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The Art of the First Date

First dates are hard. Unfortunately, unless you can suddenly convince your parents to arrange your future marriage for you, they are a necessary part of life.

Here are a few tips to help you get through those insurmountable first dates.

Don’t overthink it.

I know the urge to write notecards full of talking points and keep them in your handbag in case things get dull all too well. I also know the urge to fake interest in whatever your date is saying because they are cute and you desperately want this to go better than your last first date. Try to resist both of those urges and just be yourself. At the end of the date, wouldn’t you rather them not like you but know that you were being yourself over them loving you for someone you’re not?

Don’t order a salad.

Unless you actually want a salad so badly you would grab the waiter by his pressed collar and threaten his pet cow for it, don’t bother with the salad. Order what you want. Of course, don’t order the fifty-dollar steak, but if you want a hamburger or a plate of pasta, then don’t worry what your date will think of you. Again, you want them to like you for you, not for the salad you ordered and the love for the outdoors you just made up.

Don’t ask to kiss them.

This might be the best advice I can give you if you don’t want your date to go to their friends the next day and make endless fun of you over a cappuccino. Let’s say the date goes well. You want to go for a kiss, but you’re just not sure. For the love of everything good, do NOT ask them if you can kiss them. Pick a side, choose a fate, weigh your options and either kiss them with confidence or don’t kiss them at all. If you ask, you’ve basically sealed the date’s fate with a solid “no kiss here” and you’ve given your date all the fodder they need to mock you until they die.

Don’t expect things to get intimate.

In all seriousness though, know that you and your date don’t owe each other a thing. You can both go your separate ways after this date and never give it a second thought. You do NOT have to go back with them to their place because they bought you a cup of coffee. You do NOT have to let them run their hands over your body in the back seat of their car because you had a pleasant meal. Neither of you owe each other a single modicum of a thing. Please don’t forget that.

Don’t ghost them.

We’ve all done it. We’ve all had a first date so thoroughly horrifying that we can’t actually bear the thought of seeing their name on our phone screens again, let alone having a conversation with them. On the flip side of that coin, many of us have also been ghosted and know firsthand that it isn’t the best feeling in the world. So try to resist the urge to drop your horrific first dating experience like a rock and instead, just drop them a quick message letting them know that you aren’t interested. Rejection hurts, but not as much as sudden disappearance. And hey, you can always make a half-hearted offer to be friends…

In the world of firsts, first dates happen all the time. Someday, though, among the awkward cups of coffee and the unrequited crushes and the half-eaten plates of desert, I know you’ll find the person who will be your last first date. Until then, good luck.

Alli Milne is a very loud, very sarcastic and very old soul that was put into the body of a very out-of-shape librarian that looks great in a sweater. Seriously. She never met a sweater she didn't like. She is obsessed with autumn and also books. Oh, she also goes to the University of Utah. It has bad coffee.
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