Just typing the word first date puts me on a downward spiral. Dating to me, is the most uncomfortable and awkward part of romantic relationships. I remember preparing for my first date with my now boyfriend and literally almost shitting my pants hourly from nerves. We had met/spoke for literally 4 minutes prior to going on our first date. We had no inside jokes, no real mutual friends and no fucking clue who we would be going out with. He could’ve been a recovering crack addict Mormon vegan and I could have been a lesbian Wiccan prostitute and we would have literally never known. I was dead set on meeting for drinks around no earlier than 9:30pm. Drinks always felt safe to me since there are usually a lot of people around, it’s loud and it’s dark. Very good combo. I did everything I could possibly do to defer dinner for just drinks but he was clearly not getting the hint. After I succumbed to the whole dinner idea, I asked where and what time to meet him. He insisted on picking me up… and I almost gagged. I considered telling him I felt more comfortable driving myself since we didn’t really know each other. When I ran that idea past my mother she almost punched me in the face. Literally. She told me if I said that and ended up really liking him I would set a horrible precedent for a possible relationship and if I was too immature to feel comfortable being picked up I shouldn’t be dating. Great. I finally agreed to the pick-up arrangement, chugged a beer 5 minutes before he arrived and slapped on my best first date persona (well adjusted, low maintenance, fun girl – clearly not me). Upside: I now had a designated driver. Downside: He may kidnap and kill me. I like those odds. From that first date, we were instantly attached at the hip and have been for past 2 ½ years. It was a nice juxtapose to the insanely awkward dates I had been on prior (which you will read about in my first “Haute Mess Handbook” on dating and relationships available soon #plug). For now I leave you with some first date words of wisdom compiled from my friends, family and yours truly.
“If he doesn’t pay or wants to split the bill. Run for the fucking hills” I know when guys hear this they will think it’s about the money. It has NOTHING to do with the money. There is nothing romantic about going dutch. If a guy asks YOU out, he should pay. If YOU ask the guy out, he should still pay. But what if he doesn’t have money? It’s called a fucking picnic. Get a $5 footlong, a bottle (or box) of wine and a blanket. There’s your first date for under $10. Duh.
“Don’t be afraid to order what you want.” There are limits to this rule, I eat like a 50 year old truck driving man with diabetes so ordering chicken “with extra skin” onion rings and mashed potatoes probably isn’t a good look. On the contrary, ordering a side salad with no croutons and a side of balsamic vinegar is also a total buzzkill. You want a burger? Get it.
“Don’t be a creep.” Thanks genius. Keep all your real life Fatal Attraction stories at home. No one wants a second date with a bunny boiler. First dates should be like meringues. Light, fluffy and easy on the digestive system. You don’t need to discuss the death of your childhood pet, your recent therapy session or previous boyfriends with your possible new boyfriend. That’s weird and not fun.
“Keep your first date outfit sexy but simple, you don’t want to seem like you are trying too hard.” I actually disagree with this (sorry A) I am a firm believer in clothing being a way of expressing who you are. I love color and sparkle, that’s just me. If I showed up in a black dress and simple heels I would not be on my a-game. Similarly, I want to know the guys vibe and style by what he wears. If he shows up in a gold chain and a tracksuit clearly I will be getting mid-dinner food poisoning and/or family death and need to be taken home immediately!
“Don’t go back to his apartment or invite him to yours after the first date.” I personally don’t go there. Everyone is different and looking for different things. If you really like the person you just went on a date with and think there is relationship potential, say your goodbyes at the door. What’s the rush right? If you are DGAF-ing hard or had one too many dirty martinis do whatever the hell you want just don’t expect different results. Capeche?
“You should have a 2 drink maximum.” Oh Patti “you’re out of the club” Stanger how I love your verbal abuse and glossy black bangs. Just go with the flow, obviously getting tanked on a first date is a bad idea. Firstly, you should always be comprehensive enough to be able to leave if you want to. Secondly, you don’t want to accidentally say or do things you will regret. And lastly, you don’t want to impair good judgment and seem like a drunk sloppy hooker.
A date is dinner (or other 1 on 1 activity). Not drinks, not a group outing, not a house party.
First dates set the tone for the rest of your relationship. Relationships are like small infants, the way you handle them at the beginning determines the growth and longevity of their life. If you go into a first date dressing differently, pretending you like Thai food, being a “huge sports fan” don’t be surprised when dynamics shift after a few months. I am a huge pain in the ass and although I have tried my best to keep that at bay during relationships, it always becomes evident in time. So put on your favorite outfit, take a deep breath and know if it doesn’t go well at least you got a free meal (unless you went dutch, then your shit out of luck). Please send any funny first date stories, tips, advice whatever to firstname.lastname@example.org