Just because summer’s over doesn’t mean it’s time to end sweet, sticky summer loving. There’s never been a better time to ask out that foxy guy/girl you see down at yr local, even if you do risk coming across like a sex-crazed stalker. There’s a 50/50 chance they won’t call the fuzz. We like those odds.
The Lo-Fi Scenario
For lovers of slacker cinema, cardigans and ‘hanging out’, not dating. This scenario was probably initiated as follows:
You: Hey, like, what are you doing next Friday?
Them: Ummm… nothing. Why?
You: Oh, no reason.
You: Actually, there’s this house party/band/fundraiser for land rights for gay whales that I might go to.
Them: Oh really?
You: Yeah, it should be cool.
Them: Oh, cool.
You: Do you wanna… like, hang out there or whatever?
Them: Yeah, ok.
You: …OK cool.
As you can see, this is dating for the perennially under-confident and/or emotionally retarded, which is about 90% of the dating population. Here the line between hanging as mates and hanging out as potential lovers is so fine you need spectacles to see it, even if you have 20/20 vision (which I do, I have perfect vision, it’s from my Dad’s side of the family).
Pros: If it turns out they don’t dig you, you can just make out you were hanging out as friends. Pride intact? Check.
Cons: What are you, a goddamn chicken? Man or mouse, MAN OR MOUSE?? There’s nothing wrong with laying a few cards on the table – if you’re not breathing heavily every time you see them, interest can be flattering and sweet. Re-imagine crushes as empowering, mousling.
The Romantic Scenario
For lovers of The Notebook, scented candles and money. Sorry kids but this is the 21st century and romance ain’t cheap. Not on my watch.
The Romance Scenario involves the following: Flowers. Dinner reservations in a restaurant where the waiter introduces themselves by their first name. Plans for after-dinner that don’t involve crazy circus sex but do involve gelato. A polite ‘Thanks for a great night’ text. More flowers.
Pros: Guys, if you can pull this off your ladyfriend will be putty in your hands. And in return, after a few weeks, you won’t be putty in hers.
Cons: If you don’t hit it off you’ve flushed enough money to buy a couple Sopranos DVD sets down the toilet.
The Fail-safe Scenario
You like ’em. You don’t know them that well, but you know that waking up next to them on Sunday morning, cuddling, makin’ luv, then going and getting coffee would be pretty much awesome. You wanna make a good impression. Not ‘I’m totally nuts about you and if you don’t feel the same way I’ll be showing up in your bedroom doorway at 2am cutting myself’ but not ‘A date? Like, whatever, I don’t care, I’m cool and hard like Marlon Brando before he was fat’. Time to break out the fail-safe. Your favourite bar. Your favourite band. Your favourite late night cocktail joint. Your favourite mix-CD followed by your favourite brief but meaningful goodnight kiss. Your favourite witty text message the next day. Fail-safe.
Pros: This is the ‘hey, this is me’ date. It’s honest and cool: no fancy dinners or elaborate schemes, just places with nice décor filled with people who have nice haircuts. If they don’t have a good time now, it’s unlikely they’re gonna have a good time with you, period. But if everything falls into place, hello Sunday morning lovin’!
Cons: If you find out your beloved is actually a bore/brain-dead/banging someone else, you’ve gone and introduced them to the coolest places in your hometown. Expect to see your fail-safe fail-date popping up with startlingly regularity, usually when you’re instigating a fail-safe date with someone else. Life can just suck that way.
The Get-It-On-Till-The-Break-of-Dawn Scenario
Alright. We’re not in Kansas anymore. Sometimes asking someone out to get something to eat actually means you just wanna eat them out. And if you’ve been real good lately, sometimes the universe hand delivers you someone who wants exactly the same thing. The Get-It-On-Till-The-Break-of-Dawn Scenario involves meeting somewhere for a drink at around nine, flirting madly until you both realise you’re as horny as a couple of rhinos [a little animal humour for ya], then getting yr rocks off AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. And they say romance is dead!
Pros: Duh, its sex.
Cons: As much as we’d like to believe we’re mature adults and we can have casual relationships with a variety of hip fuck buddies, show me a just-sex couple and I’ll show you a power imbalance. There’s something weird about the whole love/sex thing but unfortunately the human race hasn’t evolved to allow Samantha Jones to actually exist. After all, she ended up with the Absolut guy. File under ‘f’. Not ‘fucking’, ‘fiction’.
The Baptism of Fire Scenario
Two words: your friends. Hey, I love your friends, but they’re nuts right? I mean, there’s B who always says exactly what they’re thinking, and P, whose exploits give Michael Jackson a run for his money when it comes to nutty schemes. F is a handful, full stop, and M is probably gonna be nasty to your date, just because it’s more fun than being nice. The Baptism of Fire scenario involves bringing an unknown into the circle, whether its via a birthday party, group outing or Sunday night dinner. You know what they say about playing with fire…
Pros: Sooner or later your crush is gonna have to meet the fam. Getting it out of the way early might not be such a bad idea. Plus your friends aren’t blinded by the chemical imbalance known as lust, and could see your new friend in a whole new light…
Cons: But what’s to say their judgement is any better than yours? You’re all as mad as each other. Which also has the potential to scare your potential off. I mean, you know what you’re like when you and A get together. Nutbags.
The Get Outta Jail Free Scenario
You’ve started the conversation with, ‘Hey, wasn’t the Mardi Gras fun this year’ and they’ve come back with, ‘The gays in this town have gone too far’. You’ve ordered a double vodka, they don’t drink because of religious beliefs. You say ‘tomato’, they say ‘I play lotto’. Time to call in the big guns. Excuse yourself to go to the bathroom, (you may as well say you’re gonna go do some smack before dinner, what the hell does it matter now), call a friend and get ’em to call you back in five. Upon return make a few comments about all the orgies you went to over the weekend and how you’ve started sexually fantasising about William H Macy, “like, ALL the time” and answer your ringing phone. You: “Hey [flatmate’s name], what’s the haps dawg? You’ve what!? You silly sausage, you’re always locking yourself out of our chill-pad! No, I can’t come now, I’m having a swell time with a groovy friend! Oh, alright. You owe me big-time homeboy! Big-ups!”.
Pros: The feeling of walking out scot-free on a dud date is sweeter than honey on toast.
Cons: There are no cons. Anyone who plays lotto who isn’t your Grandma is a jerk.