First dates can be a nail-biter for anyone but I’ve luckily found myself married to an inexplicably gorgeous woman despite my awkwardness. So, I’d like to share some principles for a good first date by telling the story of my last first date.
First dates are kind of like dancing: You don’t look that bad as long as you convince yourself against all logic that you’re awesome at it. When I asked out my wife Emily for the first time, we were on our way to Sonic for a Coke. I intentionally drove right past Sonic saying, “Oh man, I missed it! How about you let me make it up to you by taking you out on a date?” The point isn’t that I appeared super suave. I actually didn’t. But she thought it was adorable and agreed to go on a date that evening.
No matter how cool you try to be with your date, there’s always that awkward “first date elephant” in the room. Solution? Strap a saddle to that pachyderm and take your date for a magical ride on it! Before dinner that night I took Em to Target. I gave her five bucks and said, “We’re playing a game. We have to buy something ridiculous for each other to wear during dinner.” She got me a giant yellow bow and I got her a bib. She later said she fell for me because I could find adventure anywhere. I just thought it was funny to make her wear a bib…
3. Impress her without going broke.
It’s important not to overspend on the first date. You want a girl who likes you for the right reasons and for me, I’d rather have someone who values creativity and fun over the size of my wallet. So for dinner I took Em for a cheap burger but then went to the nicest restaurant in town for dessert. Much cheaper, plus we didn’t have to wait because we could sit at the bar. We got a dessert called the chocolate bag. Listen carefully men: Women. Love. Chocolate. And chocolate’s cheap.
4. Get to know each other.
It’s often said not to go to a movie for your first date and that’s good advice. At this stage you’re both wondering if you’ve found a good match and dragging that out for another week just adds undue stress. I suggest you not let out all your crazy at once, but still show some vulnerability. Long-term relationships require plenty of vulnerability so show that you’re okay with yourself enough in that regard, and you also want to know that she can reciprocate.
I’m not promising that if you do exactly what I did on your first date it’ll end in matrimony. There’s a lot more to dating than just getting the first one right. But I can say that if you follow these principles and it goes well, you probably know you’ve got a keeper. I do.