I’ve been single for a few years, and like most single women, I go on a lot of first dates — like, a whole lot. Whenever I think I’ve seen it all, I go out for drinks with another new guy and realize, nope, there’s more. To all the future guys I’m going on a first date with, here’s what I need to happen if there’s going to be a second one:
It’s easy to make plans. I’m a busy person — I don’t have time to wait by my iPhone for you to finally make a plan. If it takes a few days to set up the first date, I’m going to wonder if that would keep happening if we were actually in a relationship. It may seem kind of premature, but I like being organized and making plans fast.
You remember what I say. It’s super awkward when I tell you something at the beginning of the evening and hours later, you ask me something you should already know. I feel weird explaining it yet again and won’t think you’re actually listening. That’s kind of important if you’re going to date someone.
We laugh a ton. In the words of our guru Taylor Swift, we are never, ever going on a second date if you don’t have a sense of humor. I make jokes about almost everything, so it can’t be a good first date if we’re not laughing for the majority of the time.
You have a sense of ambition. It doesn’t matter what you do — you could be in school, you could have a thriving career, you could still be trying to figure it out — but I’d love it if you were just as ambitious as I am. Being lazy just isn’t an attractive quality.
You accept my workaholic tendencies. You can’t think it’s weird that I work on the weekends sometimes. I love my career and you should support me 100 percent. As long as you’re cool with this, I’m cool with you.
There’s a spark. Of course we should have a connection and there should be some physical attraction involved, but to me the idea of a spark is even more crucial. It’s that feeling in my stomach that tells me that, yeah, you’re an interesting person and I’d like to get to know you better. It makes me feel excited for the future, even if we’ve just met.
You don’t say anything weird. Unfortunately, this is a tall order sometimes. You can’t talk about your ex. You can’t tell me you never go on dates. Whatever you say, I’ve probably heard much worse, but that doesn’t mean I want to hear it from you.
You say a legit goodbye. You don’t shrug and say “Nice to meet you.” You don’t leave without saying anything at all. If you want a second date, you tell me. Sounds pretty simple but it’s crazy how much stress the end of the date can create.
You follow up. You text me the next day and say you want to do it again. If you wait several days, guess what? I’m going to figure that you’re just not that into me and I’ll move on. So if there’s going to be a second round, there needs to be a fast follow-up, or I can just find another first date.
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