After spending the last few days angsting about this, I need a laugh. Here are some semi-serious rules....
Dragon's Unisex Rules (ok guidelines) for dating and other hazardous pursuits (Part 1)
editor's note: remember, I'm single right now so take these comments with a grain (or block) of salt... I won't be held accountable if you scare away your spouse after following these guidelines... then again no one has any restraining orders out against me so I'm not a total wacko
Rule #0: Don't be yourself.... at least not at full volume. Look, let's be honest here, only the most dull and uninteresting of people can "be themselves on a date". The cool people tend to be at least a little crazy That's good. Do you know all the lines from Star Wars (I know some folks who do)? Do you have a very in depth and well thought out theory(ies) about a TV show like X-files, Babylon 5, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I do)? Would you say that you are obsessed with anything (yes)? Do you see where I'm going with this? It's one thing to be interesting and quirky, it's completely different to be a goofball in a Klingon costume.
Rule #1: Keep It Simple.... Age old advice that is particularly important here. If you ever find yourself using terms like "plausible deniability" or "collateral damage" or just generally planning your moves as if you were planning the invasion of Normandy, you've probably taken a wrong turn somewhere. Talking about a date or prospective date should not sound like you are being debriefed by the C.I.A.
Rule #2: Thou shalt not mock.... anyone. If you've ever made someone cry with your wit and snappy remarks, be sure to tone it down. Humour is great if you're on stage, but few people find it really endearing when you rip into the inept wait-person and reduce them to a quivering puddle of self-doubt and shame. Remember they're still making up their mind about you so you don't want them thinking "Mein Gott! What'll s/he do when I piss him/her off?" Making the other person wonder what kind of demon you become when you get upset is not really a good place to go on a date.
Rule #3: You don't know it all... no really, you don't know it all... To clarify (see I told you :), if you have an anecdote, story (or worse yet) a correction for every thing the other person says, kiss your chances of a repeat date good-bye. Few people actively want to date a dullard, but fewer still want to date someone who makes them feel like one.
Rule #4: You are not Evil Kineivel's son/daughter (although that would be a good title for a bad B-movie). Most cool people can appreciate a bad ass ride. They might even appreciate your obsession with yours. On a racetrack your racing prowess might make them go weak at the knees (I know I dig girls who can race), but that does not mean that they want to die (or think that they might die) in your car. The date should be fun, but under no circumstances should it resemble "Gone in 60 seconds", "Cannonball Run", "Smokey and the Bandit" etc...
Rule #5: Be excellent (blatantly lifted from "The Tao of Steve")... You've got over 100 non-sleeping hours a week to do something. If you can't show your date that you are really good at something, well you've got problems. This is not to say that you only focus on what you do really well. It just means that you show off a bit and move on.
Rule #6: Diplomacy, diplomacy, diplomacy.... For the purposes of dating, you are Switzerland. If you have any interest in a repeat date, you do no start fights and you do not make any really big moral stands. If you need to do either, this probably isn't the one.
All right. Angel is on and I'm bored. I'll add to this list later maybe.