look nice… here. ‘Here’ being tussock tufts that suddenly launch from your nostrils or miniature fern fronds sprouting from and on your ears. How about those eyebrows? Mrs Blackwell has occasionally plucked a mutant stray from Mr Blackwell’s already heavy eye moustaches that she joyfully rolled into a ball and knitted a nice scarf from. The irony of hair growing like rocket gone to seed on all sorts of places throughout the male landscape while scalp hair, a commonly understood virility billboard, thins, dies and departs forever is not lost on many middle-aged blokes. Regardless of this, commercial grade nasal weedwhackers and a dedicated 10 minutes in the bathroom should be allocated pre-date, to beat back the relentless growth. This then continues every three days until you expire. Please also pre-brief your undertaker to clip any strays before you are presented.
Tip 10: Prepare your damn car
Making the old-fashioned assumption that you are a classy individual and a date may require you to collect the person of desire in your vehicle to whisk them off to the pre-booked venue of intended romance, let’s address the state of your vehicle first. If it smells of dog, there is absolutely nothing you can do. Pay someone to take your car away to be used for volunteer fire brigade training and shoot down to the Tesla yard to see what’s up for grabs. If you don’t transport a dog in your car, that’s good. Groom it to within an inch of its life. Factory release level of clean. Immaculate. Showroom shiny. Then, make sure you have Bluetoothed your Spotify correctly and have compiled a playlist of New American Acoustic songs from troubled singer-songwriters with a lot of unresolved anguish in their lives. This plays up your emotional depth and empathy for the human condition. Do not accidentally turn on your preset Rock Drive with Jay & Dunc station. You’ll undo every aspect of sophistication you have attempted to build.