In keeping with the ICECReam’s brief to ‘support and enhance all aspects of the early career research experience’ we’ve secured the services of Bec. While not directly engaged in research herself, Bec knows lots of researchers and is sympathetic to our situation. Bec’s our link to the world outside of peer-reviewers, grant applications and statistically significant difference; she’s here not to judge but to help us all be more like normal people who live in the normal world. So for your education and enjoyment here’s the second installment of Bec’s in the City.
First date tips for the nerdy researcher
What to Wear
Don’t let your first date attire ruin your chances of a second date. What you wear is the perfect opportunity to present who you are before you even say a word. Having said that, I would re-think wearing the Star Wars T-shirt or any other T-shirt that may reveal too much of the inner nerd (save them for later). Make an effort because first impressions last. But don’t go over the top, find an outfit to wear that will make you feel confident yet comfortable on your date. Don’t reveal too much. Ask yourself what your outfit says about you. There is a difference between wanting to look flirty and sexy and leaving nothing to the imagination.
After your eyes, hair, and clothes, the next thing your date will notice is your breath. You may have messy hair and even a completely uncoordinated fashion sense, but bad breath is an unforgivable offense. After all, we all know how hard it is to maintain a conversation when the person we are talking to is forcing us to hold our breath between sentences. In a time when mouthwash, gum, breath strips, and mints are available at any local corner store there is no excuse not to have presentable breath for your first date.
Don’t be late. If you said you were going to meet at a certain time, be on time (preferably be early). You don’t want your date to feel self-conscious while they wait half an hour for you alone. Chances are bystanders may think s/he is available and make a move!
Hug your date when you first meet them. Breaking down the physical barrier at the beginning of the date will make the rest of the date so much easier. When I say hug I mean a non-creepy, pleasant hug (no fondling). As a rule of thumb; don’t put your hands on any body part that can’t be shown unclothed on TV before 7:30pm. By showing your attraction early on, you free your date to reciprocate gestures of attraction throughout the rest of the date, making it easier for you to judge how well the date is going.
Less talk more listening! A policy of less talk will take out all the unnecessary babble and bad jokes that nerdy researchers inevitably produce as a defence mechanism when dealing with high pressure situations. See below for a short list of words to avoid. Demonstrate your active listening skills (reflecting, asking questions, use of non-verbal communication, eye contact). People by nature like to talk about themselves. So get your date to talk about themselves (it’s not rocket science or multiple imputation). Use this to your advantage, in turn your date will naturally respond positively towards you because subconsciously you make them feel good.
That’s all from me this week,
Some words not to use on a first date: statistically significant, randomisation (or any variant), paradigm, peer-review, prognostic factor, eligibility criteria, analysis, funding model, genetic variant, p-value.
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