Sex & Relationships
The NegusWhoRead New Millennium Dating Guide

I’m sure when you read the headline for this article you wondered about that strange word in the title that begins with a “D.” Maybe it looked familiar but you don’t know what it means. Maybe you thought it was a relic verb from a bygone era–like “blacksmithing,” “calling on a pay phone” or “purchasing pornography.”

For most of mankind’s existence, there existed a now-extinct activity where people who were attracted to each other actually did things together. I know what you’re thinking–but I’m not talking about those kinds of things. I am speaking of activities two people could actually engage in while in the vertical position. In an era that will be one day known as the Pre-Trumpian epoch, people didn’t get to know each other by DMing them on Twitter. They had to meet–wait for it…

Face-to face!

Sadly, those days are gone. However, in 2017 NegusWhoRead would like to make a Timberlakian effort to bring dating back. This is not just for millennials who don’t know of this antiquated action of which I speak so highly of–it is also for the people who have voluntarily discarded, or have forgotten how to date. Dating is important even after  you are married or in a relationship

In case you’re wondering where I get the authority to write this–I gave it to myself. Plus, I’m a great date, because I like trying new things–whether I have a companion or not. Trying new shit is fun if you have someone you can drag along. If you’re young and single, become a serial dater. There is nothing wrong with that (If I was single in my 20’s, I’d date every weekend,  so that when I was older, I’d have a database of all the shit I can’t tolerate. Wading through bitch niggas in your 30’s and 40’s must be a special kind of hell).  If you already have someone, you have a responsibility to take them on at least one date a month–even if you’re married. I’ll probably be 80 years old in a nursing home telling my exasperated wife who just wants to sit home and binge watch the new Golden Girls (Betty White will be playing Sophia by that time. Yes, she’ll still be alive–because if 2016 didn’t kill her, she can’t die), “grab your walker, and put on your good shoes (the white ones with the thick soles and the velcro straps) because it’s date night! We’re going skydiving!”

And that’s how Mrs. Harriot becomes a widow.

What is a date?

Simply put, a date is any activity between two people of mutual romantic interest.


Let me clarify that, because misunderstanding this definition might be the cause of people who go on dates becoming an endangered species. Sometimes there is a mixup, and one of the worst feelings in life is to think you’ve been dating someone for months, only to find out you’ve been “hanging out.” I once took a woman to the movies, to restaurants, parties and a few events, and I was crushed when I read her Myspace post on New Year’s Eve (yeah, it was kind of a while ago) that said “I haven’t been on a date this year, but next year will be different.” One-party dating is a tragic thing. Studies show 27.9% of everyone on Tinder are people who thought they were dating someone, only to find out they were just “hanging out.”

There is much debate about what a date consists of, so allow me to clear this up: According to federal regulations, in order to qualify as a “date,” the activity must fit two of the three following criteria:

1. You have to go somewhere “Netflix & Chill” is not a date. It’s the same bootycall euphemism that once disguised itself as “you want me to come over and give you a massage?” or “Is your roommate home? You want some company?” Now there are extenuating circumstances where one party staying in can actually be a date. Perhaps one of you is going to prepare a nice dinner. Maybe your boyfriend is on house arrest. In those cases, don’t pry off the ankle bracelet–staying at home is allowed, as long as you fullfill two of the other criteria

2. Both parties must do something different If you play Bingo every Wednesday night, taking your new boo along with you isn’t technically a date. Bringing someone to church isn’t a date–unless you don’t really go to church, and just want to look self-righteous, in which case that technically is a date… And you’re a heathen. Going bowling is a date. If you bring your girlfriend to one of your bowling league matches, that isn’t a date. See how it works?

3. Romantic feelings must be involved This is the most important of the three criteria. I’ve seen a woman’s whole demeanor change when a guy introduced her as his “friend.”  The intent of a date is the responsibility of both parties. If you are going to the movies, before you decide, ask the other person explicitly, “Is this a date?” there is nothing more emasculating than going in for a kiss and having the woman turn her head and say “you’re like a brother to me.”

A “brother?”

Then you owe me $15.25 for the movie and $4.80 for the popcorn. I’mma let the two extra dollars for the 3D glasses slide…

Because I’m your “brother.”

Asking for a date

I try to live without self-pity or regret, but when I’m alone in my room, sometimes I stare at the wall and in the back of my mind I wish I had a flux capacitor to finish my time machine, so I can grow up in the era of text messaging. If text messaging was ubiquitous when I was in high school, I might have attended at least one of my proms, because it might have been the great equalizer for nerds like me. I know there are people who think asking for a date over text message is crass, but I like the idea. Trust me, you don’t want to see all the insecurities and nervous voice cracks before you get to know a person.

As stated above, it is important that both sides be clear that this is “a date.” Say the words.

By the way, because equality, women’s liberation and societal norms have caused some confusion–women should know that it is perfectly ok for a woman to ask a man on a date. There is nothing wrong with that.

By the way, because equality, women’s liberation and societal norms have caused some confusion–it is not  ok for a man to let a woman pay for the first date. If this happens, women you should know that he might have fuckboy tendencies. Maybe I’m just old school. I’m not saying he is full-blown, but keep an eye out for the symptoms.

Going On a Date 

The scope of dating is so varied and complex, it is impossible to cover everything here, but every date can be broken into three parts.

The preparation Ladies, here is a clear-cut way to tell how much a man wants to impress you–especially on the first date: Check out how well he cleaned his car. If there is dirt on the floor and you spot a french fry between the seats, he’s really not that into you. If he washed and vacuumed , he likes you. If the tires are shiny and there is a new pine tree air freshener, still hanging halfway out of the clear pack on the rearview mirror, he might be ready to propose.

Similarly, everything you want to know about a woman’s affection is revealed by her hair. If she has a new hairdo, you might have caught her on a good day, but if she got the eyebrows done too, she probably likes you. If she shaved her legs and her nail and toe polish is new, you might have a chance at a second date. If she shaved everywhere, you have just one job. Don’t. Fuck. This. Up.

If you’re in charge of planning the date, I don’t know what to tell you except for one bit of advice–plan an activity where you get to highlight all your strengths. If you are a great conversationalist, plan a minimalist date, like dinner, a park or a beach where you can talk. If you are a sweaty, stuttering nervous wreck on first dates, go to the movies or a play. If you don’t have any idea of your strengths and weaknesses, go to karaoke. If you can sing, then you shine. If you can’t sing, you get bonus points for being vulnerable on your first date.

Being on the date Every dating advisor  will tell you the same thing when going on a date: Be yourself.


I know you

I think you’re pretty cool, but sometimes you are fucked up. Don’t be yourself. Treat it like a job interview–be the best version of yourself. 

If she says her favorite rapper is Lil Uzi, I know you’d usually ask her if she was born with bad taste or if she fell and hit her head when she was a kid, but the best version of yourself will let it slide. If he tells you he slept in the snow to get a pair of the new Yeezys, don’t suck your teeth like you normally would. Even if your date confesses they voted for Trump, you should–

Well, just in this specific example, fuck that motherfucker.

One more piece of advice for the millennials:

Leave your phone in your purse or your pocket. Don’t Instagram a pic of your food. Don’t take a selfie. Don’t check in on Facebook. For these few hours, live in the real world and be present. 

But in general, make good conversation, and remember, this is just the first interview. You don’t even know if you really want the job yet. You’re just here to see if you can make it to the second interview.

Ending the date The end of the date is the most important, because it is where you gather the most data. There is a complicated algorithm that is at work on the way home from any date that is calculating the following variables to see how to end the date

  • The date extension Should you extend the date? Is the date so good that you want to grab coffee, or invite him/her over to your place and risk ruining the evening?
  • The good night kiss Are you ready for it. Is a hug more appropriate? If you don’t want it, how do you let the other person know? Where do you put your hands? On the cheek or on the mouth. Tongue or no tongue?
  • The next date Do you ask for a second date now? Does that seem desperate or proactive?

The answer to all these questions is: Yes

*A quick aside about sex on the first date There is much debate about when one should have sex in a relationship.

First, even with political correctness, we must acknowledge that this is a woman’s issue. Men don’t care. Ask a man who has been married for 50 years what he would have done if his wife had whispered in his ears 1 minute after they met “let’s go have sex,” and he’ll tell you “that would have been fine with me.” The idea that men place ladies in a certain category based on how soon they have sex is a myth women created and perpetuate.

There are some advocates of the 90-day rule. Others call this the “blueballs creator” or “how to lose a man.” Three months!!! Mary didn’t even make the Holy Ghost wait that long to impregnate her with Jesus and she was a virgin!

For a long time I was an advocate of the “Bad panties/bad hair” rule–when a woman is comfortable enough to let a guy see her with bad hair, wearing the worst pair of panties she owns, she is ready.

But after consulting with psychologists, sex experts, and two of my cousins, I finally decided that the right time to have sex with someone is:

Whenever the hell you want to.

That’s right. Rules are for idiots. Don’t miss out on love or a good orgasm because of preconceived notions based on centuries-old thinking. If you can handle it, who gives a fuck?

And maybe I’m wrong about all of this (Warning: I’m probably wrong with all of this), but contrary to popular belief, life is not short. It’s the longest thing you’ll ever do. And sometimes having someone to ride shotgun can be fun.

So vacuum your car, shave your legs and have a blast.



About the author

Michael Harriot is a renowned spoken word poet, the host of The Black One podcast and the editor-in-chief of NegusWhoRead. He is perpetually just getting warmed up because he has no chill. He is on Instagram and twitter as @michaelharriot

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