We all know the feeling, when you’ve found yourself in a situation where you can either completely break the conversation barriers and ramble on until you’re not entirely sure what you’re saying anymore, or sit there in an extremely awkward silence, unable to think of anything intelligent or amusing enough to break it. First dates are even worse because you’re so desperate to appear confident and fun that all sorts of nonsense ends up spewing out of your mouth just to keep this appearance up.
Do I look okay?
What seemed like the perfect outfit for a date earlier on is suddenly raising all sorts of questions now you’re actually on said date. Is your shirt too tight? Your jeans too casual? Have you managed to pick the clothes that make you look both attractive and just the right amount of appealing? Or is that impossible anyway? And it’s not just your outfit you’re worrying about. What about your hair? Should you have styled it or left it loose? Does it look greasy under the light? Do you need a haircut? Though your mouth continues to talk, your mind is suddenly elsewhere, and the horrible paranoia and insecurity monsters have taken over.
Phew, this is hard work
Its only half an hour into your date, and you’re already exhausted. Your mind hurts from retelling your entire life story and you’re terrified you’ll reach that point where you run out of things to say all too soon. You allow yourself a quick five minute break in the toilets, where you give yourself a pep talk and manage to convince yourself things are going well enough for you to go back out there and finish the date. Who knew getting to know somebody would be so tiring?
If this was online dating, their personal profile would be so much better than mine
We know that everyone comes from different backgrounds and we don’t all have similar life stories, but when you’re unemployed and your date comes out with that they own a business, their dad is friends with David Beckham and their mum breeds Chihuahuas, you’re a little bit at a loss at what to say back to make yourself sound even the slightest bit interesting. Telling them what you study at uni in the hopes that they’ll have a huge passion for biology or law too just doesn’t cut it. You want to crawl behind the nearest bush and hide there just from your sheer boringness, but the date must go on.
Have I got food in my teeth?
If you’re on a typical dinner date, this general worry will usually follow with a string of similar food-related anxieties that probably sound something like: ‘Am I eating too quickly? Should I have dessert or will that make them think I’m a greedy pig? Can they see the food in my mouth when I chew? Oh no, they’ve finished already… I eating too slowly?’ You’ve never analysed the process of eating a meal in so much depth before, yet now you’re suddenly wondering why it is you still haven’t practiced this part in front of a mirror yet.
I’m so ugly compared to them
At some point, the paranoia and insecurity monsters will make their re-appearance to convince you that this is true. Compared to the Egyptian god/goddess sat opposite you, you suddenly feel like prepubescent Neville from Harry Potter. There’s no way, the monsters tell you, that this date is possibly going to get anywhere, because if it does, you’re going to have to live with the constant whispers of ‘wow, they must be really rich to have got a partner as attractive as that’ for the rest of your life. And you’re not even rich, which would perhaps make things slightly better.
Is it me or is it starting to get awkward?
Unless you’ve somehow found yourself on a date with your long lost twin or soul mate, inevitably, the conversation’s going to run out sooner or later. The food will get eaten, and you’ll wonder what it is you’re still doing here. Then comes the awkward process of both of you trying to hurry up the waitress who’s printing your bill so you can make your excuses and make a relieved exit. Even if the date went well, you’ve out-talked yourself, and you need some alone time to evaluate the night. You can’t do this when you’re date’s still sat in front of you.
Thank God that’s over
Even if you’re not a socially awkward , paranoid shy person (and congratulations if you’re not), first dates are hard. In fact, nobody really gives them credit for just how hard they actually are. The pre date nervousness, followed by the potentially awkward greeting and the pressure to present yourself as the coolest person possible, combined together have the capability of mentally exhausting you to such an extent that you feel as if you’ve just finished a particularly hard assignment. So if you managed to get through it, congratulations. And if you are planning to see your date again, every time you meet up after should be a little easier than before. If it gets worse, they’re probably not right for you, meaning you’ll have to go through the whole first-date rigmarole again. Sorry.
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