Dating

By Deepa Arora Das

Not all men are selfish and inconsiderate. In fact most men, at least the ones that are looking to find their perfect match, are very concerned about making a woman happy, especially on their first date. Men probably spend more time figuring out the perfect restaurant or activity then we give them credit for. The good men that are out there really do want to impress us, they just don’t always know how. And rather than helping the poor guys out we tend to play games, expect them to read our minds, and surprise us with the absolute best surprise ever. My dating tip: Point your date in the right direction.

When my husband asked me out for the first time the conversation went something like this.

He: Do you want to do something on Sunday?
Me: I would love to! (yes, I really said that and with enthusiasm!!)
He: Ok what do you want to do?
Me: Well I have always wanted to go to a coffee shop and play a game or do a puzzle.
He: Ok (with a curious tone)
Me: But please no Starbucks, I like coffee shops with a bit more character.
He: Ok (still curious).
Me: How about I pick the puzzle and you pick the coffee shop?
He: Ok. Then after that if we are hungry maybe we can grab a bite to eat?
Me: Sounds good.
He: Ok, I will call you Friday to let you know what time I will pick you up.
Me: Ok great. Thank You!

Now I will ‘decode’ what this conversation really meant.

He: I want to spend time with you. I am free Sunday. What will make you say yes?
Me: I think you are cute and good job calling to ask me out. Keep it up!! (that’s why I said it with enthusiasm so he knows he is headed in the right direction. No games here).
He: Wow you are into me too…ok what can we do that will make you happy?
Me: This is my chance to tell him! I need to be open and truthful. Really tell him what I feel like doing so he is headed in the right direction. This is a perfect opportunity to share something about me and who I am so I can see how he reacts. In this situation, if he would have judged or made fun of me, he wouldn’t have been the guy for me. I knew I wanted someone who was open minded and enjoyed my creative, fun, and playful ideas. If this guy didn’t think there was something kind of cool about doing a puzzle while enjoying a mocha then there was no way I could spend my life with him.
He: Ok this is different, and I am still interested.
Me: But a Starbucks won’t cut it. I want something more charming and I want to see his idea of a place with character. I do want him to do some of the work because the place he picks will reveal a bit about him. Also if he takes me to a Starbucks anyways, then I know he either doesn’t listen or is not willing to do the research to find a place – for me, these were both turn offs.
He: Ok hmmmm, I am still interested.
Me: I picked the puzzle because I am not the type of girl who will do a 1,000 piece puzzle of the solar system. I picked a 100 piece puzzle of a monkey. Fun and goofy, like my personality. If it doesn’t make him laugh, then our senses of humor may clash.
He: Ok I can handle this; I am up for the task of not only finding a coffee place but a restaurant too!
Me: Great you are still on the right track
He: Ok I am pumped for this date!
Me: You are in the right direction and thanks for wanting to make me happy.

And there you have it.

Now at that moment I didn’t know I was going to marry him, but I did know I had made the most of our first date by pointing him in the right direction. Ironically six years into our marriage, my husband and I still go into charming coffee shops and play scrabble, Uno, or do a goofy puzzle. I still come up with creative and playful ideas and he still wants to make me happy. It’s a good thing that when he asked me what I wanted to do on our first date, I didn’t just say “whatever you want”.

Originally published November 2011
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