Phew. Just saying that makes me nervous.
Single mom or not, first dates can be pressure cookers.
When I was 12-years-old I rode my bike to my first date… my first date — ever. I had spent the entire week fantasizing about what it would be like, wondering if he would try to kiss me or tell me he wanted to take me to a party.
Funny how little I’ve changed.
It’s a girl thing, I suppose. We just want some kind of magical moment. Usually all it takes to create one of these moments is a dash of physical chemistry, a splash of attentive listening, and then a long gaze with a soft smile and an assertive phrase like, “I’d love to see you again” or “I’m so happy I met you.”
That usually gets us.
Oh, and always walk us to our door but do not invite yourself in. For the guys, here’s an article from AskMen.com on Successful First Dates, read the part about the difference between assertiveness and aggression.
That very first date of mine ended with a giddy bike ride home. In my mind our putt putt golf session had been amazing. I can’t even think of why. Maybe because he smiled at me a few times and actually stayed to play. I was a dork by the way. A huge dork.
He never called and because he went to a different school – the reason I got the date in the first place – I never saw him again. My next real date wouldn’t come until I was 15 and living in an entirely different state. [No pity for the dork thing please - it was good for me, gave me some back bone at an early age].
So back to Tuesday’s date … now as a woman and a single mom, dates are still just as simple but the inner dork of mine is incredibly freaked out.
Honestly, I’ve had very few “formal” dinner dates before. My first dates in the recent past have been casual bar meet-ups or group dates. So this is new territory and I’m a bit fuzzy on those pesky rules.
I did some research and aside from some really, really bad articles on first dates I found this video on VideoJug.com. And although it’s quite freaky to hear a man talk about a first date like it’s a scientific experiment, he does make some interesting points. One of which is that guys must pick up the check, absolutely must, if they have any interest in the woman. If not, let her split it, but don’t expect to see her again. And if the woman insists on splitting, she’s not interested in anything past friendship – again, very true.
The big “no, no” in this video and everywhere else is talking about the ex. That won’t be a problem. Ancient history. But other first date experts say not to talk about your kids. I understand that when we date the childless we can’t gush too much about the kids on the first date, but I will be talking about Benjamin – it would be impossible not to. His existence affects every aspect of my life. And he’s one of my life’s greatest achievements. I’m not going to muffle myself when it comes to my son. If he comes up, he comes up.
There’s also something the video dude calls the “rule of least interest” – whoever appears to be least interested has the upper hand. How can you fake being uninterested in someone?
If I’m interested the guy knows. I’m not going to get all crazy on his ass and send him presents or light up his phone – but I’ll make it clear that I’d like to see him again.
My conclusion? I’m just going to forget about all of the advice, the stupid rules and just be me, just like I was when I was twelve. A click is a click and if it’s not there, you can’t force it no matter how many rules you try to follow. But I’ll be taking mental notes because clearly someone needs to make a good first date video for single parents. : )
So what are your first date pointers? Have you been on one since becoming a single mom? Any horror stories or good ones?
P.S. And no, I have no idea what I’m going to wear. But it will have to be dressy because he picked a nice restaurant.
P.P.S. Yes, I’m completely freaked that just writing about this is going to jinx the date but – to hell with it – this is good material. But God forbid he finds this blog before I can tell him about it.