Think of your typical first date. Maybe you go to dinner. Maybe to a show. Maybe out for a hike. You could have met online, with Tinder, or maybe it was an old fashion pick up at work or the bar. Regardless, this is a night where you get all dressed up, plan to woo this other human, and hope that you don’t fuck up doing so.
I have been on quite a few dates recently – being newly single and all. I am learning there are some pretty distinct phases that one can expect to go through on a first date. This is what I have discerned so far:
So I arrive to meet this other human. Do I shake your hand? Do I give you a hug? Or do I give you a booty bump?
I personally have chosen the side booty bump at times. I stroll up to them, do a little skip, and swing my hip in a dipping motion up to theirs – saying “hi there” with a big stupid smile on my face. I wouldn’t say that I actively choose this ridiculous introduction, but it has happened out of my own nervousness. I have noticed that this throws them off enough to not only alleviate my anxiety but their anxiety as well. Otherwise, I go for the hug. In my mind, a hug is personal and breaks that awkward bubble boundary right away. I am just saying what everyone worries about but never says – “How do I start a conversation with this new human and not look like a total awkward fool?”.
The get to know you
Awkwardness ensues and questions are asked. Where are you from? What do you do? How did you get into that? What did you study in school? How many siblings do you have? Are your parents still together? Yadda yadda yadda.
I mean this is the point where you learn the basics, right? The basics are meaningful in the long-term, but this can sometimes be the boring part (in my mind anyway). Date after date, this starts to feel more like monotonous routine. I understand the basics are important to know, but eventually, it feels like I am just checking one box after another with each question. Why can’t we just start off with something that is really going to grab my attention? Grab your attention? For example, maybe ask, “What inspires you?”, rather than, “What do you do for a living?”.
Two drinks later
Now I have a little buzz and I am feeling more courageous. Or possibly after the first battery of questions, we are both feeling less awkward. So, maybe the more personal questions can come out. When was the last time you were in a relationship with someone? Why didn’t it work out? What are you looking for now? What are your hopes and dreams and goals? Do you like to be tied up in bed? (Haha okay maybe not this one quite yet..)
Well, maybe quite yet. For those of you who don’t know me, I can sometimes have lax boundaries and like to get quite personal with people right away. I am not shy to ask the intimate questions right off the bat. I have learned however, some people can be quite put off by this type of forwardness. So, I continue to work on finding a balance between being the open, personal individual I am with the gentle, sensitive (more reserved) person some people need (aka are more comfortable with).
The body language
Limited eye contact at first. A coy smile here and there. The more comfortable you become – the more drinks you have – there is a touch to the arm. An unnecessarily loud and snorty giggle. Maybe more direct eye contact. Bodies more angled in each other’s direction.
I did not always believe this, but physical chemistry is a very influential factor. The electrical current that is felt with a touch and a kiss – it is truly relevant. So, about this time in the date (If I am so far enjoying this other human), I am usually already thinking, “what would it be like to kiss you? To have your hand tangled in my hair? Will it give me goosebumps?”. I have always been very in-tune with my sexual nature, but please note this is not just about sex for me. I want to know that we can share an intimate connection through affectionate touch.
A few more drinks later
Maybe they share that embarrassing story from when they were drunk in college. Maybe you share a story about your first awkward sexual experience.
I won’t share some of my most favorite and embarrassing stories right now. We can reserve that topic for later posts.
The night comes to an end
The event (whatever it is) comes to a close. The check arrives. You pay or they pay, that is the great question. When it comes to parting ways, do you hug, do you kiss, do you shake hands awkwardly yet again?
Heading into a date, I go in with the mindset that I will be paying for myself. I don’t necessarily expect the man to pay. I will say, it is brownie points if the gentlemen take the initiative to treat me. After a number of dates, I am definitely more inclined to pay and be the wooer. We all deserve to be wooed at one point or another – therefore it is only fair that we take turns in paying for one another. Let me note, dating and being in a relationship can have a very different set of expectations when it comes to monies (at least in my mind). This can be a topic we discuss at a later point.
Did that go well? Did they like me? Do I like them? Do I text them or wait for a text first?
Unless there was enough organic chemistry happening throughout the date, a goodbye kiss won’t happen. If it was something I really wanted, it probably would have happened already in the more attuned body language phase or definitely happened at the end of the night. If I felt you were mirroring my piqued body language, then I may have already asked if I could kiss you or tell you that was what I was currently thinking. Maybe we are both too nervous and no kiss happens at all. I am usually willing to give a second date a chance if I think it is worthwhile. Otherwise, I will have no problem telling you it won’t work out. There is no point in stringing someone along; in the end that can be more hurtful than being forthcoming with your feelings right away.
When it comes to who contacts who; if I am interested, I will probably send a text that night thanking you again for the wonderful evening and see where that leads to. If they text me first, I respond in the most appropriate way based on the feelings that I am having. Again, I am one for open communication and honesty. And I expect the same from any partner – whether they be a mere sexual one or a romantic one.
So what does this all mean?
Dating is a total crap shoot haha. Maybe it goes well, maybe it doesn’t. But that is the point of putting yourself out there and meeting new people, right? The more you meet new people, the more you learn about yourself and humanity in general. Might as well enjoy the ride.
What matters to me is, are you engaging? Do you look me in the eye? Do you ask me questions? Do you give genuine, honest answers to mine? Are you really interested in what I have to say? I think we all just want to genuinely feel connected to one another – and even more so in a romantic relationship.
I take care of people for a living, so it is easy for me to be attentive and present in the conversation. I hate to say it, but I really need that intimate spark to happen, since I encounter flickers all day with the people with whom I work. And I am learning there is nothing wrong with that. So, if we are both really engaged, you will see me light up with genuine interest and fire. It will feel organic and it will feel so good (hopefully for the both of us).
What are some of your first date experiences? Anything I missed? Or any words of wisdom for me when it comes to dating?