Ahh summer. As the air gets too hot to do much of anything and the sun burns your skin for stepping out of the shade, what better way to celebrate the changing of the seasons than with romance? A date was had this evening. By me. But this review isn’t about that particular date – that wouldn’t be fair.
Allow me to digress (as if you have a choice). I don’t often talk about this particular aspect of my personal life. Must keep up some air of mystery. But the cat is mostly out of the bag on this one. I told one person, and my date told our mutual friend. Through these two people, the majority of my friend group knows what I was up to tonight. It isn’t that odd of a phenomenon, but it is strange for me. And now that I acknowledge it, my sister and parents will surely want to know any details I will be willing to divulge. Which will be few.
But my interesting relationship with my family is not what we’re taking about here. We are here for first dates. We all know that feeling of uncertainty as the date approaches (unless you’re an asexual weirdo – jk, I love all of my asexoes). Nerves start to buildup, even though you are relatively confident in yourself as a person. What will we talk about, you think to yourself while sitting in your car, not wanting to arrive too early.
I’ve been on a good number of first dates. I’ve been on fewer second dates. Sure, that’s the nature of dating, but it has shown me a few things about the scene. A lot of those dates were sponsored in part by your okcupids or your tinders, and while there is nothing inherently wrong with online dating, it can put you in an awkward position. You don’t really know what you’re getting yourself into. I’ve been on dates that I couldn’t wait to end – I even ended a couple prematurely. Then, every once in a while, you’ll run across a person you actually enjoy talking to. Then, every once in a smaller while, you’ll meet someone who shaved their head immediately before showing up to the date. Special moments like these are few and far between, but they can make the uncertain process worthwhile.
Then there’s the analog version of online dating – getting set-up by a friend. The blind date puts a lot of pressure on everyone, even the setter-upper. The person you select to date your friend says a lot about who you think they are as a person. As an added bonus, vice versa will also be in effect. Choose a real dud, and your friend will forever look at you differently.
Your final option is to actually go out in the world and make a human connection. Gross. But it happens. Obviously this is ideal, as you get a good sense of your date before getting to the faux-mantic atmosphere. Unfortunately, these damn millennials are becoming less and less comfortable with this person-to-person meet-cute. At least, that’s what I tell myself whenever I get blown off.
Regardless of how you landed the date, the time eventually comes to take the leap. A little harmless text flirting won’t hurt, but the meeting is where everything is laid bare. Sure, you can keep up a facade for a couple hours at a bar, but what’s the point. It took me a while to realize that. The whole point of dating – unless your in it for specific “you know” purposes – is to be yourself. A softer version of the hard-edged abrasive person you’ve been accused of being, yes, but yourself nonetheless.
You’ll probably know pretty quickly if you gel or not with the person. If you do, congrats! If you don’t, well, I’m sorry, but these next 60-120 minutes will not be very enjoyable. Might as well try to have fun with it: put on a funny accent, start speaking gibberish. Oh wait, your date is a fellow human being, so you should probably respect them a little. Oh well. Use that accent with your friends next time you see them. Unless your date is crazy. Then it’s fair game.
Let’s say the date is going well, but you have already had the appropriate number of drinks and now you’re walking kind of aimlessly, perhaps back to a car or house. Now. The kiss. To kiss or not to kiss. In a perfect world you will be able to assess the vibe, but this world is not perfect. Look, I know the last few paragraphs have established me as a romantic expert – a love guru, if you will – but I’m gonna leave this one up to you. Just keep in mind that a turned cheek can kill all of the good will you might have built up.
But what do I know? I’m just a guy, sitting in front of a computer, asking it to finish writing this review for me. Is that too much to ask? Maybe. As summer lovin’ begins to bloom I wish you all luck. And dates. Lots of dates.