Wouldn’t it be nice to decode the awkward pauses and secret thoughts on a first date? Kriste Peoples lets us in on the secret with these ten freebies.
In terms of uncertainty and pressure, first dates can be more intense than job interviews. They’re important and a lot rides on the outcome: our future, our happiness, our potential for growth and our sense of self and belonging. The stakes are high and we do our damnedest not to blow it. We fear rejection yet we hope for the best, even as we brace ourselves for the worst.
Absorbing disappointment when we’re not offered the job can be easier than recovering from a bad date because we can learn from the experience after a careful assessment of how we did in the interview. We can tweak our professional chops accordingly. For the most part, it’s not a mark against our character if company X makes another choice. Going in, we know there’s lots of competition. We’re glad for the opportunity, and we take our shot. It’s nothing personal.
Dating’s a different story: it’s all personal.
Just think how much better off we’d be if we had more insight into what our dates were thinking during our first encounter. What if we could eavesdrop on their inner dialogue, gently prying into their secret thinking? It could save us plenty of miscommunication, frustration and angst.
Science has proven we each have a zillion thoughts shooting through our brains by the hour, and it’s anybody’s guess which ones your date may be privately contemplating on your first time out. Based on actual first-date experiences (not entirely my own), here are 10 such secrets.
1. I don’t know what I’m doing.
I didn’t read the rule books and some people make dating look easy. I’m not one of them. I can’t be transparent about that right now because I’m an adult, and I’m supposed to have it together. I’m afraid you’d run if I said, “I like you, let’s do this.” Still, it’s the truth. Yeah, it’s a little awkward.
2. You intimidate me.
I’m this close to asking you why you’re single but I don’t want to be that person. You’re intelligent, funny, attractive, open and you’re not jaded. You’ve got a job you like, friends you love, your laugh makes me weak and you’re awesome. So, how is it that I’m sitting across from you right now?
3. I hope this is my last first date.
I don’t remember the last time I liked someone so much. Actually, I do remember, but I’d rather not because it didn’t end well. This is different though. I see myself with you. Is that crazy? I want to take care of you when you’re sick. I want to be the one you call with news. I want us to be an us and I don’t even know you.
4. What do you see?
If you knew me 10 years ago you wouldn’t recognize me now. It’s taken a lot to get me to this place where I finally realize I don’t have to be perfect to be with someone. I don’t want to be judged by my past, even though I feel like it hems me in sometimes. It’s just that I like you. I think we could do this. And if you’re the right one for me, you’ll feel it too. I hope.
5. I’m losing faith.
Why do we have to go through all of this protocol? When I was younger, date-able people were everywhere. Now I’ve had to resort to an online format to help me out. I hate leaving comfort of my crib to throw the dice on someone I don’t know. It’s not you. It’s more that I struggle with keeping the faith. Intellectually, I know I’ll love again. But honestly, it’s not always as easy to feel.
6. I’m horny.
What I mean is, I want you and I hope the feeling is mutual. I don’t know about the long-term, but right now my second chakra is on fire. My kundalini is rising and I am literally heating up. On top of that, you’re hot and the attraction’s undeniable. I’m in my body and I trust this feeling. It’s raw desire and I haven’t heard a word you’ve said you since we shook hands.
7. Did I leave the iron on?
I’m trying to be here but I think I might have left the iron on. My friends would lose it if they knew I pulled out the iron for a first date. I haven’t used the thing since graduation so that tells me there’s potential here. Wait. Maybe it has an automatic shut-off.
8. I’ve got lots of love to give.
It’s not easy expressing what’s in my heart. Truth be told, it takes a while to figure out my own feelings sometimes. People misread me a lot because of it. I’m shy at first so I hope you don’t feel like you did anything wrong if it takes me a while to warm up and feel safe. I hope we get the chance to look back on this date and laugh.
9. Are you my soulmate?
Honestly, I’m never not looking for my soulmate. I’ve got big plans for my life and even though I love my friends and family, I want someone to share it all with. I need a partner to move through life with. I’ve done all kinds of personal work but some things you just can’t obtain outside of an intimate relationship. I’m ready to go deep and sometimes my constant search for “the one” pulls me out of the moment. Be patient with me.
10. What’s your story?
I want to know all about your life and what you want from it. What’s your favorite music? Your most embarrassing moment? What brought you here? I want to meet your friends. I want to see your baby pictures and get snowed in together this winter. I want every date to be like the first time, only better.
[image via Robert Couse-Baker]