Only Dating

Since I’ve been back on the “dating scene” I’ve discovered that everything seems to be about the first date. Where to go? What to do? What to wear? How to act? Should I kiss? Should we more-than-kiss? That first date is the subject of article after article after article.

I’ve thought about it, and have come to the conclusion that the term first date is actually something of a misnomer. Those aren’t first dates. That term implies that there are second dates, third dates and perhaps more. No, those are what I’m coming to term ‘only dates’.

Only dates are exactly that – they are the only date with that person that you are going to go on. That can be for any of a number of reasons, be that they are nothing but negative, there’s no spark at all or they are just a little bit weird.You might know instantly or after you’ve wasted hours, but you know deep down that you don’t really have any burning desire to see them again.

And that’s fine! The pressure we are putting on ourselves to have first dates with the expectation that the ultimate goal is always to move to a second date is huge, and can mean an otherwise lovely evening is ruined as you are worrying about setting the next date up or not. Far better to realise what the situation is right away and relax about it so you can enjoy the time for what it is; an opportunity to pass some time with someone new and for you to try a few new things out.

That’s well worth considering, too. There are things that you might not be sure about saying on a first date as you are aiming for a second date. Those things, though, might go down really well! They might need a little polish and some honing, but ultimately they could be the things which spark enough interest to get you to the next stage with someone you want to see more.

Stand up comedians do this all the time. They aren’t naturally hilarious all the time; they take lines and stories and try them out time and again on friends, family and small audiences to see what works and what needs more work before they put together a proper show. It might be that the whole thing doesn’t work, or perhaps all it needs is a tweak to language or timing. That practice will pay dividends when the real critics and audiences arrive.

Keep that in mind the next time you realise that you are in fact sitting across from someone that will probably be an only date rather than a first date. Try out those new stories and jokes, try out some changes to your style or approach and see where it gets you. You might be surprised at the response, and it might just help you turn your next date into a proper first date of many.

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