As I understand it, in the olden days people went on one date a week, and that date happened on Friday night. Then Tinder made it possible to go on many, many dates in a week—too many dates for one day, surely—and suddenly every night was fair game. Whenever people are given too many choices, they get confused and do the wrong thing. They order the Sriracha burger at McDonald’s. They elect Donald Trump. They schedule a first date on a Monday.
Friday night was never ideal. Friday’s fatal flaw is this: If you’re monopolizing someone’s Friday night, the pressure is on to make it a really, really good first date—you’re up against all the wonders that Friday night holds. You’re also up against all the other people who are on dates on Friday night: Nothing says “romance” like a two-hour wait for space at the bar, where she’ll end up perched on a tiny stool and you’ll end up hovering nearby, jostled by people reaching through your conversation to order margaritas which will inevitably spill on your pants in just the crotch bit, so that it looks like you peed yourself. Additionally, it stands to reason that you should plan dates on nights when you know you’re going to be your best self. Me? At best, on Friday nights I am good for a few chill beers at the bar closest to my house. At worst, I summon a vat of Seamless to my quarters and finish eating it before I can decide on a movie on Netflix, then fall into a deep, solo slumber by 9 P.M. On Friday nights I am a lobster without her shell, helpless and unformed. I am my worst self.
On Sundays you’re not competing with a million Friday night revelers for bar stools, and you’re not competing with all the cool Friday night parties your date could be at that night. Still, the best thing about Sunday is its distance from the horrors of the workweek. I enjoy my job, but I do not enjoy talking about it on dates. My ideal would be to make it to the altar without knowing what my chosen mate does for a living. On weekday dates, it’s impossible to avoid work-talk. You ask me “How was your day?” and I immediately launch into a tirade about my enemy, ‘Kevin’. Then you launch into a tirade about your office enemy—probably also ‘Kevin’ —and then we’re stuck in a work-talk spiral till death do us part.
On a Sunday, though, “How was your day?” will start us off talking about our actual interests. You can tell me how many miles you jogged, and I can tell you about my harrowing experience re-potting my agave plant (buy a gentle plant). I believe that our social skills peak on Sunday nights, only to return to a monosyllabic nadir on Monday morning. For me, social skills are sort of a “use it or lose it” deal. Which is to say, if I go a few hours without talking to a person, I forget how to do it. After a weekend of safe chats with people I know well, by Sunday evening I’ve refined all my new funny jokes, and I’m properly lubed up for chit-chat with a stranger.
There are two potential downsides to the Sunday date. The first is that should your date go badly, you’ll wake up Monday morning bathed in misery and your game will be shook all week long. But your date won’t go badly, because you’ll both be your best Sunday selves. The other potential downside is the Sunday curfew. I have a strong lizard response against staying up late on Sundays, such that even if the date is the best ever, at 11 P.M. I will immediately terminate it and scuttle away to bed. Some might view the Sunday curfew as a giant cock block, but I think it just makes for a more chill date. We’re a lot less likely to go beyond three drinks and cast a pall over the date with a hangover the next morning. The Sunday curfew is also an excellent excuse to dip when something is going poorly:
“This is great, but I have to get up for work really early tomorrow.”
“But it’s only 6 P.M.”
[Waves finger in air] And another thing! One little-known benefit of the Sunday date is that it fully dissolves the Sunday scaries. The Sunday scaries, for those who are blissfully unaware, is the anxiety that sets in before you go back to work after the weekend (again, I love my job—but I actively dread getting up early to do it). Most people nurse their Sunday scaries by drinking anyway, so why not drink away your jitters with another person?
“Sunday kind of love” and all that.
Happy Sunday Everyone!