First dates are always a little nerve-wracking. So often nowadays people meet online and then trade a few emails before an actual real world date occurs. You might think this makes the first date easier, but it probably makes it more difficult! After all, how well can you really know someone after just a few emails? You see the other person in their profile picture, but as we all know, that picture could be five years old before they gained weight, went gray or had that 3rd nose job. The nuances and subtleties  are lost in emails and it’s not until we meet in person that we can truly see someone as they really are, get to know them and really start to build a relationship of any substance.

A threesome first date is even more of a challenge because what everyone is really looking for is not a relationship, but sex. First impressions mean even more — without an immediate spark between all three people the date is dead in the water. Even with an immediate spark, there is more of a challenge to keep the interest up and flirting as a couple is entirely different than flirting by yourself. The women we meet only know me from the emails so from the beginning I’m essentially flirting for two and set the tone for the entire affair. If all goes well to this point we set the first date.

Sometimes this process can take quite a bit longer than expected. One time we emailed with a woman for 5 years before finally meeting in person. The emails were always fun, friendly and a bit flirty, but we just couldn’t find a time that we were all free to meet. Finally we set a date though and were so excited to meet her — this cool person whom we had “known” for 5 years now. We picked a bar in Williamsburg, a nice, chill place not overrun with hipsters, and chose the night. I put it in my Blackberry and it was officially a date.

We arrived on time, before her, so we chose a booth where we could sit facing the door, ordered a couple of drinks and settled in. It was empty, but the music was loud with the DJ cranking out the tunes. A few minutes later she arrived and we said our hellos, giving tentative hugs all around. The first physical contact is always awkward. Do you hug or shake hands? A hug seems most appropriate given the ultimate goal of the date, but how many people do you hug the first time you meet them? We went through the usual polite conversation, reviewing our notes of each other and catching up on the latest activities and we soon realized that her fun, lighthearted emails had not painted an accurate picture. She was, in fact, crabby and a bit negative. Every story she told had a gray cloud hanging over it and she was just not our kind of person. She could have had a bad day or maybe she was just tired, but we never had another date with her to find out. Bottom line is you have to bring your best to a first date because it’s a waste to pursue it if there’s no immediate connection. Unlike a traditional couple date, there is no benefit in waiting it out for a bit to see if you connect better after a few dates.

This is what we were thinking about when we went on a first date during the blizzard the other night. Bring our best game because this would be our only chance to hit it off. Be friendly, laugh, smile and don’t complain about how entirely miserably cold and wet we were from trudging through the mounds of slush, icy cold snow pellets that stung our faces and wind that was so forceful it blew me into the street with one ferocious gust. We had to walk from the 135th Street subway stop to 12th Avenue, which for those of you who don’t know, is not only all the way over on the West Side, but also down a level from the rest of the city. This is a trek in any weather, but particularly difficult that night and after I stepped in my first slushy puddle I knew it would only go downhill from there and really just felt like turning around to go home.

Why would she make us come all the way out there? This bar may be convenient for her, but what about us, trudging through the snow in the miserable blizzard. Why didn’t she pick a bar closer to the subway? This couldn’t be the only bar in the neighborhood. The streets were barren of people, save one lone man shoveling the snow who absently pointed us in the wrong direction when we asked for his help. In a final effort to figure out where to go I gave her a call to ask how on earth we got down to 12th Avenue.  She didn’t know, couldn’t remember where the entrance to the stairs was. How could she send us to a place that she didn’t even know how to get to? A minute later I got a text with the directions — at least the bartender knew how to get there.  We made our way to the entrance, down the stairs and down the connecting hill, navigating around all the treacherous icy patches. Once down on 12th Avenue, we still couldn’t find the bar. After standing in the middle of the street, turning in circles for a couple of minutes — no traffic because everyone smarter than us had stayed home — we found the bar.

By the time we got to the bar to meet her our feet were soaked to the bone and any part of us not covered with a coat, scarf or gloves was drenched. Needless to say I did not appear date ready and there was  no amount of primping in the ladies room that would make it any better. The wet hair matted to my forehead was not something that could be fixed without a nice hot shower and a blow dryer. No matter. We shook off the snow and marched up the stairs to the bar determined to see this night through and found our date sitting on a couch, dry and warm, awaiting our arrival.

Is there any hope for this date? Part two tomorrow.

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