First Date: The right vibe, the right location …

First Date columnist Brek Dalrymple has some choice advice for that all-important ...

Picture this:
You met a cool girl, but you want to take her to a great place that’s just right on a first date (or so) and really see what’s what …. a place where you can focus on each other in a cool, sexy, and quiet atmosphere.
A place where you can get a little bit close …. where you can connect without having Jersey Shore dudes throw up on her shoes. Where the vibe of the place creates an environment that’s conducive to kickstarting what could be a meaningful three week relationship! You need the right place to get the party started, and it’s my job to help you find it.
There are a few core components to think about:
1. Vibe: a little trendy, modern, with a laid back, chilled out atmosphere. Space to move, sofa’s to sidle up next to her. Not expensive, but not cheap either. An unobtrusive staff, relaxed, friendly and with good drinks.
2. Location : This is critical! You need to find a place that’s close to your very own double-wide, so that if you’re feeling it, you can take it back to your home turf, or, at minimum, convenient so that she’s not thinking I’ve got a 45 minute drive, and got to get up at 5:30 for my Ultimate Cage Fighting class. This is critical so she’s not distracted. Continue reading

First Dates and Why They Fail


You may love it … or you may hate it.  I’m talking about hating it as much as I imagine I would hate a Beiber concert.

However, if you want to find the love of your life, your best friend, or just meet some cool people … you have to date. Hopefully, you know what you basically want and that you have to go through some frustration – just like you do at work, with your family, or your friends. Their are no free rides …. unless you have a friend that works at Universal Studios (in which case I’d like some free tickets because the weather is starting to get nice and I love the Hulkster coaster.)

During a recent conversation, I was told by a someone that she’d been on so many first dates that she was “exhausted.” I get that, especially for girls that just happen to be fairly foxy.  It’s like interviewing; it can feel forced and a little tense. Good dates are good — but bad dates are a nightmare.  It’s this frustration — or maybe nervousness — and sometimes the desperation that I believe causes most weird, irrational dating behavior … odd responses to questions, out of context comments, overly nervous chatter … stuff like that.

I also think that if you’re a serial dater, after a while, like a Lennon/McCartney song, it becomes a craft. This causes people to not allow enough time to truly see what’s there, or alternatively a  tendency to try and close too soon.  Closing means many things, but here it simply means artificially moving too fast.

I think the key to dating without smashing yourself in the head with a Alabama brick is having a sense of what your goal is, and to approach it with a combination of purpose and patience.  If your goal is to meet a bunch of awesome girls/guys, then there’s no real issue. Just ask out five times as many people as you actually want to date — and you’ll most likely be a busy dater.  If, on the other hand, you’re looking to get married and have kids – expectations about how long and who generally would be right for you need to be understood and yes, a little pragmatism doesn’t hurt.

If you’re a 50-year-old balding, fat guy of normal means, you are not — I repeat NOT — going to get a 25-year-old professional volley ball player (and I know this guy).  And why would you want her, dude?  Seriously, you can dream, but you can’t be crazy. And girls, stop taking dating advice from your perennially single girlfriends. That’s like taking dieting advice from a deuce and a half.

The Problem

An interesting recent dating study found that the vast majority of us daters miss critical personality traits when we start to like and appreciate who we wine and dine. You go on a date and the girl is kinda cool.  Maybe she actually likes football/camping/running/cycling/Star Wars or extreme cage fighting.  But the problem is, you missed the detail that she gripes about all the people in her life (run, Forrest!) or that she brags about how “awesome” she is, or how bad her last boyfriend was to her — or worse, how lucky you are to be in her presence (yep, I know that girl!)

I believe the seeds and clues to your new dysfunctional relationship are already there, if only we could pause in our idyllic fantasies to see them.  If you’re a guy, stop fantasizing that she’ll bring her smoking hot aerobics instructor girlfriend into the bedroom just because she made a passing joke about it; if you’re a girl and he tells you about his house in Malibu but he has a crummy apartment here … um, yeah …

People who know me have heard me say this a million times: people don’t change.  You can’t make an insecure person believe in themselves, you can’t fix anyone, and if you think they need fixing, you’re probably the one who needs the makeover because you are not accepting of who we are as human beings.   All of us need fixing, but we never think we do.

So what is a hopeful person to do, then, Mr. Know-It-All? Understand what you can’t accept, more than what you can accept. know that you also have stupid behaviors, accept yourself and other people exactly as they are because they are not going to change — even if they swear they will.  In my often incorrect opinion, there is a reason some people seemingly have it all: They accept human behavior and don’t fight it, they evolve and learn and accept, and long ago gave up on the concept of “control.”

People are where they are in life because of who they are.  Never forget that.  Like Ronald Reagan, you have to trust but verify — meaning don’t let your emotions do a flying elbow drop to your Spider-Sense. It knows something, although I don’t know how.
Why? Because once you jump in, it is not easy to get out.

Why?  You already know.  You now have a regular squeeze and hopefully toe-tingling sex and the older you get, the more risk averse we become because the repercussions are higher. But remember your ultimate goal:  If it’s a serious one, then you have to have the core values that you cannot negotiate on.  You have to take the core issues very seriously, because otherwise you’ll wake up and have wasted years of both your lives.

My Solution

Finally, if you’re truly looking for love:  Never date for money, never date for sex, never date for revenge (yeah, I know that girl, too).
Besides bad karma, this type of dating will depress you and waste your time. And if you’re down and have a bad attitude, it will leak out of you and all over your new date, when you’re a little nervous and feeling a little tense, no matter how hard you try not to let it.

My Big Closing Statement:
Date someone you simply like as a person first, because you’ll never love someone you don’t like.  But you can love someone you like!

Good Luck and let me know how it goes!


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Welcome to First Date: Our dating guide to romance in the City Beautiful.

Freeline Media contributor and affiliate Brek Dalrymple launches a new series today on "First Dates" in the City Beautiful.

ORLANDO — If you do one thing well in your search for meaning, love and companionship, make the first few dates count.
Welcome to First Date, a new column by a new columnist who is going to specialize in creating the best opportunities possible for adult dating.
Because, dudes: You need to make an impact.

That doesn’t mean shower her with effusive compliments or gifts (desperation) or show off (sad). Show her you’re real. Show her you’re not desperate (dating death!). Show her you are multi-dimensional … a real human being who happens to be a really cool guy that she’d be crazy not to want to know.

I know people have as many opinions on dating and relationships as on how to make barbecue. And — this might surprise you — I don’t have all the answers.
So I’ve taken on the assignment of finding great places for you to take that babe you’ve been secretly digging. To help find the right combination of vibe, location, and “mood creating opportunity,” I’m directing you to certain spots around town. Ideally, these are going to be great places to take that cutie pie on a first, second and third date. If you’ve done your job well, after three dates — dude, you sure won’t need me anymore.

I think what most people actually want is someone who loves them for who they are. So that means you have to be who you are in order to find that. But, like a hamburger on a billboard – it looks a lot nicer on the billboard than in the actual burger joint. Get it?
It also means — Grrrrr! — that you have to take some emotional risk. Consider it part of the cost of doing business, the business of love. Obviously, this is not a hit-it-and-quit-it type of column. Nah, we already know how to do that: Get her slightly tipsy, introduce her to your friends, show her off a little, drop subtle hints about kids and how much you love your mom, dogs, home in Santa Barbara and private jet …. you know that drill. Knees will buckle as surely as Edgewater Drive.

Nah, this is for those of us who actually like women, even though we all know they can be kind of crazy at times. “How can they not know which way is east?” you might ask.
But they feel so nice, and they do things that we love. They hold our hands, and if you’re lucky rub our backs, and if you’re really, truly lucky, are funny and a little weird.

Okay, so my vindictive and cruel editor has asked me to write one article per week about a great date spot. What qualifies as such? Good question. Like I said, I don’t have all the answers, but I know a few things about girls in my age group: 35-45. They like interesting things. They notice details. They like to replay every part of their day to friends. They like funky, and variety. Even the most tomboyish chick likes to feel like a girl occasionally. If you like her and want to date her, your job is to make her feel good. If she feels good with you, she’ll want to see more of you.

Many of the women in our age range have been to the dance. They know they drill and yet they still hope for love.
Your job is to help her.
Next week: An actual review of a great date place!

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