You spend minutes, sometimes hours, preparing yourself: perfect hair, flawless makeup, a cute outfit.
Sometimes, you meet him there. Other times, if you’re lucky (and feel comfortable enough), he picks you up.
You’re nervous, awkward, and you want to make a knockout first impression.
I’m talking, of course, about the first date. That almost always awkward get-to-know-you event that occurs somewhere before dating, and after merely talking.
And I do mean awkward.
In this age of internet everything, a first ‘date’ is usually something simple like a walk on the waterfront, coffee at [insert coffee shop of choice here], or a drink (one!) at a local pub. Someplace to have a chat and get to know each other.
So rarely, these days, does the word ‘date’ imply anything in the traditional sense: dinner and/or a movie, for example.
Some say chivalry is dead, others say it’s on a time-out.
Either way, dating can be an absolute nightmare.
When the first meeting isn’t so successful, it’s easy enough to predict where things are headed: Nowheresville!
Perhaps he was too forward: “So, after this should we go to your place or mine?” ; Maybe he exaggerated his height in his online profile: He told you he was 5’11” but, when you arrived at the pub in your lucky heels, your 5’2″ (5’5″ in those heels) frame towered over him; Or maybe he turned out to be a nearly middle-aged pot head happy to work a dead end job for the rest of his days.
(All examples from my own personal dating archives)
No matter what goes wrong, it’s fairly easy to escape a bad first date.
Us women usually have a system – I know I do. It generally goes a little something like this:
If you don’t hear from me by X time, call me with an emergency. Make it sound real.
And so, the bad date ends.
But what about when it’s a good (or great, or wonderful) evening?
Those of us with a “system” in place, sneak off to the bathroom to call off the dogs (I’m having a wonderful time, he’s sweet/nice/cute/etc, I’ll check in later), keep our phones stashed WAY out of reach, and enjoy the evening.
This is where The Problem comes into play.
You’ve have a wonderful time, he’s held your hand/kissed you goodnight/etc (*wink wink*), you feel as though you’ve made a connection with this person. You like him. Or at least you like him enough to want to see him again.
But you’ve got NO idea if he’s on the same page!
It’s 2012, we do absolutely everything electronically now, with little to no time wasted, and there is STILL a waiting period to find out if there will be a second date.
Every text message, email, voicemail, all of it subject to what-does-this-mean scrutiny:
He could have meant this, but what if he meant that?
What do I say? What do I do?
Generally, the period between date number 1 and the request for date number 2 is more nerve wrenching than those pre-date jitters. We play it cool on the outside, but inside (and to our girlfriends), we are a mess!
Why is it so hard for men to date without playing The Game?
Who decided that a 3-day waiting period was standard protocol? We’re not buying a gun!
Most girls (and I say ‘most’ because there are notable exceptions) are not looking for a life-long commitment, at least not off the first date.
We want him to know we had a lovely time and would like to see him again. And, more importantly, we want to know we made a good enough first impression that he will want to see us again too.
So why do we make things so complicated?
As a now 30-something single woman, who’s spent HOURS agonizing over every moment of the first date (every look, every touch, every gesture), and dissecting every syllable after, here is my advice to all the men out there:
KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid.
If you like us and want to see us again, tell us. If it’s not jiving with you, that’s cool too.
As long as you’re honest and upfront about what it is you want, expect and are looking for in a potential relationship, no good woman will fault you for it.
And to all you women out there (myself included) who spend sooooo much time wondering what to do/say:
So what if he doesn’t like you enough to see you again.
Life goes on. And rest assured, there is someone out there who is dying to spend some time with you
Besides, you are far too beautiful and fabulous to spend your life worrying, right?
Peace and Love,