When you Google “tips for the first date” there is a plethora of information available. From how to dress to how to prepare discussion points and impress your partner. Some articles mix dating trends with science and others interview a group of men to find out what really gets them hooked on their date. But all of these “top tips” say the same thing. The more I read the more I realise that all these tips tell us to be generic and just like the girl he met last week. Here are the top tips various sites gave me and what I think about them.
- Dress to impress:
According to the internet: First impressions matter and when your date sees you for the first time he shouldn’t be able to look away. A middle path in your hair says you’re neat but trendy and wearing a skirt shows off your legs without revealing too much.
According to me: The first date is intended to set the tone for the future – if there is one. If he doesn’t like your quirky Micky Mouse jersey better he finds out now than later. If I’m going to dress up I’m going to so it for myself and not a guy that I might or might not hit it off with.
- Keep the conversation light:
According to the internet: You should avoid provoking political debates and controversial topics. Don’t stir the pot too much, you don’t want to make your date uncomfortable. This is a time for light conversation about hobbies and likes, not the political state of the nation.
According to me: If he can’t talk about feminism and the fees must fall protests then we have no business going any further. As individuals, we are more than just our hobbies and our careers, we have opinions and experiences and we should share them. If this makes someone else uncomfortable then maybe it wasn’t meant to be and that’s okay. But don’t change the way you hold conversations to please someone else.
- Prepare discussion points:
According to the internet: If you and your date have been chatting before the meet-up recall his hobbies and do a quick search, his favourite band or favourite soccer team, this way when it comes up you can surprise him with your insight.
According to me: I must have missed the memo that said every date should be a scene from a Nicholas Sparks novel. This is not an interview so nothing will be researched. Part of the magic of “just clicking” is the spontaneity of it all. It’s not knowing the band’s name but knowing the song which happens to be his favourite. It’s about getting the pun wrong in a sports joke and then having him walk you through it. It’s about learning from each other – not forcing a connection through Facebook stalking and a quick Google search.
- Make him feel like a man:
According to the internet: Men like to know that they feel needed, so let him open your doors and order for you. If you need to ask the waiter a question, ask him first so that he can help.
According to me: It’s very simple: I’m not a damsel who needs saving. Neither am I a mute without hands. While I can appreciate chivalry at the right moments, if I need to help my date “feel like a man” then there are self-esteem issues going on that I don’t want to be a part of. If my date needs help with his masculinity, the need to ease his insecurity shouldn’t be placed on the shoulders of a female.
- Wait for him to call you:
According to the internet: At the end of the date let him know that you had a great time and if you’d like him to call you drop hints without looking too desperate. Then wait for him to call, you’ll come across as too keen if you’re the first one to call after the first date.
According to me: The “wait for him to call” move is the male way of removing female agency after a date. If he thinks I’m “too eager” if I call first then clearly he can’t appreciate my go-getter attitude and the agency of a modern woman. And that’s okay, but it’s not okay to tell women that “thank you for a great time” is code for “I’m easy and desperate”.
The next time you go on a first date all you should bring is yourself – after all, that is the person your date wants to get to know 😉