First Dates Aren’t That Bad, Here’s Why

I am a serial monogamist—but not right now. Right now, I spend my time trolling on dating apps for dicks shits and giggles. More than just casual hookups—nothing against those—I’m mostly enjoying going on first dates and I most certainly would not like to accompany you on a second. Let’s be honest. Nobody swoons over a wildly mediocre second or third date in the movies; you’re here to see the first date, with all its whim and fancy, high heels and red wine by the bottle. If you’re in a serious relationship, it probably reminds you of a spark long lost and if you’re single, like me, it is literal adrenaline.

Firstly, there’s just so much potential. Assuming your date is, at the very least, mildly entertaining, it’s pretty hard to mess this up. An immediate and obvious plus is that you’ve never heard each other’s best and funniest stories—now is the time to put those reckless college tales to work. That time you expertly strategized your way out of expulsion from the dorms? Gold. A running joke about your annoying coworker, Carol, that you could never actually tell anyone else you interact with on a daily basis? Dress that pony up and parade it for the laughs it most certainly deserves. Sometimes, first dates can be less about getting to know someone’s deepest and darkest secrets or their family drama and more about making the other person smile (or just generally pleased that they got up and put pants on for this). Ironically, first dates can be refreshingly casual, despite all the effort you put out (pun intended) to get here.

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And speaking of effort, let’s not forget the absolutely cathartic experience that is getting ready for the actual date. Some people say the best way to get over a former SO is to get under someone new; I say it’s to dress up for someone new. Getting ready for a first date is to your self-confidence what green juice is to your immune system. Honestly, I find this experience more akin to a spiritual cleanse than any beach meditation session I’ve ever attended, although both probably start at 7 a.m. The music—à la your Spotify playlist—is better and there are probably non-Kombucha drinks involved because who says you can’t pre-game for a first date? Not me. It’s probably best that you don’t take yourself too seriously while you morph into a naked mole rat from the neck down anyway. Whether this takes you a few minutes or the entire day, the end result is likely the best version of you: a you that you want to show off to everyone else, a you that posts way too many selfies to the group chat because ~the lighting~ was good.

We’ve been conditioned to dread the first date, to dub it an unfortunate social engagement that we only partake in because of its somewhat crucial role in the continuation of the human race. Part of the reason for that, I think, is how much pressure we delegate to the occasion. Maybe you’ll have such an amazing time that you can’t wait for this person to ask you out again, or maybe it’ll just be a fun time and a good story to tell. You should be open to either, but right now, I’m highly partial to first dates with little future promise.

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