My Perfect First Date

As any serial dater knows, a first date is hit or miss. It can be stars-in-your-eyes fantastic, utterly obnoxious, or just plain bland. Unless you stalked them on Facebook prior to your first encounter, you have nothing to gauge the potential success of each date besides that first impression. However, no amount of social media sleuthing will ever be able to determine whether your date will be marvelous or miserable. Unfortunately for me, my dating experiences lie more in the blah than in the breathtaking. Here’s a look at my worst date ever.

I went bowling with one of my Tinder matches after several flirty messages and late night calls. I’m not the biggest fan of bowling, so let’s just say I’m an amateur at best. My date, on the other hand, was a self-described “pro,” so I thought it would be fun to learn from a champ. Our mobile chemistry was hot, our zodiac signs were compatible and he was a total stud; What could go wrong?

He picked me up and seemed a little shy, but I didn’t mind—it was the first date after all. He drove like an asshole racing for first place in Mario Kart, so our alone time in the car was very short-lived. Once we started bowling, I felt like we were two strangers sharing a lane on a busy Friday night. I made small talk, but he wasn’t participating. I asked him for some bowling tips, and all he did was laugh.

I started bowling on my own and magically managed to get a strike. I was so excited! Turning around, I was expecting a hug, or at the very least, a high-five. He didn’t even notice. I saw him vigorously texting on his phone, but I didn’t say anything because I felt I had no place to do so. Soon, he started to loosen up and was actually talking to me. I felt the date might actually be going somewhere until I noticed his obnoxious texting was a constant throughout the night. He was less than amused at my humor when I told him he was on a date with me and not with his phone.

His defense for his happy fingers? He was texting his neighbors so they would be friends with him. What does that even mean? Was he really trying to turn this around on me? I was feeling ignored because I was on a date by myself. Needless to say, we only played one game even though I paid for two. I was over it. I never talked to him after that.

That night was dreadful, and I hope no one ever has to put up with someone like this guy. However, this bad seed did confirm for me my strong dislike for stingy, boring men, and helped me realize that I am looking for a spontaneous and attentive gentleman. On this date, I had such high expectations, and as it turned out—despite our textual connection—we weren’t on the same page IRL.

All of this made me wonder about what my perfect first date might look like …

It would actually be split into two dates, each of us getting a day to plan activities that are important to us and that show our personality. We would teach each other more about our interests and what has shaped us by showing each other (instead of just talking about it). Maybe he has a knack for adventure and wants to go sailing or hiking. Maybe he wants to go to an art gallery and do a sketch of me.

Whatever it is, it will allow each of us to be in control of where the date goes on our respective day. We both have the opportunity to share a side of ourselves, and to really get to know one another. Then whether it’s a hit or miss, we both at least know we put our best foot forward.

In the end, the only thing that really matters about dating is that we’re genuinely ourselves—and that applies to hot hookups or situations where we’re looking for something with potential. I guess if you’re not ready to share even a small piece of yourself with someone, you’re probably not ready to be with someone, other than yourself.

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