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Dating Advice from Josh  by Josh

From the pages of Josh's Swank Condo

    I remember the first time I asked a girl out. I was 15 years old and the girl was in one of my summer school classes. Actually, it was PCA, Pre College Academy over at Berkeley. Yes, I went to school voluntarily during my summer. Yes, I was that much of a geek. Anyways, our mutual friends told me that E was interested in me and that I should ask her out. Ok, I said. So one day I got up the nerve to ask her out.

    Me: "Hi E. I heard that you were kinda interested in going out with me." (D'oh! Mental Note to Self: Think about what you're gonna say before you say it.)

    Her: "Umm...sorta. Why?"

    Me: "I think it might be kinda cool. You wanna?" (Was I a smoothy or what?)

    Her: "Do you wanna?" (You know I want to. I just asked you! Mental Note to Self: Don't say this!)

    Me: "Yeah, if you wanna."

    Eleven years later and this is the best line I can come up with. E was cool though, we held hands between classes and ate lunch together everyday. I picked little daisies for her and she drew on my notebook. Now I'm older, so are the girls. They're not interested in little daisies or writing on my notebook anymore. "You wanna?" is not such a foulproof line any longer. So we as guys learn to adapt and change our approach.

    I find it a little lopsided how the guys have to do all the asking in the dating game. My guess is that women feel a little awkward coming up to a guy and asking him out or getting his number. She was probably brought up to believe that boys should be the ones asking and that asking a guy out will make them look less feminine. Even when the girl is interested in the guy, she'll work it so that she gets him to ask her out and then let him think that he did all the effort when it was her all along doing all the planning. I'm in the belief that all guys love being asked out by girls. Totally. I've been asked out a few times and they've all made me feel great being asked. I've even gone out with a girl whom I didn't have any interest in before just because she caught me offguard and asked me out. Ask the guy next to you right now if he likes being asked out by girls. I guarantee that almost all the guys will agree with me. Joey and Rachel were talking about this in an episode of Friends once. Rachel asked "doesn't it look kinda desperate?" Joey said that's the turn on. I have to agree with him on this. It is a turn on. But these bold women are far and few. The rest remain waiting for their prince charmings to come up and sweep her off her feet. What to do?

    I guess for guys, we have to really learn how to read signals from women. Wouldn't it be great if ladies actually said what they meant? No, instead we have to decipher these little signals. Do those looks mean its some sort of mating call or does it mean her contacts are bothering her? The ridicules part about this is that I think girls believe that we know how to look for these signals. I know how to program a vcr, I know how to change a flat, I know that when a 6'6" guy wants my seat I should move. But I didn't know that when a girl touches my arm a lot is her way of telling me she's interested. I've been told that when you catch a woman eyeing you for a moment, look back and gives you the second look over, then maybe you should go up to her at that point. I guess that might be a positive signal. But what if my zipper was open? She looked, saw my zipper down. Thought to herself "No, I didn't just see this dude with his zipper down" and wanted to make sure. Now I go up to this chick and all she can think about is my open zipper.

    I'm probably making too much of this. I mean, I understand that this is part of the fun of asking someone out, part of the dating game. When the guy reads the signs correctly and goes up the her, he's got to have a good opener. Lines are corny and girls usually look for something genuine, not some sleezy pick up line. So its gotta be good. "You wanna?" worked before but I doubt it'll work again. Ladies, I don't know if you realize just how excruciating going up to you really is. We have to go up and introduce ourselves to someone we don't really know, and make it look natural. Like nothing is going on. I just ask that you keep that in mind the next time you turn down a guy. Sure, you have every right to turn him down. Gently though, very gently. Unless he's being obnoxious, then kick his ass to the curb.

    Being an Asian male in the dating scene is not easy. I'll tell you why. We are extremely limited to who we can ask out and expect a chance to get a positive response. Basically, we can only ask Asian women. Wait a minute. This is a free country and I can ask out anyone I choose to, right? There isn't any laws against this. But then there's the stereotype. You know the one. Long Duck Dong from Sixteen Candles. We can go up to a Caucasian or Afro-American lady and ask her out but she'll hear "W'as happenin hotstuf?" in her mind. Not all are like this, and I truly believe that they do not think this consciously. But I do believe that this society placed an image of the Asian male in the minds of women. Coolness is not automatically associated with the Asian man. So where do we look? To the Asian ladies. How much percentage of the population do they occupy? Not much. Maybe that's why you see so many Asian webguys popping up everywhere :-) Seriously though. We are a little limited. Our Asian sisters have it a little easier. They are considered attractive by Caucasians, Afro-Americans, Latinos, etc. How many Asian ladies have you seen with non-Asian guys? Now how many Asian guys you see with non-Asian girls? Probably not equal. I want to say though that I have nothing but respect for inter-racial couples. In fact, I think that kind of couple really shows how love knows no colors.

    So we get the number. What now? Well, Craig says that 4 days is money. We can agree that 2 days seems to be the industry standard these days. Everyone waits 2 days. Any earlier and the girl might think that you have nothing better to do than call her up. So 3 days is money for me, 4 days is money for Craig. You want that other person to stew a little, get to think about you for a while. I truly think a week is pushing it though, in fact its downright disrespectful. That's no good. Where was I? Oh yeah. So before making the call, guys have to think about what they're gonna say. I've known some guys who keep a pad of paper next to them with some ideas in case the conversation drags a little. Others prefer the improvisational approach. I think the best approach is somewhere between these two extremes. But what if you get her answering machine on the first call? Well, I'd think all guys should plan for this possibility. You should know what you're gonna say if you get her machine. And of course, keep it short. Otherwise, she'll be replaying that message for her friends and have a good chuckle at your expense. "But does that call to her answering machine count as a call?" you ask. I believe it does. Now the ball is in her court and she should call you back if she's interested. But the main purpose of this first call is to ask her if she wants to meet with you. That is why you got her number in the first place, right?

    So now we set up a date. Probably a casual lunch or something for the first encounter. That way, if she's a psycho, you can tell her you have a meeting and leave. With a dinner, you're stuck for the night. Also, a dinner or something like that is a little too much pressure for a first date. She wants it to be lighthearted and fun on the first date, not all serious and pressured, right? The first date conversation is where the focus will be on. She already knows what you look like, she wants to get to know you and make sure you're not a psycho. Just be yourself.

    Rule 1: Don't hog up the conversation. Let her talk about herself. This is an exchange, after all.

    Rule 2: Don't talk about ex-girlfriends or boyfriends. You wanna turn this into another "I'd rather have you as a friend" relationship? Of course not.

    Rule 3: Smile. Its hard to not smile at someone who smiles at you, right? Keep good eye contact, but don't stare.

    I think they should set a standard for dating and teach it to all the little boys and girls. That way, there'd be less misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Its almost sad that we have some unspoken but agreed upon terms for dating. We are almost penalized for being our true selves and it almost seems as if it depends more on how well you know the dating game. But who said life was fair?