Jason Wiese | Lindenlink Reporter
*Photo courtesy of www.cafedebakwaas.com*
I will start off with yet another musical reference: Blink-182’s 2001 hit, “First Date,” from which I have based the title of this piece. Despite being a pure adrenaline punk-rocker, its lyrics tell a classic, sweet “boy meets girl” story that many dream to experience, and who would blame them? The first date, whether it is with a crush, a blind set-up, or with a friend who may become something more, can be nerve-racking just by the idea of it. One cannot help but wonder if the other person will really like them, what might go wrong, if they will have enough money, what they should wear, etc.
First dates are nothing to sweat the small stuff over. They are meant for having a good time with someone you like. Can it lead to something more? Possibly, which is why making a good first impression is important. After all, a first date is the ultimate first impression. But, again, it is nothing to freak out over. However, if you are still a little nervous, perhaps I can help. Allow me to explain:
Step 1: What to Wear
Follow this step with this logic: you are not going out for your anniversary. Dress casually, nothing too fancy but not too “lazy” either. Jeans are perfectly acceptable for either gender. Men would not have to go as far as putting on a tie, but should avoid wearing a T-shirt displaying their favorite band. I have no crucial restrictions for the ladies. However, I do believe that a dress would be best saved for a more special occasion.
I also suggest letting the weather help make your decision. Despite my belief that a hoodie is not ideal for a first date, if you need it to keep warm, go for it. I would also suggest adding a touch of your favorite fragrance spray. Gentlemen, if your favorite fragrance happens to be a product of Axe, Tag, or Old Spice, forget it. Grow up and get something real. Overall, present yourself as if you want to impress your date, but also as if you just want to have a good time.
Step 2: Extreme Makeover: Vehicle Edition
If this date requires vehicular transportation and you are the one driving, clean out your car. Dispose of any trash. Move any items of particular importance that you wish to keep in the car to the trunk or the glove compartment and not in the backseat. If you happen to have an air freshener, ditch it, because a spray of Febreze never hurts.
Step 3: Activity/Location
A classic (and classy) first date is dinner and a movie, in no particular order so to speak. The secret to dining out is to find out what your date likes to eat. If they are indifferent to where or what to eat, pick the best place you can think of, as long as it fits in with your price range. However, do not be too cheap about it, but certainly do not go to a fast food restaurant. I recall a good tip about dining out that I learned from (movie reference alert!) Sean Penn’s Jeff Spicoli, from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, who says, “Wherever you go, act like that is the place to be.”
Usually, if you are a human being, you will most likely enjoy the game of bowling, which is yet another classic first date activity. I do not suggest letting the other person win the game, as others might. I count that as dishonesty which people who read my column should know I am always against.
What you do on a first date is truly up to you. As long as you keep it classy and fun, the possibilities are endless.
Step 4: Conversation
Where do you work? What type of music do you listen to? What is your blood type? Where is the best place that you have traveled to?… While most of those questions are perfect for conversation, one of them does not belong here.
A first date is about getting to know someone, but that does not mean knowing everything. Do not let the conversation delve into anything too personal, yet let the words come naturally. Speak your mind with one small chunk of information at a time.
Step 5: Saying Good Night
Once the night comes to a close, most people hope for two things.
The first is that the other person will say that they had a great time. If the feeling is mutual, that means the chance of a second date is open. If not… Well, as always, consider it a learning experience.
The second hope is a good night kiss. Now, this is certainly something to be handled delicately. Kissing on the first date can be interpreted as rushing things, which is important to avoid. I believe there is one good way to go about it: as a wiser person than I once said, “If it feels right, it can wait a week.” That being said, if it does not feel right, do not bother kissing at all. Wish your date a good night and, if you want to see them again, ask if you can call them the next day. If you receive a yes, congratulations!
First dates are about fun, so make it fun. They are also about getting to know someone and spending time with someone whom you can be yourself with, which should come naturally. The best part about a first date, if it goes successfully, is watching it turn into something special.