Welcome to my second part of my dating blog post. In the last post I discussed ways you may use to meet the perfect one. Or maybe not the perfect one but at least someone. In this post I will try to navigate through the tricky world of first dates and beyond as well as discussing that awkward moment when you ask is it a date or not.
My first dates
So you have met someone through one of the many ways discussed in the blog post or maybe in another way. Anyway whatever way you have tried you have that first date. It is a special feeling isn’t it? You are a mixture of nerves and excitement and you wonder what they are going to be like, what you will wear etc.
I am not the worlds best dater but I have I have looked back at all the first dates that I have been on to get an idea of where I go for a first date. Not surprisingly 50% of them have been coffee shops, 30% in a pub, 10% restaurant and 10% day out shopping. I think they are good places to go for a first date as they give you the chance to chat to each other but in a relaxed environment. Some of them have led to the that mysterious and elusive second date. I suppose I have gone for coffee shops the most because it is where I feel relaxed. Interestingly though I don’t usually have a date at Starbucks I tend to opt for Costa.
First dates are tricky because you want something quite relaxed and somewhere you can talk to each other. Places that I have been to on a first date are coffee shop, pub, restaurant and a days shopping. All of them are good and there are many more you can chose from. Just pick something that you both feel comfortable with.
Once you have picked the venue and the time and date the next step is actually meeting them. The common sense rule of always meeting in public and let other people know where you are going is still key though. The most important thing you can remember to do is turn up on time. There is no such thing as fashionably late on a first date. Sometimes you can let nerves get to you and you think that it would be easier to take the easy way out and cancel. Honestly this is a bad idea. Give it ago and see what happens. The first date doesn’t have to be long it is about making that first contact with them. What have you got to lose?
Topics to avoid
The whole point of a date is to find out more about the other person. Now the chances are you are a little nervous and probably quite keen. The danger with this is that function in your brain that stops you saying something silly isn’t always working and can mean the date is over quickly just with one phrase. An example I have is when I went on a first date with some who was a History teacher. I love history but some topics more than others. I made the big error of not asking what period of history he taught and then said I wasn’t interested in modern history such as World War II. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the importance of this period of history it’s just I prefer older history such as Medieval and Tudor periods. Yep you have guessed his specialist area was World War II, he then visited the toilet and a few minutes later he received ‘the emergency call’ from a friend and had to leave and we never saw each other again. What I am trying to say is that it is important to be open and honest but it is more important to learn about the other person and respect their interests before commenting on them. Generally it is probably best to avoid topics such as religion, politics, commenting on what they are eating/drinking, money, pets and marriage. You get the idea don’t you.
Second date and beyond
After the first date there is that odd period of time when you are not sure whether you should contact them or not. You constantly check your phone to see if there is a message, You even start to type a message to them but delete it and do is several times. If you text them too soon then you look too keen and are likely to scare them off but if you wait too long then they might move on as they think you are not interested. Both of these things I have done and that is why I know they don’t work. My rule of thumb is that if you have a date during the day then wait until later on in the evening to text them. If the date is on an evening then wait until lunchtime the next day. These reasonable amounts of time and will give you both time to reflect on how things went.
If you are lucky you get the magic second date. When you have finally stopped dancing around the room with excitement you can start thinking about the second date and what you want from it. The second date is where you build upon what you have learnt about them from the first date and you can try to show more of your personality. Maybe do something that neither of you have done before such as open top tour bus, go to the cinema and see whatever is next to be screened, library (honestly this is quite good), museum, local market, ghost tour, get lost in a maze, play board games, cook together or watch stand up comedy. After the second date you will both know if you want to see each other again. I don’t think you have to wait long after the second date to decide this and let them know. If you still want to see each other again brilliant then give it ago and see what happens. If you don’t want to see them again then just tell them don’t ignore them or make excuses just be honest with them.
Is it a date or not moment?
There are times when you are seeing someone regularly and you think it is a date but after a few times the other person says it is not date and they act surprised that you thought that. This has happened to me and I don’t know why because we seemed to do date type stuff and talk about each others interests etc but that was it. When I mentioned the date word to them it turned out they didn’t see it as a date. Maybe it wasn’t and I had just misread the signals or maybe the other person didn’t know if it was a date or not themselves and decided later it wasn’t but didn’t know how to tackle the issue. I don’t know which is right. What I do know is that it is an odd experience to be and does knock your confidence a bit. If it does happen just it behind you and move on.
Ok there you have it. My limited view on dating. Dating is difficult and hard work but it can also be a great thing. Even if it doesn’t work out as a relationship you may still make some great friends from the experience. Remember how you are feeling on a date is likely to be the same as the other person. It is not a battle so just go with the flow and be yourself.