By Jordan Darling, Editor-in-Chief
My new year did not start off the way I expected. My relationship of three years tanked in the first four days of the new decade and all my romantic thoughts of ‘forever’ and ‘meant to be’ came to a grinding halt. After a few days of crying and some serious thoughts about the prospect of bangs (I was talked out of it), I was left facing the fact that I was once again back in the world of singledom. The stress of being on a first date after a few years off the market was mind-boggling, especially in a world where dating is more like a job interview and dating profiles could double as a resume. In my limited experience, I have found getting past the first date is one of the hardest obstacles to finding a happily ever after or at least happily enjoying each other’s company for the time being.
For those of you looking for a way to navigate the complex and often perplexing world of modern dating, I would like to present you with a few tips to get you through the first date.
A couple of don’ts
Leave out the ghosts of relationships past. This is a clean slate, embrace it. I know the urge to spill all our dating disasters on a new pair of ears sounds appealing, but if you’re looking for a second date, keep it to yourself. If you have a funny story or you and an ex did something that is relevant to the conversation then that’s OK, but try omitting the romantic connection. On top of that, don’t play 21 questions. Information will come out when it is supposed to. A rookie mistake is playing the “what’s your favorite fill-in-the-blank” until you either find common ground or hit a wall with a bunch of useless information about a person you barely know. Try having a conversation rather than an interrogation.
Play a game
Despite a plethora of horror stories from friends, I put aside my reservations and signed up for a dating app. I created a pretty clever bio and then prayed to every deity I could think of, the universe, and anyone who would listen that I didn’t get a creeper in my DM’s. So far I’ve been fairly lucky, and after a few swipes, I made a really great connection and we had a lovely coffee date. To keep the conversation up, we played ‘two truths and a lie’. We took turns telling each other two truths about ourselves and one lie and then the other person would have to guess the lie. It led to some very interesting stories, a few really good laughs, and a second date.
A couple of dos
Talk about your goals. NOT your long-term relationship goals. That can be really intimidating on a first date. Save that for later, if you get that far. Talk about your passions, what you want for the new year, who you want to be. One of the best parts of dating is getting to know different people. Everyone has something to teach you, so take the time to listen and share. Keep your questions open, avoid yes or no’s, show that you’re interested in who they are.
Dating can be a stressful experience, I get it. Navigating a conversation with someone you barely know, with the added pressure of a potential romantic entanglement at the end of the night is enough to make anyone’s hands a bit clammy. Keep your cool and just be yourself.