One last check in the mirror, you grab your wallet and your keys and you dash out the door, all while thinking “Why am I doing this again?”.
You have agreed to meet him or her for the first time. You may have met online or have been set up by friends who have sworn “you’ll be perfect for each other!” Either way, you now find yourself minutes away from the dreaded ‘first date’ experience.
The first hello
Butterflies are churning as you walk to the bar, café or restaurant. You have already decided you want to arrive early so you can casually sit and pretend to scroll Facebook whilst you scope out everyone that walks past, heart pounding.
Then, within an instant there they are. At that very moment you seem to either accept or reject what you see. What the hell is she wearing? Where are his teeth? Great! She’s covered in make up. Damn! He’s shorter than me.
Mind games begin as you approach each other. How will you greet? Do you handshake, just say hi or give a quick side bro hug?
Just one drink, thanks
You will mostly know in an instant if there is an attraction. Is he a dud at first sight? Does she scare you? Oh no! How long do you have to stay?
The first date blanket rule is one hour. Each of you has made an effort to meet and any less will be seen as rude. Ok, he may be missing teeth, she may be drunk, he may be super short greeting you with the grinding “How is ya love!” but research suggests that one hour is the minimum time you should spend together.
However, if they are narcissistic, mean, rude, cruel or self centred then please, leave at will. But otherwise staying for the date may surprise you, as you may find out more about them in the hour that makes you sway the other way.
The small talk
So begins the interview process. You either take the lead or cannot seem to get a word in. Where do you live? Do you have kids? And most importantly, do you have a job? In a perfect scenario the conversation flows, you feel instantly at ease, you laugh, connect and learn about each other.
Or, conversation is like pulling teeth. You have nothing in common. You receive one word answers and there are awkward silences, as you arduously continue to stir sugar in your coffee trying to sweeten the date.
A side of personality please
Not all can be determined by looks and conversation. It’s time to observe. How do they interact with the waiting staff? Are they warm or arrogant? How engaging are they? Are their arms crossed and never look you in the eye? Why don’t they smile?
You hope for someone kind, intelligent, thoughtful, funny, grounded but instead you may be meeting with someone who keeps “Some rules for killing people” as top pick on their bookshelf (true story!).
When to run
Listen to the red flags.
You’re mid conversation and they have fallen off their chair, intoxicated, stoned or other. They may sit playing on their phone whilst bagging their ex and furious how they are due in court next week. None of their stories add up, you feel they may still live with their partner and you can’t make sense of their life. Or, they live in a back shed, have no job and they’re a self proclaimed horticulturist, growing weed for a living. They may insult you, calling you obese or too thin or at the end of the date they don’t offer to pay, only to dash and leave you with the bill.
All of these should send alarm bells! You have to remind yourself not to lower your standards and trust in the process of meeting the right person.
When to stay
You will just know. Time passes by and you chat for hours. They make you feel comfortable and are respectful. They may not be Chris Hemsworth or Margot Robbie but they are engaging, thoughtful, with a little bit of your type of sexy. They won’t ask to sleep with you but cherish the getting to know you process. They will align with you and your values.
And just hopefully it will be your last first date and you live happily ever after.
But, maybe not and you’ll be doing the same thing all over again next week.
I encourage you to comment if you liked this post or would like to share your experiences. I’d love to hear from you.