"Dating tips from DAD??" you gasped. "Not my dad! He thinks I'm still a virgin! He's never mentioned the 'S' word in my presence -- and I hope he never does."
I can practically hear your thoughts from here. But don't worry. I didn't ask YOUR dad. I didn't have his email, for one thing. For another, he's way too biased toward, well, you.
But you know what? As long as there's not that biological tie to make them over-protective and irrational, dads can give some pretty solid dating advice. They've been around the block a time or two. They know more about us crazy kids than we think they do. And believe it or not, they really just want to see us happy.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Meet the Dads
E-Dad (Email Dad)
Status: Married 30 years
Children: Two, both in their 20s, both dating "but not asking my advice about it."
R-Dad (Road Dad)
Status: Married twice; current marriage 35 years and going strong
Children: Two sons, one daughter, ages 34-40, all married
The Bar Scene -- Lay Off the Booze
Email Dad calls the bar scene "an oldie but goldie." However, he recommends, "Always go upscale rather than down."
A lot of people who have met online will "grab a drink" the first time they meet in person. In that case, choose your spot wisely, says Road Dad.
"Some bars are geared toward socializing, some toward solitary drinking, some toward gambling or other activities," he elaborates.
If you're trying to get to know someone, steer clear of loud sports bars, neighborhood dives where everyone knows your name ('cause they'll be eavesdropping like crazy), and loud meat markets.
Both dads caution strongly against over-boozing in any situation.
Road Dad says, "Don't be fooled that the person you met after a few cocktails is the same person you'll hang out with a few days later. (And the same goes for your own personality.)"
Email Dad warns, "Beware of Einstein's law of conviviality, which states: 'C x N + hÂ² = A.M. CU' (Cocktails x Number consumed + hours at the bar, squared = waking up in the A.M. next to Coyote Ugly)."
As you may have guessed, E-Dad is a writer, not a scientist.
Mutual Friend Match-Ups
I expected the Dads to be all for this one -- after all, that's how things worked in their dinosaur times. But to my surprise, I got ambivalent responses.
"Tragically unavoidable. Like beets, you try them again and again but you never really like them," says E-Dad.
R-Dad has a more positive outlook.
"When meeting someone through a group of friends, you can sit back a little and watch how they interact with others, which will tell you a lot about them as a potential partner," he says. However, he cautions you against the "dedicated fixer-upper."
"This person is so determined to help you connect with someone else that they oversell the prospect or find The One too often." Before you let anyone play Cupid, he says, "Think about whether your tastes in the opposite sex are anything like those of the person doing the fixing."
Should Opposites Attract?
"Absolutely," says E-Dad. "Be very afraid of anyone who resembles you in any way, shape or form. What starts out as 'comfortable' will quickly evolve into boredom.