I am the last person anyone should ask for dating advice. According to all the lady mags, I’m totally doing it wrong with my upfront awkwardness and honesty. I’m glad I’m not currently on the market, because, according to my currently dating friends (and Sarah Wooley’s fabulous and snarky twitter feed), things are hard out there for a single person.
Look, if you ever ask me for advice about how to get with someone, I’m going to offer you my tried and true method: have one sip of champagne or whiskey too many, march up to the person in question, and tell them they’re hot and you want to go out with them/date them/hop into their bed/squeeze their face/whatever.
For some reason, most people don’t want to take that route even though, in my experience, it's pretty bulletproof.
Recently an acquaintance of mine was talking about testing the waters with a gentleman friend of hers. They’ve been hanging out a lot, there seems to be a mutual attraction, but nothing has really happened yet. They’re in that precarious zone where they’re either headed toward full-on dating or total friend zone territory.
Since it was her turn to plan a hangout, the lady in question planned a video game night. Naturally, I thought this was awesome, and if I was the dude in question, would be moving things into horizontal cha-cha territory post-haste.
The rest of our mutual circle of friends, however, thought this was decidedly unsexy friend territory.
I asked my current amour to weigh in as backup, but given that he’s a gamer, he thought the idea was solid as well.
Is a video game date really that unsexy? If it is, then how have I consistently managed to either get some or maintain any relationships in my adult life?
Wanting to add more value to my own $.02, and to settle a genuine curiosity about what might make a “nice date,” I took the debate to Twitter. I asked my followers “Trying to settle a debate: videogames -- awesome (& sexy) or awkward potential first date. (I vote awesome and sexy).”
I got around 40 responses that skewed, overwhelmingly, towards, “sexy with caveats.” Some of the takeaways revealed more, I think, about how people prefer to date than about their opinions of videogames. Largely, the responses tended towards a desire to establish a strong level of comfort, but to also being efficient about potentially “weeding” people out. Having a base line comfort with a person before finding yourselves alone in either party’s house seems like common sense.
Many people noted that videogames would only be cool if they already knew the person, as in they’d had a date or a few hangouts first. (Note to self: if I’m ever back on the market, no arcade first dates). I think what surprised me is the efficiency matrix that people seem to apply to dating.
What I found especially telling though is how many people responded that, sexy or awkward, playing games with a potential partner, could (and would) reveal a lot about them. A partner's ability to communicate, to problem solve, to be a team player -- it’s all out there on a video game date. You can figure out if the person is overly competitive, daft, annoying, mean, judgemental or fun, in a quick co-op match.*
Personally, I like video game dates because of all the potential for physical contact -- high fives, good-natured little shoves if you’re playing Mario Kart -- or wait, is this all friend zone stuff? I am CONFUSED!
Anyway fellow xoJaners, weigh in for me please -- what constitutes a sexy first date? Would you go on a video game date? Have you had a sexy video game date? (I’ll share mine if you share yours). Does playing Rock Band really, as one Twitter acquaintance heartbreakingly asserted, put one in the friend zone? Is it only cool if the lady suggests games? Are we friends on Twitter (@allithrasher)?
* Keep on the lookout for an upcoming post with more on this topic.