I’m no scientist, psychologist, or astronaut (though I do dabble in amateur astronomy), but I’d venture a guess that the world is split when it comes to dating. Half of the people in the world fully enjoy the thrill of dating a new person and getting to be a new person on a string of different, fleeting encounters. The other half of people would rather be spooning a girlfriend or boyfriend on the couch watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix.
People are entitled to feel the way they want to feel on this topic. There’s no right or wrong. However, the truth is that no matter whether you prefer cuddling and watching Coach Taylor or getting drinks at the bar with a stranger, you’ll need to date at some point.
Dating is a necessary evil. Unfortunately, dating not an exact science. There is no right or wrong when it comes to dating because like snowflakes, no two people are the same. Even soulmates need a while to recalibrate when they meet one another. Dating can be as confusing as one of those “two trains are travelling in opposite directions… when do they meet” math problems from high school. It can drive a guy or gal crazy.
That is why I’ve built THE DATING MACHINE! Shit, I forgot to ask for a drumroll.
The Dating Machine is my Frankenstein. It was built with past experiences, online dating advice, Facebook posts, Instagram pictures, Twitter trends, Shakespeare plays, every John Hughes movie, cheap cologne, Trader Joe’s two buck chuck, good-smelling candles from Target, socks, ancient Latin love poems, Love Actually, Barry White music, and all seven Harry Potter books.
The Dating Machine looks like an iPhone 3. That’s because I built it on my old phone. It’s smooth, portable, and ready to answer any and all questions we have about dating. I figured it’d be way easier to build a machine to answer dating questions that try to get answers from one human. After all, we’re pretty dumb.
Since it’s the first time I’ve ever turned on the Dating Machine, I figured I’d ask some of my own questions to test it out. If it works, I’d love for you to send your dating questions in on a weekly basis so we can all learn together.
Me: Hey, Dating Machine. I’ll start you out with an easy question. Should guys still be paying for dinner or drinks on a first date?
Dating Machine: Fare morrow, sir. Indeed. A gentleman should always foot the bill for his fair maiden. I drop down my glove and challenge you to a duel for such an ill-conceived line of inquisition.
Oh shit. The Dating Machine is a chauvinistic asshole. I think I added one too many Shakespeare plays. Let me fiddle around for a second here and…
Me: Hey, Dating Machine?
DM: What’s up, BK?
Me: So, what’s the deal? Should guys pay for drinks and dinner on the first date?
DM: Well, I sense that you’re pretty cheap. But that’s okay. In modern times I’d say it’s best for people to split the bill on their first date. It took you humans long enough to figure out that everyone is equal, so why not start acting like it? Guys can date guys, girls can date girls, and girls are equal to guys. It’s pretty simple isn’t it? Why not make it less awkward and just agree to split the bill on a first date? This isn’t a power play. You’re basically paying an equal share to see if you’re into one another and would want to go on another date. Or if you just want to bang. Either way, consider it a cover charge to the rest of whatever kind of relationship you’ll have with the person.
Me: That seems like a thoughtful answer. But I’m not cheap.
Me: You’re kind of an asshole.
DM: You built me. I just tell the truth.
Me: Moving on. What’s the best way to leave the first date: kiss, hug, or creating a secret handshake?
DM: The mere fact that you asked that question suggests that you have very little ability to feel a situation out. Ever heard of improv classes? You must let each situation play out as it will. Not every person will want to have five drinks, make out, and go home with you. This isn’t college. It’s always safe to treat a person like a person. Give them a hug. Say thanks. Text or call later if you want to see them again.
Me: I feel like you’re being really mean to me. Are you this mean to everyone?
DM: No. Just people who built me on an iPhone 3 and expect me to answer MODERN dating questions. I can barely sext with my current operating system. I’m actually a pretty nice machine otherwise.
I continued my conversation with DM, but it got pretty ugly fast. He was just kind of being a dick. We talked it out though and he’ll be ready to answer your dating questions next week. Make sure to come back to The Millennial Man each week for expert dating advice from the world’s one and only Dating Machine!
This post was written by Billy Kirland, co-founder of The Millennial Man.