Obvious fact of the day: Dates are awkward.
Especially first dates—or at least I assume they are from what I have deduced from sitcoms and friends’ secondhand accounts. Technically, I’ve never been on an actual date. I mean, I have gone on huge group dates back in the day for homecoming dances and prom, but never on a basic “two people trying to figure out the likelihood of how much they want to jam their tongues down each other’s throats” type date. (That is the general premise of dates, right?)
But, surprise, I managed to find myself in the predicament of going on a date this weekend. I know, I’m honestly shocked, too. Blame it on social anxiety, or perhaps I’m just legitimately crazy, but I am losing my goddamn mind psyching myself out for this date situation. At the time of writing this, I’m staying up into the late hours of the night crafting this article instead of sleeping because I’m honestly too freaked out.
Since I intended this monthly column to be a (questionably) funny commentary on my own life experiences in order to give a themed “How-to guide,” I figured I’d make this month’s column about “How to ruin a date before it even starts by psyching yourself out,” because I’ve apparently become an expert on this topic in the past week. The true beauty of this piece is that by the time you’re reading this, my date will have already come and passed and you will have absolutely no idea how it actually went. Was it great? Could have been. Was it terrible? Well, according to my neurotic mind, that is a very high possibility.
That being said, if you want to learn some tips on how to completely ruin a date for yourself before it even happens, then strap in—it’s “How-to” time.
Tip #1: Over-analyze EVERYTHING.
Read back every single text message for clues about this person’s deepest darkest secrets. Look for things like their use of punctuation, abbreviations, slang, etc. Did you know that people who use abbreviations in messages are more likely to hate cats?* DID YOU? Mull over things like what did they actually mean when they said something like, “I don’t really like the color blue”? What is that code for?? Remember, everything could mean anything.
(*Not an actual result from behavior research.)
Tip #2: Think of every single scenario that could go wrong, because it just might.
Going to the movies? What if there is some scene that makes you jump and you accidently throw your coke in their face, only to find out their eyes are weirdly sensitive to carbonation and now they’re burning and you have to drive them to the nearest ER only to find out once you get there that your date may never be able to see again? Have you ever watched Untold Stories of the ER? STRANGER THINGS HAVE HAPPENED.
Dinner date? What if your date is embarrassingly rude to the waiter, only to find out the waiter has connections to the mafia and suddenly you find yourselves the target of a plot to “teach you a lesson” for your date being rude and you have to go into witness protection and move to Montana with a new name and hair style that isn’t flattering?WHAT IF?
Tip #3: Tell your friends every single terrible thought that comes to your mind about the upcoming date.
They might just get so sick of your complaining they’ll straight up convince you not to go on the date. I mean that would be rude, obviously, but, hey, at least you wouldn’t actually have to go. Either that or they’ll try to convince that you have no reason to worry and that the date will go fantastic. What if that just sets you up with unrealistic expectations? Then the date might just end up being even more of a train wreck than you originally imagined which would be tragic, really.
Lastly, Tip #4: Go on the date.
Probably the best way to ruin this terrible fantasy date you’ve created for yourself is to actually go on the real date and completely demolish every preconceived notion about it you made. Will it turn out great? It could. Will it turn out terrible? Possibly, but you may never know unless you suck it up and find out.
That pretty much finalizes my how-to guide for this month. As you most likely concluded, it might just be best for not only my sanity, but for the good of all mankind for me to just follow my dreams of living alone in the mountains with a bunch of plants and animals for company. Only time will tell.
Feel free to follow me on: