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Nikki, 31
www.withoutannette.net

I haven’t been on a date in more than a year, and I’m a little rusty. What’s the best way to get over that?
Practice going on a date with your sister. It won’t be weird at all.

What’s the best thing about dating an improv comedian?
We say "yes" to everything. You know that thing that Meatloaf wouldn’t do in that song, even though he would do anything for love? We’d be fine with that.

I just started dating a guy who’s a stand-up comic and an improviser. He says he doesn’t want me to come to his shows because he’ll get self-conscious, but I’m curious! Should I just surprise him?
Yes! Improvisers thrive on surprise and attention! And cash! You should bring him some cash!

My boyfriend likes to talk dirty. I don’t have anything against it, I just seem to have performance anxiety and have no idea what to say. How do I let go and go for it?

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In improv, we like to practice our communication skills by using gibberish. For example, if he says something about wanting to put something of his all up in something of yours, you could say "glishturp franticaptic zurq."

The guy I’m dating only leaves ten-percent tips, while I’m more of a fifteen-to-twenty-percent girl. Is there a way to bring it up without sounding judgmental?
You could try to make a pun about the word "tip" next time. Like, "Hey, Drake, can I give you a tip about the amount of your tip?" When he rolls his eyes at you, he won’t notice you pulling more change out of his wallet and on to the table.

What’s the best way to attract an improv comedian?
Same way that you would attract someone in any other profession, really. Tell them they’re gloriously funny, unbearably attractive and destined for fame. Lavish them with costumes, stage time and ice-cream sandwiches.

Al, 33
www.enjoythefunny.com

I haven’t been on a date in more than a year, and I’m a little rusty. What’s the best way to get over that?
Going on a date should be no different than your act. If it’s not really you, it will show. If you present yourself in a false light, you are only setting yourself up for "continuity issues" later on. The best comics have material that they believe in. So follow the cliché, and just be yourself.

The guy I’m dating always seems to call attention to us. Like, he’ll randomly break into song in a bar or try different accents at a restaurant to be funny. It’s actually kind of embarrassing. What should I say to get him to stop without hurting his feelings?
You may want to let him know that the audition is over. You’re dating. You’re not casting him in a role, nor are you giving him notes on his new character. Wait, that sounds like it would hurt his feelings, so just talk about your job until he can no longer take it. Then agree to leave your professional lives at work.

My boyfriend wants us to take an improv class together. Benefits of doing it?
If you haven’t been dating long, this will really speed the process of getting to know each other along. Most of my material is somewhat grounded in fact. I can still remember what certain people from my improv class like in bed, and how they feel about situations and people. The class would be a weekly, concentrated date. You’re easily a couple of two years after your first eight-week class.

What’s the best way to salvage a date if it’s going horribly?
Sink the date faster and stop wasting each other’s time. Why salvage it?
If you do feel the need to save it, try the line, "Let’s get out of here and fuck."

I’m currently obsessed with this one improv guy who has some really funny videos on YouTube. What’s the best way to approach him without sounding like a scary YouTube stalker?
Truth is, you are a scary YouTube stalker. You have watched someone and now you are going to put yourself in a position to meet him. I like your get-up-and-go mentality. But this is stalking. You even used the word "obsessed," I didn’t. Sometimes it’s better to be just a fan.

I met a girl at a party and we exchanged contact info. We’ve been exchanging really raunchy, explicit e-mails all week. Is it okay to invite her to my apartment to fool around, without setting up a date, or is that a totally bad idea?
Yes, you should. This is obviously not something that will be taken seriously as it seems that you started with sex. So just enjoy that chemistry while it lasts. Towards the end find out if her name really is Bunny Swallows, or if that was just a screen name.

What’s the best way to attract an improv comedian?
Take an improv class. It also doesn’t hurt to be intelligent and witty. You have to go to the river to catch fish, but a fish tank stocked with them works a hell of a lot better.

     

  

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Abbi, 26
www.curlycomedy.com/

The guy I’m dating always seems to call attention to us. Like, he’ll randomly break into a song in a bar or try different accents at a restaurant to be funny. It’s actually kind of embarrassing. What should I say to get him to stop without hurting his feelings?
"Do that again, and I’ll stab you with a fork." He is obviously impervious to shame, so you don’t have to worry about him taking it the wrong way. In fact, you might want to stab first and warn later.

I’m extremely competitive about everything. I know it annoys my boyfriend, but it’s hard for me to stop turning things like making dinner or working out together into a sort of competition. Any suggestions?
Don’t ever do the same thing again. My fiance and I are both comedians, and we avoid participating in the same contests so that we can remain fully supportive of the other. If your activities are a game, make them a cakewalk, where everybody wins. A competition means one of you has to be the loser. And who wants to date a loser?

My girlfriend’s parents always send me presents. It’s kind of nice, but weird. Anything I should do in return?
Invest in stationery. Thank-you notes are the poor man’s lobster. You know… besides monk fish.

My boyfriend likes to talk dirty. I don’t have anything against it, I just seem to have performance anxiety and have no idea what to say. How do I let go and go for it?
Just describe a daily activity in a really sultry tone. "I want to see a movie, but I don’t want to wait in line!" If he asks what on earth you’re talking about, shrug and tell him how long you’ve been waiting to see Doubt.

My coworker pal set me up with one of her guy friends. We went out, but we didn’t click. I thought I let him down nicely, but now my coworker is being totally icy toward me. Is there any way to smooth things over?
Coworkers are supposed to be icy. You should work on crafting passive-aggressive Post-Its to leave in her cubicle.

The guy I’m dating wants me to meet his friends. Is it better to attend solo, or bring my own friends along?
This is your time to shine! Minnie Driver wouldn’t have been half as charming in Good Will Hunting if Penelope Cruz had been shyly sipping a root beer next to her.

What’s the best way to attract an improv comedian?
Show an interest in the performing arts and be genuine. Or tie fishing wire to a can of PBR.

Luke, 29
www.myspace.com/comedianluke

I haven’t been on a date in more than a year, and I’m a little rusty. What’s the best way to get over that?
Pick easy targets. Just like playing some twelve-year-olds in basketball, going after a bigger target will give you a little bit of confidence. If you try playing Michael Jordan your first game back, you’ll only hate yourself for sucking so much. Get that confidence up with a few mole-people dates and move on. Be careful: Don’t stay at this level for very long! Get the confidence up and move on!

I’m extremely competitive about everything. I know it annoys my boyfriend, but it’s hard for me to stop turning things like making dinner or working out together into a sort of competition. Any suggestions?
If you want to really compete at something, arm-wrestle Sylvester Stallone. Otherwise, chill out. Not everything is a contest. You don’t have to prove yourself in everything. Join a dodgeball league, or pool tournament. Compete with other competitive people at appropriate times.

I’ve always been told I’m too serious. I know I’ll never be Mr. Funny Guy, but what’s the best way to lighten up on a date?
Step one, remove stick from anus. Step two, just be you. Don’t treat everything in the world as if it were taking place on PBS, but don’t be fake either. Hang out with other serious people too. You have that in common with them. And even if you aren’t with other serious people, find some lighthearted subject matter. Sports, a Jim Carrey movie or a childhood story — not about abuse — can be good topics.

I just started dating a guy who’s a stand-up comic and an improviser. He says he doesn’t want me to come to his shows because he’ll get self-conscious, but I’m curious! Should I just surprise him?
That’s a risk. It might depend on how long he’s being doing it. It takes years of work to get really good at comedy. If he just started doing it recently, he might be worried that you’ll see him suck. Everybody sucks at first. It’s no big deal, but you might want to wait until he invites you to come.

If he’s been doing it for a long time, and maybe is even successful, it might be okay to find out when he’s playing next, and slip into the back and check out a show. But also be prepared, his stand-up might be about you! Don’t go in with thin skin.

My boyfriend likes to talk dirty. I don’t have anything against it, I just seem to have performance anxiety and have no idea what to say. How do I let go and go for it?
Use Yosemite Sam euphemisms. And shout them out loud! "Johnny, you better rackem frickidy frackem yo diddly dad mo tittily franny tam of a bridily brack!"

The guy I’m dating wants me to meet his friends. Is it better to attend solo, or bring my own friends along?
Go solo. This isn’t West Side Story. You don’t need your posse to go up against his.

Interviews by Anna Davies. Dating
Advice From… appears on Fridays. Have questions for the general
public? Send them to sexadvicefrom@nerve.com.

  

     

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