Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The First Down and Two Minute Warning in Dating

First and Last 10 minutes of a First Date - The Love Kudos Analysis

Written by Lauren K. and Lindsay K.

It has been proven that the first and last 10 minutes of a date are the most crucial. How you begin and end your date can determine your relationship fate.  Will there even be a 2nd date? A study conducted by Artemio Ramirez and Michael Sunnafrank with college students on the first day of class, suggests that within just 10 minutes of meeting, people decide what kind of relationship they want with a new acquaintance. We definitely bring all of our past experiences and stereotypes with us when we meet a person and size them up. To put things into football terms, we are calling the first ten minutes of a date, the opportunity to get a 1st down and the last ten minutes of the date, the "two minute warning" time.

1st Down
The first 10 minutes (1st down or 10 yards) is how long it takes for a girl or guy to determine if they want to continue to get to know that person in a romantic way. In our version, you only get one chance to get a first down, so you better have your game strategies ready. 8 Minute Dating and Hurry Date are examples of current business models that provide speed dating that adhere to this philosophy.  In this first ten minutes, you are determining if there is a physical attraction, if you like their voice, their mannerisms, and if there is a mutual basic connection. A lot of first dates make it past the 1st down, but there are no touchdowns, only field goals.
picture from blogspot.pigskingpundits.com
The 2 Minute Warning
When the date is coming to an end (the last ten minutes or so) the behavior of either person can determine the future of the relationship.  For example, Lindsay K. went on a first date with Gregory* and they spent hours at dinner together. It wasn't until the very end that there were any signs that he was not interested in her romantically.
In her own words, "We met for dinner around 6:30 pm and didn't leave the restaurant until 10:00 pm.  During that time, he complimented me on how smart, secure, and what a great conversationalist I was.  We talked about food and found we had similar tastes and interests.  He paid the bill, declined my offer to pay the tip, and even commented that I could get it next time.  Since the restaurant was closing, we moved to a bar next door.  At midnight, I was about to turn into a pumpkin so, he walked me to my car.  There was no kiss goodbye and he kind of hung around my car, acting slightly awkward.  He didn't ask me if he could see me again.  We just hugged goodbye and that was it.  The time clock ran out and he never tried to contact me for a rematch."
Lauren K. says, "There are times when you can have conversational chemistry, but not physical chemistry. You are truly interested in what the other person has to say, so you certainly don't want to end the date prematurely, but you don't have a desire to kiss them. You just can't lead them on after that first date. Sometimes, attraction can grow, but often times not." 

Like we said, the first and last minutes are extremely important. A few months ago Lauren K. went on a first date that she had a preconceived notion would "suck." It was someone Lauren had met online from another city and he was visiting for a race.
In her own words, "Before our date, Bryce* and I had a phone conversation in which he called me post-happy hour and slurred half his words. I almost canceled, but he had written me such sweet emails and really was going out of his way to meet me, that I couldn't pull the plug. We went to dinner at a Mexican restaurant in my neighborhood and he was such a gentleman. I was pleasantly surprised that he actually looked like his pictures and he had a nice smile. Our conversation at dinner was okay, but nothing earth shattering. I admit that I was a little distracted that night, because I was corresponding with a guy I had met from Chicago and was trying to make plans with him for Halloween. As Bryce walked me to my car post dinner, I was still unsure if I would go out with him again. Then, the unexpected happened during the "two minute warning." When we got to my car, he grabbed me and kissed me with such force and passion that I was blown away. I don't usually make out with someone on the first date, but I made an exception. We kissed for a couple of minutes, and my feelings for him completely altered. We dated for about six weeks, but due to distance and other factors, things sort of fizzled."
So, what are some ways that you can get that first touchdown or at least get a 1st down?
  1. Your physical appearance is the first thing that catches a person's eyes, so take pride in yourself. (Make sure you are dressed appropriately for your date and that you do not have any obvious stains on your clothing or food in your teeth)
  2. Ask lots of questions about your date's life and do not interrupt them.
  3. Girl  - Offer to pay  / Guy - pay even if she offers.
  4. Be kind to the people that are serving you at the restaurant, bar, or wherever you are.
  5. Do not bring up any X talk in the first 10 minutes or last minutes of the date.
  6. Be punctual or let the person know in advance that you are running a few minutes late.
  7. If you want to go out again with that person, let them know before the date is over that you legitimately had a great time. (Wait to see if that feeling is mutual before asking the person out again)
  8. If you are not interested in seeing them again, be courteous and let them know.  A simple email or text saying, "It was great meeting you, but I wasn't feeling a romantic connection. Good luck with your search."
*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the people we date.



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