Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about first dates. This is not unexpected because I have a lot of first dates. And I don’t mean I have a lot of dates… just a lot of FIRST dates. Obligatory sigh.
Do you get hungry after reading the lead paragraph of my posts? If you are a faithful reader, you have been conditioned to expect a mouth-watering recipe at this point. So, enjoy a bowl of tortellini with snap peas and pesto (with or without the mint) while we discuss first dates. And, if you’re not a faithful reader, sign up!
There’s a lot of emotion wrapped up in a first date and a lot of inner monologue that takes place.
I’ve had a few dreadful first dates, a number of boring/mediocre ones, and some good and great ones. The irony is that a great first date doesn’t necessarily lead to a great second encounter, let alone a dating relationship.
It’s always fun to review the bad first dates…even when they’re not #10 on the horrific scale.
I recall a date with Mr. A, a nice but unbelievably boring man, I met for a drink after work. As a naïve new divorcée, I agreed to meet Mr. A despite our rather lackluster phone call. I should have known that struggling for conversation on the phone is a likely predictor of a painful first date. And painful it was. We ended up in a conversation loop about our kids, his new retirement, my hoped for retirement. No chemistry. No pizazz to the conversation. Only the wine made the brief date tolerable.
At the 45-minute point, I realized I was starving. The smells of pesto were tempting me. Mr. A asked if I wanted to get some food. I couldn’t imagine sitting there for another second. So, despite my grumbling tummy, I said I needed to walk my daughter’s dog. In fact, my canine care services were not needed that day. I hated resorting to a white lie but could not think of an alternative and kind excuse.
The next day I was surprised when Mr. A emailed me to ask me out again. Was he unaware of the awkwardness and poor connection? This time I was direct and said I didn’t think we were a match.
One other bad date sticks in my mind. I met a Mr. B (I can’t remember his name so B is for Bad) at Politics and Prose for a lunchtime date. When I arrived, Mr. B was at a table drinking a coffee. After I greeted him (oh, disappointment – he was much older and much shorter than his profile and photos indicated), I asked, “Have you eaten?” “Yes,” he said. “Well, I didn’t have lunch so I’m going to grab a light bite,” I replied.
He didn’t offer to get me something or even wait in line with me. Yes, on a first date, I like that (though I always offer to pay half of whatever the joint bill is). So, given his age, height, and lack of chivalry, I didn’t have much hope.
When I returned to the table, we chatted (cocktail party get-to-know-you conversation) but he kept checking out every woman who walked by. Not that I wanted to lock eyes with him but I found it annoying and disrespectful. When I learned during the conversation that he had 7 cars I was even more annoyed that he hadn’t offered to at least pay for my tea. You can call me old fashioned in this regard.
Mr. B and I had nothing in common and after a painful 35 minutes, I said I needed to leave to prepare for a dinner party (a half–truth since I had company coming for dinner but plenty of time to prep).
And then there are the good first dates. He looks good. He looks better than his pictures. He smiles and is engaged. There is obvious, easy chemistry and connection. Conversation flows. He hasn’t yet revealed himself to be a narcissist.
He knows how to kiss – discovered at the end, possibly the middle, and sometimes at the very beginning of the date. He might rub your feet (yes, this happened), you might go to a second venue just to extend the evening (at his request), or you might go for a drink and then a walk.
You might be asked for a second date at the end of date #1 or you might be asked the next day. The date might last 3 hours or it might last 6.
The first date might be the beginning of a relationship or just the beginning of a short dating interval until it is clear that he’s not the right one. Regardless, it’s a good or great first date.
So, dear readers, hope for the best when you’re putting on your high heel sneakers in advance of date #1. Yes, on a scale of 1 to 10, it could end up being a zero but it might be a 20.
Anything can happen.
Until next week, happy dating or not dating.