Sometimes dating is so bad you want to lock yourself in your room with a bottle of vodka and a switchblade lest someone try and impress you again. As the number of unsuccessfuls pile up like a dirty laundry mountain that hasn’t been washed in two weeks, you start to wonder if maybe you’d be better off alone.
It’s easy to hate your life when the guy who made you laugh so hard you nearly peed turns out to be dull as day old dishwater and still expects a kiss at the end of the night. Gut wrenching guilt twists your bones when the first disastrous evening isn’t over but they’re trying to lock you into a second date.
We plan everything to pristine perfection. The location, the time, the activities, what we’ll wear. Safeguard ourselves against bad weather, allergies and bad conversation. We’ve even got a bestie on speed-dial just in case things go so far south you think you might drown.
But they still end up shit.
Mostly, prospective partners end up being really nice people, just not someone you’d put money on spending any more time with, let alone the rest of your life. And that’s where we get caught. Because telling an utter shit-head to shove it is easy but turning down that really nice girl who’s just not your cup of chai-latte fills you with dread.
Yet, we continue. Donning our chainmail and our war-paint red lipstick, chanting as we charge out to battle “This one won’t be so bad. This one might be the one”.
Through trial and error, we scrape together buckets of tidbits. Things to make our mission slightly easier. A way to manoeuvre the unspoken rules of dating.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love dating. I’m ever hopeful that this one will be my chic-lit fantasy and I swoop in with the naivety of a child watching frozen. All because of a few choice rules I put forth to my prospective princes.
The dazzling neon sign of a successful date is a kiss. The evening winds down, the staff start to prepare for the following day and a mental terror rips through. Tension that could be cut with a spoon. If one party likes the other and the other doesn’t feel the same; self esteem crumbles.
Kissing is not mandatory.
As much as we’d like to believe it, we’re not in a real life fairytale. 99% of dates end in “Dear God, I never want to see them again”. But the expectations of first dates leave us in disney movies - kissing frogs that don’t end up transforming into prince charming.
No Making Plans for a second date
The laws of socialising are simple. Rejection happens less if the request is made in person. If you lock in a second date during the first then you’re winning.
We all know what it feels like to be rejected and it feels horrible to watch a rejected soul. We empathise, we understand. Our hearts go out to them. We want to make it better but in this scenario, the only way to make it better is to put their needs above our own and agree to see them again.
Do not fall for it. Let it be known before you meet. That way the awkward situation doesn’t crop up in the first place. If the evening turns out to be a rip-roaring success and you both want to see each other again there’s no harm in waiting a few hours before scheduling in the next meet.
Find and arrange your own way home
By the end of the night you may consider this person to be the best thing since they rebranded gin as the “it” drink in fishbowl glasses. No one needs to know where you live, especially on the first date. Safety first and safety last, especially if you never intend to see them again.
Alcohol is my hail Mary. Put a few pink gins down my throat and I’m everything I’ve ever wanted to be. Confident, ballsy, flirty and chatty. It’s great to get the conversation flowing but it’s also great at helping you make bad decisions and painting your prospective partner as much more interesting than they are.
You’re a badass bitch and can hold a conversation, you are a human being.
And again… Safety.
No staying over.
It should be a given - especially with the no kissing rule but on those dates that are set up for sex only dynamics it’s best stated. Hotel lobbies are amazing for chats and conversations especially when the conversation is good and you want it to continue past midnight but sometimes opportunists strike and take note of the fact that there are a whole host of rooms upstairs that cater to customers who want to have sex.
As always the biggest rule for first dates is to trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, get out ASAP.
Dating is not supposed to be an anxiety inducing ordeal but the pressure to perform, for certain things to happen in certain ways, at certain times, strips the evening of all the romantic splendour it could be. Even good dates can be ruined by built in expectations.
So remove them.
There’s noting wild or exciting about these rules but they stop the unnecessary awkwardness so you can get to the actual dating part. Getting to know each other, figuring each other out and just having a good time.
Who ever thought a sex blogger would be telling you to save kissing for the second date, huh?