When I was a single lady, I hated first dates. There always seemed like so much to worry about and it felt exhausting. And I realize I may have put a little too much of something into a first date, but that’s how my brain works so I can’t totally help it. I always found a way to get excited about it. I thought about the possibilities or at least the fact that I could check out a new bar or spot in the city. But still, they rattled my nerves.
However, if a guy suggested dinner as our destination, it completely killed everything. Almost instantly. Going to dinner on a first date is simply the worst.
Now, let me back up for a second so I can be clear on what it’s not about. I’m sure my stance on this whole things makes a lot of people want to yell and throw things at me (please don’t).
It’s not about my desire to plan numerous dates in one evening. Before my fiancé put a ring on it, I never even found a way to plan two dates on the same day. Actually, sometimes I even found it hard to plan dates on two days in a row. So, no double booking for this gal. Ever.
It’s also not about some crazy irrational fear of relationships or romance. While I’ve never made it a secret that I throw up at the thought of traditional romance, I greatly value romantic gestures and the warm fuzzies. It doesn’t come from the cynical gal in me or my ultra “busy” schedule or wanting to be a cheapskate or thinking a guy doesn’t need to put in an effort.
None of these things at all. So now let’s talk about what it is about.
There’s already so much to worry about
First dates are already nerve-wracking enough so all dinner does is just intensify that. Now there’s a 994 more things to worry about. What will we talk about for that long? What will the lighting be like in the restaurant if my hair falls flat? Wait, I have to eat and talk? Do I have spinach in my teeth? What should I order? What if my entrée costs more than his? How much should I drink? Do I have steak in my teeth now? Did I just spit food at him? Do you think he noticed? And it’s not just me, but also the person who’s planning the date. I mean, how are you supposed to pick a restaurant for someone you barely know?
First dates should be non-committal
Yes, I said it. And I firmly believe it. I don’t know this guy and he doesn’t know me so why do we have to commit to spending an entire evening together before we actually know we’ll want to. Nothing about that seems sane to me. Dinner can be an option. It just shouldn’t be a requirement.
Let’s all be honest here. There is a chance that this person will be the man or woman of your dreams. But there is also a chance that you will want to run away as fast as you can. If the plan is to meet up for a few drinks that provides an easy out if need be. It also provides an easy in if need be (i.e. going for a bite after).
Drinks are simple and dinner is not
First dates should be fun. Relaxed. Simple. Enough said.
You don’t have to overdo it in order to impress a first date
Yes. I said that too. And I get it. I really do. You only get one chance to make a first impression and you should want it to be amazing. Dinner says something. But why do we assume that other kinds of dates say nothing? I know I’ve mentioned it before, but my first date with my fiancé was at a dive bar. He chose the place solely because I mentioned that I liked dive bars. It was an incredibly sweet gesture that was perfect for a first date.
So in short, let’s keep first dates simple. Fun. So we can all be ourselves and get to know one another.
Image courtesy of Shawn Allen on Flickr.