Megan Musilli, Managing Editor
I tend to overanalyze situations; I'm pretty positive that's a trait most girls possess. And because of this, an "ideal date" is a complicated situation to imagine.
When asked about the ultimate first date, most picture a cliché response - dinner at a fancy restaurant paid for by you, a romantic-comedy movie that melts her heart, a quick kiss on lips and a promise to call tomorrow that ends the night. But in all reality, figuring out the perfect date environment is a much more difficult task.
Dinner is always tricky because there's the whole internal debate about what to order and if there's anything in your teeth and who is going to pick up the check at the end. Movies provide no means of communication, which prevents the couple from determining whether there is any real connection besides the awkward hand-hold in the darkened theater. And while a kiss and phone call are nice, sometimes they're simply not the best capstones to the night you've had.
So, after much debate and discussion with other females, I've come to this conclusion: An ideal date is a) something cheap, especially with this economy, b) something unique, that will make her remember it and make you stand out and c) something that helps you determine whether or not there's any real connection. Also, she should never have to choose where you go and what you do at any point in the night - assuming it was you that asked her out on this date in the first place.
A carnival or a Dave & Buster's-type place is a great location - something that sparks some friendly competition between the two of you can be a good gauge in determining what type of person your date is. It's inexpensive, something you can both enjoy and has the added benefit of a prize with all the tickets you earn (get her something nice!). Bowling or miniature golf are other activities of the same nature - lighthearted and fun, not cliché and stressful.
If your girl isn't of competitive nature, try something a little more laid-back. My favorite date was a night sitting on the dock at my lake house looking at the stars. True, I'm jumping back toward a more-cliché route, but it's not always the most extravagant things that one remembers.
And as for the whole goodnight-kiss-thing … well, my only advice for that is: be nice, be respectful but please, don't be shy.
Aaron Davis, Opinion Editor
So, dating. Men don't usually like to talk about their ideal date because, let's face it, everyone assumes it just involves sex.
But seriously, give us more credit than that. The ideal date also involves food and some booze and probably even talking. I certainly can't speak for all men, but let me lay out the ideal date as I see it:
First, dress the part. Women have a disturbingly decent eye for clothing; if you look like a slob on the special day when you're going out, you'll make her think you're more of a slob every other day. So make sure you look good - a female friend can help with that.
Second, always pick her up. This seems to be forgotten a lot these days. Go to her house, knock on the door, endure the pleasant small talk with family or friends (who are judging you) and, by all means, be polite. Don't ever honk the horn and wait for her to come out the door. Her father or roommates will hate you and you'll be screwed - but not the way you'd like.
Then proceed to a nice restaurant, defined as any restaurant where you can afford to pay for both your meal and hers. Making her pay is tacky, and tacky is bad. Besides, you're supposedly interested in this girl, you like her, therefore, you need to show her that you can provide more than oh-so-stimulating conversation. Also, be prepared for awkward pauses. Dinner is long and there will be awkward pauses. It happens.
What happens after dinner is really up to you, or more accurately, up to her. Do whatever she wants to do.
But never ever for a minute forget the words "walk hand-in-hand at night." Try to insert this somewhere in the itinerary; it'll break that prickly physical barrier and probably lead to a good conversation. Hand-holding and walking should be a staple of life.
And then, who knows? If this is truly the ideal date, most men probably do want sex. Or for the poets out there, you know who are, the lingering kiss before she goes inside. Whatever happens, always remember: make her feel special, because she is.