The butterflies have filled your stomach. You've checked your appearance in the mirror a million times, brushed your teeth twice and rehearsed impressive one-liners in your head. Your best friends text you encouragements as you grab your keys wallet, and optimism before heading out the door.
The preparation ritual for a first date is a delicate balance of hope and realistic expectations. So, doesn't it just suck if it fails miserably?
Thankfully, the relationship gods have smiled on me when it comes to first dates. My friends, however, haven't shared the same luck.
Wesley Homenda, a 20-year-old at the University of South Florida, had a particularly rough first date one night last spring. He had finally landed a night out at a club with a girl he had been working on for awhile. When he picked her up at her apartment, he was ecstatic. She was wasted.
The second they reached the club she disappeared into the crowd in a drunken stupor. Wes didn't see her again until the night was over. She was hanging all over another guy and asking for a ride to her girlfriend's house. She promised Wes her friend was having a rough night and needed her there. Wes, who was too disappointed to care, agreed to drive her. And that wasn't even the icing on the heartbreak cake. When they pulled up, Wes saw the guy from the club answer the front door.
While a club may not be the typical first date scenario, it's an experience everyone can learn from. Just because you finally landed the date with the person of your dreams, doesn't mean it's going to end like a fairytale. I'm not saying be judgmental or skeptical, just make sure you know the true character of the person before you let your guard down. They need to be as interested in you as you are in them.
Oh, and don't take a girl to a club on a first date.
When I was 19, my now ex-boyfriend and I decided to take a "break." Rather than mope, I saw it as an opportunity to go out and flirt my ass off. It was then that I met Hugh. He was a super good-looking law student with a wicked sense of humor, who also shared my love for frothy beer. Of course I was going to give him my number.
Fast forward five days, and we go out on the big first date. Only this time, Hugh wasn't as funny as I remembered. And he was 20 minutes late. Sure he was hot, but his personality reminded me of a block of wood. On paper, our date may have been considered decent, but a guileless critic could have easily graded the connection on this firstie a C+ at best.
As Hugh was driving me home, we had the misfortune of getting caught in a traffic jam, a motionless big-city bumper-to-bumper cluster with no end in sight. Our conversation dwindling, I sat there praying for a miracle. And then it came. Looking down at my lap, I saw that the crimson tide (keyword: TIDE) decided to make its appearance. There was no hiding this mess, and absolutely nowhere to run. Wanting to die, I figured the best thing to do was clue him into my plight. Buzzkill. Thank God his radio worked.
Ladies and gentlemen, lesson learned: Never date a guy named Hugh.