2018 is looming and my big effort next year will be to break down my dating. Daygame and getting numbers are fine, but I want to unpack what I do on dates so that I can inspect what is, and isn’t, going well. I’ll settle on a format as I go along and in the end it will resemble the extended breakdowns I do for my lay reports.
1- Time and Place
We were supposed to meet on Tuesday evening but some sort of urgent event happened in her host family leaving her unavailable. She apologised in a long message and asked if we could reschedule, practically giving me her whole schedule before she goes back to Germany for Christmas and saying that she really wanted to see me before she went. I imagine we both wanted to ensure that the other didn’t forget them over Christmas.
Given her message, I thought it wasn’t a fob off and that she was being genuine, so we reorganised for Friday afternoon at 1:15 at Crown Plaza. I was fairly sure that this wasn’t going to be a first date lay because she had already said she had to be back with the kids in the afternoon.
My date structuring model would have suggested a first date lay (she ticked off age (20), nationality, and proximity) but due to the logistical constraints I knew this was not on the cards.
2- Venues and Escalation
Since the D2 lay seemed unlikely, I was going to run two venues: a coffee shop and a pub, using the Daygame Mastery escalation ladder. I’ve found that ladder to work better than my own one when I think the dating will be slower. It’s another way of saying that my standard escalation ladder filters harder for interest.
Taking all of the above into consideration, the aim of the date was merely to confirm the fact that it was indeed a date, not just a friendly meetup with an eccentric stranger. It was going to be a quick one so running multiple recovery loops on failed kiss attempts couldn’t be done. I would only go for the kiss if I felt that she was accepting the escalation well.
Aenna showed up on time and we crossed the street to my chosen coffee shop. It was warm enough so we sat outside, and in almost comical fashion she used the shade my head cast to shield her eyes from the low winter sun. The issue with this venue is the seating. It’s fine if you can sit outside, but inside all the seats are in a line so you can’t get her on your 10/2 as you’d like to.
Most of our chat was just comfort fluff: pets, where she’s from, what her time in London has been like, etc. but I also threw in a few spikes/mini verbal escalations:
- A DHV about me and my ex-girlfriend going to Spain and teaching English (the DHV used “rich description”)
- Her swimming in her bikini in the host family’s pool
- Her “type”
She was definitely a shy girl who I needed to coax out, and as time went on she gave more to the conversation. I placed her on the K side of the R/K spectrum since the stories she told me didn’t have much rebellious oomph behind them.
I think the first venue is about being the immovable object rather than the irresistible force so while my mouth could blather on about unimportant topics, I focused on relaxing (or appearing relaxed): breathing slowly, leaning back, and giving strong eye contact. In return she edged a little closer as we spoke, and I noticed that she flicked her hair a couple of times. The most aggressive moment in this venue was a leg lean, a slight one mind you, but she accepted it. There was also some kino as I guided her across the street, when we compared boots, and when I brushed the back of her hand as we looked at something on her phone.
Once we finished our coffees I guided her to a pub 50m down the road, where I chose the seats and left her to guard my umbrella and gloves as I got the drinks. The seats themselves were not great, so I think I’ll rule this particular pub out for the future.
A few minutes in I went into the escalation ladder, finding out about how she wanted to move to London and teach English or German as a language. “That’s very adventurous of you, I like that”, I told her. That was followed by inspecting her fashion as it was quite alternative (physical escalation as I poked and prodded, but left more lingering touches).
The next batch of escalation was finding out about instruments and that she played piano. I took that conversation and led it towards the physical side by comparing hand sizes and on the verbal end complimented her on how it was feminine to be artistic, and that I found that attractive. This was when she gave me the strongest signal: she was showing me how you hold your hands while playing piano, and as I mimed it in the air, she moved my hands gently to show me how it should be. Bingo, I thought to myself, that’s a green light, so I quickly moved to my last escalation batch, telling her that I liked her long blonde hair, and that I thought it was sexy, as I twirled the end around in my hand and gave a warm smile. I must say it felt very odd to be doing that while a whole family ate lunch at the table next to us.
At this point, I knew my job was done for the day. She knew I was interested romantically, but I had in no way made slobbering advances on her. Now the only decision was whether to go for the kiss. We were at the end of our drinks so I couldn’t do it in the bar and I didn’t want to finish the date on a failed kiss attempt, leaving a sour taste, so I decided to just walk her back to the station.
On our way there, an odd thing happened. I noticed that her scarf was enormous, like a picnic blanket, and she happily showed me a couple of ways that she would wear it. We stopped for a second and I let my calibration overrule my earlier plan. I fixed the scarf on her neck and looked at her, feeling the sensation of nervousness in my chest indicating sexual tension. I combined that in my mind with the hair flicks and how she had shuffled a few inches closer to me as we were talking. This was the exact moment where if I had looked back and not acted, I would have been kicking myself. In those moments where you think that you should have taken a risk, it’s probably because you should have. I leaned in and kissed her quickly on the lips twice. Not a makeout, but it absolutely felt like the right thing to do and was a bold step forward. With hindsight, it was the right choice because a) she accepted it, and b) there was a little spring in her step after, like when a happy dog wags its tail and trots off ahead of its master but then quickly returns and looks up, its eyes asking “what’re we doing now buddy?”.
We walked the rest of the short distance to the station, kissed again, and she said she’d be back from Germany on the 7th January.