Survival guide: The First Date.

If I’m going to be honest with you (and there’s a lot of honesty on this blog), then I have to tell you that it’s been a long, long time since I’ve been on a first date.

So, maybe I shouldn’t be writing this. However, if there are two things I’m good at, it’s predicting my total at the grocery store and first impressions.

I’m really good at first dates and interviews.

The last real first date I had was two years ago; almost to the day. It was with a man I’d met just the night before. I was coming out of a nasty breakup and was incredibly nervous. But, I thought, what do I have to lose? So I went, and I had an amazing time—delicious food, tasty wine, dancing, conversation…

His name was D.

When it comes to first dates, there’s one of two philosophies you can take: 1., is the Scarlett O’Hara/Patti Stanger method of being the frail, 2-drink maximum, waif of a woman, or 2. is the Leandra Medine/Holly A. Phillips way of slapping that guy in the face with a big taste of YOU and seeing what comes of it.

…Well, sort of. Let me explain.

  • Wear what you want. A first date is an event that often involves a long moment of standing in your closet thinking you have nothing to wear. The truth is, wear an outfit that makes you feel confident and sexy. You don’t want to be pulling at an itchy blouse all night, or complaining about your stripper heels.
  • Keep it light. I’ve never been a fan of the whole, “Things you shouldn’t talk about on a first date,” because sometimes politics come up, or whatever. I say, keep it light, until you want to get deep. If it goes there, and you’re cool with it, then fuck Cosmo magazine and flex some intellectual muscle.
  • Do you. A first date does warrant a good impression, but it doesn’t mean change yourself. Stay you. He asked YOU on the date, so that means, keep your standards, keep your comfort level, etc. If you want to meet him for the date, meet him. Want to have a cocktail? Do it.
  • The Clutch Rule. It’s okay to bring a (sequined) clutch on a date; it’s not okay to bring a set of checked luggage, and by that I mean—no baggage. I don’t want to go back on my “Keep it Light” rule, but if it’s possible, don’t talk about an ex on a first date. There’s no getting around it, you sound desperate.
  • The deats. Pay attention to the small details—say thank you, reach over and unlock his car door (provided he opens yours), don’t spend all night on your phone, smile. The little moves go a long way.
  • Have fun. I hate admitting this, but as women, we often get to just sit back and have fun on dates. The man has to plan it, pick us up, and pay for it…we just look pretty (I hear the feminists). In all seriousness, I was chatting with my best girlfriend the other day, reminiscing on dates we went on in high school. And while I don’t want to say those were the good ole days, I really did have some fun. It was carefree, and overall pretty innocent—this is what we need to get back to.

So, got a date? Good luck…and let me know how it goes.


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