I went through a phase during winter — partially to bulk up anecdotes for Man Repeller, partially to temper Vortex doldrums and mostly because sometimes a girl’s gotta do the damn thing — where I was going on a fair amount of dates. You can hang on to the slow clap though, because a lot of my friends, both guys and girls, were doing the same exact thing. It was like everyone got bored at the same time. Or maybe Groupon was just really hooking it up with the two-for-one-plus-pasta-dish-drink-specials and we got sick of using those on our pet fishes. I don’t know. But amid the mass dating phenomenon, it seemed we all had one common thread: the post-date interview via a barrage of texted questions from our fellow inquiring friends.
The five most common were always:
1) “Did you have fun?”
2) “Do you like him/her?”
3) “Did he/she offer to pay?”
4) “Did you makeout after?”
and 5) “Did you more-than-makeout after?”
These were reasonable at first, and easy to answer:
1) Sure I had fun.
2) Um yea, I like him okay — wasn’t aware he had an attached twin that negated a backslash-her situation, but that’s fine!
3) He paid.
4) No, awkward hug/cheek kiss.
5) See #4.
But then the Qs got monotonous. Routine. And they inadvertently became my own measure of what constituted a successful date and therefore, a small but relevant source of anxiety. (For example, my friend Devon once asked if a date of mine ordered appetizers. His reasoning was that if he likes a girl, he orders apps to extend the date. Going forward I will now have a quiet panic attack and probably sit like a paralyzed goat the next time a future date doesn’t suggest we split a fig. Then I will dread the inevitable question: “So, did you guys get apps?”)
This isn’t to say that our journalistic tendencies should evade us. Asking the hard-hitting questions are always important. I just feel there are more pressing issues we can ask ourselves — or more interesting topics we can quiz our friends on — regarding post-date feelings.
My friend Laura pointed out that one should always ask herself, “Was my hair parted correctly during the entirety of the evening?” Anxiety-provoking? No doubt. But the reason he didn’t ask for a second date? Absolutely.
Another crucial question she routinely explores: “Was the person who just walked me home — aka he now knows where I live — potentially, or definitely, insane?”
That seems reasonable. Reasonable and fun!
I frequently ask myself: Did that individual, regardless of solid manners and a polite disposition to the waitstaff, have an annoying tick that will later cause me to stab him with a shard of glass?
What about: who told better jokes?
Forget the old, Did he have clean fingernails and non-square-toed-shoes? curveball and instead opt for: Is he or is he not a future member of the United Association of Desk-Gum Collections? Followed up with: And am I into it?
Is her middle name Danger? Or even more intriguing: Does she have a middle name at all?
Did he suggest you split a burrito, and then eat your half of the burrito?
These suggestions sound like a joke, and since my brain is involved, they kind of are. But wouldn’t you rather spend more time hanging out with the aforementioned pet fish than waste energy agonizing over whether or not you had kale in your teeth the whole time, or just at the end, and whether or not his drink order-to-bathroom-time ratio signaled his second-date intentions?
No? Ok. I get it. Pet fish are kind of lame. So instead why don’t you tell me: what questions should you ask yourself/do you ask yourself — or your friends — after a date?
Original image shot by Chris Craymer for Glamour UK, February 2013.