If you follow me on Twitter (if you don't, I'd like to have words with you outside please, you naughty reader of mine), you will know that I am a self-confessed first date junkie. Admittedly, the term 'junkie' is an oh-so-slight exaggeration, however I definitely do love that first date feeling a little bit too much. An entirely new human being? For me to chat, yak, gibber and flirt with? A whole new person for me to create memories with?! Folks, there are fewer things more exciting, unless of course this whole new person happens to have an endless pork pie/scotch egg supply. Good bye human being, hellooo tasty savoury snack fest...
Since my exceptionally wise decision to break up with Mr Not-so-right last summer, I have had the chance to delve into this fine and mysterious world that we call 'dating'. Alongside the results of signing up to Plenty of Fish and popping my Internet dating cherry, I've met some lovely (and not so lovely...) menfolk that have strolled into my life for the occasional date or two, before running off in a hysterical panic and never texting me again. Note to self: Stop talking about dusty books and being genuinely strange. It scares innocent men.
Throughout the dating adventures that life has bestowed upon me in recent months, I have gathered many a fine 'note to self' moments, and it is these that I share with you today...
Do not go if you are feeling at all unwell. One of the most disastrous dates I ever had involved Mr K's toilet, a hell load of vomit (geez, move over Kelly Brook, there's a new Sex Goddess on the scene...), and a mascara stained face. Brilliant first impressions, anyone?! For some wild reason, I did see Mr K again, but the whole thing ended up being a big, fat, Class A disaster. By big, fat, Class A disaster, I mean the guy told me he was in love with me on date number 3, and then proceeded to steal my favourite slippers and cuddle them in the night time. What a donkey.
Whilst getting ready, do carefully select your company. I will never forget the time I had half a measly hour to transform myself from Shrek to Fiona, and whilst I stood half-naked having some kind of wardrobe-related mental breakdown, all my friend could do was laugh. Hysterically. Oh, and tell me that my love handles looked the size of small planets. I ended up going out in a woolly jumper that covered everything up and made me look about 4 days over 12. Thanks Kirst, you divine piece of chum, I bet you're going to look like a warthog on your wedding day.
Keep it a 2 person affair. First dates that also involve one of your deliciously loved-up best friends and their long term, perfect hunk of a boyfriend, will not end well. The lovefest they have going on shan't bode too well with the potential awkwardness of a first date. They will also smile, wink, and raise their judging eyebrows at you 16 times a minute, causing you to slur, laugh, and say stupid things. Too. Much. Pressure. There's also a chance that you'll fancy your friend's boyfriend more than your own date. And that's not ideal.
For the love of sweet Cupid, please make sure the guy is single. I'm not encouraging you to analyse his entire Facebook history. I'm not asking you to stalk every single girl that has ever commented his status with the suggestive combination of a semi-colon and a bracket (gosh, flirting is all too eaaasyy these days...), but I am saying that if 8 of your friends tell you he has a girlfriend... Let's do the maths. Believe me, if there's one thing that can completely destroy that first date feeling, it's the girlfriend he forgot to mention, ringing him up, angrily asking why he's forty minutes late home for their 'snooze and snugglefest'. Ryan, you utter impertinent, unchin-snouted clack-dish. Amen.
Don't stare at him as if you're a slobbering Rottweiler and he's a piece of juicy meat. He's handsome and you'd quite like to kiss him before you've even started your first conversation?! Brilliant. Try and remain calm about the whole shebang, even if your mind is doing naked somersaults.
Always have a get-out call. I didn't have one when I was blessed with the peculiar being that was Lee's dino-man dad, and I shall never again venture into the unknown without one. Next time disaster strikes, your best friend will suddenly be having the hugest, most dramatic crisis, and you will have to scarper. Faster than a flea-infested pussy cat.
Enjoy the first date jitters. Yes, they're bloody awful, but this is what makes them so bloody brilliant. There's nothing like a bit of light adrenaline to make you feel alive, and underneath his portrayal that he is the manliest piece of man that ever walked the earth, he's also terrified that it's going to be a hideous mess of awkwardness and that he'll say/do the wrong thing. You can't break the ice without acknowledging that the ice exists. Acknowledge it together, and laugh it off. And then order a bottle of vino, it's social lubrication at its very finest, just so long as you don't start reminiscing about your dead hamster and start crying at 9pm.
I like dates. They're kind of groovy. I will also sleep well tonight in the knowledge that I offer comfort to human beings like yourself, who now know that I am a horrendously shit date; one that smells of vomit, looks like a child, fancies her friend's boyfriends, lets spoken-for men buy her dinner, and ogles fine men as if they are pieces of meat. Oh life, you beauty. Ryan Reynolds, if you're reading, I think we'll agree that I am quite the catch.