I’m gearing up for the dating season and what better way than to reflect back on some of my own ‘first date’ disasters and use them as a guideline for what NOT to do while giving solid advice on how to have a successful first date. I was actually inspired by a new show produced by Ellen DeGeneres, appropriately called “First Dates”. I absolutely love this show! Not only because I can totally relate to the struggle of going on a first date, but also because I love to be a voyeur into other people’s dating experiences. The first show is a must see…it made me laugh, cringe and sob all in one episode. The premise of the show is to bring complete strangers together in a restaurant in Chicago and film them on their first date. Sound like your absolute worst nightmare? I thought so too at first, but now I’m considering signing myself up for the show. (I’m dead serious.)
They bring people together from all different walks of life and set them up on a blind date to see if they will find love. Some dates are complete flops while others have an instant connection. There was one older couple that had both lost their spouses and this was their first date in many years. The woman had talked about living life to the fullest after she grieved her husband and had a bucket list of adventures that she wanted to share with someone special. One of which was flying in a hot air balloon. The gentlemen was a down to Earth self-proclaimed nature lover who spoke of how he cared for his dying wife with such love and compassion that the woman took his hand from across the table and said, “I love you” with tears in her eyes. The moment they shared was so touching. I found myself balling my eyes out, realizing that it really is never too late to find love. The show followed the couple months later and showed them flying in a hot air balloon and very much in love. My heart felt so full of hope watching that episode, but also made me realize that you can’t predict whether two people will find a connection or not. It made me question whether it’s always ‘love at first sight’ or can you initially not see a person in a romantic way until you’ve grown into love with them? What I’m learning is that neither one is always the case when it comes to love.
I’ve seen both situations play out differently than expected. You can have two people that had an instant connection on a first date, but then the relationship crashed and burned. Then another situation when I’ve seen two people put each other in the “friend zone” and they ended up falling in love like the movie ‘When Harry Met Sally’ (which is one of my favorite movies of all time).
I know what you’re thinking…you didn’t know I was such a softy did you? I guess I’m feeling like love is in the air because its’ spring time and the fact that quite a few of my friends have gotten engaged recently. Believe it or not, I’m much more open to finding that kind of love again and would even consider marriage again. (I know…shocking). I use to say I’d never get married again, but now I wonder if it would be a possibility when I find that someone special. Perhaps it’s just the next step you take to solidify your commitment to each other. I’m happy with being like Oprah and Stedman or Goldie and Kurt, but maybe just maybe there will be wedding bells in my future. Don’t think I’ve lost my senses and the cynical bitch you know and love has fallen into La La Land; I just have a new perspective on love and want to open my heart to the possibilities…that’s all. First I need to find a date I suppose…
This brings me to my list of Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to first dates:
- Don’t seem too eager or desperate to find love. If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again…appearing desperate is a complete turn off and people can smell it a mile away. Instead of smelling pheromones all your date will smell is BO.
- Don’t talk about your ex unless you are asked about them and be sure to keep it short and sweet. If you talk about your ex too much or about how horrible they are, you’re telling the other person you’re not over them. This can make you sound bitter and negative and that’s not the vibe you want to put out on a first date…or second…or 50th….
- Don’t brag or talk about yourself the whole time. I know this is hard for some of you because you’re wired to be the peacock fluffing your pretty feathers, but you just end up sounding self-absorbed. Be a good listener and ask questions about the other person. It’s not all about you boo boo.
- Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Be yourself and don’t try to morph into what you think this person wants you to be. Being authentic and sincere is much more attractive than being phony and superficial…unless you are inherently phony and superficial yourself.
- Don’t be too honest. Yes, be yourself but don’t tell them all your bad habits or share your opinion about everything. Remember, opinions are like assholes…everybody has one.
- Don’t talk about politics, religion or money. Sure, I want to know if you’re a Trump supporter or a bible banger before I agree to go out with someone but beyond that …keep it light. There is nothing romantic about talking about these topics, especially on a first date.
- Don’t drink too much on the date. You should have no more than 2 drinks on a first date, otherwise you’ll end up having drunk sex or acting like a fool instead of letting them get to know the real you.
- Don’t talk about your kids all night and pull out pictures of your last vacation. This goes for Fido and Fluffy too. Yes, your kids and pets are adorable but let’s face it…no one really wants to scroll through five hundred pictures of them on your phone.
- Don’t use your phone! This is so rude! Keep your phone in your pocket and if you have to text your nosy friends to let them know whether you need them to send that ‘emergency text’ (wink wink) then do it in the bathroom to avoid suspicion.
- Don’t fight over paying the check. Fella’s, I’m sorry but if you want a second date or to retain your reputation …you’re paying the check. Ladies, don’t be fake and reach for your wallet offering to pay…you know damn well you’re not paying for this date, so stop being phony. Yes, even a feminist expects the man to pay and that’s not going to change until women are making equal pay to men. 😉
- Don’t go past kissing on the first date. Fella’s don’t be a pig (like the guys I’ve been out with) and keep your hands to yourself. Ladies, don’t be too easy and sleep with a guy on the first date. Men like the chase so make them wait. Sex complicates things, so if you’re just looking for sex then just be honest about it, but if you’re looking for more, then keep your pants on until you get to know each other. Besides, anticipation is way sexier—trust me.
- Don’t wait to call or text. I love when a guy texts me after a date to see if I got home safely or to say they had a nice time. If I don’t hear from you that night or the next day, I’m hesitant to go out with that person again. To me it shows that they aren’t thinking of you or considerate of your feelings. This is a big no no in my book.
- Don’t play games. Put on your big boy/girl panties on and be 100% honest about how you feel. Don’t try to save their feelings by stringing them along—just tell them that you’re not interested or tell them that you are interested. There is nothing worse than playing the guessing game and wondering if the person is feeling the same as you.
- Don’t keep calling/texting without following through with a date. I’ve had so many guys that keep in contact with me, but they never do anything about it. This makes no sense to me. Is this a modern day version of a pen pal? Please just ask to go on a date for goodness sake! The worst thing that could happen is they say no and you move on…your ego can take it so just make a move.
- Don’t keep texting or calling if they don’t respond. If I haven’t text you back the last four times you text me then take the damn hint and stop trying to contact me. If I’m ignoring your call, ignoring your text, ignoring your FB message and ignoring your DM on IG can you please take the hint??!! I’m NOT interested.
- Don’t be too serious. Have fun on the date and enjoy getting to know someone new. Dating is exciting—even the bad ones…at least you have something to laugh about with your friends the next day (or write it in your blog like me lol).
Well, that is all the DON’TS and I’m out of time to write about all the DO’s, but all you need to DO is be yourself and go into the date with an open mind and an open heart and you’ll do just fine. Good luck with the search for love—I hope it finds you soon.
With Faith, Hope and Love,