Amy’s Amateur Guide to First Dates

First Dates, ew. Unless you met your partner naturally and were friends before or whatever, you’ve probably had a bad first date. As meeting online is the new thing, it can be even harder to gauge how much you’ll enjoy it or if you’ll even like each other at all.

But luckily for you, you have me… and science – well kinda. Dating apps have done a lot of research into what works and what doesn’t on a first date. While it can’t save you from Tinder Freaks or save you from mingers eating with their mouths open, it might at least give you the best chance of it not being a complete disaster. (Come up with your escape plan before in case it all goes pear shaped though.)

First Contact

Now I’m sure you’ve been on a first date where the person doesn’t look like their photos, and if they did you’re probably the one that doesn’t. A frightening amount of people (81%) lie about their height (we see you 5’7 guys saying you’re 6’0), their age, or other particulars in their profiles, which then leads to an extremely awkward first date.

I remember I went on a date a while back and he looked nothing like his photos, he had shaved his head, so he looked like a kiwi fruit/tennis ball and facially he looked like he was stung by a bee and I legit couldn’t see his eyes. But, anyway, basically just keep things honest and open and you’ll avoid any uncomfortable or strange surprises on the date.

What do I wear? The same thing I wear all the time? Of course!

Now, knowing what to wear on a first date can be difficult. You have to think about where you’re going, how hot or cold it’ll be and what is or isn’t fashionable. But none of that really matters…just wear what you feel comfortable and confident in, and if they don’t like you the way you are then they can piss off anyway. Plus, no one really has the budget to be buying outfits all the time for dates, and not only that fashion constantly changes so, just wear what suits your body, but no leggings as trousers ladies. Just no.

If you’re feeling indecisive, a lot of studies have shown that black (oh yes) makes us feel confident on a first date, and that potential suitors like it. While brighter colours like red and pink may be associated with passion, lust and love, it is also associated with arrogance. But, don’t force yourself into a sleek, tight AF dress if you’re going to spend the entire evening feeling like a goth or worrying about if you look fat in it or not. But, still no leggings as trousers.

 “So… do you like cats?”

When it comes to conversations on a date people are starting to throw away the rule book, woo hoo! Back in the day people were told to steer clear from the big and frankly more boring subjects like, politics. But a study from the end of last year found that over 80% of people thought that talking about politics, religion and money was great first date conversation. Which to me is mind blowing! Who wants to speak about those things straight away with someone you don’t even know, and also with someone who may also have extremely different views to yours.

The definite ones to avoid? Exes. No one wants to hear about that shite, and sorry all of you football bellends but less than 25% give a fuck about your sports passion. Stick to the things that really matter.

Date Foreplay

So, I know I’m probably not the best person to be giving dating advice as I’m clearly very single, but I have been on A LOT of dates, so I know what does and what doesn’t work. I also know that not speaking to someone on the phone before a date can make for a very awkward conversation when you meet them. Now this may sound super retro and something your mum and dad or even grandparents would do, but it honestly works. I found that speaking to people on the phone would help me see if conversation flowed or if there were any awkward silences that would be broken by a crap “what you up to this weekend then”. Not speaking to you Andrew that’s for sure.

I hear a lot from guys “I’m better in person” or “I’m awkward on the phone”, how the fuck can you be awkward on the phone but better in person? Talking on the phone to someone is SO much easier as you aren’t sat face to face with that person, and there’s not as much pressure to look nice or worry about having something in your teeth. Not only that, but when you meet that person it’ll be easier as you know you’ll get along. SO, I’m sorry but those excuses to me are a big load of crap! To me it just screams “I don’t want to speak to you”, “I can’t be arsed to put time aside to speak to you”, or “I’m not that interested in you”. And who wants that anyway? No one is too busy to put some time aside for someone that they are genuinely interested in.

“Put your phone away!”

I’m sorry guys but the phones have got to go. I know they help when you’re feeling anxious, but when your date is around they need to be put in your coat and have your coat in the cloak room. When on a date you need to be present with your date not with your mind elsewhere or looking at messages from other people that you’re chatting too. A survey showed that 75% of daters found answering your phone a turnoff, and more than half didn’t even want to see your phone face up on the table. (Yes, I can see you pretending not to be glancing at all your notifications. And yes, it’s extremely annoying.)

Over 45% of people thought that keeping your phone off and out of site for the entire date was a turn on. So, at the very least, save it for when your date is in the bathroom or when the date is over – it’s not hard. I went on a date about a month to two months ago and the guy had his phone out, face up and on loud the entire time and he would constantly be looking at it. It’s extremely disrespectful especially as someone has put  time aside to see you and they’re not even having your full undivided attention. So, Bradley turn your fucking phone off next time you go on a date with someone, you cock.

Location, location, location.

No not the show, but the whereabouts of your date! So, I seem to find myself in bars when dating, and normally it’s the same bar in my town – the bar tenders probably think I’m an escort coming in with all these different men. But, although a bar may not be the best place to meet someone for the first time as it all feels really set up and awkward… and sort of like an interview, I never want to put a large amount of time aside for someone, like dinner may incur. Plus, I find eating in front of people I don’t know amazingly awkward, like what if I fancy pasta and it drops in my lap or makes an orange mess around my mouth? Not hot. Also, if you don’t get along with someone you’re stuck there for a longer period of time eating, and then there’s a silence while you’re eating. It’s just a no from me.

Not only this lots of men don’t want to take you for dinner on a first date as many have been previously mugged off by women who literally just wanted a free dinner. But although bars aren’t great it does mean that I can drown my sorrows in alcohol if the date goes badly. Plus, who doesn’t like a cheeky mid-week cocktail?

How long does he last?

If a date is going well, you may not want it to end – but when a date goes badly it can make you feel like time has stopped or you’ve died and this is your eternal punishment. A lot of people are never sure how long a first date should last for. Match.com did a survey and found that the sweet spot is around two and a half hours. If the date is going well then why not carry it on, but don’t be afraid to bow out while it’s still going well. If you’re both still feeling frisky rather than tired, it’ll keep the goodbyes from being too awkward.

Is it moving a bit too fast?

Saying that, if the date you’re on feels perfect for you, then totally ignore all of this and just go with your gut, and your brain obviously. But for a lot of us singletons (aka me) first dates are nerve-wrecking and scary. And if you find dating difficult or are wondering where you keep going wrong then it certainly helps having some facts on your side.

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