June 6, 2013

Q & A: My Worst First Dates Ever Plus Tips on How to Have An Awesome First Date

Oh first dates. You are crazy and nerve wracking and awkward and strange and fun all at the same time. Is that possible? I mean think about all the emotions that you feel on a first date. From finding the right outfit to are you riding together or just meeting, there are a lot of factors that go into a first date. While my dates are with my husband only (he has been a great date for almost 4 years now), I still like to practice good etiquette while out with him. It is nice to dress up, add a little lipstick and my favorite heels for a good meal or night of dancing out.

I figure before I get into my tips on dating I should add that I have had a handful of first dates. Some have been so much fun, some have been alright and others have been downright painful. I picked a date that I had in high school to share. While I was not seriously looking to get married in high school (thank goodness because the picking at my high school was...well...interesting), I did go on a handful of dates.

I had a friend set me up with a guy and we were doing a double date night. He was a little country boy who was very polite and had a nice smile. When we sat down to talk about our hopes and dreams (I totally scared off boys with my dreams talk but that is okay because the one who liked it is now my husband), he had a hard time communicating. He told me he wanted to play football. Great! I thought that was awesome and asked him how he wanted to purse that and he just responded again with he wanted to play football. I asked another question and his answer came back to football. Let's just say it was a very long night. I needed conversation and he needed to not stay up to late because he had football practice in the morning. It was nuts and boring and well he didn't get my number.

Or how about the time when I was home from college my senior year on Christmas break. I had dated a boy once in high school and throughout the years we kept in touch and had been good friends. I set him up with a friend or two and he and I got along great. We had been talking on the phone and had made plans to hang out. He was witty, charming and I loved his family. He asked me to go to the movies so I said yes. We watched a movie and then he took me for ice cream. Totally going great. He was all sly about kissing me in his truck but I let him. We started kissing a little heavier (Is this too much? Ha!) and then he climbed into my seat and pulled the lever to recline the seat in one motion. It all connected what was happening and obviously what he wanted and I started dying out loud laughing. I couldn't get it together. He asked me what was so funny in which I explained he had obviously reclined the seat like that before. I asked him to take me home and continued my fits of laughter. We didn't try a second date. Surprised? Me neither.

Dating can be interesting but I will say it is totally worth it. You learn so much about yourself. And yes you may have 100 bad dates but then you have that one that changes your life and it is like wow!

Also I want to add that I have not been on a date with a complete stranger in a long time. I know these tips will be useful but ladies who are currently dating, please feel free to chime in with your worst date, best date and your tips for good first dates. You are the inspiration! :)

{Do An Activity Beforehand}
I highly recommend this point especially if the guy wants your input on your first date. Do something together before you sit down to talk. For example, go play putt putt golf or stroll through the park with coffee. When you do an activity together it lightens up the mood and you are breaking the ice easier then going straight for the sit down dinner. Go to Goodwill and dress up in funny outfits. Do something that makes you both more comfortable then go grab drinks after. I feel like we have been doing first dates wrong for years. This way is so much better especially if it ends with dessert. I have cheesecake on the brain today.

{Be Yourself}
Here is the thing, you are absolutely awesome. 100% fantastic. And the even better news is that there is someone out there who needs you exactly how you are. Always be yourself lady. You don't want to go on a date and portray someone you are not. It isn't fair to you and it is misleading to your gentlemen friend. If you have a snort when you laugh, who cares. Snort away.

The point is to be yourself because that is the best thing about yourself. Your qualities are wonderful!

{It is Okay If It Doesn't Work Out}
There were times when I would go on a date and totally be bummed because I knew it wasn't going to work out. I once dated a guy in college who I met when we shared an umbrella at a rained out football game. He walked me home and I was smitten especially when he asked for my number. He was very, very good at the whole pursuing you beforehand thing. We were in college, he was very involved on campus, I was my sorority president, he was in all honors classes, I was working full time. We were busy people. For almost two weeks, we talked nonstop. Whether on the phone, Facebook, texting, we were communicating and flirting with one another. It took us almost three weeks to make plans to go sit down with one another. Once we finally did have our ice cream date, I just knew it wasn't going anywhere. I knew he wasn't the one and I wasn't interested in a relationship that wasn't going to be my future. I beat myself up because I spent three weeks developing feelings for someone when I could have been focused on other things. Don't do this to yourself. Enjoy your moments. Enjoy the happiness. Just know when it isn't meant to be, the best thing for both of you is to move on.

{This Isn't the Bachelor/Bachelorette}
Oh the Bachelor. This show can be so dangerous. Real life is not a helicopter ride to a heart shaped island that happens to have a winery where you run through the vines together then snorkel off the beach while dancing under the moonlight to a private Alicia Keys concert. Those are not realistic dates. I am not saying that their isn't some guy who might try this and more power to him but no matter how extravagant or simple a first date is this could be your future and you have to keep that in mind. A helicopter ride is nice but one day you will have bills together and he will eventually need you to take care of him when he is sick and you will get in arguments at times and let's be honest at this point in life he has probably already sold the helicopter. Keep your heart and mind within realistic boundaries. I am not saying don't dream or wish. Just be realistic.

{It is Just 1 Day/Night}
It is one day of your life. That can only be taken as exciting. It can be only one day until the date is over or one day of the rest of your life with someone who could be the one. See? Only exciting things! Remember this. It could be the start of your future.

What are some other helpful tips for first dates? Do you social media stalk him? Do you buy a new outfit? What calms your nerves? Share your tips and stories! Dating is meant to be fun. Go with it. Take it in strides and remember Mr. Yes Sir is out there. He is on the same journey to find you as you are for him so don't give pieces of your heart to other men. I know that sounds so cliche but it is true. He is out there. I know it.

Image via Sposto Photography

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