Smooth moves and hot dates

I've never technically been ghosted (to my knowledge) but I've been on the receiving end of the slow fade and I'm veryyyy familiar with the dreaded orbit. While none of these dating terms existed before Tinder, early-aughts magazines prove that these problems pre-date technology.


"Dear Answer Boy" was a longrunning column in Seventeen in which a guy, who was actually probably a female staffer, advised girls on love. Or, more often than not, lack of love. The most common theme was, "I thought this guy totally liked me and then he disappeared!" The advice is pretty obvious: Move on! You're too good for him! He sucks anyway! 

One of my favorite articles on this topic was called "Hot Date, Take Two" from the May 2000 issue of Seventeen. (I was 12.) As you can tell from the subhed—"Want to know what smooth moves make guys beg for a second date with you? We asked. They told."—it's amazing.

He took you out to the movies, and afterward you spent an hour discussing everything from Tobey Maguire's latest film to your pet ferret to his favorite X-Men comic book. You thought the intense attraction you felt was mutual, but it's been a week and the only phone time you've been getting is with the delivery boy from Domino's. What gives?

(Uh, maybe the pet ferret scared him away? Or he's into Tobey Maguire??)


Anyway, the writer—a man, supposedly!—then details how to entice a dude into a second date. The pointers include everything from showing off your "inner beauty" to getting him "on your wavelength" by "touching him on the arm" to just being friendly ("for most guys, a date is the SAT, prom night, and the big game rolled into one—major stress," what a sentence!).

My favorite thing about this article is how earnest it all is, right down to those folded-over white Chucks. If only the secret to getting a second date really was as easy as offering to split the check and avoiding kissing on the first date, and then you two could set off into the sunset together in matching ugly shoes. It's kind of like when you haven't heard from a guy in awhile, and maybe your last text went unanswered, but then—then!—you come up with what seems like the perfect follow-up. You convince yourself that he only didn't answer because he was busy. Or maybe, actually, his push notifications are messed up and he never saw it. Or come to think of it, he probably never even got the text because his Birkenstock came loose and flew right off, causing him to drop his phone into a puddle.

This entire article is that scenario. (So is my life.)