1. A slam poetry reading. There is a time and a place for slam poetry (in theory; in practice it is my personal idea of hell), and that is NOT when two people are just beginning to get to know each other. You'll get to know a hell of a lot about the poets, since it's a share-fest up in there.
2. Your amateur comedy show/rock concert/whatever. Baby Jesus, sweet baby Jesus in his swaddling cloth, please do not. Because, well, see #1, plus the added discomfort of you potentially sucking. Such a bad vibe for a date.
3. One of your friends' birthday parties. I don't know why anyone thinks taking someone to a birthday party on an early date is a good idea. Standing around making forced small talk with strangers while you're semi-aware that everybody's judging you is not a good time. ALSO, there is rarely cake at twentysomething bar birthday parties, so there's not even that perk.
4. The club. This is where you meet dates, not where you bring them. You may as well sit down 2 feet from a construction site and try to have a yell-conversation there.
5. A fast food place. For a fourthmeal? Totally. For the main dinner? Not so much. Fluorescents flatter no one.
6. Your parents' house. SLOW YOUR ROLL. This makes me think you are already auditioning wedding bands.
7. An exercise class. Not only do I kiiiind of feel like you're going to judge me for being out of breath at times, but the gym is where I go to escape the obligation I feel to be cute all the time. Don't ruin this for me.
8. A car dealership. Cosmo's own Elisa Benson insists that this happens. Look at a Lexus or whatever on your own time. This feels unnecessary — like you're trying to be flashy.
9. The mall. What are we, fourteen? Hanging out in the food court for seven hours and hitting up Hot Topic for some rubber bracelets? (Also, I can't scour the clearance racks like a rabid ferret the way I can when I'm with my friends.)
10. "Strolling around" in zero degrees. If you at any point say, out loud, "It's not that cold!" — it is too cold to take a walk. Women are cold all the time. Because our vaginas release a chemical that freezes our blood. #ScienceIMadeUp
11. A tailgate. For the love of God, no. Getting hammered and hanging out with your friends in dumb facepaint is not a romantic plan. You're basically dating the football team instead of the girl.
12. Camping. I'm… cold and wet. Also, there's no cell phone service out here, and it's too early to be this isolated together.
13. A competitive sport. Paintballing may have worked well in 10 Things I Hate About You, but I am not Julia Stiles, and I like these jeans, and competitive games of any kind make me anxious. Also, it hurts!
14. Watching you and your friends play video games. Got that out of the way in high school. Never again, please.
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