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This article by Jamie Saxon was prepared for the September 15, 2004 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Why You Shouldn’t Go Out to Dinner on a First Date

When coach Susan Race, who speaks on relationship issues, had a relationship issue herself, she did what many of us do to gain insight — she read a book, “How to Make Someone Love You Forever in 90 Minutes or Less” by Nicholas Boothman (Workman Publishing, $16.95).

“I read the book at a crucial point this summer. I was in a relationship I hoped was going somewhere, but it wasn’t. I read the book in three days,” says Race. “I was so moved. The book inspired me to invite a man I had recently met (to go out) on a date.”

The stars must have been aligned in a certain way because after Race gave a testimonial about the book at an appearance Boothman made at Downey’s, a popular Philly watering hole, she ended up being interviewed by Boothman on KYW TV (CBS) — and the station videotaped her getting ready for her big date. The segment will air in November as part of a series the CBS affiliate is doing on singles and relationships.

With Boothman’s permission, Race has developed a workshop based on the book, which she will present at the Radisson in Princeton on Sunday, September 19, at 6:15 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Professional Business and Singles Network.

Race says the workshop focuses on “effective techniques for identifying potential partners and building a healthy respectable relationship.” Part of that process involves what Race calls “surprise tactics,” the first of which is “looking for your matched opposite.” For example, says Race, someone who may be very outgoing and talkative might do well with someone who is more serene and perhaps laid-back or cerebral. There’s a quiz in the book that helps you determine your matched opposite.

Other tips include “romancing the senses,” what Race describes as “very easy techniques on how to be appropriately physical and use touch early on. This could be as subtle as moving from your eyes from their eyes to their mouth then back to their eyes to suggest attraction.”

Another strategy is finding areas where you can agree in early conversations, what Race calls the “Me, too” strategy. “My experience is that many couples are so nervous on their first date that they wind up talking at each other instead of with each other,” says Race who, after waxing poetic about Boothman first on KYW and then in the Orange County Register and on, has dubbed herself “a Nicholas Boothman spokesman/groupie.” “Nicholas gives you the procedure to have a comfortable and effective conversation,” she says. It was this “me, too” strategy that Race applied when she asked that gentleman out. “I discovered early on that he liked classical music and so do I.” When she found out that the Mann Music Center was having its final performance of the summer, she invited him, and he accepted right away. “I knew it would be a perfect setting,” she says.

Which leads to another strategy — and perhaps the most surprising of Boothman’s surprise tactics. “Nicholas says do not have a meal as a first date,” says Race. “Do something so you’re active and can observe each other.”

– Jamie Saxon

“How to Make Someone Love You Forever in 90 Minutes or Less,” experiential seminar with coach Susan Race, Radisson Hotel Princeton, 4355 Route 1 south at Ridge Road, Sunday, September 19, 6:15 p.m. $20, includes complimentary admission to the dance and social that follow at 7:30 p.m. Dance/social $10 without seminar. For more information visit or call Ralph at 888-348-5544.

For the complete calendar events in central New Jersey, go to

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