Although I’m not the most romantic person in the world I’d like to think I make a good impression on a first date. As ‘they’ say you only have one chance to make a first impression. I must have done something right as sixteen years after my first date with my other-half we’re married and very happy together.
With that in mind I’ve decided to impart some of my natural wisdom on to you, gentle reader, with the hope you learn the do’s and don’ts of a first date – I’ve had enough of them so feel like I have some useful knowledge to pass on.
– Try to remember their name. It’s probably the very best thing you can do. The last thing you want to do is spend all night calling a guy Carl only for him to tell you his name is Gary as you’re saying goodbye. It didn’t really matter though as there wasn’t a hope in Dorothy I was ever seeing him again.
– If you’re going to talk about an ex at some point make sure it’s only the last one and only mention him once. No one wants to hear about all of your conquests, it only leads to them saying “you’re actually a bit of a tramp aren’t you?!” and then leaving without me saying goodbye.
– It’s probably best to not talk about television shows. It will lead to one of two things:
1. He’ll not like the same ones as you and never call you again.
2. He’ll like exactly the same ones as you which will lead to you talking about TV shows all night and not finding anything out about each other and he’ll never call you again.
There’s a reason you’re both single remember!
– When you’ve decided where you’re meeting think carefully about the venue and dress appropriately. If you turn up in a shirt and tie for drinks at the local gay bar you’ll remind him of his dad. No matter how much you tell me you’ve just come from work!
– If you write a blog don’t tell him! In fact try to stay away from mentioning anything on the internet other than funny videos on You Tube. The last thing you want is for him to find your blog two days after you’re written a piece about how he wasn’t the most attractive person you’ve seen, spoke a bit monotone but had a good body.
– If he invites you to stay over it’s not appropriate to assume it’s in his bed. No matter where it is it’s also not appropriate to sleep naked. Especially if he lives with his nan.
– If he’s one of the most boring people you’ve ever met get him drunk! It might not make him any more interesting but it’ll make the night more entertaining. Especially when he starts sobbing about the break up of his last relationship and how it was all his fault for alphabetising the food cupboard.
– Don’t wear an “I’m With Stupid” tee-shirt.
– Don’t start talking about your brothers low sperm count. It doesn’t make for entertaining conversation.
– It is no longer the 1920’s. Don’t expect to have your night paid for! Share all the expense.
– Listen to him when he’s talking. Even if it’s boring the s**t out of you. Pretend like he’s saying something else if you have to but at least make it look like you’re paying attention. If he says “what do you think?” and you realise you haven’t paid attention to anything he’s said then stay silent for a few seconds then blink and say “sorry, I’ve just realised how much you look like a guy I went to school with, do you have a brother?” Once that part of the conversation is over say “Sorry, where were we?” He’ll repeat what he said last and you can answer him. This one really works I promise.
– Don’t bother having an emergency call any more. He’ll know straight away that it’s your brother or best mate and not that you’ve an emergency in the office to attend to. If you don’t like him either tell him or lie your way through the night until an appropriate time to leave! If he gets an emergency call make him feel really guilty by offering to give him a lift or go with him. Lie and say you have experience of the emergency.
– Take mints. Even if you don’t think your mouth is producing some form toxic waste it probably is. Don’t take gum! No one wants you looking like Kerry Katona all night.
– Three sprays of aftershave are enough. One on the wrist then rub your wrists together, two on the neck. Anymore makes you smell disgusting no matter how much of nice fragrance it is and copious amounts of scent will make your neck taste disgusting when I’m kissing it later.
– It is not acceptable to burp or fart on a first date. If you need to do either then go to the toilet.
– It is also not appropriate to vomit unless you have something contagious that you didn’t realise you had.
– If you meet people you know introduce them but don’t ask them to join you. He’ll leave and you won’t realise it until you go to buy a round.
– You may discuss Gaydar/Grindr et al but only to point out how you don’t use it, don’t like it and don’t like people who do use it. Even if this is a lie.
– Concerts are not the ideal place for a first date. Neither is Ikea on a Sunday, a Warwickshire Ambulance Service station, your nan’s house or Dethick.
– If you’re still married reveal this before the date. Do not leave it until the very last minute as you’re saying goodbye and trying to arrange a second date, which probably won’t happen anyway now!
– Talking about your gap year for three hours is really boring and will not go down well. Pick one story from it, tell it, change the subject. It’s only appropriate to continue if he says “Tell me more.”
– If at any point he says “Tell me more,” he’s getting you drunk because you’re boring and I’m hoping you get more entertaining.
– It’s okay to discuss music. Everyone has differing musical opinions and these are allowed to be expressed. It is not okay to belittle him about his taste in music or laugh at him for liking Robson & Jerome (it’s the people not the singing if you’d given me chance to explain!) It’s also not appropriate to start humming the bridal march.
– At the end of the night do not tell them how they scored out of ten. Unless it’s a nine or ten. If it’s a nine explain in a complimentary manner where they lost a point and how they can win it back.
– It’s best not to have to call your place of work while on your date. You may have to reveal to your date that you’re actually quite incompetent.
– If you start comparing scars and he says “Of course it’s the emotional scars that hurt the deepest!” go to the toilet immediately. When you come back tell him he has nice eyes, even if he doesn’t. It’ll change the subject and you won’t have to deal with any depressing stories on a first date. If he changes the subject back go to the toilet again. This time when you return tell him you had a bad curried egg earlier and need to go home to grab some Imodium.
– It’s not okay to smell his hair. It’ll only lead to me shouting “What the f**k?!” in crowded bar.
– Don’t talk about work for more than thirty minutes unless you have the most interesting job in the world*.
– If you have pictures of your pets in your wallet do not get them out. The same goes for ex’s, parents and cars. Pictures of your children are acceptable but don’t harp on about them. Yes they’re important to you but if you want them to be important him let him get to know you first.
– If he says “I’m going to Spain for a week on business on Thursday, would you like to come with me?” say no. Keep in mind this is a first date! Your second date should not be at an airport as it’ll only involve you paying a fortune to be on stand-by for thirty-six hours before flying home alone after realising on the flight out you can’t abide the guy. You’ll also spend three weeks avoiding him and his calls even though you’ve told him “Yeah, it’s not gonna happen!”
The final and best piece of advice I can give you for your first date is this: Enjoy it!
It’s a first date and even if its going badly remember you’re out of the house with someone you thought, at first, was worthy of your company. One of three things is going to happen next.
1. You’ll never see him again.
2. You’ll make a great new friend.
3. You’ll end up in a relationship that, even if it only lasts a few months, will bring some happiness and fun!
For legal reasons I cannot disclose if any of the above advice is related to any first date I may have had.
*You do not have the most interesting job in the world.