The Litmus Tests of Love: Dating and Relationship “Firsts” No One Ever Talks About

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This was actually a new perm 20 minutes ago.

“It was cool until he ended the sentence with a smiley face, And then ended the next sentence with another smiley face.”

This statement came from a friend of mine (“Toni”) who was recapping the days leading up to a very underwhelming date she had last week. One of her relatives hooked her up with some guy, and before they met in person they spent a couple days talking on the phone and through Gchat.

Now, according to Toni, the guy actually had some potential, but the smiley face faux pas during their first conversation put him in a hole that was too difficult for him to get out of. And yes, a guy using emoticons in a conversation with a woman he’s interested in dating is a major mistake. At that point, you might as well just tell her that your dick’s the size of a 24 tablet Advil bottle. Smiley faces and sh*t should be reserved for women you’re already sleeping with or women you have absolutely no intentions on ever dating. Basically, girlfriends and parents.

Anyway, by the time they actually got around to going on a date, he would have had to been a combination of Idris Elba and Stephen Hawking to get Toni to warm back up. I know some will read this and think that Toni was being too harsh on a brotha, but you can’t underestimate the importance of the first conversation.

More crucial than the overrated first impression and more influential than the first date (Why? Well, a great first conversation can get you a second date if the first date is awful.), the first conversation sets the tone and expectation level for the rest of the relationship. It’s basically exactly like the first semester in college, except that instead of academic probation and decreased financial aid, an awful first long conversation will get you, well, nothing.

Anyway, there’s a ton of dating and relationship literature already devoted to sh*t like first dates, first kisses, first time meeting the parents, first time sleeping with her friend, and other relatively insignificant benchmarks, so today I’m going to shed light on a few more firsts that actually f*cking matter.

The first time having great sex

I say “first time having great sex” instead of just “first time having sex” because for many (if not most) people in new relationships, the first time having sex is usually an exercise in awkwardness. Aside from the fact that you’re still learning about each other and each other’s bodies, there’s the whole “Damn. He definitely knows about my mutant tiger nipple now. No hiding it anymore” factor as well.

But (hopefully) you see the potential there, and you keep progressing until, one day, you decide to get all Justin Slayer and Jasmine Cashmere on each other. Lamps are broken, pounds are lost, walls are hit, sheets are ruined, cops are called, and pets are frightened. What happens afterwards, though, is even more important as great sex has a funny way of changing a relationship’s dynamic. You’ve gone from “a couple” to “a couple capable of f*cking the sh*t out of each other,” and not everyone can handle that transition.  Some turn asshole. Others turn clingy and suspicious. Either way, you won’t know unless you actually do it, and it’s a very fun and very important barrier that each new couple needs to cross.

The first time someone says something not completely positive about the other’s parents

Generally speaking, there are three possible reactions to hearing “Your mom’s green beans were a little salty yesterday” from your mate

A) Laugh it off and agree. “Yeah, you’re right. Maybe the salt shaker slipped out her hand or something.” This usually proves that your relationship has long-term potential

B) Agree, but remember to make sure to let your man know the next time his mom invites them over to eat her dry-ass meatloaf. When this occurs, your relationship can go either way.

C) Become irrationally defensive. “F*ck you, stupid bitch!!! Dorothy Mantooth is a saint and the best cook on the planet!!! They serve her green beans in Heaven, you hellbound harlot hoochie!!!” This usually proves that your relationship probably isn’t going to last longer than “Undercovers”

The first serious argument

It seemed like any other morning. She spent the night, and she’s getting ready for work. Right before she heads out the door, you kiss, and she reminds you that she might need a ride home from work that day. No problem, you say, as you continue checking your email and eating a bowl of Frosted Mini-Wheats. She also says that she has a, um, “surprise” for you later on.

Fast-forward to 4:55 pm. You’ve had a super busy day. A ton of meetings, a lunch with your boss, and you had to attend a company party for a soon to be retired secretary that you always hated. You got off at 4:30, but it’s been such a hectic day that you’re just sitting in the chair in your office, half-asleep, half just allowing yourself to cool down. Your phone vibrates. You check it and see that it’s a text from your girl. “Hey, babe. Call when you’re a block away. I’ll just come down to the lobby

At first you have no idea what the hell she’s talking about, and then it dawns on you: “F*ck! This morning, she asked me to pick her up at 5.” Now, although it’s only a 25 minute drive from your job to hers, the time it takes to make that drive depends on when you leave. If you would have left at 4:30, you would have been there in time. But, because of the usual 5 o’ clock traffic, that trip will probably take you an hour now.

You call her and lie, er, tell her that you’re probably going to be a half hour or so late. You can hear the disappointment in her voice, but shes cool about it and just says “That’s ok. It’s probably just easier for me to take the bus home. I’ll see you later, babe”

She makes it home a half hour or so later. You decide to stop by instead of heading home because you want to make sure she made it home okay and, well, you’re trying to get some ass. She opens the door, soaking wet and smoldering. Apparently, after she got off the bus to walk to her apartment, her neighborhood got hit with a sudden downpour. This wouldn’t have been so bad if not for the fact that she got her hair done today. In fact, that’s actually why she asked you for a ride home.

Now, you not picking her up is just another example of you being “…selfish, inconsiderate, mean, and untrustworthy.” You’re also made aware that she still hasn’t really forgiven you for leaving a comment saying “Looking good as usual” on some chick’s Facebook profile pic three months ago. Your first serious argument ensues, and both of your reactions to this pseudo-drama will basically determine if this is a relationship worth pursuing. Godspeed and sh*t, young lovers. Godspeed.

The first time you don’t agree on a movie selection

She’s wants to see “Tree of Life.” You want to see “Transformers 3.” Either you all need to find a way to compromise, or someone is about to die a very slow and very passive-aggressive death

Anyway, people of, I’m sure I’m leaving out a few? Can you think of any other important dating and relationship firsts that no one ever really talks about?

The carpet is yours.

—The Champ

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  2. Why Some Women Seem To Have All The (Dating and Relationship) Luck…And Others Don’t Seem To Have Any At All
  3. Where’s The Love?: Making sense of our dating and mating malaise


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