Getting ready for a first date changes as you enter into early adulthood. Whether you’re studying or building your career, there is an alarming pressure to be ‘cultured’ in the dating scene. Emma Tonny offers her five top tips for how to make that transition and enjoy a dating life that’s as colourful as her own.
1. Get dressed up again
For some reason, virtually no workplace requires you to dress like you’re going to work anymore. People rock up in jeans and cropped tops and heeled boots (ok that last one was me, and I may have been pushing it, but still!) Dating is one of the few opportunities you have to get dressed up again and feel glam. Sure, the pressures placed on women are unforgivably sexist and the make-up industry is a soulless, capitalist, classist sham that makes money off your insecurities. But do you not what, it’s date night, let it! Play around with make-up you haven’t bothered with in months and throw on something that makes you feel good.
2. Scroll through twitter
Twitter has become a one stop shop to find the things you need to know quickly, without fact checking and without discrimination. What’s trending? What’s popular? What just happened to a distant member of the royal family you’ve never heard of or cared about before? These are the kind of essentials to have at your hand for a first date in the 21st century. Information is right there, in your lap, all the bloody time; so, you may as well have the basics down or it will look like you aren’t even trying to keep up with the trivia. A quick scroll can reveal insight into the inane thoughts of hundreds of people and, even I have to admit, every now and again you get an absolute gem.
3. Have a cheeky glass, or two
A little Dutch courage never goes amiss, and a glass of red wine has health benefits, right? I’m sure I read that on Twitter once. Don’t turn up shitfaced, that’s really not the best plan, but gently inebriated isn’t the worst one either. The golden medium between stone cold sober and ready to tell them anything is what we’re looking for. You probably won’t find it because no one ever does but you might as well try. If you drink, now is the time to do it!
4. Take a quick scroll of the BBC News app
Start as you probably have no intention of going on and take the opportunity of presenting yourself as a cultured young woman who knows what’s happening in the world. Obviously, you don’t. The world today is madness and on any given morning you can’t even be totally sure if we still have a prime minister. Have a cheeky scroll of the headlines; there’s no need to read the actual pieces, things shouldn’t get that deep on a first date. Eh voila, you’re ready with conversation fillers for the inevitable awkward silences. Enjoy!
5. Set Spotify’s ‘one to watch’ playlist going
Unless you’re the kind of intensely irritating, arrogant person who has total confidence in their music taste, then it’s time to pre-empt that cliched question: what kind of music are you into? Seriously, who came up with this question!? Why are you trying to analyse me through my music? Can I not listen to Little Mix and still be taken seriously? Spotify’s ‘one to watch’ playlist is a helpful guide to being edgy in half an hour. Stick it on while you get ready and prepare a total lie to the probably quite innocently asked question.
Don’t: be completely yourself on a first date. It’s not worth it.
Do: some gentle research with a glass of something chilled for company.
What I learnt: first dates are often a little awkward and there’ll always be at least one funny story to share with the girls.