under Date Night
It’s so easy to come off as the “perfect” prospect online, and on the phone, and even during the first few months of dating. This is when people are on their best behavior, they are charming, they only reveal the best parts of themselves. Well, that’s how it usually works. I’ve been hearing story after story of people showing their true colors on a first date.
From the guy who admitted to having a foot fetish while staring and salivating over his date’s feet five minutes after sitting down for dinner, to the guy who invited a woman over after a nice dinner only to have her find his bed covered with dozens of stuffed animals and him asking her if she liked “furries” (I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried), to the gal who used the ingredients in her side salad to begin precociously exchanging sex stories with her date over entrees as he sat stunned.
In these instances it was easy to bid adieu to these shmos, but most times people hide their vices better… and for longer. Hopefully your dates’ vices are no more than just being mildly OCD or quoting Friends and Seinfeld every other sentence. Beaus do exist, but no one is perfect — just know there will always be something you don’t like about everyone.
Just the other day, while on my way to meet a strapping gentleman for our first date at a restaurant in Chelsea, I found myself flustered and in a bizarrely terrible mood. I was running over 15 minutes late, stuck on a conference call for work, and though I had enough time to take a shower I didn’t have enough time to dry my hair, forcing me to exit my apartment with a wet mop of tangled split ends resting awkwardly on my head. When I finally stumbled my way into the arms of my date for a friendly “hello”, I was still huffing and puffing and feeling like a 5”7 catastrophe.
I noticed that when I started unloading my hectic day on the salad plate of my date, he began looking soggy, uninterested, and unsure of what to say or to do to cheer me up. I realized this complainer was not who I was! I quickly apologized and vowed to never again unleash these kinds of dragons during first impressions. Instead, I decided that next time I’m faced with chaos before a date, here is how I will deal with it:
Do: If you had a tricky day, call a good friend before you head out on your date and spend a few minutes venting to them. You should always try to put your best peep-toe forward when marching into a date, so a good a venting session will help clear your mind and bring you back down to earth.
Don’t: Leave your problems at the door. If you had a terrible day at work, just got into a screaming match with your darling parents or are finding yourself overwhelmingly tired, check these things with your coat and don’t bring them with your handshake when you go to meet your date. It’s okay to allude to them briefly, in a joking matter, mentioning the tough day you may have had, but why harp on it? The point of a first date is to get to know someone, so show off the things that make you energized, happy, inspired and motivated on a daily basis.
Read more of Jen Glantz here: www.thethingsilearnedfrom.com
You have a hot new date sitting in the passenger seat next to you and a car nearly hits you as it cuts you off exiting the freeway. Or you’re sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic with your date while the clock ticks down on the curtain call for the expensive tickets you bought to the hottest show in town. The waiter at the fancy-shmancy expensive restaurant repeatedly brings you the wrong order, ignores you and forgets about you. There are many, many more examples of common ways that dates can go wrong, but it’s how you handle it that matters. You can lose your temper and scream at the other driver or get frustrated and start driving erratically or snap at an overworked waiter but none of these reactions will change the situation or make you feel better. Worse, they will ruin your date. Patience truly is a virtue in these circumstances because it is a character trait which is appreciated throughout all facets of life. And possibly even more important is kindness. Showing consideration by remarking that the other driver must be in a hurry and Thank Goodness you weren’t hit or that you hope the traffic isn’t caused by some terrible accident or that the waiter must be stressed and that you’re grateful the date is going so well that you’re not in any hurry to get your food are all great ways to handle these situations and shows you have grace under fire.
This may not seem like an obvious topic, but there are words we all use that are not, well, so nice sounding. In fact, they can be misconstrued as being flirtatious when it’s not, or being raunchy when it’s not. For example, rather than saying “I like my meat rare” say “I prefer my steak cooked rare.” Hear the difference? The former sentence can be misinterpreted as a sexual advance when all you are trying to do is order food! Of course, some people make these inferences on purpose, but don’t make any assumptions as to what someone hears versus your intentions. Same thing with talking about “balls.”
Other words simply may conjure up unpleasing images. Talking about loving babies, because you truly love kids, may freak out a guy who is not ready to be a dad yet. Talking about feet, or toilets, or stains, or body odor are all no-no’s during the first few dates. Even if you’re telling a joke. Why would you want to mention something that gives most people the willie-nillies? Filter yourself.
I witnessed an odd, yet beautiful, sight today. While sitting in traffic, I watched as the woman in the car in front of me and the man in the car next to her started making eye contact while keeping pace with each other’s cars. Then he motioned for her to roll down her window and they began introducing themselves and exchanging pleasantries. Suddenly he motioned again while yelling something indecipherable to me and they both signaled to change lanes towards the right and exited.
It made me think about what they could each glean from the other meeting on a freeway. You can see the type of car the other is driving, although you have no idea if it’s paid or if they have a car payment or if the car is leased. You can see if they take care of their car if it is clean on the outside and inside, and that will reflect if they take care of themselves and their homes. Yes, these two people could see each other’s attractive faces but their first impression was also shaped by the vessel they were traveling in.
Be prepared to meet anyone anywhere. But try not to judge a book by its cover. A car is just a material thing, it doesn’t make the man (or woman).