Since I’ve graduated college, I’ve learned a thing or two about going on first dates. I’ve officially been on 15 first dates now. Some of those dates led to second dates, thirds dates and most commonly no dates but for argument’s sake, let’s just talk about the first dates. I’m not a pro by any means and I’ve got a long, long ways to go, but here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:
- Don’t let your nerves get to you (too much). Okay, this goes without saying that it’s IMPOSSIBLE not to get nervous. If you’re not nervous at all, something is wrong with you and you’re a super human. Just breathe deeply and try to relax. You will survive! If you’re really, really nervous go for a walk to use up some of that energy. Breathe.
- As much as you want them to like you, you need to like them too. This one is hard for me to remember. Not only do I want to seem cool, funny, outgoing, put-together … I need to be looking and seeing if they are a good fit for me in return.
- Awkward silences are inevitable. Period. There’s no way around it so just grin and bear it. Don’t panic if it’s quiet for a few seconds (or many seconds). If you’re trying to fill the silence but the conversation keeps dying, take a slow sip of your drink or have another bite of your food. It’ll save you 3-7 seconds which is something.
- Pin your bangs back or to the side. You have to! No one wants to talk to someone who’s constantly picking at their hair. I’m a fidget-er when I’m nervous so I pin my bangs to the side so I don’t play with my hair.
- When you arrive, text him and tell him what you’re wearing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve struggled to find the guy I’m going on a date with. It’s extremely stressful and causes me to panic when I do a lap of the bar or coffee shop and can’t find him. I’ve even had bartenders ask me, “Do you need help?” YES! GET ME OUT OF HERE. Some guys look WAY different in real life compared to their photos, depending if they’re wearing a hat, glasses or have facial hair and so on. You’d be surprised. If you tell him what you’re wearing, let’s pray that he’ll flag you down or find you ASAP.
Try to remind yourself that it’s good to step out of your comfort zone. It can be really hard and really scary, but it’s also really rewarding to see yourself do something you didn’t think you could do. So from one single lady to another, good luck!
Okay, I want to make a few things clear here. I have had a chance to think since writing my last post on things that annoy me about about online dating. I want you to know that I am in no way an online dating expert. Not by a long shot! I have no idea what I’m doing but I have seen my fair share of guys while swiping on those apps. Also, some of those apps/sites I only gave shot for a few days or a few weeks. I’m not on six different apps at one time. That sounds stressful! For a bit I was on Hinge and Bumble at the same time but even that got to be a lot going on. I have a life to live too, you know.
I did count and I’ve gone on 10 first dates since graduating college, and some of those dates led into second and third dates. So I’m making a little bit of progress when I look at the big picture. I have a lot to learn as far as wrangling nerves but I’m getting there. It’ll get easier with time… right? At least I hope so. I wish I would have tried harder to meet a guy in college because it’s a lot more work to coordinate and schedule dates now when you’re a full-time working professional like myself. I’ll figure it out! There’s gotta be other people in my boat. And we all have regrets, right?
Okay, I feel better now. I just didn’t want to give you guys the wrong idea that I was some online dating pro. Yeah right! If I was a pro I wouldn’t feeling like barfing (thanks first-date nerves) before most dates. What a cute visual, right? Well kids, that’s LIFE. Dating complete strangers is scary, frightening and wayyy out of my comfort zone but it’s also good for me. (Even standing on a kitchen chair to get soup or baking supplies down makes me nervous. Can you imagine?) I’m not going to meet anyone rearranging my closet or watching Grey’s Anatomy at my apartment. If I can go on blind dates, you can step outside of your comfort zone too – whatever that might be. Take a risk with me! Please? 🙂
Let’s set the record straight here. I’ve dabbled on a few different online dating apps (OK Cupid, Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, Catholic Match – am I forgetting any?!?) so it’s safe to say I’ve seen it all when it comes to guys posting stupid photos. This post will sound judge-y and rude but with some of these apps, all you have is 4-5 photos to get a handle on who someone is! First impressions when swiping is everything.
Here are five types of photos I see over and over again that aren’t great and need to end.
1. Dudes who only post group photos. How do I know who you are? Why are you all wearing tank tops? Are you the groom getting married? Why is everyone wearing a backwards hat and a jersey?
2. Dudes who only post gym/no shirt/working out photos. Okay, taking care of your health is good but no one wants to to see that! Cover it up and don’t be such a showoff. Hopefully there’s more to your personality then lifting weights.
3. Dudes who only post hunting photos with their dead animals. I’m all for showing your true hobbies (ahem, crafting, petting cats, sleeping in) but every photo doesn’t need to be you and a deer’s carcass. It’s gross and a little overkill. (See what I did there?)
4. Dudes who’s only photos are at parties or bars and they’re clearly drunk. Are you 19? If so, why did you lie about your age… *nervously laughs* Isn’t there more to life then Bud Light and getting wild? A couple photos is fine but your whole selection isn’t. (I have drinks too but I’m not going to broadcast that to total strangers. This is their first impression of me after all.)
5. Dudes who only have pixely and blurry photos with red eye and weird cropping etc. Without quality photos that were taken with a fancy camera or smart phone, how do I know that you’re not killer?! Or a kidnapper. If the photos don’t look real, you might not be real.
So all in all, some work needs to be done. News to the dudes out there: you can do better! Ladies, am I right?