The Party Date: Don't Do It
Monday, 7 February 2011
Just had a chat with a friend about this today. He was doing party dates a lot with girls and getting frustrated that the night never quite ended the way he hoped it would.
The basic idea behind a party date is you’ve met a girl, talked to her on the phone a few times, traded text messages back and forth, and now you’re ready to invite her on a date. So you sit there, wracking your brain… what’d be a fun thing to do? Hmm, well… then, you think of it: the party date! Your friends are having a party this weekend – you should invite this new girl to join you!
After all, a party’d be a great idea, right? Your date can see you with your friends, which will reassure her you’re a sociable guy and people like you, and you can hang out with her in a high-energy environment, and it is after all an excuse to do some drinking, yeah? Maybe she’ll even see you flirting with another girl, and she’ll want you for sure after that.
Well, we already covered the major dos of dating in “Date Templates” and “Simplify Your Dates,” so this piece is going to focus instead on one of the major don’ts. Because, as great as it may seem, inviting your date to a party is one of the worst date ideas you can have the misfortune of falling prey to, and most assuredly something you don’t want to do.
Why Party Dates are a Bad Idea
I’m staying with an ex-girlfriend of mine here in Southern California, and she was telling me yesterday about the dating escapades of some of her friends, Sex and the City style. I’m always interested to hear this stuff from her, as I’m constantly looking to expand my understanding of how different types of people handle their dating lives and she has no end to gossips she wants to share with me and get my interpretation on. Well, as we were discussing this, one of the comments I made to her about one series of dates she told me about was that the guy clearly had no process. Most guys, I said, simply go on dates hoping that somehow everything is going to work out, without much of an idea as to how it’s going to work out.
Which brings us to this topic. I feel like most guys who are taking their dates to parties fall into this category as well. For the most part, they don’t have a whole lot of direction, and they’re just fishing around to see what they can get and hoping everything is somehow going to work out if they get the girl to go out with them and keep her having fun and entertained.
Taking a girl on a date with no forethought, no plan of action, no direction to the date, though, is like marching into battle without first having drawn up a strategy. “Grab your swords and shields, men, and let’s get out there and hope for the best.” How long do you think a commander for whom this is his entire approach to battle planning is going to last?
You must be a tactician in your dating life. This is one of those things that regular guys don’t understand but you must. The close rates between men who spend just a little time planning out their dates, and men who don’t spend any time on it at all, tend to be rather dramatically different. The guy who knows what he’s doing closes; the guy who’s hoping things somehow come together does not.
Party dates, in my mind, are the ultimate danger dates. I’m sure there are exceptions out there, but many guys taking girls to parties figure they’ll just invite the girl along and hopefully something will happen. That’s just poor planning though and it introduces a whole host of risks you’d do better to avoid. Here are some of the things that can go wrong:
- Your date is ready to party, not to get to know you or get intimate with you. She’s going to be dressed up and ready to mingle, make small talk, and bounce around and dance and have fun. If she’s really looking to get together with you, she might still cling to you and spend all her time on you – but if she’s that ready, why on Earth are you taking her to a party instead of to somewhere the two of you can be alone together? And the women who aren’t as into you probably aren’t going to show up to a party date thinking it’s anything that might lead to the two of you ending up together at that time.
- Your date thinks you’re just being a fun, social guy and stops looking at you as a potential romantic partner. Especially with guys who are just starting out with this stuff, since they aren’t communicating their interest, women who don’t know what the guy’s intentions are may well assume he’s simply being a friendly, sociable guy when he invites them to a party. Once they start seeing a guy as friendly, fun, and sociable, he’s lost most of his sexual edge and the chances of him getting together with the girl rapidly decay.
- Your date comes to value you too highly for your worth as a social liaison. This is something I’ve been meaning to write a separate post on, and we discussed somewhat when we talked about overproviding good feelings, but when you start taking her to parties and introducing her to cool people a girl may come to value you too highly as a resource for her social life to risk messing things up by introducing dating and romance. She looks at you and says, “Yeah, I like him, but he has access to so many cool parties and so many cool friends, I can’t risk losing that access by messing it up with dating or sex!” So she starts friend zoning you not because of any lack of value on your part, but because of an overabundance of it.
- Your date runs into friends at the party or brings some along. Once you start adding other people into the mix, the odds that your date feels like she has to maintain appearances increase. The two of you alone might get up to some mischief, but when her friends are keeping an eye on her, the chances that she behaves more conservatively are markedly higher – which means the chances that something happens between the two of you drops. Friends also mean that rather than the two of you getting to know each other and things progressing forward, your date gets distracted and doesn’t pay as much attention to you – even to the extent of possibly ignoring you.
I’ll share a quick anecdote. About two years ago, I started thinking I was so good that I was beyond this rule, so I said “yes” when a girl I felt was in the bag invited me to join her at a club with her friends. I’d made out with her the night I’d met her, nearly taken her home, and had one date already where she clearly was very into me and I should’ve taken her home there too. No matter, she still seemed to like me a lot, I thought, so it’ll be fine – I just need to keep seeing her and things’ll work out. So, I went to the nightclub with her, and sure enough, she spent the entire night engrossed in conversation with her friends, and every time I’d go up to her she’d quickly get yanked off in another direction. I spent a few hours trying to occupy myself by talking to her friends and meeting other people, but eventually I had to ask her to drive me home because I couldn’t take anymore of her dodginess. By that point it had gotten so awkward with this girl who was until that night crazy about me that she invited her girlfriend along for the ride and I had to sit in the backseat of the car. I was pretty pissed at her leaving me effectively on my own in a club full of strangers after inviting me out as her guest, and I never tried to get in touch with her again, and neither did she try to get in touch with me.
Had I seen that girl one-on-one again instead of going to a club full of her friends, we probably would’ve gotten together. Instead, I went against my training and tried something I knew was probably a bad idea, and ruined it for me with a girl who was before that night a sure-thing.
- Another man intervenes in your date. Maybe this means he steals your girl away from you and you have to watch her go home with some other guy; this happened to me when I first started going out hard in 2006, and it was a killer. Maybe it means he starts causing problems for you or trying to mess you up because he’s competing for your girl, and he makes you look bad and she loses interest in you, or he throws you off balance and kills the vibe of the night. Either way, taking a date to a party, or bar, or nightclub where there are a bunch of drunken, sexually frustrated men floating around is an invitation for male intervention in your date.
- Your date gets drunk. Wait, that’s a good thing, right? Well, not really. A lot of guys use alcohol as a crutch to get girls in bed, but in my experience the girls that will sleep with you when they’re drunk will sleep with you when they’re sober if you move things forward properly, so the benefits are largely imagined. But the dangers – the chance she gets erratic when drunk and starts crying or getting angry or making out with other men or running off and hooking up with one of them, or that she drinks too much and throws up or passes out, or that her friends notice her getting drunk and decide she’s in no condition to be making decisions about intimacy with anyone and that they need to protect her from men, including you – those dangers are quite real.
- Your date gets tired. Part of the reason I recommend moving so quickly on dates these days is that many women only have a certain amount of time they can spend out with you before becoming fatigued and wanting to go home. Taking a girl to a party risks spending too much time dancing and talking and drinking, and her getting exhausted by the end of the night and just wanting to go home and sleep.
The long and short of it is basically that when you take your date to a party, or a nightclub, or any other similar type of place, you’re introducing a huge number of new variables that are outside your control and can mess everything up for you. That’s why I say party dates are a bad idea and you shouldn’t do them.
Alternatives to the Party Date
A brief recap of my current dating process: have the girl meet me somewhere (often the subway station near my house), take her to a little café or a chill bar that serves food (note: nothing fancy – I want things to move fast, not be formal and proper), sit and eat and drink and talk for one or two hours, then invite her home. If you’re deep diving with these girls, that’s really all you need to be doing to get them coming with you.
Whatever you do do though, keep it simple and straightforward and don’t do something that adds tons of variables. Stay away from anything variable-introducing, like parties or nightclubs or group activities. The more moving parts there are, the more things you’re going to have to control for, and the more difficult it’s going to be to get things going your way and the more you’ll be depending on luck over skill. Eliminate variables, and you eliminate the need for too much luck – and allow yourself to move your date forward based on you and your own skills and abilities, rather than the luck of the draw.
So don’t do the party date – keep things simple!
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