Zagat Gives Terrible Dating Advice


Zagat has come out with this “Essential Dating and Dumping Guide” thingie. They surveyed people about their dating habits and came out with a little guide to the best places in New York to go on dates (and to break up with people). Some of the advice or whatever is kind of sound. And most of it is patently ridiculous and I hope real people never follow it.

Here’s a good pickup line: “I thought I’d stare at you close up.”

Actually, all the “good” pickup lines that Zagat gleaned from their respondents are insane.

“How can I spend more time with you?”

“I think you’re captivating.”

“Hi, do you know this place very well?”

I’m going to try all of these in rapid succession next time I see a cute guy. “Hi, do you know this place very well? I think you’re captivating. I thought I’d stare at you close up. How can I spend more time with you?” It’ll work. I know it’ll work.

Also, some “romantic gestures that would sweep anyone off their feet”:

“Met a guy at a bookstore and had a great conversation so we hung out for the day.”

“A woman I was dating covered the entire apartment with rose petals.”

“I took my date on a spontaneous drive to Atlantic City to watch the sun rise over the boardwalk, play in the ocean and gamble at the casinos — all in one day.”

Cool. The bookstore one sounds romantic and exciting. A bookstore is a good place to approach someone in between the stacks and quietly murmur, “I think you’re captivating.”

And then after that, once you guys are dating, Zagat has a lot of suggestions for where to go, which range from the normal to the unreasonable for everyone except Mr. Big and Carrie. And then, once things have fallen apart (which they tragically, inevitably will), suggestions for where to go to break up with someone. Because apparently a legitimate way to break up with someone is to go to somewhere with multiple exits so you can “Excuse yourself to the bathroom and don’t come back.”

I have a theory about the best way to break up with someone. Don’t do it while you’re out somewhere. Certainly don’t do it at Ruby Foo’s or Serendipity 3, you idiots at Zagat. Why would you ever set up an actual date out somewhere in order to break up with someone? You have to go to their house, perform the dumping, comfort them, and then you’re out. You don’t want to deal with public tears from either side or the question of who pays for your breakup frozen hot chocolates. I certainly hope I never get dumped at Serendipity 3, anyway. Jesus.


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