by C. Adán Cabrera
The immensely-talented Being Latino writers provided women with this great list of tips for a successful first date. In the spirit of the many pride celebrations to be held this summer all over the country, I thought it only appropriate to compile a similar list for all my gay brothers. So whether you met him at the club, in a chatroom, or crossing the street on your way to your abuela’s house, here are five tips to help you have an unforgettable, safe night.
Safety first: meet in public. Sure, it’s a romantic idea to have your date pick you up from your front porch and sweep you off your feet, roses and daisies and chocolates falling on the asphalt as he plants a big, wet smooch squarely on your lips. Some advice: meet in public. You never know if Señor Looks-Hot-In-A-Tanktop is actually Señor Psycho-Off-Meds, so be wary – especially if you’re meeting offline for the first time. Looks, much like a Facebook picture (with just that right angle), can be deceiving!
Location, location, location. Pick a place that you don’t frequent that often to avoid those all-too-awkward run-ins days or weeks after a disastrous first date (“Oh, hi…you like these lattes, too?”). Also, if you’re looking for some quality one-on-one time, pick a place where you don’t have to out-shout the DJ or the couple next to you or that queen yappin’ away about Gaga-knows-what. You also don’t risk running into any of your friends or his friends (been there!) while you’re out, avoiding uncomfortable introductions.
Punctuality (and manners) are Hot. In the age of Twitter y smartphones y ever-shrinking attention spans, impatience reigns supreme. To this end, make sure you’re on time, especially on that first date. If you say 7:30 p.m., show up at 7:30 p.m. or a little before, not thirty minutes late, huffing-and-puffing some excuse about the train being late, the unbelievable traffic, etc. Also, turn off your cell phone if you’re wont to text or update your status every other minute. Trying to have a conversation with someone who’s laughing to themselves over a text message from a friend is a turn off.
Who pays? In a same-sex relationship where gender rules are bent (no pun intended), figuring out who pays for a night of filet mignon, bottomless appletinis and banana flambé can be a real pain in la nalga. My rule of thumb: offer to pay your half. If the guy is better off financially, let him pay and treat him next time. If you’re scrimping and saving to pay for just enough gas to get you to work and back, pick a place that’s nice but relatively inexpensive in case your date doesn’t offer to pay for you. You know your budget; he doesn’t.
The next step. Let’s say that Don Hot Stuff, to your relief, turned out to be everything you wanted him to be. What’s next? The good news is that the decision is all up to you. Whether you decide to call it a night, head out for some drinks, or head back to his place to make top and bottom of the whole night (wink), make sure you stay level-headed (i.e., don’t get drunk to the point of blacking out). Remember, even though you might feel like you can already see your date helping you make Christmas tamales (“pásame las olivas, mi amor”) he’s a stranger ‘til you get to know him better.
As a last point: be yourself on the date. Some dates go incredibly well and make impressions that last a lifetime, and others are over before your date opens his mouth to greet you. Don’t brag about the new Mercedes you got parked in the garage; don’t badmouth your ex and all his skinny gym rat friends; don’t run crying to the bathroom, all mocoso, if the conversation stalls. Just be your faaaabulous self, no matter what goes down (ha!) on that first date.
To learn more about C. Adán, visit Cadan Cabrera.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of
the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.