If first dates are more scary and anxiety-producing than fun, don't worry -- you're not the only one in the world who thinks this. It's pretty much the most normal thing ever. But of course, you want to fall in love and have a partner in life and all that fun stuff, so you torture yourself and go on dates. It sucks but a girl's got to do it. It's insane how many different thoughts and feelings you have during one evening, but when you meet someone for the first time (or you've hung out before but now you're seeing them in a more romantic setting), that's pretty much par for the course. Sometimes you feel kind of crazy about the thoughts racing through your head, but you're probably a lot more normal than you think. Here are the 15 roller-coaster emotions of a first date. You totally go through the exact same thing, right?
Tonight's the night. You're sitting at a table at your chosen bar/restaurant, which is probably your go-to place since you're pretty much a professional dater at this point (although you might not always want to admit it). You're excited... at least right now. At least for the next five to ten minutes. That might change when he actually gets here and sits down right across from you at this table. Your date isn't here yet, so you feel pretty happy and you're looking forward to meeting him. Or, if you already know him, you're looking forward to getting to know him better or being able to spend time with him one-on-one. Be glad that you feel super excited because trust us, it's not going to last very long. But if you go on enough first dates, you already knew that, right? Yup. We thought so.
14 Nerves/Total Panic
Okay. He's here. He's walking into the restaurant and he looks super cute and it's insane how much your heart is racing and your head is pounding right now. You've never felt this way before. You are so nervous you can't even believe it. Okay, now your nerves are completely turning into total and utter panic. What are you supposed to do? Smile? Okay, you're smiling but now you feel like your smile is turning into a weird grin that is not the greatest look, and you feel your face totally burning up too, if that wasn't bad enough. Does he feel nervous? Does he look nervous? Nope, he's totally cool, calm and collected. Unlike you. Great. What a perfect situation. You know that nothing awful is really going to happen because it's just one evening and you can do this because you've done it before. But tell that to the butterflies roaming around in your stomach right now.
Okay. He's here and you just ordered drinks and he suggested sharing an app. More than that, he ordered the sweet potato fries that you joked about being addicted to (well, he thought you were joking but you know the truth). You feel a sense of calm and peace wash over you, almost like your plane just touched down in Paradise and you're about to take a week off from work to drink and read on the beach. You're not exactly excited anymore because you can't exactly grin at him with a super cheesy grin plastered on your face, because he might be freaked out. You're not nervous anymore because he seems super sweet and he's putting you at ease. So you just feel peaceful. You're happy you got past the rumbling stomach and total panic, because that definitely isn't any fun any time, let alone on a first date.
You're sitting there, drinking and eating and chatting, and now you're at the part of the date where you start sharing stories about your daily routine, your jobs, your childhood dreams, your latest Netflix binge, etc. You're now feeling total and utter bliss, to be perfectly honest. You like this guy, you dig his energy, he seems nice and he seems cool and everything seems fine. You can't imagine a first date going any better than this. Maybe you've had a good first date before and so you can compare the two and, yeah, this one is up there with that past date. Or maybe your dates are usually horrible so this one is pretty amazing. Either way, this date is bliss, and you can't possibly imagine that ever changing.
11 Panic (Again)
Oops. This date just took a wrong, weird turn. He just asked you how long you've been on the dating app that you met on. What do you do? What do you say? Do you lie and say it's been a short while, or tell the truth and say it's been an entire year or so and you've never met a guy as great as him? Ugh. This sucks. This really, really sucks. Why did he have to ask you this? Why did he have to put you in this position? Things were going so well. You got over your anxiety and fear and panic and were feeling pretty chill and you were having a lot of fun. What kind of answer is he even looking for? You end up rambling something totally incoherent, and now he's frowning at you like you're nuts, which you very well might be.
Now that you've started to ramble, there is literally no stopping you. Not at all. Now the words are flowing and you can't even understand what is coming out of your mouth. Okay. Take a deep breath. Try to collect yourself. Your date is smiling and you can't tell if he's silently laughing at you or if he feels sorry for you... and honestly, either one of those options is going to totally upset you. You're so embarrassed, you pretty much want to throw a $20 down on the table, smile at your date and thank him for a lovely (what a lie!) evening and walk out. And never talk to him ever again. Which might not even be possible if he's a coworker/friend of a friend/or even a member of your social circle. Ugh.
Now things have taken a completely awkward turn and you don't know how to turn things back around. You were drinking and enjoying your sweet potato fries (honestly, the best junk food ever) and having such a great time together, and now he's staring at you like you have three eyes or something. Awkward dates are the worst, and they seem impossible to stop. He mumbles something, you ask him to repeat himself, so he does and you still can't understand what he's saying to you, and now things are even more awkward... like that was even possible.
Things were so fun, at least for the first half-hour or so. How did things change so fast? Why are things so weird and awkward now? What do you do to make this date fun and enjoyable again? What does he think? Is he even having a good time? Does he like you or totally hate you? How would you even know? Is it even possible to figure this out without being super bold and asking him right to his face? Do you even want to do that? By the way, do you even like him? You think you do, but can you really talk to him? Yeah, he's cute but don't you want a boyfriend that's more than just a pretty face? Why are you so confused? Is it supposed to be so confusing? OMG maybe you really should just leave. Maybe that would be better for you but also him.
Why did you agree to this date again? Or if you were super great and asked him out, why did you do that? Didn't you realize that this would happen? After all, isn't this what always happens? Aren't first dates just the worst things in the world? Wouldn't you be much better off at home, watching Netflix? Yeah. You really would. Now comes the part of the evening when you start to seriously regret this date. You wish you were at home and that you didn't have to endure this total awkwardness and humiliation. You're definitely blushing and now your throat is dry, and now you're coughing up a storm and your date is looking at you like you're crazy once again. Maybe you are crazy. Maybe that's the real problem. That would actually make sense at this point.
Okay. Now things are turning around but in a much better direction. Thankfully. You pretty much want to get up from your table and shout so the entire restaurant can learn that, yeah, your date is now good again. You really think these strangers would be really happy for you. They could totally relate. Now you and your date are enjoying yourselves again and talking about your work life and what you were like as kids. It's pretty much the greatest evening of your life. You're honestly having fun, and then you start wondering why that's such a rare thing on a first date. What's the big deal? Why can't people have more fun? You don't know the answer, but you are glad that it's finally happening to you.
This is the point in the evening that you start feeling really scatterbrained. You like this guy and you could see him being a part of your world, and that doesn't happen much (or ever -- thanks online dating!). But unfortunately, it's not all fun and games. Now your mind is racing like crazy and you can't even focus on what this guy is saying to you. What were you two even laughing about just a minute ago? It's completely slipped your mind. He keeps asking you questions that should be super simple to answer, like what your favorite TV shows are and what kind of music you listen to. But, nope, those answers just aren't coming and you pretty much have no idea what you should say.
Now you're feeling desperate. You don't want to be this girl. You really don't. But you can't imagine letting this guy go. You swear he's perfect for you, and then you start thinking about how rare it is to meet a nice guy. Why is that? Why is dating so hard and awful? Why can't more guys be nice, like this one sitting across the table from you? You start worrying about what you would do if he's not as into you as you are into him, and you can pretty much feel the desperation rushing through your veins. It's a weird feeling but you don't know what to do with it. Then you start wondering if he can tell that you're feeling desperate. It must be written across your face, right? How could he not figure it out?
Okay, so you really like this guy. He's pretty much a magical human being, and you're going to stand behind that thought even though you don't know him all that well yet. You think he's basically your Prince Charming and could even be your future husband. Now the doubt sets in and you don't think it's going anywhere anytime soon. You are completely worried that he's not going to call -- or, okay, text, since we're living in 2016 right now. What if you never hear from him again? What if this is it, and your dream guy walks out the restaurant door and out of your world forever and ever? Will you ever meet someone else that you like just as much, or even more? You don't think you will, and you also are not super sure that he's going to text.
Okay. Your doubt has crossed over into total fear and anxiety. You're never going to hear from him again, but before that happens, you have to figure out how to end the first date. Ugh. Ending the first date is pretty much the most difficult thing on the planet to do. What do you do? What do you say? Do you tell him you had fun and ask him if he wants a second date? Yeah, that's pretty bold and upfront, but you want to hear from him again, right? You don't want him to think that you totally loathe him and would rather die than go on another date. But you don't want to seem totally desperate and pathetic, either. It's a pretty tricky balance and you don't think you have the answers figured out yet.
1 Total Relief
Okay, so here you are, at the end of the date. It wasn't as bad as you were worried it would be. In fact, it was pretty amazing. Now your date's smiling at you and giving you a goodbye hug and telling you that he would absolutely love to see you again. He thinks you're pretty much the greatest and he had a lot of fun with you. You can't even begin to describe the amount of complete and utter relief that you are feeling right in this moment. You can't believe he wants to see you a second time even though you're pretty sure you completely embarrassed yourself and totally freaked him out. Well, apparently you were fine and he didn't notice... or he did notice but is ignoring it. You love him for that. Now you're dreaming of long walks on the beach, holding hands at the movies, sharing an ice cream cone in the summertime... The possibilities for your love are endless. But first, you have to schedule that second date.