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


71 thoughts on “The First Date Effect

  1. 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

  2. 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 🙂

    1. 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.

  3. 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 🙂

    1. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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 🙂

    1. 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

      1. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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… 🙂

    1. 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

  8. 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.” 🙁

  9. 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!

      1. 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 🙂

  10. 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! 😉

    1. 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 🙂

    1. 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

  11. 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 🙂

  12. 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 🙂

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