Awkward first date over dinner at a nice restaurant, sitting across the table from each other surrounded by more strangers and waiters interrupting.
Who’s paying? Can I order a steak or maybe I should just stick to the budget-friendly chicken cordon bleu. Dammit, I really want ribs. Oh, better hurry up and cut our conversation short because the movie is about to start.
Followed by awkward walk to cinema. Too soon to hold hands, where do I put my arms? Do I let them dangle and maybe our hands will bump together? Who’s paying?
Awkward cinema with the armrests in between. Can’t talk to each other, can’t get a feel of their personality. Did he just laugh? Pretty sure that was racist. Arm around my shoulders, like we’re 12 again.
Movie is over, now what. Coffee? Home for an awkward peck goodbye?
My first ever date was dinner and a movie, Mugg ‘n Bean for a milkshake afterwards (I was sixteen, milkshakes were my coffee).
Dinner and a movie is a bad date, guys. I’m sorry to burst your bubble. Ruin all your well laid plans. But unless you’ve been together for six weeks or more, dinner and a movie is the most awkward thing you can put a girl through.
But no worries! Here are five better ideas which are guaranteed* to get you a second date. (*more likely)
Breakfast dates are chilled. There isn’t the same nervous energy as evening dates. Don’t know why, but it just is. Find a sweet cafe somewhere with small tables where you can have a conversation and not feel invaded by other diners. Breakfast dates can go on for hours without the pressure of sex because, hey, it’s still daylight! Or you can have ‘errands to run’ and cut out early if need be. Win win.
But it must be breakfast. Lunch isn’t a date, lunch is more of a meeting. Lunch isn’t romantic, breakfast is.
Try one of these:
La Petite Tarte, Greenpoint
2. The Beach
Some of my favourite memories are of lying on the beach with my ex the first month into our relationship. We would go for a drink, then wander down to the beach, find a sheltered spot and wrap up in jackets and blankets. We would lie and talk for hours and hours, until 4am sometimes. It was the most romantic time of my life, I fell in love with him on those beach nights.
Granted, it helped that he’s involved in security and possible muggings didn’t concern him at all. And I never felt like we were in danger.
So maybe don’t lie on the beach until 4am, but do go for a long stroll. Chat, get to know each other. Suss out the vibe. And have fun, splash in the waves and dig your toes in the sand! Silly is sexier than sexy.
3. Sundowners on Chapman’s Peak
Most beautiful road in the world, what could be more romantic?
This is risky if you don’t know your date very well. If you’re pretty confident you’re not going to have to attend to a ‘family emergency’ midway through the date, a day out in Hermanus is a lovely idea. Something different, the drive allows for a long uninterrupted chat. To break the monotony of the road and to avoid possible awkward lulls in conversation, stop along the way for walks and ice creams. Like in Gordon’s Bay, Rooi Els, The Arabella Golf Club.
This was one of my favourite dates of all time, a whole day exploring the beautiful seaside towns I rarely get to visit.
5. Dinner and a Movie
Now you’re confused. Hear me out.
Pack a picnic and a blanket and chill on the grass at the Galileo Open Air Cinema, watching golden oldies or documentaries. Relax, lounge around. Eat food with your hands and not be interrupted by waiters and credit card machines. And because there’s no awkward armrest between you, have a little cuddle in the movie. It’s intimate and romantic and no one’s kicking the back of your chair or stealing your overpriced popcorn.
So there we go, my guide to first dates.
The general theme of all of these is conversation. You need to talk, without fuss or fanfare or interruption. You need to be able to see each other, determine likes and personality quirks. Be able to touch, hold hands, be close to each other.
Throw away schedules and bookings and time constraints, allow for spontaneity and fun. Enjoy each others company and take the time to find out if a second date is worth it.
It’s nearly Valentines Days. Take the plunge, ask that girl out. You know the one I’m talking about.
And bring her flowers. Bitches love flowers.