How To Succeed on Your First Date

Talk to any person over the age of 24 and most will have at least one story about an unusual first date. One young lady I spoke to went on her first date touring a pickle factory.  My college roommate once took a girl to his mom’s job to have lunch. Another friend of mine tried to impress his date by taking her on a tour of a hospital (she was studying to be a doctor and he thought a tour of a hospital would impress her). Now hopefully your “unique” experience wasn’t as horrible as these first choices. I mean, the thought should’ve occurred to my friend that in the midst of taking his date on a tour of a hospital that they would see sick people. Not a good look on a first date. The choices that those people made were definitely bad and those people should’ve run their ideas by a friend (or any responsible adult) before trying to pull those off.

But that brings us to an serious question. How important is the first date? Should you really be stressing so much over that moment?

Okay, let’s be clear about something. The first date can seriously mess you up. It can send all kinds of mixed up messages to the interested party, most of which are messages generated out of nervousness. Don’t believe me? Check this out. This is what the average male has to go through before he even makes it to the front door of the woman he hopes to take on a date:

The average male is so nervous about asking the woman on a date that he has a mouthful of marbles and can’t think straight. Once he’s gotten the courage to push past his nervousness and gain that coveted “yes”, he’s so happy to get it that he can’t really think about much else. That is, until he gets home and realizes that he’s about to go on stage. The thought of choosing a good spot instantly becomes life or death in that moment. Where do you go? What does she like to eat? How far should you travel? Should you stay away from noise? Should you take her somewhere to like a carnival to get a small amount of levity? Where should you eat? Should you let her choose her meal? Can you even pay for the meal?

Photo courtesy of  PathDoc at Shutterstock.com
Photo courtesy of PathDoc at Shutterstock.com

A man goes through all of that before he even speaks to the woman. And we haven’t even gotten to what he’s going to wear yet (contrary to popular belief, men go through just as much fussing about their clothes and cologne as women do).

And let’s talk about a woman’s role in this.

Women are also on the spot when it comes to first dates. They worry about if the guy is even going to show up or not. What is his favorite color? Which dress makes her look most sexy and not too fat?

Photo courtesy of Yarlander at Shutterstock.com
Photo courtesy of Yarlander at Shutterstock.com

Is she overdressing or underdressing? What questions should she ask him? How can she not seem desperate? Should she skip a meal? Does showing cleavage make her seem too slutty? If he makes a move how should she politely deny him? Should she listen or be aggressively intelligent in her conversations with him?

Whew! That’s a lot to digest just for one 2 or 3 hour date. I’ve gone through exams less stressful.

My advice is to relax. Don’t put too much emphasis on the first date. Chances are you’re not going to get a clear sense of who the person really is on the first date anyway. You’re meeting their representative all dressed up respectfully. The true individual they are is that slob sitting at home watching television with a bag of chips. THAT’S the real person you’ll be knowing in a few months. Put a little thought into that first date, but don’t go overboard. It’s a person. Granted, he or she may be a person that has the potential to be with you for the rest of your life, but a regular person none-the-less.

That’s not to say that people shouldn’t place a reasonable amount of thinking into where to take someone on a first date.

Photo courtesy of Tithi Luadthong at Shutterstock.com
Photo courtesy of Tithi Luadthong at Shutterstock.com

You should. I mean, you don’t want to take someone to a movie and expect them to have deep conversation, right? Doing so might get you beat up by a patron or thrown out of the movie theater.

But don’t spaz out. Relax. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Although he may seem like an Adonis, he puts on his pants one leg at a time just like the rest of us. And although she may seem like she belongs on the cover of some sports magazine in a swimsuit, she’s just a regular person with the same romantic ambitions as us all.

So where are you going for your first date?

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