First Dates can be extremely nerve-racking and awkward, or is that just me? Finding someone interesting enough to have a first date with can be an obstacle in itself. You find someone you like, text or in very rare cases, actually speak to them on the phone, then you get asked out…yes!!! Now you have to figure out what to wear and this can be really difficult because unfortunately people judge each other first, based on appearances. So, do you wear a dress, a shirt, jeans, a suit and tie? Where are you going to go on your date? Dinner, a movie, museum, or coffee? Should he/she pick you up or should you meet them there? Should you flat-iron your hair or leave it curly? Get a haircut and a shave or wear your beard? Ack…this is too much! Here are 5 things you can do to ease the stress of a first date:
1) Talk to Your Date Prior to Meeting Up: Talking seems to be a lost art form that our parents once did after school, while listening to records on the jukebox and drinking milkshakes at the local burger joint. What happened to talking? Where the hell did it go, and can we bring it back? I vote yes. Talk to your date before you actually go on your date.
Don’t text plan the entire thing. I am not suggesting you have a three hour phone conversation about what type of cheeses you like, or your favorite wine, but connecting verbally gives you a sense of direction when it comes to how you feel about someone. Call them and discuss, what you both like to do for entertainment, or what you are interested in so that you can both enjoy yourselves on your date. How many times have you showed up to a restaurant that literally has nothing on the menu you want to eat, or suffered through a film or game you have no interest in for the sake of the date? Talk first, gauge your interests, and plan accordingly.
2) Let Your Guard Down Just A Bit: This is a biggie for pretty much all of us. We are a generation of people who constantly Tweet or Instagram how quickly we cut people off, don’t trust others, or are giving up on love. What the hell happened to us? Why are we so cynical and jaded? I think I am having an existential moment right now, but I digress. Letting your guard down-especially for me-is terrifying. Opening yourself up to rejection, heartache, pain and all of the other descriptive ways in which you can be hurt, is scary and can make you really nervous, especially on date one when you are already in a bit of a frenzied state. If you don’t open yourself up to all of the possibilities of love whether they be negative, or positive, then love will never find you. Let your guard down and allow them to really get to know the real you, which leads me to tip number three.
3) Be Your Authentic Self: Listen when I tell you that many of us are not presenting our true selves on these first dates! Why am I meeting your representative instead of the real you? We have all been there. Conversation is flowing, smiles are exchanged, laughter is had, and you find all of these similarities between you two, your all, “I like sushi, and football, and hiking.” and they’re all, “What? No way! Sushi is my favorite food, I played high school football and I just hiked mount Kilamanjaro this summer!”
Having activities and likes in common is what brings us together and can help our relationship grow, but you know what doesn’t? Pretending to like all of the same things he/she does, and even participating in activities you have absolutely no interest in just to get them to like you. Six months down the line the real you will eventually surface and will not only confuse the hell out of them, but make them wonder if anything you ever said, or did was real.
Be confident in who you are. I was a great pretender in my early twenties especially, but now I’m all, “I don’t watch football, I love to vacuum, I’ve never seen Star Wars and no, I do not want to cuddle.” Don’t pretend for the sake of keeping someone. Be you, not your representative because if he/she can’t love all of the awesome, quirky, or just weird things about you, they sure as hell don’t deserve you.
4) Do Not Discuss Your Ex: This recently happened to me and I must tell you that it immediately made my interest wain on my date. Why do people even ask you these questions on date one? Why does it matter who he/she last dated, how long it lasted or why they broke up, on date one?! Really, date one people? Here’s the thing, discussing your ex or the sordid details of your relationship is bound to bring up some sort of emotion. Sometimes it can be positive, but often times its anger, resentment, or sadness, so why even go there?
It’s very easy to ask the, “So how long did your last relationship last?” question, and I am even guilty of this myself, but what I found is that we unknowingly judge them by their answer, or even worse, by who they last dated. When you begin your new relationship with memories and/or feelings from your past, you are invariably blocking your possible future together. Focus on getting to know him/her for who they are now instead of focusing on their past right away. After you’ve been able to get to know them and base your feelings on your interpretation of them, then discuss your past as it pertains to your future.
5) Don’t Have Sex…Yet: Wait. Here me out on this one. As a disclaimer I would like to say that if you are living life, having fun and not looking for a commitment, then go ahead and have first date sex. Women especially are put down constantly for this while men are praised for it, and it’s bullshit.
Sex on the first date is not a bad thing and owning your sexuality is badass…what I am referencing is, sex on the first date, in relation to the chances of it leading to a committed, and long-lasting relationship. The chances are slim. There is no magical number of how many dates it takes to get to know someone. There’s that “90 Day Rule” many women follow, but waiting to allow your feelings to develop without sex usually lets you see someone for who they really are. Good luck on your next date…and remember, calm down it’s just dinner!
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