I read with some amusement your article “Top-ten first-date mistakes” in which you knock museums as a first-date place. It is true that some younger women are attracted to the “bad-boy,” knuckle-walking types, but as women mature and start thinking hard about life-long mates, their view of men changes as well. The intellectual “Steve Jobs” or “Bill Gates”-type start looking more attractive because these are the men who will be leaders and offer financial security.
The “bad-boys” will be working for the “Jobs” and “Gates”. You have a rather myopic view of museums, which is to your loss. You fail to view them from the woman’s point of view.
The museum offers a safe environment for the woman on a first date because the nonverbal message you’ll give as having more interest in her as a person than something to paw or grope.
It also offers the guy the opportunity to stand out as different from the rest of the pack. Art museums offer the guy the opportunity to ask questions and draw her out about what she thinks and feels about a particular piece (even if the guy thinks his 3-year-old brother could do better). Now is not the time to be negative (“what a piece of crap!”) because if the date likes it, it is essentially telling her she has crappy taste.
Let her speak first. An honest “Doesn’t do much for me” is acceptable, but “I do like the bright colors” is better (i.e., find something positive). Besides, it conveys you as a positive and upbeat person, and someone she would want to hang out with.
As for our Prehistoric Museum, there is the reconstructed pit house, which gives you the opportunity to engage in conversation about what life would be like, especially during the scorching summer or freezing winter; or what it would be like to try to take down a three-ton mammoth with just arrows thrown by a stick. I could go on, but I think I made my point. Museums can be a great first date place because there is so much that can act as conversation pieces (and keeps the guys from making the age-old mistake of trying to impress by dominating the conversation). Besides, for students the Prehistoric Museum is free.
Kenneth Carpenter, Ph.D.
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