The First Date Effect

I often describe a first date as a combination of a job interview, riding a rollercoaster and a trip to the dentist. After all, sometimes it’s a great success but sometimes it’s just downright painful. As I continue to analyse the process of dating I can’t help but think back to my younger self and how I used to handle meeting people for the first time. It can be daunting even now at the age of 30 so how on earth did the moody 18 year old me get by?

My process was always the same. Fifteen outfit changes, countless hair styles, shots of vodka and desperate attempts to memorise the conversation topics written on my hand (always remember to rub these off!) By the time I’d left the house I was a tipsy, nervous, over-dressed, walking hair spray factory. Sometimes the stress of it all would even lead to tantrums, swearing and door slamming, when I was getting ready for a date it was safe to say no one dared get in my way. My Mother would also say she knew when I was going on a date because she could hear me jumping up and down, to this day I still don’t recall what this was, but apparently when I get excited I do this subconscious jumping on the spot thing a bit like a boxer about to start a fight – we all have our quirks I guess. I always find it incredible how such a simple thing like meeting a nice girl for a quiet drink can turn us men into such vain and irritable monsters – unless that’s just me of course?

One of my worst habits on dates was always not listening, not because I wasn’t interested in what they had to say but because I was too busy thinking about what I was going to say next. I was a terrible one for over-thinking. That’s something I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older, don’t over complicate things just enjoy the company of a stranger, regardless of attraction or a potential future just make the most of the moment.

One of my more awkward first dates was indeed a blind one. I’d been at the house-warming party of a friend and apparently had asked her roommate out on a date. It was only the next day however that I made this discovery when my friend asked where I was taking her. I thought it was a wind-up at first, I had absolutely no recollection of her roommate at all and alcohol usually didn’t affect me in such a way. Sure enough a couple of days later I was on my way to meet ‘Ang’. When I saw her I had to seriously question what I had been drinking at the party, not in a nasty way, she just wasn’t anything like what I’d usually go for. When I asked her what she’d like to do she said the cinema. This is always a major no-no for me, the cinema in my opinion completely defeats the purpose of a first date but ever the gentleman I agreed and off we went. She wanted to see the latest ‘Narnia’ movie, we managed to get tickets but the cinema had rather limited seating. As we walked in, the movie had already started and we couldn’t see spare seats anywhere so I had to do that embarrassing thing where you get a member of staff to come and guide you with a torch (it always makes you look like a pair of hikers lost in the woods at night). As it happens there were no two seats together, I laughed and got ready to leave but Ang promptly proclaimed “this will do.”

So not only am I sat in a dark movie theatre with zero opportunity to actually get to know this girl, I was sat in the row behind her! To add to my misery an old school friend was sitting directly behind me and said hello, I tried to explain that I was on a date but the only people sitting next to me was two old men and a large group of Asian tourists – great start to the night this was turning out to be.

I have to be honest I was a little tempted to leave, it was the most ridiculous dating situation I’d ever found myself in, you could hardly even call it a date at this point. The movie ended and we finally went to the pub, as we chatted I realised I had absolutely nothing in common with this girl. I couldn’t quite believe I’d just sat through that movie for her and in the process made my future high school reunion that little bit more awkward. As I said goodbye she leaned in for a kiss, I had to laugh it had been the most awful of nights how could she possibly think a kiss was on the cards? But as I had given up on life by this point, I duly obliged.

I guess it’s a similar position many of us have found ourselves in, perhaps not the finer details but the whole process of getting ready, being excited and generally just looking forward to the night and then it turns out to be like more painful trips to the dentist. Never be disheartened though, for every Narnia date there are also the spectacular ones, the dates that remind us of why the tantrums, door slamming and endless outfit changes are completely worthwhile. One of my best ever dates ended with a 3am slow dance in the rain to a busker in an empty Glasgow street, it was like a scene from a movie (not Narnia). That’s where I believe the beauty in dating comes from though, when you step through your front door you have absolutely no clue as to what the night has in store for you, whether it’s a movie sat in separate rows or slow-dancing to one of your favourite songs. I think it’s kind of amazing actually.

So to anyone soon to be embarking on a dreaded first date, don’t panic if it’s not what you hoped for. One day you’ll laugh about it and perhaps you’ll even write about it. Whatever happens though, I truly believe that your 3am  slow dance is waiting just around the corner, be patient.

Happy Dating




  1. July 12, 2014 / 1:52 am

    That sounds like a terrible first date, but a common one to have! Looking forward to hearing about this emo phase!

  2. July 12, 2014 / 2:10 am

    That date sounds terrible but it’s great that you’re able to joke about it now! Thanks for sharing. This gave me a laugh and a good dose of faith

    • July 12, 2014 / 2:19 am

      It’s my pleasure, thank you so much for reading. Paul

  3. July 12, 2014 / 9:44 am

    Oh bless you, that sounds so cute xD I fell straight into my first relationship a little late at 20, and we were together 3.5 years so I skipped the whole awkward teenage dating thing 🙂

    Since I started though, I’ve never really gotten too worried about a first date. I’m always a little bit nervous right before it, but I adopted the attitude that if I’m right for them then whatever I do – they’ll like me! xD

  4. July 12, 2014 / 1:36 pm

    I have to comment again! This was HILARIOUS! I had a terrible date once and the guy tried to kiss me when I hugged him good bye and I laughed IN his mouth… I was just being polite because the date was terrible….. I laughed then and I laugh now. Thanks for sharing your humor! I love it 🙂

    • July 12, 2014 / 1:41 pm

      You’re so welcome and I love your comments they’re always welcome! It’s a funny situation to be in, you don’t want to be rude but at the same time sometimes you just don’t want to kiss someone.

  5. July 12, 2014 / 9:01 pm

    Loved your post – it’s refreshing to read that men also get nervous about dates …the terrible thing is dating doesn’t get any easier on your 50’s in fact it’s almost worse that when you’re a teenager – certainly more nerve wracking 🙂

    • July 12, 2014 / 9:02 pm

      I guess that’s the beauty of dates, whether you’re 18 or 50 it can affect us all in the same way. Thanks for reading and your comments, really means a lot. Paul

  6. July 12, 2014 / 10:21 pm

    lol, how cool 🙂 love this blog… how did i ever manage without it?!

    • July 12, 2014 / 10:32 pm

      Can’t tell you how much little comments like this make my day. Really glad you’re enjoying it 🙂 means a lot.

      • July 12, 2014 / 10:34 pm

        🙂 you have no idea just how immaculate your timing is…
        enough for now, but maybe one day i will explain 😉
        thank you

        • July 12, 2014 / 10:38 pm

          Haha you’ve got me wondering what you mean! I hope you do tell me 🙂

          • July 12, 2014 / 10:39 pm

            well if i say pot, i guess you are going to know what i mean ? 😉

          • July 12, 2014 / 10:40 pm

            pof, lol, not pot!!!!!! 🙂

          • July 12, 2014 / 10:41 pm

            Haha ok, first date from pof I’m guessing?

          • July 12, 2014 / 11:06 pm

            knew you’d figure it 😉

          • July 12, 2014 / 11:12 pm

            Best of luck hope it goes well 🙂

          • July 12, 2014 / 11:18 pm

            arghhhhh!!!!! 😉

          • July 12, 2014 / 10:40 pm

            and it’s soooo great when a man tells you what is going on in his head 🙂

  7. July 12, 2014 / 11:07 pm

    that was great. i’ve been thinking about giving up hope. i needed that. thanks

    • July 12, 2014 / 11:12 pm

      Means a lot 🙂 glad you enjoyed! Thanks for reading

  8. July 13, 2014 / 12:33 am

    I hate dates they are so awkward, especially first dates. Emo phase hahahah. God I look back and think wtf was I thinking wearing that much eyeliner and wearing ties….YIKES. Liked the blog though. Very funny.

  9. July 13, 2014 / 3:03 am

    Love this!! I’m also a little jealous! Not exactly of the whole movie fiasco, but rather the experience of multiple dates. I have only ever been on two dates in my life! Both were the generic dinner and a movie, not bad or anything, just nothing special either. I think I’d quite like the excitement/nervousness and the whole build up of it all, especially if it turned out as spectacular as slow dancing under the moonlight by the end. Good luck on your future endeavors, I’m sure there are many more wonderful moments to come 🙂

    • July 13, 2014 / 4:32 am

      This made my morning thank you kindly. Maybe you should try going on a few more dates if even to tick it off your bucket list a little more comfortably?And I’m sure there’s plenty special about you! Every day things you won’t even notice that make you some men’s dream woman. Hang in there,always here if you need to talk! Paul

      • July 13, 2014 / 4:46 am

        Awe! Well thank you for the kind words! I have actually been in a relationship for the past 7+ years now. The guy I’m with was one of those generic dates I went on, so I suppose it all turned out alright 😉 We had actually known each other for many years, as we went to the same schools, and had previously been an item in junior high. I am quite happy, but sometimes wish there could have been more of those experiences dating when I was younger. No one I really know dated much either when we were younger, we all just kind of “hungout” casually. Maybe I should just convince the guy I’m with to romance me once in awhile and I can not have that feeling of having missed out a little lol.

  10. July 13, 2014 / 12:19 pm

    You have to kiss many frogs to get to your princess/prince. hahaha. Or in your case at least one cat 😉

  11. July 13, 2014 / 4:45 pm

    This post reminds me may first date with the one I love. At the beginning, both of us did not believe that we could end up successfully. We all scared to take a step forward cause we had hurted by someone else. Fortunately, my boyfriend is a strong man and he decides that we would have a happy ending. So he try his best to break the invisible line between us and finally, I believe in him <3 This post is lovely, thanks for sharing.

    • July 13, 2014 / 4:48 pm

      That’s such a nice story I’m so glad to hear you’ve had a happy ending. Thanks for sharing 🙂 paul

  12. July 13, 2014 / 5:01 pm

    Hehehe…happy that there is a fellow “jumping-up-and-downer” out there. Except mine doesn’t look like a boxer getting amped for a fight. Apparently mine looks more like a High School Musical – I just need to still break out in song… 🙂

    • July 13, 2014 / 5:08 pm

      Haha likewise I’m glad I’m not the only one. Thanks for reading 🙂

  13. July 15, 2014 / 1:53 pm

    I love this post! Thank you so much for sharing this story with us! It was real, funny, and thoughtful 🙂

    • July 15, 2014 / 7:00 pm

      Thank you so much 🙂 that really means a lot. I love sharing my stories I hope it helps people realise they’re not alone in the crazy world of dating. Thanks again for reading, keep in touch. Paul

  14. July 15, 2014 / 2:24 pm

    Nice read! Totally agree with the advice 🙂 Be yourself, no pressure… it’s not a test ;P

    But…I have the whole thing flipped on its head… The date was awesome. The woman amazing.. and I would love to see her again and talk about all sorts of things.

    However, as you say, a first date is a combination of “job interview, riding a rollarcoaster and a trip to the dentist”, she’d make a wonderful girlfriend, but there’s some incompatibilities on beliefs (I wrote about it on my blog –…how do I deal with that?

    Seems it’s, “Thanks for the great time, but I don’t think you’re who I’m looking for.” 🙁

  15. July 15, 2014 / 10:10 pm

    Loved your date stories..had me laughing all right!

    • July 15, 2014 / 10:12 pm

      Haha yeah I love looking back on these things it’s good to laugh about it. Glad you enjoyed 🙂

  16. July 16, 2014 / 7:48 am

    Haha, I love this! Had some date tragedies myself too, they all seem funny now, but back then it was like being in labor.
    Anami, xx

    • July 16, 2014 / 10:38 am

      Haha I’m glad you enjoyed. Thanks very much for reading, look forward to reading more of your stuff. Paul

  17. July 16, 2014 / 10:43 pm

    This was GOOD. You won’t believe how many times awkward first dates have happened. In the end though, I try to make the best of it and just laugh it off, I even make the effort to ease it up for my date if I can tell that him and I are both thinking “well this sucked.” lol. Awesome blog!

    • July 16, 2014 / 10:48 pm

      Haha thank you, yeah it’s true first dates are so hit and miss I love hearing everyone’s stories. Thanks for reading! Paul

      • July 16, 2014 / 10:55 pm

        Huh yes Hit and Miss lol maybe I’ll write one of my own, since I am still in the search for that one particular awesome date (hopefully that last lol) hey keep them coming and I’ll read them all 🙂

  18. July 18, 2014 / 8:00 am

    Dating from the male perspective? Where have you been all my life!

    Seriously though, it’s a refreshing change to see, and I’ll be reading with avid interest. Not that I’m dating anymore myself… but it’s always nice to get a brief insight into the male psyche! 😉

    • July 18, 2014 / 9:29 am

      Haha thank you for reading and thank you for both your comments I’m really happy to hear from you. I loved your story, that’s why I’m a little fascinated with dating, everyone has a story 🙂

  19. July 18, 2014 / 3:39 pm

    Aww. How sweet and vulnerable it is! Thanks so much, Paul.

  20. July 18, 2014 / 6:04 pm

    This is so funny!! Im going to bookmark this and read it before I go on dates haha, to remind me to take it easy!

    • July 18, 2014 / 6:07 pm

      Haha thank you so much, I’m glad you like it. Sometimes I forget that this actually happened and isn’t a story I just made up, seems so surreal thinking back. Have a great weekend. Paul

  21. July 19, 2014 / 3:40 am

    This made me laugh out loud. Dating again as a widow hasn’t been my cup of tea, so to speak. But I remember youth, and the nerves. Nowadays, I’d be happy to find someone with a good friendship basis. We simply don’t think like that when young. Good post 🙂

    • July 19, 2014 / 7:59 am

      I’m so glad to hear that and you’re not the first person to say its different when you’re young. Thanks for reading, really means a lot. Paul

  22. July 19, 2014 / 4:57 pm

    I loved the jumping up and down part 🙂 cute!!!!

  23. July 19, 2014 / 5:04 pm

    I’m going to borrow a line from your blog, hope is ok 🙂 (I’ll of course, quote you properly)

  24. Chelsea
    July 22, 2014 / 5:08 pm

    Great post. I think almost everyone can relate to this. I’ve been on quite a few awkward dates, but nothing quite like that. Keep on laughing at them and soon you’ll be dancing at 3 am 🙂

  25. July 23, 2014 / 10:23 am

    I really like your writing 🙂
    Keep going for it!

      • July 23, 2014 / 10:48 am

        You’re very welcome Paul! 🙂

      • August 16, 2014 / 9:24 pm

        You’re very welcome!

  26. August 28, 2014 / 11:56 am

    It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy.

    I’ve read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you some interesting things or advice.

    Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article.

    I want to read more things about it!

  27. September 27, 2014 / 2:56 pm

    Amazing blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are
    so many options out there that I’m totally overwhelmed ..
    Any tips? Thanks a lot!

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