You’re Setting Yourself Up For a Dating Disaster If…
You spend hours choosing the perfect outfit so you can make the best first impression. You spend the afternoon racking your brain for witty topics of conversation. Let’s not forget the location and activity can make the difference between the night from hell and one hell of a night. Dating someone new can be an uncomfortable process in itself, so there’s no need for you to add fuel to the inferno. By avoiding the following scenarios, you’ll give yourself a better chance at landing date number two:
1. You met him online and got a slight case of the creeps.
He took the time to “like” all 63 of your profile pictures on Facebook and by the second instant message convo he was telling you he missed you. This might be the beginning of a beautiful romance, but your intuition is telling you it’s more like a fatal attraction. Meeting online can be even sketchier than a blind date, since technology allows someone the ability to moonlight as a completely fictional person. Try a group date when first taking your online interest into reality or plan a daytime date in a public place so that you’re not isolated in case your computer love turns crazy.
2. You were set up on a blind date by your co-worker. You know the one you have only had two conversations with since she started working last January.
I don’t play Match.com for friends because I refuse to take the blame for when the date is a dud and have to hear two people I talk to on a regular basis rant about the other’s flaws. If you prefer to be set up however, make sure it’s by someone whose opinion you respect and trust. Who they choose for you says a lot about what they think of you and how well they know you. So if someone who looks like the Jerome character from Martin shows up at your door, it’s a profound statement about how your “friend” really sees you, or proof that she’s a bad listener.
3. You’re expecting a horseback ride, a sunset picnic along with a dozen long-stemmed roses.
It’s understandable to want romance with all the trimmings, especially if the last time you had a date was when Bush was still in office (the father, not the son). But it’s important not to set your expectations so high and ruin an otherwise decent date. If you write him off when he doesn’t open the car door for you, you may miss out on the story of how he volunteers at the Big Brother to help at-risk young men. It’s also important to understand that everyone’s idea of romance is not identical and sometimes creativity really does conquer the clichéd ideas of romance.
4. You don’t have a Plan B.
You were wondering why the waitress was giving you major attitude. It might be because your date was just laid up with her last weekend. Not to mention he assumed that the drinks were on you and updated his Twitter like ten times during the night. This date sucks, but you’re stuck because you failed to create a backup plan. Well, plan to fail if you don’t have an exit strategy prepared. You could do the famous “phone call from a friend” telling you her car was stolen and you’re the only one who can pick her up. And if you suddenly want to fall victim to illness, go for the eyes. It’s more believable that you lost a contact lens than the tired “my stomach is upset” excuse. Otherwise, honesty is the best
policy. Just be straight up instead of struggling through the night and wasting your time and his, and then meet up with your girlies for bowling.
5. You’re not aware of the dress code.
I like surprises so if a guy doesn’t want to reveal what he has planned for the evening, I’m game. You on the other hand, may want an itinerary of events. If for some reason you have no idea what’s planned and aren’t sure whether to go little black dress or basic trainers, just ask him how to dress. If he’s still all 007 about what you’ll be doing, then try to find a balance in between casual and dressy favoring the latter. You’ll stand out less if you’re all dolled up at a casual affair than you will rocking distressed denim at the opera. Wear flats if walking long distances is an issue or pack some like Dr. Scholl’ s Fast Flats.
6. You left the house without it.
American Express told you not to do it. Whether you’re old-fashioned, a bonafide feminist, or somewhere in between, it’s important that you always carry enough cash to cover yourself. The basic essentials of your clutch should be a cell phone, no less than $80.00 in cash (if possible), an emergency credit card that is accepted by most vendors, your health insurance card, an i.d., and some condoms (Yeah, I said it.) The discussion to go dutch or otherwise can be handled during the date, but you never want to leave yourself stranded or looking crazy. He could be a psycho that decides to kick you out on the freeway because of your intense dislike for the “Classics by Wiz Khalifa” mix he is playing. Always have a way to get home and enough money to do so.
As for the condoms, let’s be real. I have a huge amount of respect for ladies who say they don’t get it popping on the first date, but sometimes when that date looks like Tank those values go flying to the floor with the clothes. We’re all adults, just be safe about it. Don’t count on him to have it covered. Bring more than one in case something goes wrong with the first or you’re up for round two…or three.
7. You met him at the club he goes to faithfully every Friday night.
This may not be popular opinion, but Usher was a damn lie talking about making love in the club. A good Dougie session, probably. $5 drink specials, most definitely. But love? Let’s just say from what I’ve personally witnessed, that doesn’t happen too often. When it comes to the club, most people come looking for a good time: some dancing, creative pick-up lines and maybe a little sex to top off the night. But don’t be disappointed if you don’t find a life partner, especially if you’re plotting on the guy who’s there every Friday at 10:00 sharp to get in for the low low. Try the bookstore or the supermarket.
8. You don’t precede the date with at least one phone call.
You might want to dial his number just once if it’s a guy you haven’t actually met yet. Phone calls can reveal a lot on the low. Has he called you from a different number all five times you’ve talked?
Questionable. Lot’s of screaming kids in the background and he’s not a teacher? Questionable. Only calls after Conan O’ Brien comes on? Questionable. You get my drift, the type of conversation you have could determine whether you even want to go on the date. Be sure not to make any assumptions though, those kids could be all of his adorable nephews and nieces, but it never hurts to trust your gut.
Toya Sharee is a community health educator who has a passion for helping young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health. She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee.