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Men are easy

For most, the first two weeks of February are marked by sexual frustration, depression, the realization that meaningless sex really isn’t the key to happiness and, indeed, you will not be invited to attend a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner.

However, for those of you who are endowed with a date this Valentine’s Day, or any other occasion, here are a few suggestions on dating etiquette.

The following are prime examples of actions, which have been categorized according to their senselessness and stupidity, to consider and reconsider before attempting them on a date.

Rude, pathetic and stupid things people often do on dates, and how to avoid them

1. Do not expect to have your dinner or movie ticket paid for by your date. The suggestion of going Dutch always eliminates awkwardness.

2. Never compliment your date’s eyes or smile. It’s just so damn cheesy. We have all heard it a million times. Surprise us with something random.

3. It is a horrible idea to select politics, religion or race as the topic of conversation. In the event the discussion should take a turn for the worst, the bar (mainly the hard liquor at the bar) will become very appealing and that is never a good sign. Along the same lines, it would be best to steer clear of the terms “gypped” or “jewed.” It is just a bit taboo to refer to any heritage as a negative stereotype. (Just remember the episode of “Seinfeld” when Jerry called his girlfriend an Indian giver.)

Shit that should only actually occur on MTV reality dating series

1. Unless you are on the shittiest date ever, neither participant should be taking shots at the bar. I realize that your date might be so swelteringly hot that you want to lick caramel off their toes, but by no means should anyone ever suggest body shots or JELL-O shots on a date. If you or anyone you know has ever suggested this behavior on a first date, you are, in fact, a sleazy tramp.

2. Don’t under-dress. If you are one of those girls who believe in the power of the year-round miniskirt, you are in a sad state, my friend. The truth is, no one wants to be on a date with someone who is shivering uncontrollably because she wore a skirt and flip-flops in the middle of winter.

Never be that guy

1. It is very important to feel out the crowd before making references to farting or bowel movements. It’s just not very classy.

2. It is also very wrong to have any sort of conversation about the female menstrual cycle on a date. Who wants to think about blood and mood swings when interviewing a candidate for sex?

3. In addition, you might want to seriously reconsider before consuming the deadly, bowel-purging combination of coffee, chocolate and cigarettes. I pity the person who makes the mistake of combining any of these gut-shattering explosives.

4. For the love of God, please do not make references to your abusive family, any prescription medications you have been on, long-term hospitalizations or the Internet friends Web site you are currently registered to. I realize that none of these things relate directly to each other. However, they are all very creepy and unnecessarily honest.

5. You should never begin a conversation with the phrase, “This one time, in rehab…”

6. Additionally, guys who bring girls flowers on the first date are a little scary. If it is special for V-Day, I can understand it, but on any regular date it should really not be done.

7. Please remember that a misguided Fonz impersonation (formally know as “the wink and the gun”) is not hot! Save yourself the embarrassment by never using this move, ever.

8. A guy should never pull out his penis unless he is specifically asked to. The same rule applies to girls. Keep your hands away from his junk unless he has made it abundantly clear that he wants them there. In other words: no cock at the table.

Courteous reminders

1. Turn your cell phone off.

2. Do not expect to get laid on the first date. Dude, sex can wait until the second date. But, if you do invite someone back to your place, you should always be certain that there are no condoms or condom wrappers lying around.

Dating ideals that will go a long way

1. Any kind of touching will usually be read as a positive thing. The hand on the small of the back is a good sign.

2. Playing the game “total career” is always fun. You know, the game where someone names a random person, place or thing and the other person gets to judge that thing’s usefulness. Thumbs up or thumbs down?

3. Always take a guy’s jacket if he offers it to you. If you don’t, it can be seen as a sign of rejection.

4. Another little piece of wisdom: Guys do not know how to read a kiss on the cheek. Europeans are kissing cheeks left and right, but American boys cannot handle the confusion it causes.

It is important to be courteous to your waiter and basically everyone around you. Bad manners are a huge turn off.