While it’s easy to assume that dudes are naturally super confident on first dates and we’re the only ones freaking out, that couldn’t be further from the truth. After talking to several guy friends, there are plenty of things that make them nervous when going out with us.
Having good stories
The first date is a chance for him to tell all his best ones, like the one time he got first place in a triathlon (never mind that he was the only one in his heat) or the other time he got inspired by an episode of SNL and decided to do stand up comedy for a whole summer. But then he starts to wonder, “What if even my best stories aren’t good enough?”Entertaining banter can make an awkward experience less so, so having good stories makes all the difference.
Wanting to be liked
How many times have you sat across from a guy at dinner or the bar and wondered, “Is he smiling because he’s into me or because he’s just trying to get through this date?” You can pretty much bet that he’s worried about the same thing. He wants to make a good impression just as much as you do.
Will you kiss? Will you freak out if he tries to kiss you? Will the kiss be any good? Whether it’s in the Uber on the way home, under the street light, or at your front door, the thought crosses his mind. Like you, he has to decide if it’s too soon, if he should go for it, and if you even want to be kissed—not to mention how and how long and what to say afterward. It’s enough to make anyone nervous (and a little tired).
Paying for dinner
He knows this is the 21st century. He doesn’t want to make you feel patronized by assuming he’ll pay for it, but he probably wants to treat you. There’s also the chance you’ll want to pay for it yourself. But for real, he’s mostly worried his credit card will be declined and he’ll have to ask for money to cover the bill.
How to get out of things if it’s just not working
There’s always the possibility you’re weird and maybe a black widow. He needs an out in case the date goes south but he doesn’t want to seem obvious. A “family emergency,” really? Is it realistic for a city apartment to flood? He doesn’t want to offend you but he also doesn’t want to sit there all not if it’s clearly not working.
Making you laugh
For whatever reason, guys think they have to be funny. Maybe he thinks that if you’re laughing then you’re having a good time, and if you’re having a good time then you must like him. Maybe. Having similar senses of humor is really important, so making you laugh could also be a sign that you guys are compatible.
Sharing too much
Picture this: you’re having dinner with a cute guy. The conversation is smooth; he shares some things about his childhood and you share something about yours. You both smile. There’s a pause. Then suddenly he’s telling you about when his mom walked in on him masturbating for the first time. TMI, buddy. You crossed the line. The conversation dies and you both feel really awkward. He realizes his mistake and tries to backtrack but the night is already lost. He will forever be known as that one weird guy who shared too much on the first date. Nobody wants to be that guy. Nobody.
He mentions the weird cat lady from his old neighborhood that talked to her cats a lot. He says she must have been insane and that he’s more of a dog person anyway. It turns out you love cats and talk to Mr. Cuddles all the time. Whoops.
Coming on too strong
Sometimes when you know, you know. I knew I wanted to marry my fiancé within the first two days of meeting him, but God knows I kept that to myself. Most people need time to decide if they like you. Losing you because he liked you too much would be a stupid way to ruin a first date.
The opposite of coming on too strong. When he’s trying not to seem clingy, he might go too far in the opposite direction. Some guys are just plain rude, but if he’s deliberately saying “or whatever” after a clearly interested statement, he’s probably just worried about scaring you off. “I’d love to go for a run together sometime… or whatever.”
Nobody wants to seem like they can’t make up their mind. One minute he’s suggesting you meet his parents at the farmers’ market, the next he’s saying he’s not really the “dating type.” Who knew just being yourself was so damn hard?
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