Four first date tips. From someone who knows.

So. The first date. It should be a good thing. An exciting thing! Full of promise and flirtation. And butterflies. And hair flicking. And giggling.

But it’s also petrifying. And awkward. And just plain, well, weird.

I mean, when else do you spend intense one-on-one time with a virtual stranger?  You don’t ever bump into a random girl on the street and like her shade of lippy so much you offer to meet up and discuss in depth over a frappuccino, because that would be odd.

And getting to know someone on purpose is bullshit. You get to know someone by accident. Because you have things in common, friends in common – you just ‘click’. You can’t force it – I have friends I’ve known all my life and dread having a conversation with, and others I’ve met just weeks ago and yet I can finish their sentences.

The annoying thing is, you can’t plan who you click with. You can’t explain it – you just do, despite your better judgment or your mother’s well wishes. In fact it’s usually the most unsuitable, MOST TOXIC boys that are the clickiest. Damn them and their clickety click clickness.

And there’s absolutely NO way of knowing if you will have said click with someone before the first date… unless, unless UNLESS they are a friend. And THAT is a whole other post…

Therefore, a first date is tantamount to your parents hauling your teenage ass into the family car, driving for four hours to some horrendous theme park/ holiday camp/ beach of death for a day of forced fun. Cos that’s exactly what a first date usually is: forced. I’m forcing myself to be funny. I’m forcing you to laugh, cos God knows what would happen if we stopped talking and there was *DUM DUM DUUUUUUUUM* silence.

And anyway, what’s wrong with silence? I’m a big fan. Of a comfortable silence, that is. Put me in an uncomfortable silence and I’m likely to spew up every anecdote, story, cheesy joke and animal impression I can think of just to fill said silence. The Amy Show kicks into full effect including jazz hands and choreographed dance routines. And that may MAY be why my knowledge of first dates is so extensive. Because there have been so bloody many.

So, in the never ending quest for the ever elusive second date, below are the lessons I’ve learnt in the hope that one day one of us may achieve this elusive holy grail…


The venue

Bars are good. Bars full of all their friends and family are not.

Gigs are controversial. Smoochy  ballads will leave you feel like you’re sharing a moment you’ll want to tell your future kids about. And the minute you start thinking about your future kids HE KNOWS. It’s like your ovaries send out a high pitch screech that only men and dogs can hear, sending them running THE OTHER WAY.

Anything remotely loud or upbeat is impossible to make smalltalk over and there is a grave ,GRAVE danger of having to witness his Dad Style Dancing. There is no textbook reaction to this. Except to run. Away. Fast.

Cute dates like picknicks or museums can be nice, but can also be slightly awkward (case study: ‘romantic’ afternoon first date with new boy resulting in finding we had very little in common so proceeded to drink an entire bottle of White Lightning and thinking it was hilarious to draw on each other. FYI: being shit-faced at 7pm, covered in Sharpie squiggles is not a good look on the bus journey home – but does guarantee you a seat of your own).

Wherever you go, arrive with no expectations but for Gawd’s sake have a back up plan. Do NOT leave yourself in a corner where you are left with only two options:

1) Make a terrible excuse that you both know is a lie and just leave.

2) Stay and get so shitfaced you don’t care. But WHATEVER you do DO NOT get so shitfaced you sleep with him anyway (I am absolutely definitely not speaking from experience here. Absolutely. Definitely.)

The outfit

Daytime date

I’m a fan of cute and girly but don’t take it too far (ankle socks are sweet but a teddy bear backpack and fluffy hair bobbles are less Katy Perry and more harajuku horror).

Evening date

More tricky. Sexy is the name of the game but full on Jessica Rabbit on a first date will bear huge promise (false or not) of where the evening will end, as well as make it bloody difficult to follow up on (hopefully) future dates.

Now, I’m all up for a little advertising but prefer to think of my outfit as a teaser campaign, not a full on guerrilla attack. No one wants to go viral before you’ve even played tonsil hockey, right?

The greeting

Potentially THE most awkward part. If you arrive first, you’re nervous and keen. If you arrive second you’re confused and squinty and run the risk of walking straight past without recognising him. Be fashionably late by all means. But do call en route to find out EXACT location (clever) and to apologise (considerate + cute = extra points scored).

The exit

Decide if you’re going to go in for a kiss prior to actual moment and COMMIT. There is nothing worse than a not-to-sure is-he-isnt-he oh-my-god-I’m-tonguing-his-side-burn scenario. And choose your words CAREFULLY: ‘I had a nice time’ = cool. ‘Will-you-definitely-call-me-tomorrow-before-midday-and-would-you-like-to-do-something-tomorrow-night-and-my-mum-would-like-to-meet-you’. Is not.

So! Those are my guidelines and pitfalls that my *ahem* countless and yet numerous first dates have taught me. And as I type this I am currently preparing for DATE NUMBER TWO with the boy we will now refer to as my Future Husband. And by preparing I mean writing my first name with his surname… drinking two glasses of wine and blogging about all the disastrous first dates I’ve had. This will DEFINITELY go well *makes mental note for next post: HOW TO ROYALLY SCREW UP A SECOND DATE*…

Amy Rycroft

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    Screeching ovaries! AHAHa! Loving your articles!

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