10. a healthy appetite is sexy. it’s the famous cliché: girls on dates never eat, they just fork around their salads. i, on the other hand, really need something in my stomach to ‘perform’ well (… meaningful pause here…). if we’re only going for drinks then i might want to remember that i need to eat, first (clearly, i always forget that part). besides, i don’t think it’s really indecent to actually order something. why stay abstinent? it’s social to eat, even the romans knew that. so order whatever you like (okay, scratch that: maybe steer clear of the burgers, drippy sauces, too much garlic and… you get the picture). ugh, what i can’t stand is a guy who gives me the impression i’m a greedy chick just because i’m hungry. it’s dinner time? and i like to eat, period. okay?
11. offer to split the bill. okay so i might be a tad old-fashioned and rather traditional oriented (i make a habit of cooking for my boyfriends and i love it, heeelp!). but then again we also live in the 21st century, women have babies and go to work, we know how to use computers and stuff, we pay our own excesses. so, yes, of course i offer to split the bill! and it’s no biggie if the guy accepts. but… it’s still nice if he ends up inviting you. i’m just saying. we don’t expect it, boys, so relax! but it’s just really nice if he pays. accept, say your thank yous and flutter a bit with your eyelashes, that’s alright. of course, you can also invite the guy for a drink in return. a total romance killer for me is someone who’s stingy, overly controls the bill (2 bucks too many aren’t actually crisis-worthy…) or credit card problems. just a thing you don’t want on your first date. so pay cash, and make it quick. best unseen (you can always excuse yourself to the gentlemen’s and return with the payed bill).
12. charm is added bonus. same rule of thumb holds true for general manners: we like it a bit oldschool (i think i’m speaking for most of the women, now). we like to be picked up, we like to be escorted on a gentleman’s arm, we like to be helped into our sides of the car, we like to be seen to our doorsteps, we like it when a guy takes our coats, stands when we do and offers us an umbrella as we walk home. or his jacket when we’re cold (we’re always cold, might i add). we like flowers and chocolates, and it’s not a cliché (okay, so maybe not on valentines’ day, but there are 364 other days in the calendar worth coming up with chocolates). honestly, you can collect points so, so easily, guys! charming guys have such a bonus. just general attentiveness is the best way to win a girl’s heart, promise. and i admit, it’s totally my softspot. humour is pretty good as it goes – a funny guy can crack me up and i’ll be eternally grateful for him to break the ice when a date starts to feel awkward – but then, charm beats humour, definitely. if you want it to look and feel real, then better practice with your mother, sister, sister in law, schoolfriend or colleagues, even.
14. on spare undies. will you bring your spare undies and a toothbrush to your first date…? gals, i leave that up to you. i think a girl shouldn’t really hop into bed with a guy on the first date. but then again, sometimes you might want to take what you can while you can get it (and i’m quoting a girlfriend of mine who’s really super in love with the perfect guy, here, mind).
15. keep in touch. i’m a firm believer that communication has to be two-ways and, most importantly, well-balanced. like: message from you – message from him – message from you – message from him… and so forth. if you don’t get an answer or a reply to your last message, well then simply don’t write again! because no answer is kind of an answer, too (it’s called ‘communicating without communicating’ and i think watzlavick is the star of the matter, here). and guys, really, i’ve got so many girlfriends who do not like to be on the phone, okay? i don’t know whether this is such a big revelation to you (sometimes i feel like it is) – but we’re more comfortable to write in the beginning of things. maybe because it gives us more time to be witty? anyway: so any text message is much appreciated, promise. i know it’s hard, i know you don’t really fancy writing. but we melt when we hear from you! so, give it a go. it’s not that bad.
16. have fun. seriously! last but not least, it’s good to remind yourself that it’s not a game, it’s not a battle, and most of all it’s certainly not a championship. it’s not about having the best date and finding the best guy. okay, sometimes it is a championship… but it most definitely shouldn’t be! you’re doing it for you, and for no one else. you’re doing it to enjoy yourself. you’re doing it because you’re life loving and open and optimistic, and because you believe in hard work and fate. you’re doing it because you love getting to know new people. and if your date turns out not to be a date but a friend, instead, then that’s just as good, right?
okay, and now who am i to give you dating advice? i honestly don’t know what’s gotten into me. forget i ever mentioned it, okay? let’s move on to safer grounds, namely food. how about some raw zucchini noodles with lemon crème fraîche sauce, hmm?
raw zucchini noodles with lemon crème fraîche sauce
4 zucchini (i used 2 yellow and 2 green ones)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup crème fraîche
1 lemon, juice and zest
1 tsp. fleur de sel
1 bunch basil leaves
1 handful mint leaves
2 tbsp. olive oil
devices needed: a julienne peeler
wash the zucchini, because you’re going to use the peel, too. now slide a julienne peeler (yay, i’ve finally gotten myself one!) over the zucchini from one end to the other. the julienne peeler makes perfect, long, spaghetti-like stripes in one, easy swipe. of course, you can always cut it like that on your own, but it’s exhausting for this amount. anyway, so proceed with the zucchini, until the first seeds appear (the seeds break the stripes so i leave them out). now rotate the zucchini 90 degrees and continue to peel it on this side. continue until all of the zucchini (except for the bit with the seeds) is peeled / julienned. heat a large saucepan with salted water, and quickly blanch the zuchini stripes in it (we’re talking maybe 2 minutes here). drain them and cool them in the ice cold water. in the meantime, quickly heat the crème fraîche in a small saucepan, add the lemon juice and season with fleur de sel. arrange the zucchini stripes on a plate neatly (a fork works well to turn the ‘pasta’ into nice little nests), add a generous dollop of crème fraîche and decorate with tomato halves, basil leaves and mint leaves (note: i also added some leftover edible sour clover leaves, because they look so pretty, but i’m fully aware that most people don’t happen to have clover on hand, so just skip it).
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