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by Darren Held

The whole Valentine’s Day thing got me thinking, and I realized that (gasp!) improv can help your dating life.

Okay, first of all: no, I haven’t dated since um, [insert your favorite decade here], but that doesn’t mean I have no knowledge of the subject. That would be akin to saying I don’t know about training dogs because I don’t happen to be a golden retriever.

So anyway. Yeah, sure, improv will teach you to be a better listener, and a better talker for that matter. So, you know, when it is your turn to talk you don’t blather on idiotically about pencils or your ears or cake. You’ll learn the importance of eye contact, so you don’t come across like a serial killer or a used car salesman. Was that redundant? You’ll learn to be present and in the moment, so you are at least somewhat less tempted to text your friends about how cute this guy is or check the basketball scores or order that online language class you’ve been thinking about trying.

But here’s how improv can really help you in the dating game: bring a date to an improv show. Seriously. There are usually beverages – sometimes alcoholic, sometimes caffeinated – so you’ll have something to do before the show or between sets. There’s something to watch, so you aren’t committed to hours of chit-chat. And, duh, improv is hilarious.

If your date has a fabulous time because they were laughing their ass off, they’ll still associate that fabulous time with you, which is better than associating you with, say, food poisoning. Also, you’ll get to see what, if anything, this person finds funny. Because unless you happen to be on a date with a total improv “purist” such as the boss or myself (which is unlikely since we’re both taken), normal people find even mediocre improv pretty damn funny. If your date isn’t laughing at an improv show, either their pet just died or they are devoid of humor and should be avoided at all costs.

Life is too short to date someone with no sense of humor. And you might as well find out early on, before you invest a lot of time and texts on someone who can’t find the funny in life. Fortunately, we have a show lined up for a week from Saturday – just in time for your date! And remember: “No funny, no honey.” Just sayin’.

By Sonnjea Blackwell

Darren Held
About Darren Held
Darren is the CEO and Creative Director of Held2gether, Improv for LIfe. He has been teaching and performing improv for 15 years, and has performed with H2g, the Groundlings, UCB and Second City. He loves Moto, red wine, and Madonna.

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