first dates

First Date Ideas

A popular one is obviously drinks/ coffee since its less of a money and time commitment. I’m not a fan of them but for most it’s a good way to test out the waters without much risk. 

I came to a point where I was going on so many dates that I started hating meal dates. Again it’s super common, everyone’s gotta eat right? They bored me and there wasn’t much room to hide if you didn’t like your date. 

I prefer activities such as mini golf and bowling where awkward silences are acceptable and  since you can usually find moments to yourself. In my opinion bowling is better in a group setting so you might hold off on that until you’re ready to have your friends test out your potential significant other. 

The key is to find something both of you enjoy doing. Are you active, maybe a short hike would be fun and adventurous? Do you enjoy trying new beers, find a local brewery or winery and out a new spin on the just drinks date. If you’re more of a homebody the immediate idea might be going to see a movie but a more original idea would be going to a planetarium! They’ll do short films and lectures about the galaxy which is cool and star gazing is pretty romantic. You’ll be comfortable relaxing in the dark theater plus some even do lazer light concert shows which is another unique experience. These are shorter than regular movies so they aren’t as much of a time commitment and hopefully won’t cut into conversation time as much. 

The early dating stages are when you try your hardest to impress someone so find out things they like and run with it! I really like dogs and a twist to the usual meal date was being taken to a restaurant that was covered in dog pictures! It was unique, playful, and showed that he listened and wanted to impress me. My boyfriend really likes boats so our first couple of dates we would check out all the local docks, walking around to read all the boat names and pick out our favorites. You don’t have to impress a first date with how expensive something is, just how thoughtful you can be.

First Date Conversation Topics

You want to keep a first date light and although talking about tv show and movies may seem silly you can learn a lot about a person’s immaturity level and sense of humor by what they put on their screens. You can also find common ground by talking about shows, actors, and current events in entertainment. 

Family is usually a common topic as mentioned in the question, but friends are also important to talk about. You want to know the type of people your date surrounds themselves with. You can also learn the role they play in a friend group such as jokester, planner, or the one everyone goes to for advice; its good to see how other people view and value your date and you might appreciate them more by learning so. 

When you start talking about friends you also learn what your date does with their free time. Do they go to bars every weekend, trips to a nearby city or concert, or a laidback game night at a friend’s house? This helps you figure out if you like to do the same things and also gives you ideas for future dates if you do.

A common topic for early dates is talking about travels, they’re exciting and unique from day to day life. There seems to be a trend for millenials to be travel bugs so daters can usually find common ground there. 

Topics to stay away from:

Past Relationships. Don’t be the idiot who talks about his ex and all the things he hated about her or the rude girl who talks about all the other dates she had this month. You both know you’ve dated other people but they aren’t here so stop bringing them up!

Dating Pet Peeves. If you start ranting about things you hate about dating profiles you’re going to seem picky and negative. You can also potentially insult your date. Sure, you won’t want to date someone who annoys you but you should find out the reasoning of why something might be on their profile before ruling them out. 

Dark Past and Politics. It would of course be important for your significant other to learn about past experiences that have shaped you even if they aren’t happy memories but the first date is not the time to go into details. Controversial topics like politics and religion are also conversations that should be saved for a later date once you already feel comfortable with someone. Remember, light and fun is the name of the game in the beginning! 

February Throwback -Dating Curse

The Dating Curse

I think most daters consider themselves cursed in someway, whether it’s the fact they have so many first dates and rarely make it to the second or they say the conversation of moving in together always ends in breaking things off.

I, myself, am cursed.

Every time I start liking a guy and decide it’s time to delete my dating apps because I’m barely even on them anymore is about the same time that we stop talking. It usually happens within the same week, as if they sense it! With Different it happened just hours later! Am I really bad at reading people’s emotions or is this just bad coincidence?

Maybe they notice a shift, like I’m closing the distance, like this could be turning into something real. If that’s the case then I don’t plan on changing my curse, just the guy.

The issue with curses is that sometimes you fear them coming so much that you wish them into reality. You could get that second date if you stop worrying about what’s wrong with each guy on the first date. And of course having a curse is a good way to place blame. Why does dating keep not working out? It’s the curses fault, if I wasn’t cursed this wouldn’t happen!

If something you don’t like keeps happening, its unfortunately not a curse, but a bad habit. Behavior has to change in order to lift ‘the curse’. There’s no Prince Charming that slayed dragons and saved you from your curse. It was you, your self awareness, and your effort to improve.

Picky Daters

For me, first dates take a lot of mental effort. It requires you to carve out new time in your routine, the nervousness of meeting someone new, and as a reserved and introverted being, the social draining from constant conversation for multiple hours.

For these reasons, I don’t jump at every date. If I’ve only been talking to a guy about really trivial things for the past three days then I may want more time getting to know him before agreeing to give him my free afternoon. I’ve been coerced into first dates before and have learned to stick with my gut now. There’s always going to be a few things you have in common with a stranger, that doesn’t mean you’re meant to be.

It’s also important I ask what their intentions are before agreeing to meet up as well. I want to go on an actual date, not just chill at your house or in your car. Those can be part of the date but not the main event. I want to know that you’re making an effort to get to know me not just buying your time before you try to shove your tongue down my throat.

So I’m picky about who I agree to go on dates with. I’m not looking to waste anyone’s time, money, or gas. If I agree to go on a date with you then it’s because I think there will end up being more than one date. I don’t want to go on 50 first dates, I want to develop something deeper than that. I’m worth getting to know and I’m worth the effort of planning a date.

‘Getting Drinks’ is not a date

I’ve been on probably two non-date coffee dates. One time with Stubborn  in which I believe he was unsure about us and didn’t want to commit to an hour -long meal and a heftier bill. Ironically, that coffee lasted longer than nearly all of my dinner dates. The other coffee date was with some guy I didn’t want to see but he said I judged him too quickly and in order to not look like the bad guy, I agreed to coffee (he was as wrong for me as I originally thought).

When I choose that coffee date with the second guy, I wanted it to come off as noncommittal. I wanted to chug my hot cup in 25 minutes and call it a day no matter the taste bud burns. I didn’t want to be trapped waiting for the waiter to come back and take our meal order. I wanted an easy out.

I’ve also been on two “Let’s get drinks” non-date dates. Now I, personally, am not much of a drinker so the fact that these men suggested drinks means they don’t know me every well nor did they really care to. Those drinks also lasted the noncommittal hour and then they would ask, “Hey, wanna get out of here?” Yes. Yes, I did want to get out of here but sure as hell not with you!

Those were not a ‘let’s get to know each other’ drinks, they were ‘let’s see if you’re interesting enough to want to hook up with’ drinks. They didn’t want to waste time or money truly wooing me. They were lazily looking for something quick and fun. It was their way of ‘sampling the product’ without having to put in the proper amount of time and effort of a real date.

You might be wondering why I continue to call these dates ‘non-dates’ and that’s because the lack of commitment. Coffee or drinks is casual, quick, and easy. It’s kind of like if you just ‘hang out’ with a guy. You’re not really dating him if you’re never seen together in public.

If you really like someone, you probably won’t suggest coffee or drinks as the first option. You’ll be thinking “I really like this person and want to spend as much time with them as possible” and let’s face the facts, coffee just wouldn’t cut it.

When the Salmon Rots

We had so much fun at that bonfire on the beach, he and I.

The air in my nose was stronger than a salmon swimming upstream.

But if you stayed close enough to the growling fire

that smoky haze would cover you better than a fur blanket.

So I stayed close, tucked into him

dreaming of honey.

Against the black curtain of the sky

It was hard to tell the difference between

the fading flickers of a hot, red amber from a fire

versus his taillights fading down the road.

And then you realize it can’t always be seven o’clock on a summer evening.

Most Memorable Dates in my Dating Career

I’ve been on a lot of first dates and honestly after a while they tend to all blend together. But there are some that stand out even 4-5 years later! I don’t really know why some of these stick out to me, tell me some of your best/worst dates in the comments!

 

1.The Guy who Lied:

I was once on a date with a guy, we’d gone out a few times before. We went rock climbing and he asked me to grab his phone for pictures. As I got it, there was a message from a girl on his screen. I thought nothing of it, it could have been just a friend, we’d only been out a few times so it’s not like we were exclusive, and I never saw what the message said. He freaked out over it though, assured me it was nothing at the time. Assured me again later that night and even had his friend text me to help him cover his tracks. That’s what I thought was suspicious.

His desperate attempts did the exact opposite of what he had hoped. But again, we weren’t exclusive, I didn’t think it was a big deal. Later on he asked for us to be exclusive and then cheated but that’s another story.

 

2. The Guy I was Rude to:

I went to dinner with this guy and he was nice but I knew we didn’t have a future. The restaurant happened to be very close to my house and it was decided we’d walk my dog around the neighborhood before the night ended. (Sidenote: he came inside and met my dad which was awkward and then he let my dog escape which was also a hassle lol)

So we were walking my dog and I decided to get to the bottom of his dating hang ups so I could help him with dating other girls. We mostly talked about his exes and he felt weird about it because that’s not what you do when you’re trying to date someone new. I felt terrible as I realized we weren’t on the same page as I had thought the date ended when we left the restaurant. I was giving him pointers/criticism and digging into his past when he was just a nice guy trying to find a partner. I never got the opportunity to truly apologize and I thought about it for years.

 

3. The Date I Didn’t Want to Go on:

I’ve talked about this guy before but we’ll do it again here. I knew from texting him that we would not be a match and there was no reason for us to meet. I had been on a lot of dates and I was tired of it. He was insulted and called me judgmental and I was somewhat cornered into a date. We went on the date and I was dead on about him; it was not a match. It probably seems like I already had my mind made up, which might be the case but honestly, it’s because I made the right decision in the first place!

 

4. The Creepy Guy:

I don’t know how I ended up going to get coffee with this guy because after the first few minutes I knew he was terribly creepy and I could not wait to get away from him. Unfortunately, nearly every girl on a dating app will eventually have her turn being sketched out by a guy. I don’t even remember what we talked about but I knew in the car after I was so creeped out and anxious from it. I still think about it when I drive by that Starbucks even though so many of the memories are hazy now.

 

5. The Guy who Wanted Me to be his Brain:

I had been on a lot of first dates when I finally found a guy I liked enough to go on a second! I was really into him until we started watching a movie. He constantly asked questions about what words meant and what was going on with the plot. First off, you can use context clues for defining words and secondly, I’m watching the movie for the first time like you are, I don’t know what the plot is going to be! The endless questions were a huge turn off and used up all my patience. I needed someone who could keep up and I was out the door with the end of the movie.

 

The hardest lesson in dating

The hardest lesson you learn while in various relationships is this:

You can’t change people.

 

While you’re young you might have made a list of your ideal partner. Then you started meeting suitors and you realized the perfect partner doesn’t exist. You meet a guy with some potential but you’re both still young and growing your careers. You can’t stay with someone’s potential, waiting and hoping for them to change and grow up. Next thing you know, it’s two years wasted and he’s still exactly how you found him. Plenty of people grow into their potential, but you can’t stay in a relationship where you’re waiting on change. 

 

You are not the same person at 23 that you were at 18 and even that person has evolved at 29 years old. Your education, beliefs, and characteristics you’re looking for in a partner all change. Just as you can’t change people, you also can’t stop them from changing. Important life goals like wanting to get married or wanting children can change over the years. It’s heartbreaking but you have to know when partners in a relationship have changed so much that they’re no longer on the same path. 

 

Another thing women tend to do at a young age is try to fix the guys they want to date. You meet a guy who’s giving you attention and he has good qualities but his coping mechanisms are stunting his growth. Life lessons have shaped all of us and it’s up to us to seek professional help if we feel like we need ‘fixing’. It’s not our job as a partner to be someone’s mother and therapist. We’re your partner and we will support you but it should not fall on our shoulders to fix you up. Above you had to know when to end a relationship, but here you have to know when you shouldn’t even start one. 

 

Nagging or mothering someone into changing only leads to resentment and exhaustion. The ones who do make any type of change or improvements did so themselves. You can be motivation or a support system but they have to put in all the work. Even after all this, there’s no guarantee for a successful relationship. 

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Instead of trying to change someone, you have to know when it’s time to change your plans. After a few years of dating you’ll know what you’re not willing to settle for and you’ll probably figure out the hard way of when it’s time to cut your losses on a partner that will never become who you need them to be. 

 

How can I trust myself to pick the right guy?

Over the past 5 years, I’ve been on tons of first dates. More than any person would ever want to, I’m sure. I kept going on first dates though because I was ‘picky’. I needed a palpable connection and a list of criteria to be met. It was meaningless first date after first date when I finally met my long term boyfriend.

Finally, someone I just connected with. The beginning was easy, I felt alive, and he was good to me. I finally picked the right one! Even his mom was excited about our future!

But time passed and he stopped treating me right and eventually he became my ex. I should have left a lot earlier than I did and now it’s hard to trust myself. 

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I’m really picky and I still didn’t pick the right guy. How can I trust myself now?

 

I’m wondering if I should go about picking partners differently now since clearly, I’ve been getting it wrong all these years. I don’t think I’m too picky honestly, but however I am picking must not be working. Do I need to stop putting so much weight on that feeling of connection?

Maybe with the information I knew at the time, I was picking right? And eventually as time goes on, someone who was right for you can stop being right for your future.

We all know love has a way of blinding us so maybe I need friends and family to pick the right match for me. People who know and love me and have my best interests at heart. But we probably all know someone we would have picked differently for and who’s to say that they made the wrong choice?

Maybe with the new lessons I learned from my dating experience, I will pick the right one next time and I can trust myself. I can trust myself by being self aware. By knowing I’m a hopeless romantic and where my weak spots are. By listening to red flags when I first see them and by understanding the type of men I gravitate towards.

 

What I thought a Pandemic would do to modern dating vs what’s really happening

What a crazy world we’re living in right now! A global pandemic that has completely changed our daily lives. It’s affected the dating world too.

Since we can’t really meet, I thought COVID-19 would weed out the fuckboys and hook up culture. It would force people to really talk and get to know each other before meeting up. It would foster relationships based on conversations and not looks or make outs. 

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I had seen the cute memes. They facetime, deliver meals to each other’s houses and have a virtual date. It was the most chivalrous dating I have ever seen. But I think those might be the rare cases.

 

What’s really happening are the fuckboys don’t care about social distancing and are still trying to get you to come over. For the smart ones who do listen to COVID rules, conversation goes stale quickly. A conversation normally lasts two weeks before you run out of questions and memories to talk about. Then you talk about the weather and the third walk you went on that day and the connection is dead.

Long Distance relationships work, in part, because they both have an end goal in mind of when they’ll get to see each other again. With this pandemic, you know they live close by but you don’t know when you’ll actually get to meet them in person. With no end goal or date in mind, it’s hard to keep the motivation to stay connected.

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I’ve lost all desire to connect with anyone new. There is no way a random date with some Tinder guy could possibly be worth the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19. And any potentially good matches are kind of ruined by the boredom so I nearly don’t want to talk to them until the world is a bit back to normal. If a match has potential now, then hopefully they will also have potential in another month or two. I guess I’m waiting for the guy that could catch my attention and change my mind. For now, no one is really catching my eye. 

 

Why dinner and a movie is a terrible first date

Dinner and a movie has been the classic first date idea since the beginning of time. Honestly, I just don’t understand why.

 

For starters, dinner and a movie immediately forces you into at least a 4 hour date. There’s the pressure of keeping the date interesting and there’s the fear of having to be ‘on’ for such a long period of time. 

 

During dinner you can probably figure out if you like this guy enough to want to see him a second time or not. If you don’t like him then the last thing you want to do is be stuck closely next to him for the next 2.5 hours as he possibly tries to make moves on you. You might not want to spend the money on a movie or feel bad making him spend money on a somewhat pointless date together. 

 

If you do like him then you either want to continue on with this great conversation or you probably want to do more than just brush arms in a crowded, darkly lit room. I never understood the movie part of this classic first date. You’re not getting to know each other during a movie. The only thing you may learn is if they chew popcorn loudly and if they talk and ask questions during movies. These are pet peeves but highly unlikely that these could ever be deal breakers. 

 

There’s so much awkwardness and uncertainty with going to a movie on the first date. Who’s paying? Where should you guys sit? Should you talk during the previews? Where should you put your arm? Will she feel weird if I try to put my arm around her? Did he just brush his leg with my leg on purpose or on accident? I’m anxious just writing this now! 

 

Watching a movie is also a boring date in my opinion. I’d much rather go bowling or play mini golf. It keeps me stimulated, it helps provides material for conversation, and it also allows you to not have to talk the entire time like you do at a dinner. You’ve also disconnected from each other during the movie with the lack of conversation. The date is normally over after the movie and you leave just kind of shrugging your shoulders about the whole night since it ended so disconnected. 

 

Instead, when you do something fun, they’ll associate that feel -good feeling with you. They’ll think of the smiles and laughs they had while doing that activity, and guess what? You were there with them and they’ll smile and think of you too! That’s exactly what you want out of a first date.