Why First Dates are the Actual Worst

First dates are the worst. The absolute worst. In fact, they might actually be the worst event that you could possibly ever be invited to attend on the face of the planet. I actually hate first dates so much that I’ve only ever been on two in my whole life, and I hated every minute of both.

I grew up in a really tiny town with a really tiny school, so everyone knew everyone; there was no reason for first dates. I don’t actually know if high schoolers go on first dates in large schools, but in small schools, we kind of have an unspoken system that everyone follows.

You see, first, two high schoolers who like each other start to text. They text for a while until they admit that they each “like” each other, then they’re “talking.” That’s the first stage of a relationship. The second stage is when they start meeting at each other’s cars. If the girl goes to the boy’s football game, then she waits at his car afterwards where they talk (and vice versa). That’s how you know that a couple who has been “talking” lately is serious. After a while, the boy asks the girl to be his “girlfriend,” then they’re officially dating (but that doesn’t mean any real dates are involved).

This system is how all of the relationships in my high school worked. And even if you just started “talking” to a new boy, you’ve probably known everything about him, his whole family, and his dog since you first began Kindergarten. So you can see why there was never a need for first dates while I was in high school. Actually, the first real date that I went on was a total accident.

Just a few weeks before graduation, one of the boys who I worked with tweeted me to tell me that he liked me. After a couple interactions, he asked me on a date. I thought it was a joke, so I said something along the lines of, “hahah surrreee.” THEN, he asked for my number. This was it; this was how I was going to get myself off the hook since I obviously wasn’t going to send him my number over Twitter: “I guess if you want my number that badly, you’ll figure it out!” I responded. That was the end of that. I had successfully gotten out of the first date I had ever been asked on.

Approximately three minutes later, he texted me asking which Saturday night worked best for me. Crap. I’m still unsure how he got my phone number (and how quickly!), but I was trapped. I tried to get out of it and begged my friends to help me create a diversion, but they forced me to go.

Two weeks later, there I was, on my first real date ever. He even walked up to the door and met my father, and I’m pretty sure that I physically slapped myself on the forehead because I was so embarrassed about the whole situation. Naturally, the best way to get out of an embarrassing situation is just to slap yourself.

That first date confirmed all of my previous suspicions that first dates are in fact the worst:

First dates are the worst because they make you sweat. I guess if you’re the kind of girl who doesn’t sweat, you don’t have this problem, but that is not me. I get nervous, I stress about my outfit, and I sweat. I spend 30 minutes trying on outfits until I finally settle on the perfect one, but even when I find the perfect outfit, I wind up sweating through the whole thing before we even leave, then I have to change again right before I walk out the door. It’s a vicious cycle.

First dates are the worst because of small talk. I hate small talk. Small talk is probably in my top 5 least favorite activities of all time. I’m good at talking, but not small talking. I either wind up telling some embarrassing story about myself and making both of us uncomfortable or I ask personal questions that most people don’t appreciate on the first date, and yet again, we’re both unconformable.

First dates are the worst because I like to eat all of my food. My mother has always given me pep talks about ordering a salad on the first date, but on both of my dates, we went to pasta places. Obviously, I ate a salad, a whole pasta dish, and breadsticks. I like to eat. I guess some men find girls who eat a lot to be unattractive, but I almost always (probably 98% of the time) eat all of my food, so this is always an awkward conversation. “Oh wow, you were hungry tonight.” No, I’m hungry every night; actually, are we getting dessert?

First dates are the worst because of the unspoken, but obligatory polite wallet reach. Maybe all men don’t actually notice if the woman doesn’t reach for her wallet and at least pretend to pay, but this stresses me out for more reasons than one. First, there is an entire episode of “How I Met Your Mother” in which Ted will not go out with a woman again because she didn’t do the wallet reach. That episode has haunted me; I will never not do the wallet reach. But second, what if they actually expect you to pay (even just for half)? In today’s world, that’s not actually that uncommon. However, if I do the polite wallet reach and some man expects me to pay, there’s a good chance that I don’t even have $5 on my debit card, much less enough to pay for a whole dinner for two. Can you imagine the kind of disaster that would occur if I did the wallet reach, he expected me to pay for half, and I had to sit there and explain why I only have $0.76 to my name? It’s anxiety inducing.

So there you have it. First dates are the worst of all of the awkward events, and that’s exactly why you will never see me on another first date again for all of eternity (except, of course, if I get tricked again).

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