LAS: The title of the show “The Game of Dating” suggests that in fact or theory there is an art or science to dating, do you believe this to be true?
TR: There is absolutely an art and a science to dating. I love the name “The Game of Dating” because it’s kind of like a play on words. Dating is a game, it’s a chess game, a meeting of the minds and you’re trying to figure things out, what you like, what you don’t like and what it is about this person that intrigues you outside of the physical. The physical is too easy. I always tell people in dating the physical is what makes you approach; the mental is what makes you stay. And that’s what “The Game of Dating” is, is figuring out does your mental mesh with my mental.
LAS: Tell us about the show and what we can expect from the daters.
TR: You can expect the unexpected from the daters because I watched the show, I was there for every episode, trust me. The dates are great because while we are recording them, they’re not playing up for the cameras; the cameras are actually quite far away. These daters are in their natural habitat. It’s entertaining to see how people act on a date, it’s entertaining to see how people interact on a date, and it’s entertaining to see the craziness that is dating.
LAS: On the show, family and friends play an integral role behind the scenes, helping each dater score points by predicting their next move. How important do you think it is for family and friends to be involved in one’s dating life?
TR: It’s very important for your family and friends to be somewhat involved, but not overbearing in your dating life, because you have your mistakes like anything in life. You’ve got to make your own mistakes and learn from your mistakes to be the best person you can be. So I like that my family and friends are involved in my dating life, but not overbearing.
LAS: Dating is much different today than it may have been in past generations where people often fell in love after one date. What do you think are some cardinal rules for dating today?
TR: Dating has changed today and I will tell you why. Social media has destroyed the ability to sweep a girl off her feet. Back in the day, you had to talk to a girl, you had to get to know her. Based on the questions you asked and the information you got from her, you would surprise her with that later on.
TR: Now, you can just go on Instagram, you can see everything she likes, everything she don’t like, who her friends are, what her favorite designer is, where she likes to party, where she went on Spring break, it’s all laid out right there, so there’s no ability to sweep a girl off her feet anymore. That’s how dating has changed in this social media era, and I think it was better back then.
LAS: What prompted you to take this role as a comedian hosting a dating show?
I was prompted to take the role because I am a comedian and they let me be a comedian. In my standup life, I have to create the material, I have to write, I have to read stuff. In this show, the material is right there in front of me, the jokes kind of write themselves, and I get to be myself and create the joke while we’re all watching it together, so everybody sees what I’m talking about, I just get to be quick witted and make the joke up right there on the spot, which is one of my favorite things to do.
LAS: What was one of the most unexpected dating scenarios you saw on the show?
Quite a few of them are unexpected. One of the dates I remember was a couple that were on shaky ground and they didn’t know if they should explore the possibilities together or let it go. And, I’m not going to give away too much, but one of the daters was clearly further along in the relationship than the other… It’s weird to see how people can be in one relationship, and be in two different mental spaces.
LAS: What has been one of the most awkward or weirdest dates you’ve ever been on?
TR: I don’t really go on awkward dates. I don’t go on weird dates only because I don’t have time to waste, time is the most valuable thing in the world, I don’t have time to waste, so I will end the date before I sit and suffer on a bad date.
LAS: What dating advice do you have for today’s men?
TR: You gotta’ be a gentleman. Gentlemen are a dying breed. I don’t know why in this day and age, people think, as soon as you say the word gentleman, some men think sucka, you gotta’ be soft, you gotta’ be a sucka. It’s being respectful of the young lady who is giving you the most valuable thing in the world, her time. When I go on dates, the first couple of dates I’ve ever been on, I always say thank you for your time, cuz’ you gave me your time, I’m going to make sure your time is fun, but I always say thank you for your time.
One of the greatest takeaways Rock says he’s learned from the show is seeing how many people don’t factually know where they are in relationships. Rock says “some people will stay in a bad relationship just to be in a relationship” or “turn a blind eye to obvious signs”. There are, however, some happy endings. Be sure to tune in to the TV One premiere of “The Game of Dating” hosted by Tony Rock on January 31, 2017.