The First Date – Part 2 (Did I Shave My Legs For This?)
When I started this train of thought, I was sure I could put down all of my wisdom in two little standard blog posts. Turns out I have more to say on this subject than I imagined. Probably has something to do with the fact that I’ve been on more first dates than I care to mention. So while this is still Part 2, there will now also be a Part 3! I know, the anticipation is exhilarating.
The last time we met here we discussed steps to take and hopefully pitfalls to avoid when choosing to communicate with someone online. Thus laying the groundwork for the progression to..The First Date. As comfortable as it is to sit all cozy at your home in your PJs and just talk with someone on the phone, you will never know if there is any real connection until you are face to face. (However this should never take place in your home OR in your PJs.) No, you have to take a deep breath, summon your courage and go for it. But before you head out the door, let’s cover some of the basic elements.
Lukewarm Feet….Is There Half a Date?
If, after all the preliminary checks, you are still not comfortable with a full on date, you can start with a Meet & Greet. This is a common term swirling around these days. Maybe it is our addiction to the drive thru or lingering commitment issues, but a lot of us just do not want to invest too much the first time out. Instead we opt for the microwave version. A Meet & Greet is designed to limit your initial exposure and usually takes the form of a cup of coffee somewhere or a very unassuming lunch. I have done both. A lunch works well because I only have an hour. What can go wrong in an hour, right? (I once knocked over a full glass of sweet tea in this guy’s lap. He went to the restroom to clean up and never came back. True story.)
When You’re Ready To Go.….Where to Go??
Whether you choose the quick get-in-and-out version or the whole enchilada, you obviously have to pick a place. It can be quiet and romantic, which is conducive for talking and listening if your goal is to gather more information. It can be loud and crowded if you just want to let loose and have fun. If you would rather gauge their spontaneity and skill sets (plus see how he looks in a pair of jeans) suggest a round of putt putt or go shoot a game a pool. Wherever you pick, make sure it is a public place. Where you arrive separately. I know, I sound like your mother. And most likely this is already in your playbook. But in case there are Online Newbies, please do not give out your address. No matter how sweet they talk on the phone or how appealing a home cooked dinner and movie in front of the big screen TV sounds, this should never be the first date. This is not just for the ladies. And it isn’t even necessarily a safety feature, even though that’s a valid point. No… until you know that this person will not park in your driveway with headlights (or a spotlight) pointing into your living room window playing a Garth Brooks song at full volume at 1 am, do NOT let them know where you live.
Location Keyed in GPS…..Now To Get Dressed
Picking out what to wear plays a very important role in this operation.
We have already ruled out pajamas.
This is particularly excruciating for me. I have been known to pull out almost EVERYTHING from my closet, try on, toss, and repeat only to end up with the FIRST thing I picked. It is a hard balance for me. I have business clothes, but I’m not going to work. I have dressy clothes, but I’m not going to church. I have fun clothes, but I don’t want to appear to be too much fun; yet. (You get where I’m going with that, right?) I don’t want to look like a 51 year old grandmother. And yet, I am a 51 year old grandmother. So what else is there to look like? I will admit sometimes I probably push the envelope a little. Understated is typically not a word used to describe me. If I were smart, I would probably let one of my classier friends take me shopping for a chic first date outfit. But there’s no need to lead the poor guy on like that. Best to just stick to being me; fur vest, knee socks and all. But this isn’t about me, it’s about YOU. And trust me, you probably don’t want my advice on this subject. Sorry, you’re on your own with this one.
The Conversation – You Mean We Have To Talk?
I am one of those people that can talk, a lot. I have been told more than once that it is easy to have a conversation with me. That makes me smile. The danger in talking too much though is revealing things about yourself sooner than you should. Or the flip side to that is learning things about your date that forever stays stuck in your head. Like the guy who talked about government listening devices in our light bulbs and believing in aliens. Hey, if you don’t look like Tommy Lee Jones, don’t talk Men In Black stuff to me. Ok?
Or the time I had the most perplexing conversation with a police officer I went out with. He was so fine! I mean a great looking guy. Super Sweet. Met my testosterone requirement. Some girls have a height requirement or a W2 requirement. I just like my men to be men! And if we had stopped there and just stared into each other’s eyes, we might still be at that restaurant. But he had to start talking. His first admission to me was being afraid of heights. Well, I’m afraid of heights too, so I can’t really say much to that one. When the talk turned to travel he mentioned that he never stays at a hotel with a door to the outside and even then he always props a chair up against the door knob. Now this is a guy who has a badge and carries a gun for a living! I am a single woman who has traveled alone or with small children, and even I don’t go that far. His list of phobias would fill up an evening on the Discovery Channel. Then the conversation moved on to holidays. He was having trouble with the concept of Thanksgiving vs Christmas. He didn’t understand why Thanksgiving was always on a Thursday yet Christmas was a different day each year. You can call me mean right now, I was teasing him a little at this point. I can’t be with a guy if I am braver AND can read a calendar better than he can. The final straw was when he leaned in (I swear) and asked “This gets me too…when is the Fourth of July?” Right hand in the air, he asked that question. Now look, I get that most likely he didn’t understand how that sounded when it was said out loud. And I will guess he was talking specifically about which day of the week it fell on. But in the moment, in the context of that conversation, it was all I could take. Date over.
Now don’t let these isolated walks down my memory lane stop you from communicating. It is important. And I trust you all to know that the 4th of July falls on, well the 4th of July. So share away. Talk about dreams, ideas, back grounds, goals. You obviously don’t want to start planning a wedding or a nursery, but let them get a real glimpse of you.
Enjoy. You shouldn’t need any hand holding here; at least not by me. The scenarios are endless. Every person and every plan is unique. The stage is set, own it and set about to being fabulous. The most important key here is to be yourself. The second most important key is to have FUN. If you are having fun and being yourself then there is no way the right person will not be enthralled. Watching someone truly having a great time is magnetic. They will be drawn close to you and hope the magic will transfer over. Be magical for someone.
PS. Of course there are times when despite our best efforts, things just don’t go well. Stay tuned for Part 3