Don't: A Short Dating Guide for a Woman on a First Date
by Woju Aderemi
That’s my first piece of advice. Don’t go, if I want to be a little clearer. Don’t go on that date that you are unsure about because he is kind of weird or you’re kind of interested in someone or you’re just not interested in him. Don’t waste your time ‘giving him a chance’; that ‘chance’ flew out of the window when you sent his request to your nearest and dearests asking whether to go or not. You were hoping they would manage to convince you to go on this date you actually don’t want to go on but you think will make you feel a little less meh because that decrepit film industry has romanticised the fuck out of what often turns out to be nothing but a semi-awkward, pleasant-enough first meeting. Don’t waste your time, stay at home and do things that you actually like doing. Don’t go.
2. Don’t dress up.
You definitely don’t care enough about him to pull out your best. You’re just going to end up forcing your sister to take pictures of you, whilst complaining that you wasted a perfectly good outfit on some ‘weirdo’. Don’t dress up all nice if you’re just going to regret how bomb you looked because the date wasn’t ‘worth it’.
3. Don’t be expectant.
You don’t know him. Don’t expect him to be as sensible as he is well-dressed or as polite as he is good looking. Don’t expect free-flowing conversation and compliments that appreciate how fantastic you are. Shit, don’t even expect him to not just walk away!
4. Don’t wait.
He told you he wanted to go out with you, so he owes it to you to follow common courtesies. Once again, you don’t care about him so why put yourself in a position to be irritated when you can just leave to do things and/or be with people you do care about? Respect your time, don’t wait.
5. Don’t be ashamed.
If it all goes to shit it, don’t be ashamed, embarrassed or sad, and certainly don’t blame yourself (but don’t blame him either). Sometimes people just aren’t compatible in particular contexts, or at all. Don’t blame yourself and work yourself up about what you could have done differently, overthinking your way to how no one ever chooses you and you’re gonna die alone, but maybe that’s fine because you already have an elaborate adoption plan so why do you need a man anyway. Don’t.
6. Don’t care.
At the end of the day, you don’t care. You don’t know this guy. You’re doing this out of boredom or some sort of (strange) intrigue. Maybe you’re hopeful it will lead to something. But don’t let your fantasies of him, a him that could be replaced with any other attractive schlong, mislead you into thinking this is someone (or something) you actually care about. You don’t care, so don’t care.
To tie up this short guide to dating with a theme that has resonated throughout, my favourite phrase: ‘mm, don’t care’.