dating

The secret to a perfect first date.

A first date is about as fun as getting your period in white pants.

You feel sickeningly anxious, vulnerable and awkward, and sweat significantly more than usual.

You turn up, on your own, to meet someone you barely know (or if you’ve met them through a dating app, you literally do not know at all) and for a set period of time, try to make them like you.

You speak in a set of twisted metaphors, trying to tell stories that perfectly represent who you are, whilst making sure you don’t bring up any of the following: Exes, deep seated insecurities, any bowel issues you’ve been experiencing, what you spoke to your psychologist about this week, what you’d like to name your first child, or the persistent ingrown hair you’ve been struggling with for the past month. Which leaves precisely three things to talk about, and all of them are boring.

Dating is the worst. Post continues below. 

But ALAS, sweat no more my single friends – because America’s leading biological anthropologist has uncovered the secret to a perfect first date.

Helen Fisher says the key to success is none other than an alcoholic beverage or two. Note: Nowhere does it say a bottle. NOWHERE.

Writing for the Washington Post, Fisher says “You’re going to end up being more social, more talkative, and showing more of who you are.”

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No. Not like that. Image via Universal Studios. 

She insists that the point of the first date should be to talk, and there's no point investing a great deal of time or money. Instead, consider it as more of a "look-see".

Fisher knows whats up. She acknowledges that one of the most pressing questions before a date in 2016 is "Eugh - they better be as good looking as their photos suggest". Of course, we don't need a three course meal to determine the answer. We need a three second look up and down.

The drink-date, according to Fisher is "extremely well built to assemble data about a potential partner", not unlike a job interview. You can determine the basics; are they polite to the person behind the bar? Do they share the same values? Do they give off a 'mass murderer' vibe? Do they smell funny? Do they wear orthopedic shoes?

"Oh, um, I have to leave. I forgot to...pat my dog." Image via Paramount Pictures. 

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An added bonus to the drink-date, is that you can bail after the first drink if need be. Perfect.

Fisher isn't the only expert convinced that a bar is the perfect setting. Allow me to introduce the arousal-attraction link.

If you do something risky/exciting with someone, your body produces a burst of dopamine, which results in heightened arousal. In the words of psychologist Dr. Diana Kirschner “What happens is that adrenaline is released that mimics the feelings of falling love.”

SO, if you were to jump out of a plane with someone, or walk along a rickety bridge, or go on a ghost tour (The Bachelor has used all of these tactics) your body becomes aroused, and you direct that arousal towards the person you're there with. Adrenalin inducing activities promote bonding, making you feel far closer to them than if you went on a picnic in a boring park.

A date to New Zealand, topped off with kiss under an enormous tree in a ballgown would be ideal. Image via Channel 10. 

So, want someone to fall in love with you? Then perhaps your first date should take place on a roller coaster. But a bar certainly isn't a bad option.

Alcohol promotes arousal. A bar is usually full of people, which again incites a burst of adrenalin.

This new found knowledge also confirms what we all sort of knew already;

'Netflix and chill' is truly a terrible, terrible idea for a first date.

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