The Candid Guide to Dating

    In the animal kingdom mating rituals usually consist of dominance through brute strength and fighting, or to impress by means of size, plumage, color or talent. In the human species the mating ritual is a combination of all these and is known as dating. The Candid Guide is here to give a few helpful pointers to those unfortunate enough to be stuck in this process. Most of the advice will be geared towards males, of course, since they, like in the rest of the animal kingdom, are generally the ones entrusted with the survival of the species.

    The first task is to seek out a willing partner. In this step a rigorous screening process should be used to weed out undesirables; however, be careful not to have too stringent a requirement or else risk being left in this phase indefinitely. It may be easy to fall into the pitfalls of a single exceptional characteristic of one such potential mate, but if there is anything television has taught you it is to be wary of these. She may have the body of a goddess but the IQ of a rock, and conversely she may look like she fell out of the ugly tree, hit every branch on the way down, landed on a trampoline at the bottom, bounced back to the top of the tree, and repeated the process several thousand times but have the voice of an angel and a personality as sweet as Mary Poppins. It is for this reason that you may have to actually go up and talk to her in order to make an educated conclusion. Ask questions, lots of them, especially psychologically defining ones such as, “If you were stranded somewhere and starving could you eat your own hand?”

    Step two is perhaps the most crucial step after you’ve selected your potential mate. The date: shower first, then dress to impress, douse yourself in cologne (so in case it doesn’t work out you can always asphyxiate her, making her pass out and forget everything), pick her up (on time and preferably in a fancy rental car), throw in some flowers and jewelry and you’re off to a great start. Many consider originality important during a date, so if you’re astucious enough find something original to do before dinner: go skydiving, or hang gliding, or base jumping, or anything else that involves flying. Eventually, you’re at a restaurant (fancy obviously). Be a gentleman, open the door for her, pull out her chair and sit her down, you might be tempted to pull the chair out from under her as she’s about to sit down, and while this would seem hysterical keep in mind that she went on this date to be taken care of and pampered, not to have practical jokes played on her.

    The restaurant is where the conversations generally get deeper, you can prepare yourself for this by learning French so you can identify the food and wine, and invent a touching yet somewhat credible story like that time you rescued the orphans from a volcano in Indonesia. Be careful that it’s not too farfetched or she might lose respect for you and the date. Of course if you make her drink enough wine she just might believe anything you say.

    It’s the moment of truth: the end of the date. You’ve taken her home in your fancy rental car, you’re both standing on her door mat. She says she had a good time…and then comes the one last thing you have to do, the defining moment, if you screw this up, you’re screwed period, no matter how good the rest of the date was. She fumbles with her keys, you look her in the eyes, and you whip it out, your romantic flair of course, at this moment she’s aware of what happens next, she trembles in anticipation, you lean in, closer, closer, and closer until you can smell your minty fresh breath reflecting off of her.

    Here your task is done, the rest is up to her. If she unlocks the door, says good night and leaves you on the doormat looking like the pathetic fool you are, refer back to the second paragraph and start over, if she kisses you on the cheek it becomes ambiguous, she may or may not in fact like you, and so further action or dates may be required to seal the deal. Finally if she kisses you on the lips, or better yet, asks you to come inside, you’ve scored the jackpot, your self-esteem soars and you ooze with the confidence of an alpha male in the wild. I leave the rest to your filthy imagination.


  1. This is really funny. You write good satire, especially of the "traditional" date and of male social roles in general. It points out particularly well how putting the onus of responsibility for all action (save acceptance or rejection, at the end) on the male can block the female's understanding of the male as a person, and vice-versa. The scenario shows that posturing and flash leads to a decision on the part of the female based solely on posturing and flash, not on a true connection between two people. The male gets his confidence boosted but is no closer to finding a partner with whom he shares a deep connection. I think the one flaw is that it may referrence traditions that are a bit too old and too far out of modern practice to appeal to everyone involved in the dating scene (particularly since most of those who go out on dates are fairly young), but I enjoyed it. Thanks!

  2. Nice. Hope you were kidding about the cologne though. I'd rather go on the date with a guy that just ran two miles and didn't shower. But sky diving and rescued Indonesian orphans are definitely a good choice. Better yet, take the orphans sky diving with you. That would be lovely. Unless, of course, one of the parachutes didn't open. Dead orphans are really a downer on a date.


Mini Candid #11

Mini-candids are small Candid Guides updated more frequently than the main guide. They can be video, photo, or just one or two sentences.

Mini-Candid #11: How to Ride a Segway