Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 4, Issue 32, Tuesday August 14, 2007


the perfect date

Dating…the sweet old time spent in getting to know each other, sharing thoughts and hoping that it leads to something more permanent. Yes all those Hollywood flicks were not lying: going on a date is a big deal. After all a date is the only official time when two people really get to hang out, talk and find out more about one another in person. Yes, late night phone calls are adventurous and e-cards at work are cute but it is actually when you spend time in each other's company that really tells you whether this rendezvous is worth the effort.

Thus it is only natural that you would want your dates to be perfect. A little candlelight, some chocolates and Celine in the background? Of course. But is it enough? Of course not. The perfect date is like a great painting or a scrumptious lobster bisque. It takes time, effort and above all, imagination. So grab a cushion and read on as we tell you the secrets to creating The Perfect Date.

The Perfect Place
“Love don't cost a thing”
The perfect place for a date doesn't necessarily mean an ultra-expensive candlelit French restaurant. Nor does it mean box tickets to the next India-Pakistan match. If it's a first date, you don't want the place to give off intense romantic vibes or be loud and noisy where you can't talk in comfort. So go for someplace neutral like a coffee shop and share a cuppa.

For future dates try to hone into what your date likes. If she's into theatre, a play would be perfect. If he likes indoor sports, bowling might just be the solution. The very first date makes or breaks the deal. So pay attention on the first date to what your partner is saying. That'll give you hints about what he or she likes. Then if you're on for a second date, suggest possible dating places that you think might please your date and make plans accordingly.

Always remember that money isn't the main factor. Having fun is. A date can be inexpensive yet fun all the same. And remember, inexpensive doesn't mean thrown-together-in-five-minutes. What you need in such cases is a little creativity. So don't obsess about the price tag.

The Perfect Outfit
“Fashion can be bought. Style one must possess.”
As superficial as it may sound, what you wear to your dates, especially your very first one, can be of considerable significance. Yes appearance does matter, well at least initially. It's okay to be a 30-year-old die-hard Elvis fan. But it isn't okay to turn up on a date with Elvis's hair or pants.

Clothes tell people about your individual style, how fashionable you are and even provide people with a window into your personality. But if you're confused about what to wear, consult with a friend, a fashion magazine or simply opt for one of the two safety nets: one, wear business casuals (after all work does require a certain amount of decorum); or two, that one outfit everyone says you look great in. And while you're at it, don't forget to take the location into account. After all you don't want to dine in dungarees or trainers at a five-star hotel.

All in all remember what P.J. O'Rourke said: Never wear anything that panics the cat.

The Perfect Gift
“Give a little bit”
Flowers, chocolates, perfumes and cufflinks? Seems to be about right doesn't it? Wrong! Not every girl eats chocolates and not every guy wears cufflinks.

So how does one figure out what to give his/her date? Simple. Listen. Both sexes have a tendency of talking about things they like without even realising that they have done it. And during the initial dates people talk about common interests to break the ice. That gives you a glimpse into the person's personality as well as preferences.

If she tells you about Candace Bushnell's latest novel, chances are she'll like The Devil Wears Prada. If he tells you how he fixed his bike all by himself, a subscription to Top Gear might just be what he will like.

The Perfect Mate
“Don't like me yet? Have another drink.”
Dates are the perfect way to find out about each other. And the best way to do that is by talking and more importantly listening. Give your date your full and undivided attention while she/he is speaking. Don't keep on acting like you know it all even if you really do know it all. And don't use what she/he is saying as a jump off point to highlight some great feat that you have accomplished. No one likes a know-it-all and self-promotion is no promotion at all. You don't have to prove how simply wonderful you are. Let your date make that decision. After all, humility too, is a virtue.

In the end, the perfect date is about making new discoveries, giving a part of yourself to someone and all in all hoping that it all leads to something more permanent. So take a deep breath, pop some mints and just be yourself. And don't forget, have fun!

By Tahiat-e-Mahboob

The date that never was…

Despite the sheath of cologne that encased her like a claustrophobic catacomb, he could figure that underneath it all she did not smell all that pleasant. Once in a while, when the breeze would blow in his direction, he even thought that he could get whiffs of something unsettling- like the smell of an unwashed toe after a rigorous workout.

He drummed his fingers on the edge of the table, waiting. Waiting for the words, anything, to form so that he could wring them out from his throat. Scrambling for a perfunctory word or two of amour that would not materialize, he looked up. The benefit of open-air dining… you could always stare up at something, the sky, the stars, if you did not feel like looking around you. A kind of escapism.

Just as he was done counting almost quarter of the stars, something happened. She reached across the table, touched his hands. He lost count. He must have contemplated her hand to feel like sandpaper- dry and brittle- or if not, cold and clammy like sheep's liver. But truth be told, it was not that bad. Perhaps he was just allowing his imagination to settle on himself too hard.

Secretly, he thanked God that he did not have the Chicken A La Kiev in his mouth- otherwise, it would have surely ended up splattered all over the front of her dress. Was he being too shallow? No, he could not be. At any rate, this was not what he had asked for. Darn those chat rooms, where all the women masquerade themselves as the next Cameron Diaz.

This was not working out. All he had hoped for was a perfect date…

By Shahmuddin Ahmed Siddiky

sail through your first date...

First dates aren't normally the most relaxing of events. Still, they don't need to create any more stress than already exists, either. Read on for these rules to alleviate the most common first date location-based stressors.

Dating Rule: First Dates Should Be Affordable
A first date is simply that - a primary interaction to get to know someone better. Leave the big bucks for later should things work out and try to keep the total expenses affordable for both parties, especially if you plan on going dutch.

Dating Rule: Find a Place With a Talkable Space
You'll get shushed at the movies and have to yell in a crowded bar. Think about your first date location and whether or not you can comfortably talk in it without too much interruption. Getting to know someone new is the focus of a first date, which is next to impossible without conversation.

Dating Rule: Keep It Comfy
Comfy clothes, that is. A new outfit for a first date might be a lovely gesture, Opt for comfortable, flattering, dependable clothes that won't pinch, sag, break, ride up, or otherwise leave you potentially fiddling all night.

Dating Rule: Make the First Date Location Easy to Find
If your chosen location is more than thirty minutes away or requires a map to find, it's time to seek out another place to meet.

If things go well on your first date you can always sweep your sweetie off to a unique and hard-to-find location another time.

Dating Rule: Allow for Time to Interact
Some great dates involve so much activity that there is no time to interact one on one. Therefore, if you choose to attend a dinner, the theatre or take a tennis lesson together, make sure you've allowed for some down time afterwards to chat.

Dating Rule: Make the Event Enjoyable
Don't think that by taking your date out to do something you hate you'll be winning brownie points. You won't. Instead, make sure that whatever activity you share is enjoyable for the both of you.


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