Hello my dear minxes!
Today we are talking about dates. Not specifically first dates, but early dates – the kind you have while trying to suss out the other person, and how much you have in common, and whether or not you want to bump uglies with them or if you should smile sweetly and sadly inform them of the Halitosis Sufferers convention you’re attending the next morning.
Mr Minx and myself had been seeing each other for a few weeks, and with pay day advancing, he asked if I fancied a night out. Out out to be precise. After a busy summer, and moving house,it had been a while since I’d had a proper break, and I jumped at the chance, wondering what our ‘out out’ date would include.
Now, I’ve heard many varieties of dating rules over the years, some weird, some understandable, some just downright stupid.
I know someone who isn’t overly happy at my personal preference to always offer to pay my way. Her opinion is that it emasculates your date, and I should just relax and allow myself to be spoiled a bit. Sure, valid point if you know someone and you’ve been dating a while….but I just don’t feel right doing this in the early days. I don’t know the dude that well, and I’d feel obliged to see him again, to be able to pay him back for drinks or dinner.
If he turns out to be a complete dick, and I don’t want to see him again, I feel like I owe some kind of karmic debt. It sounds stupid, but I do. Partly because I’m proud of my job, and proud I can split my socialising bills, but perhaps it’s something about not wanting to be seen as a Gold Digger – my feelings about this have gotten much stronger after countless tales from male friends of women on dating sites trying to bleed them dry, anything from months worth of free dinners, to going after particular job types with the aim of scoring a man with a good pension.(Not cool ladies, not cool). This also works the other way – I have in the past offered to pay for food or drinks, and found myself getting bled dry by selfish self-centred pricks who were perfectly happy to never ever put their hands in their pockets, spouting “equal rights” and “but you’re a modern woman” as a justification.
Early date Lesson 1.
To save myself from the cosmic equivalent of the bailiffs, and to avoid sponging tight-fisted wankers, I prefer going Dutch.
I have another friend who insists you’re not properly dating, unless the guy has taken you out to dinner, in a nice place.
In my opinion, for a first date, this is a TERRIBLE idea. A decent meal out will probably take about 2 hours. 2 hours with someone who could be lovely that you really fancy…or someone you take one look at and think “Meh”….or someone who is really boring….or just a plain old fashioned nob-head.
My tolerance for general nob-head behaviour on dates has dramatically decreased over recent years. When I was younger, I was a lot more forgiving, and a lot more generous, and a phrase my friends will have heard time and time again is “Oh, but he’s lovely”.
I was wrong about this, and this kind of thinking is complete bollocks.
1 example of truly bad behaviour will more often than not lead to more.
Now everyone has different lines and different ideas of what constitutes a red flag. You know yourself better than anyone, and you know what you will and won’t tolerate. If you get even the slightest hint of a warning vibe, you can potentially give them a mental yellow card, and 1 second chance. Any more, and just cut contact. Fuck being nice.
Early date Lesson 2.
Drinks or coffee are the best bet. Nice and simple. It’s much easier to extend a date, than to climb out of a bathroom window halfway through dinner (which is both rude, and incredibly funny. And yes, I know people who have done this.)
Another problem with the early stages of dating is that both parties are trying to please. This means that they may not always be as honest about what they enjoy, with the view of trying to spend more time with the object of their lust. “Of course I love theatre / scuba diving / clog dancing” easily translates to “You’re talking about something you like….I’m going to keep smiling and nod….get your pants off!”
It’s great to be open minded and to try new things with a new partner, but be realistic. If you’ve hated fish your whole life, don’t try bullshitting a love for prawns just to get a shag out of a Rick Stein wannabe – not even if he looks like Richard Armitage.
If you hate exercise / the outdoors, it’s very unlikely you’re going to wake up with a hankering for a long hike and a night in a leaky 4-man. (I actually did something similar to this with someone once, and in the early stages had him convinced I was far more active than I really am. This was incredibly awkward when he started inviting me on treks and regular jaunts to the gym. Epic, epic fail.)
Early dates should be fun for both of you, and they should be a chance for you to share the things you have in common.
Early date Lesson 3.
Do things you both enjoy – D’uh!
So – getting back to myself and Mr Minx. What did we get up to on that fateful Saturday? 🙂
Our night out started off with him picking me up, and me being late. Not in a coy “I’ll be there in a minute!” way. In a “Oh fucking hell I haven’t done my hair yet where-the-hell is my hair-dryer??” way. So he cracked open a bottle of wine and put some tunes on and laughed as I flapped.
We knocked back some booze and chatted and starting telling stories, and had some more booze and got a taxi to a wine bar in town. (The only wine bar in town). We carried on drinking and chatting, and started bonding over a shared love of books, geeky things, rugby and a mutual sick sense of humour.
We went over to a local pub ( a cheap and cheerful dive) with a semi decent DJ and a packed dance floor, and we drank cheap beer and danced together for a few hours. We then staggered our way to a mini rock bar, where we danced some more, and laughed at very shy indie/rock kids learning the ropes of flirting. By this time, we were both steaming, very happy, but peckish.
Around 2am, Mr Minx went into full blown hunter gatherer mode, and we found ourselves sitting on some steps in the middle of town, eating dirty take-away chicken and keeping a weather eye out for any good fights or drunk people to laugh at. Then we got a taxi home, and crashed and burned in each others arms, tipsy, giggling, and very happy.
Dancing. Drinking. Dirty take away. 3 of my biggest passions in life, combined with lots of joking, great banter and amazing company with a very sexy handsome Welshman.
You can keep your magic carpets, and nights at the opera, and tables at The Ritz.
That was the best date I’d ever been on.
PS In case you were wondering, we’re on something like date number 32 now. 🙂