Dating is hard. Anyone who says otherwise is just faking it. Whether you are headed into a first date with a guy you’ve been majorly crushing on or a guy you’re unsure about, here are five things to consider while in the first date zone.
5 Rookie Mistakes on a First Date
1. The Pick Up
Do not, under any circumstance, let him pick you up from your house if you hardly know him. Believe me, I am all about chivalry and a guy picking a girl up at her home, come to the door, etc but if you don’t share more than at least two mutual friends with a guy: DO NOT LET HIM COME TO YOUR HOME. If I hear about one more girl letting a guy she met via social media or any other way besides a trusted friend introducing the two of you, pick her up, I’m going to lose my mind. We are talking about SAFETY, ladies. I don’t care if you met him at church. If you don’t have several mutual friends who can vouch for his sanity, don’t let him know where you live. Drive yourself and meet him there.
2. Getting Ahead of Yourself
Don’t let yourself daydream about your wedding colors during the date. If you have been crushing on this guy for a while, it’s hard not to imagine your future together. I get it. BUT CONTROL YOURSELF. Seriously, ladies. I have seen more damage done to women because of what they allowed themselves to dream and fantasize about over any guy leading them on. You must take one date at a time. This will take discipline and self-control. It may also require you to reign in some of your girlfriends or parents. Don’t let them muse about your future nuptials either. Explain you need their help to simply take it one date at a time. If you don’t, you are majorly putting yourself at risk for sabotaging the relationship and/or breaking your own heart.
3. Not giving him a second chance
So, this is the opposite of #2. A guy asks you out who wasn’t on your radar. You say “yes” because you know you need to be more open, but by the end of the night, you’re already thinking about how you’re going to turn him down if he asks you out again. Look, I’m not going to pressure you into giving every guy out there more than one date. Sometimes you just know it’s not going to work due to major personality, faith or moral based issues. But I also think we need to give guys a little more grace on first dates. Often times they are nervous and ladies, guys do not do a great job connecting face to face. Most of the time, date are sitting across a dinner table and talking. Women connect face to face. Men connect shoulder to shoulder. Have you heard this before? Guys connect play sports, video games, and other shoulder to shoulder activities. It may be easy for you to sit across a small table from another human being and expect to see part of their soul, but most men are not wired that way. If the date was “eh” but you didn’t see any major red flags, consider giving him another chance and maybe even suggest y’all do an activity (bowling, mini golf, fishing, etc). He may be a great guy who just needs more time to come out of his shell.
4. Just looking for a “good time”
This was how I approached first dates for pretty much all of my twenties. I expected to be entertained, to laugh a lot, for the date to include some kind of surprise or spontaneity, and basically if those things didn’t exist, I was ready for the next guy. I realize that makes me sound like a horrible person, but I am also fairly certain most women think this way deep down and they just don’t realize it. At least, I didn’t realize it until two friends pointed it out to me. It’s not wrong to want to have fun on a first date, obviously you need to enjoy spending time with that person, but the way I rated dates was very much based on my entertainment, instead of looking for qualities and attributes with the long game in mind (the long game being: 50 years of marriage, kids, grandkids, hardships, moves, job changes, family deaths, all of it).
If you are just dating to have a good time and that’s your end goal, fine. But if you are dating to find your forever-teammate, it’s probably time to reevaluate how you are grading your dates and identify what it is you’re actually looking for beyond a fun night.
5. Being too concerned about “the rules”
You should text him the next morning to let him know you had a good time. Or wait, you shouldn’t text him, even if he texts you, for at least 3 full days. When he follows up for a second date, you can’t be available for at least a week. On second thought, you should appear to be less rigid and more spontaneous, so don’t “check your calendar” at all. I think you see where I’m going here. There are a thousand ways to play the game; if you spend too much time getting advice from every friend, blog, and book out there, you will be overwhelmed with conflicting advice and be more stressed than ever. Don’t get caught up in the rules. Just do what comes natural to you. After all, the most important thing in all of dating is for you to be yourself. If something you do or don’t do, turns him off or scares him away, so be it.
Remember, your batting average in dating is supposed to be one in a hundred. We get so discouraged when relationship after relationship fails (and believe me, been there, done that) but isn’t that how it’s supposed to go? Every dating relationship is going to fail except ONE. The one that works. While some people get to marry their very first boyfriend, most of us have to experience a lot of first dates and relationships before we find the right fit. And that is a-okay.