Everybody fears the first date.
They speak of the nerves, the anxiety, the second-guessing that’s so prevalent before meeting your date partner. The entire thing is basically an audition. You’re trying to present the best possible version of yourself so that this other person not only likes you, but likes you a lot.
Likes you enough to want to see you a second time.
And that, my friends, is when the real dread begins.
First dates are nothing. And I’ll tell you why. Yes, you do have to put on a facade, of sorts, and act like you could not be more interested in anything else in the world than the person in front of you. That is true.
But we forget how low we set our expectations on a first date. Sure, we’ve seen pictures of the person we’re seeing. Maybe we even met them once or twice before agreeing to give it a go in a romantic sense. So there’s some preconceived notions and expectations.
But people’s hope of having a good first date is outweighed by their fear of having disastrous first date. Nobody wants to tell others about the catastrophic date they went on. So as long as the date wasn’t terrible, then that’s a success. Does it mean you’ll see them again? Of course that’s not a given. But it doesn’t mean it was a bad date.
Speaking for myself, I like to think I have a base knowledge of many subjects, which helps me maintain conversation. I’m also somewhat funny. And I don’t take myself too seriously. All of those things normally equate to me being able to hold my own on a first date.
And picking a location is no trouble. You got to a bar. Have drinks to ease the nerves. Don’t let her pay. That’s it.
So getting through the first date is not difficult by any means. It’s the second date that becomes the true worry.
Just like how a first date is by no means a precursor to a another date, the second date does not guarantee a third. The audition is still on. In fact, it’s heightened.
Because at this point, they know they like you. At least a little bit. But now they’re trying to decide if they really like you. So you still have to be on your A-game, but present another side of you that didn’t necessarily come out on date number one. In addition, you’ve pretty much exhausted all conversation pieces on the first go around, and now you really have to dig down and find additional things that you and your romantic counterpart have in common.
Thought also needs to be put into the type of date. You’ve already done the bar get-together, so now you need to get creative.
It can’t be understated how much pressure exists on a second date that didn’t exist on the first date. For the latter, you just needed to be tolerable. For the second date, you need to convince them why you belong in their life for more than just a fleeting second.
How is that not a horrifying prospect? Charm can only take you so far. For date number two — the dreaded second date — all bets are off.
And if that goes well, your reward is … preparing for the third date.
You’re on your own, bro.