How does one prepare for a high-stress event such as a first date? I know we need to keep a little mystery under our belt, but there is so much that can be decided in the early stages of any date-tionship. But, sigh … we stick so close to the strictly defined “do’s and don’ts” on the first date conversation list. Maybe if we didn’t we wouldn’t be so crushed when things end down the road. Maybe the road wouldn’t have been traveled at all and rightly so. To appease those rejected hearts out there and get your calendar booked with the right people, here are a few suggestions to promote honesty and see if it’s worth going on a second date.
Some say sex isn’t everything. Some say a relationship can’t survive on love alone. And perhaps there is some merit to avoiding this topic on the first date, but if we’re trying to be honest, it is crossing our minds the instant we meet someone new. When I shake a hand, I am wondering what those hands could do elsewhere. I am absolutely studying the curvature of your tongue as you’re talking. Yes, you might end up coming off like a perv if you start a conversation about dick preference in the middle of your entrée, but let’s be real. If you had the opportunity to know right off the bat that they only prefer this, while you only prefer that, you might call it quits sooner than anticipated. It could always be worth trying to compromise should it get to that point, but we are a modern dating society eager to throw down red flags and walk away safely. We’ve all been in that hopeful moment that quickly turns to disappointment between the sheets, and should we really have to feel that more often than not?
I’m not saying I need you to bring a copy of your most recent bank statements and check stubs to the date. I’m merely curious about your feelings about money. Are you a saver? Do you drive a nice car and live in a disgrace of an apartment? Have you in the past had your significant other foot the bill on multiple occasions? If you are the kind of person that would rather overspend for the sake of false perceptions, then I don’t want to date you. If you like to save but enjoy having a good time in moderation, I am totally onboard with you. Others want to be showered in lavish gifts and would appreciate a big spender. I’d rather move forward in the relationship aware I’m about to get into a 50/50 split with the potential for footing the bill every now and then because college loans are ruining your life.
3. Eating habits.
I am a messy eater. There is no easy way to dominate wings or eat anything when someone is observing your every bite. It would be a treat on the first date to not only enjoy a menu item that is less than feminine but also eat it in peace and not feel like I’m applying for Mrs. Dandyridge’s Academy of Prim and Proper Ladies. I’m not an animal, but eating should be comforting. I can’t concentrate on chewing if I’m too anxious about whether you find me gluttonous or if I’m gulping my drink too quickly. You’re going to find out sooner or later, so why not now? I chose this restaurant for a reason and if you’re the kind of guy who eats his wings with forks, we probably shouldn’t hang out anyway.
4. The future.
I’m not talking job interview-style where you have to answer where you see yourself in 10 years. I’m talking those harbored dreams you’ve put away for now because to release them would seem too desperate or needy. It’s a ridiculous double standard to be able to talk about your goals for your job but to have to stifle your aspirations for your future spouse. It’s like pulling a Cady Herring and flunking math for Aaron Samuels. To deny yourself to get what you want is going to leave you with an unfulfilled life. Our appetites for marriage and children and a home with a front porch may change over time, but we all instinctively know what we do and do not want. The trouble with long-term relationships is that they come to a head when discussing the future. If we had the chance to talk about our views on the sanctity of marriage or the willingness to raise kids in this climate, we might have a better chance of deciding what it’s worth for us.
5. Past relationships.
I know this goes against what every dating book, psychologist, and friend tells you, but I think there is merit in talking about the last person you were with. Especially if I’ve been a good girl and looked back on them with maturity and awareness of the experience. If you tell me that you have had a hard time getting over this last relationship, even if it was only a few months before our date, I’m going to commend you on trying to get back in the game and move on with your life. I’m also going to be pleased because this proves that you have a heart and aren’t as soulless as perhaps your ex thinks. On my end, if I tell you that I ended it for personal reasons, or that I wanted to find myself, you’re probably going to think I’m an arrogant asshole and I’ll do the same to you. The truth does not always shine through these conversations, but the small nuggets of information you get will help you understand how this person works in a relationship and what your future with them might look like.