Ahhh, the first date. So much unnecessary stress. Who pays? Where do you sit? What about awkward silences? The truth of the matter is that when it comes to dateing, the fairer sex relishes these various conundra and first date faux pas just about as much as the men who are expected to lead the date into more exciting and entertaining areas. Simply put: first dates can be as stressful as they are exciting.
So how can you turn that all-important first date experience into one that she – or he – will never forget? The answer: Envelopes.
EVO’s Envelopes Date – Food, First Date and the Art of Getting Dirty
The concept is simple. It only requires that you possess some basic cooking skills (i.e. if you can follow simple basic instructions, you can do this), a bit of prep and a sense of adventure.
I sometimes introduce this first date as a “dinner and a movie date, only a gazillion times more awesome”.
When I pick her up, I hand her two or three envelopes. Each envelope has a flag inside, which is representative of a certain food from that particular country. My favourite three are: Austria (Wiener Schnitzel), France (crêpes) and Italy (pasta). Whichever she picks, we prepare together. She is the assistant / sous-chef / little helper.
Now I generally do not tell her what the contents of the envelope mean until we arrive at home. Sometimes I have said “we are going to Vienna for dinner”, and that’s it. Don’t sound creepy or axemurdererish. The idea is to keep some playful suspense going before you start the cooking itself, which is when it usually gets playful and silly.
A few first date pointers:
- Keep the things simple. For most guys in the kitchen, simple is good. Even if you are a master chef capable of pulling off complex and elaborate culinary feats, that can be a bit much for a first date. If you’re an Average Joe, don’t try to make her think you’re Emeril Lagasse.
- Pick things that play to your life experiences and interests. Cooking crêpes, for example, will be effective if you have some sort of connection to France or French people.
- Pick a beer or wine to pair with your meal. This just adds another point of interest to the date, and it shows that you possess some unique knowledge and awareness.
- On a more practical note: it helps to have the materials for both/all possibilities on hand (another reason for keeping it simple).
- It should go without saying, but do be sure to have tidied your kitchen before you pick her up.
This is fantastic for a proper first date or D2, i.e. after a solid first interaction with interest, attraction etc. It is a surefire way to use the universal DHV of being able to cook, and it shows it off in a manner that is neither arrogant/bragging nor incongruent, plus you can (and should) pick items that play off of people, places or things you have experienced in your life, as the cooking time provides a fantastic natural opportunity to really go beyond the surface of the events and experiences that inspired your interest in food and culture. And you get to do so in a playful manner (don’t be afraid to get your hands – and hers – a bit dirty). From a more technical pickup standpoint, you will also have plenty of opportunities to kino escalate, tease, break rapport etc (you know, that “flirting” thing) during and after the cooking process.
For men, this date is also unique in that most guys do not know how to cook, let alone cook something interesting that she has likely never before experienced. (AskMen even ranks “New Cuisine” as #1 on their list of dynamic first dates.) This takes the whole play up “another notch”. Male or female, I encourage everyone to try it out!
As ever, feel free to share your own experiences and ideas for this first date!