Whether it is meeting up with someone from an online dating site, getting set up by one of your best friends or finally having a real date with the guy you tipsily met at the bar, first dates (or any dates) can be terrifying.
You don’t know whether you'll meet the future love of your life or a crazy serial killer with a misleadingly nice smile.
You are, however, quite lucky if you end up on a first date with an educator (teacher, counselor, administrator, etc.) since they are truly the best dates. Here are five reasons why:
1. They enter the date with a clear objective.
Most teachers plan their lesson plans with clear objectives in mind: "Students Will Be Able To [__]."
Similarly, when an educator goes on a date, he or she has a clear objective in mind. By end of the date, "I Will Be Able To:" reiterate his or her passions or dreams, understand his or her family structure and engagement, and determine whether or not he or she is second-date worthy.
Since the objectives are so clear, educators tend to have pleasantly focused dates.
2. They ask probing questions.
Educators tend to be inquisitive by nature, which is why their passion is educating others. A date is never dull with an educator because he or she is consistently trying to learn more about you.
You will hear them using phrases like, “Tell me more about that” or “What helped you develop that interest?” or “Why do you think that?”
They are truly interested in what you have to say, and they want to learn more about you. So, let’s be real: Most of us love to hear ourselves talk and having a date who probes you to do so is basically AWESOME.
3. They have no problem with “wait time.”
Educators understand it takes time to process. They are used to asking questions to a class and having to wait for what seems like forever to get answers. Waiting for answers no longer fazes them. So, for educators, awkward silences never exist.
You can sit in silence for a few minutes before an educator will even notice. This gives you plenty of time to craft the perfect story in your head or come up with super engaging questions without any pressure. Sounds pretty perfect to me!
4. They have immense content knowledge.
By nature, educators have to have a lot of content knowledge. They have to know information in order to educate others. So, when your date doesn't ask you questions, check for understanding or learn more about you, it is likely he or she has some type of interesting information to share.
It’s like dating an encyclopedia; ask your question and your educator date will surely have something to say! Who doesn't love smart and knowledgeable dates?
5. They can differentiate learning and dating styles.
In the classroom, teachers often have to adjust their lessons and game plans based on their students' learning styles.
They might have a few students who are visual learners and another handful who are more kinesthetic. Teachers have to create lessons to ensure all types of learners benefit. Often, they even have to think on their feet, in the middle of lessons, in order to best reach all learning types.
Similarly, when planning dates, educators plan in order to address all dating styles. Start off with coffee in a quiet place for some quality talk time for auditory daters. Then, move on to the bowling alley to be surrounded by people for our social daters.
Then, end the night on the doorstep of the house with a passionate kiss for the physical daters.
Of course, our dates don’t come in on the first date, as we are educators and know better than that. Most of the time, at least.
6. They are all about positive reinforcement, setting expectations and holding you accountable.
Educators make it clear when you are doing something they appreciate or like. Just as they make it clear when they don't like something with a more appropriate version of the "teacher stare," they use flirting techniques to ensure you know what they like.
While positive reinforcement is often associated with a simple, "good job" or "nice work," educators know how to code switch for the dating scene.
So, instead of getting a condescending "good job," you might get a flirty giggle or touch on the arm. When you pay for dinner, she might grab your hand, look you in the eye and say, "Thank you," making it very clear she liked that.
If you offer her another drink, she says, "No, thank you" and you order her another one, anyway, she will stare you down with that "teacher stare," clearly explaining she does not want another drink, and then sternly, but kindly, suggest you retract the order.
She sets her expectations and keeps you accountable to them. The nice part of this is you leave the date knowing what is acceptable or not for your date. Educators keep things clear, as there is no time for foolish games.
They are already around students all day; they are not trying to date someone who acts like one in his or her spare time.
The reality is educators are the kind of people you want to marry. While we have all had our fair share of stupid mistakes and good times, when we are serious about someone, we can be the best kind of person to date.
We will hold you accountable and make you realize what you have missed out on. So, go out there, sign up to volunteer at your local public school. Who knows whom you will find!