Behold a sample chapter from the Logistics Book: Handling first-date logistics

by GK on November 24, 2013 · 11 comments

So what if this is the first glimpse of the Logistics Book since Rob and I started talking about it four years ago? Do you know how long it took the Sistine Chapel to be painted? Four years! That’s right, Rob and I are right on par with Michelangelo in creating works of art.

We still have a ways to go until the whole thing is done, but we at least wanted to give you an idea of what to expect. So here’s a sample from the book, and it’s our chapter on first-date logistics.

A couple of notes on this: As we’re still writing the book, this chapter might look different in the finished product. Also, you’ll see that Rob and I mix up some of the first-person references to “I” and “we.” Rob and I aren’t the Borg and we don’t agree on everything, and we’ve had different experiences. So when you see the word “I” used, it refers to one of us, though we don’t see a need to specify which one of us that is.

Enjoy, and we hope to share more with you later.

First-Date Logistics

A quick tangent before we get started

The whole point of dating is to have sex. Not in a creepy way, but just being honest. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a short-term fun situation or you’re both looking for a long-term relationship — our biology, both male and female, is screaming at us to get it on. When you ask a girl out and she accepts, what she’s saying (on a Jurassic level with the dinosaurs and mastodons) is, “I think you are attractive enough to procreate with.” It’s not a conscious thing, it’s just an urge that’s always in the background. Another sidenote: no one would logically choose to have kids. But we can’t help it. Biology demands it. And the modern phenomenon of dating is our culture’s avenue of approach to procreation. So with that established (and even if you don’t agree, you special little snowflake, humor me for a moment), let’s talk about dating.

Two Dating Stories

Let’s look at my hated enemy: the dinner date.

You pick her up from her apartment and drive 20 minutes to arrive at the Italian Restaurant from Hell. During the drive you make small talk about work and the weather. It’s Saturday night, 8 o’clock and the restaurant is packed. You made a reservation, but the restaurant is busy and you end up having to wait with everyone else in the crowded anteroom where a cold blast of wind whips across your face every time the door opens. More small talk.

Finally you’re seated. You’ve run out of small talk. Thankfully the waiter has brought bread.  Garlic bread. You both eat. How’s your food? It’s fine, how’s yours? It’s good.

Will you be having any dessert?  You both look at each other and say no.

Now what? You’re 20 minutes out of your way. It doesn’t really seem like you’ve hit it off enough to invite yourself over to her place. You drive her home and walk her to her front door.  After a hug, you drive home.

So what just happened? It wasn’t a fun date, but it wasn’t horrible; it was probably like most dates that regular people go on every day. Does she like you? Who knows, that hug was maybe good, but you’re not sure. Do you ask her out again? And what do you do then? More dinner? No, she doesn’t want to sit and do small talk all over again. Movies? Maybe.  Dancing? Only if you’re a good dancer, but then if she isn’t, she won’t want to go.

Dude, analyzing murky first dates is hard work.

What if we did it like this instead.

Skip dinner this time, and make plans to go to a bar. It should be nighttime outside, because people don’t hook up during the day. It should be a small bar, close to your house or apartment. A short drive is OK, but a short walk is best. Don’t mistake a small bar with a large, thumping club. Go to a small-but-chill bar. Get there exactly when you say you will, exactly on time. Don’t bother being five minutes early because she will be at least five minutes late.  Women.

Walking in the bar you grab a drink and scan the room for a good place to hang out. Being smart, you avoid any tables where you’d have to sit across from her. You also stay away from any arm chairs. Luckily, there’s space on the couches there. Your second option is one of the small tables where you can sit next to her. If all else fails you’ll settle for sitting next to her at the bar. When it gets crowded later on, standing might work out better but you’ll see how the night turns out.

Want some bonus points? Reserve a booth or table in advance. You’ll avoid the awkwardness of searching for seats if the bar is full, and you’ll look like The Man. Conversely, make enough friends who work there that they’ll treat you like a VIP and make sit-down space whenever you need it. Also, bring cash and a credit card so you can use either as needed. We have spotted poor blokes who were left pining for an ATM at cash-only bars, and we have felt sorry fo them.

She arrives, and you buy her a drink. Tell her that you’ve got the first round. She starts with the small talk but you avoid it: “Yeah it was windy but I didn’t notice it because today I finally think I figured out how to…”

You tell a story – about yourself – that gives her an idea of your personality. You open up and share the story of you, you give her a picture of what it’s like to be you and spend time with you. All of this makes her feel like she knows you, so she starts sharing too. She’ll ask about your work. Feel free to give a sincere answer, but don’t get technical (unless she also understands the intricacies of ferro-magnetic data storage algorithms). Give her the elevator speech in words that anyone can understand. “I write software that lets people pay their utility bills” is fine, if a little dry. It’s better than “I work for Unheard-Of-Company in the Software Entitlements Department and I receive the drafts of code, in C++ of course if you can believe it, from our engineering team and check them for accuracy against our legal department’s standards of compliance for our public utilities clients…So…yeah.”  What you “do” is not as important as who you are. Don’t hide what you do, but don’t dwell on it.  Speak to who you are. How you think. How you feel. How things affect you. When you talk about yourself like this, it de-strangerfies you. When she doesn’t think of you as a stranger, she won’t treat you like a stranger.

Soon enough, you’ve had a few rounds and are feeling good. You’re sitting close, touching each other when you’re laughing. She’s having a good time. She asks what you want to do.  You tell her that you want to go to another bar. This one’s even closer to your house.

You stop by, say hi to some friends and have another drink, your night is slowing down and that’s fine, That’s what it does. You tell her that it’s time to go home. She hesitates, testing you, seeing if you’ll own it. Girls hate guys that ask permission. You walk home together holding hands.

*****

So the above stories have shown the same date ending two different ways.  What made the second one more successful was basically two things: 1) better conversation and 2) logistical escalation.

Logistical escalation is the use of timing, people and places around you to advance you toward sex. For example, in the first date, they went to a restaurant far away from either of their apartments or any realistic place where sex could happen. In the second date, they were close by, so sex was on the table, and it was just easier (you can lose the vibe driving around in a car).

So lets dig into that topic.

Where You’re Taking Her and its Proximity to Your Place

Listen, you may love the veal parmesan at Carmella’s Bistro, but if it’s across town and it’s not easy for you to get there and back then it’s not a good logistical choice for a date. Good logistical choices are cool bars (and even restaurants) that are close to your house simply because it’s easier to get there and back.

You’re with you date, having a good time. You realize it’s time to go and before you know it you can both be back at your house. When you’re far away you have to drive or take a cab or the subway and all of that can let insecure thoughts in.

Believe us, women are aware of these details; we’ve had dates where it was the girl who intentionally parked her car near our place before the date because she knew it would make it easier to invite her in afterward.

If you’re driving with her, at best you can hope that there’s not a lot of traffic. And if your neighborhood has difficult street parking at night, good luck. On the subway it’s a victory if it doesn’t smell like piss. But cabs are a different story. The only bad thing about cars is that you’re focused on driving, so it’s hard to keep you and your date having fun. But in the back of a dark cab its easy to pull your date close to you and fool around. What’s more, with the prevalence of car services like Uber and Lyft, you don’t even need to stand in a cold street whistling at cabs.

But what if you don’t live in a fun part of town, or even in a fun town itself? Move! I’m completely serious. A single guy should be living in the part of town with all the nightlife. Yes this will cost more, but it will be worth it when you see the improvements it brings your dating life. Women will commute to see you, rather than the other way around, and you’ll never have to worry about how to get her home.

As an added benefit, since you’re so close to all the bars you’ll have a better chance at getting to know their staff.

Bar Staff

How much does a drink cost? Six dollars? How about $12 or $18? The real answer is the drink doesn’t cost anything when someone buys it for you. When the bar staff likes you you’ll drink for free, they’ll make you look good in front of your dates and you’ll feel more at home.  In order to make sure that they like you, stop by before the rush hits and just chat with them.  Be a great tipper as well. And don’t creep on the hot female bartenders (unless they initiate it).

The same thing applies to doormen. A few years ago I went to an after-hours bar pretty regularly. One night I was talking to a girl who was also talking to “William,” one of the bouncers. Instead of trying to steal the girl away from him, I just started talking to him, telling stupid jokes and having fun. When the night ended I had made a new friend, and I got the girl too. But the story doesn’t end there. Every weekend I’d stop by the bar, even if I wasn’t planning on going in just to say hi and shoot the shit with William. Often I’d stop by with a girl and William would pull us out of the line and let us right in. When I stopped by with a group I made sure to introduce all of the single girls to William. It was a great situation that ended one night when I stopped by and the new bouncer told me that William wasn’t working there anymore. I haven’t been back since.

Her Next-Day Logistics

As I got more experienced, I learned that I couldn’t stay out all night, bring a girl home, and then expect to get up at 7 a.m. for something important, like catching a flight home for the holidays. Some nights, I learned, have to end earlier than I’d like.

When you’re at the bar with your date, ask her what she’s doing the next day. Most often she’s not doing anything important, but if she’s doing something really early, keep that in mind. Don’t let the night drag on longer than it needs to. Also, if you have to end a date early in the night, have a backup plan. Meet another girl, go to another bar or meet up with some friends. Stay flexible and it will keep you from looking needy.

Should the first date be on a weeknight or weekend? There are pros and cons to both.

I like keeping the first date as casual and low-pressure as possible, and weeknights can facilitate that. Her friends won’t be talking up her Big Date that could make her nervous or guarded around you. You’re also likelier to avoid crowded bars on a weeknight, and we think weekends are best reserved for seeing friends or women you’ve dated for a while.

On the other hand, if she wakes up at 6 a.m. for work, a weeknight date could torpedo your hopes of taking her home that night. Still, we’ve learned that if a girl wants to hook up with you that night, she’ll endure some inconvenience the following morning. Even if that means getting out of your bed at 5 a.m.

Another argument for weekend first dates is that some women, especially when you’re online dating, prefer to keep a first date brief. A Friday night date will garner more commitment from those girls, and possibly enhance your chances of a hookup at home.

Bottom line: It’s really up to your own logistics and what you feel most comfortable with. Don’t bend over backward with scheduling in the hopes you’re going to get some; date on your own terms.

Bouncing to other Bars

If you noticed in the dating story earlier, the guy who had the successful date started his night at one bar and then took his date to a different bar later in the evening. You might be wondering why he did this. Why do you need to switch it up like that? And can’t you spend all night at one place?

Lets start out with the why. We bounce from one bar to another because when you start the date, you’re basically strangers meeting up. You arrived separately, and it makes sense that you could leave separately. But if we shirk that trend and instead leave together to go to another bar we now are arriving together, and it will feel natural to leave together. Or at least that’s the theory behind it. For whatever reason, it works, though we’ve also managed to take a girl back after just one venue. Now, let’s talk about the practical applications of starting the night at one place and going to another (and another, and another if we need to).

When you start the date at Bar One, you’re assuming that it’s going to have the right vibe or energy. Chill, relaxed, not too loud but not too quiet. A few patrons but enough room to move.  But as the night goes on, the energy in a room tends to change depending on the other people in it. A chill bar can turn rowdy and then all of a sudden you’re ducking out the door because you’re avoiding a fight. Similarly, you might find out that a large group of Japanese businessmen have taken over your bar and are loudly doing karaoke to Piano Man. OK, maybe that could actually be a fun date. What if instead a conference of mommy bloggers was in town and had taken over your bar to talk about their kids? My eyes are glazing over just thinking about it:

“Little Jimmy just learned how to tie his shoes!”

Fuck you.

In a perfect world you would go on a date and then back to your place or her place.  But in reality it’s more normal to start at one bar and then try out a few more before you two call it a night. I highly recommend having about three bars and a plan for how you’re going to spend the night between them before heading home. Use a map like the one on Yelp.com, where you can chart all the bars in your neighborhood.

Quick Side Story about how bouncing to another bar helps

Immediately after I graduated from college I moved to another town where I knew literally no one. I made plenty of mistakes, but one thing I did right was meet up with other people who were new to town. You can use sites like meetup.com (or even match.com. I think they have a meetup-like service) to do the same.

One night myself and another guy took two girls to a concert/outdoor festival. It was the type of place where you could wander around and listen to music and talk to vendors. When the sun went down, everyone crowded onto a hillside to sit on blankets and listen to music. Long story short, I flirted hard core with both girls right in front of everyone. I just owned it. One of them (the girl who later went on to be my GF) told me that when they (the girls) excused themselves and went to the bathroom together they both talked about how cute I was. (I’m not cute, by the way, but I just flirt hard.)  A couple of hours into the concert we were all buzzed and feeling good. But we were like 20 minutes outside of the city. So wanting to keep the vibe going, I suggested that we leave the festival and go to a bar back into town.

And what about when you get her back to your place?

Here’s the kitchen, here’s the bedroom, let’s have sex

The No. 1 mistake guys make once they get a girl back to their place is they plop down on the couch and put on a movie. That couch is like a magnet from which you can never get unstuck. Inside the girl’s head she’s thinking, “If we get off this couch we’re going to have sex,” and at this point it’s real enough that she might be second-guessing herself. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Let her make her adult decisions however she wants, but there is a way to avoid all of this.

Skip the couch entirely. Throw your DVD player out the window. Only use your bedroom for movie watching. Watch a movie on your laptop, or mount a TV on your bedroom wall and watch from the comfort of your bed. Seriously, do not have a DVD player in your living room.

Don’t make a big deal out of it when you get home; just put on a movie in your bedroom and jump in bed. Put on a boring movie so that you can focus on each other instead of it. And if the movie ends before you’ve made a move on her, you messed up.

Of course, there is also the chance that it makes more logistical sense to go back to her place. In this case, take heed to be just as prepared as we told you to be in the chapter on getting ready. Have a condom, and have a plan on how to get back home after.

But guys, what if one of us doesn’t want sex on the first date? Can’t we take it slow?

Look, we’re not saying it’s intercourse or bust on the first date. Different people have different timeframes. Some girls will go to great lengths to avoid the temptation of sex on a first date, including not shaving their legs. (Our solution? Keep a women’s razor handy.) Many, many relationships have formed when sex happened on the second date or beyond. On the other hand, many many relationships have been squandered by the guy playing it asexual and not making any move early on.

Look at it this way: there’s really no penalty for making a sexual move. Even if she turns you down, a part of her will be impressed that you had the guts to try. Just kissing for a few seconds, or maybe just some playful sexual banter, might be as far she’ll go on the first date, and it’ll be enough to set the table for a second meeting. In many other cases, she’ll go a lot further. But there is a penalty for playing it safe and not making physical contact — if there’s no oxytocin firing off in her body, she’s less likely to want to be around you a second time. That’s not us, that’s science.

For more information on how to handle the logistics on a second date or after, we’ll have a chapter on that.

{ 11 comments }

1 J December 2, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Wonderful! Simple, solid, cut-the-crap advice that will improve anyone’s first date! So looking forward to the actual book! Great work guys!

I’ve been nagging you before about your statement that you’d struggle to make a book on dating women longer than 10 pages, and I’m still wishing you would put all your knowledge into writing. “GK’s (and Rob’s?) book on all you need to know about dating women” – who wouldn’t want to read that!? Can’t think of anyone better suited for such a task :)

It’s asking a lot though, I know that. Just love to read your stuff that’s all! Again, wonderful job on this chapter! Looking forward to the rest!

2 GK December 2, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Thank you, J! And thanks to folks like you who kept the heat on me to keep writing. :) If a guy has his logistics down, he’s about 75% of the way there, so while his may not have everything you need to know, it will come damned close. We look forward to showing you the rest.

3 J January 5, 2014 at 3:55 am

Hey! Just dropped by to say that I followed your pointers on first date logistics (all but not sitting on the couch) and it played out so that she left my apartment earlier this morning :)

4 GK January 5, 2014 at 11:58 am

Can I put that on the testimonials when the book comes out? :) That’s great to hear!

5 J January 6, 2014 at 4:58 am

Go ahead man :)

6 Mik March 22, 2014 at 6:01 am

Hey, great news GK. Looking forward to reading it.

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Thanks, Mars

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9 ABS mars July 29, 2015 at 3:53 am

Wonderful! Simple, solid, cut-the-crap advice that will improve anyone’s first date! So looking forward to the actual book! Great work guys!

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