This weekend, after going out to a bar, we came home and had a heated debate. Well, as heated as any serious debate can be at 3 a.m. after five vodka Sprites and some shots of Fireball. One of us had met a guy at the bar, and while he was good enough to suck face with on the dance floor, we weren’t quite sure if accepting his date offer was a good idea. But then we got to thinking–why not? So what if he kept unbuttoning his shirt the longer the night went on, doesn’t have a firm grip on the English language, or had on red, white, and blue boat shoes? As much as we don’t want to “waste time” going on dates with people who we think don’t have any long-term potential, there are lots of arguments to be made for (almost) always saying yes to a first date.
It’s a Training Opportunity. Unless you came out of the womb with some kind of insane level of charm, most of us are pretty awkward on a first date. Why wouldn’t we be? Every time we go out on a first date, we put ourselves out there to be judged by a member of the opposite sex. As the old adage goes, practice makes perfect. Every first date is an opportunity to work on our skills, so use it to test out some date outfits, topics of conversation, locations, and so on. Learn what does and doesn’t work for you.
Do It for the Experience. How many of us have come out of a first date with an amazingly funny story to share? If you are dating in today’s world–and particularly if you partake in Internet dating–we all have at least gone on one date that provided endless hours of entertainment for our friends during the post-date text recap. Your friends, particularly the ones in relationships, want to live vicariously through you and hear all about the guy who tells you about his erectile dysfunction or cries about his ex on the first date. So, while the date may suck, at least you’ll get a good story and hopefully a free drink out of it. By the way, we still talk about erectile dysfunction guy, more than a year later.
Develop Your Taste. Listen, most of us out here in the dating world have no idea what we want. We are pretty much wandering around with blindfolds on, hoping we bump into someone who we can stand to spend the rest of our lives with. Going on a lot of first dates gives us an opportunity to fine tune our taste: what we like, what we don’t like, what we can overlook, and what we can’t stand. That can only help us find what we want in the future. For instance, we recently discovered we have no problem with men who are fully bald. It can actually be pretty hot.
You Never Know. We can probably all agree that the person we are at 2:15 a.m. in a dive bar after a steady stream of drinks may not be exactly the same person we are at 7:30 p.m. in a wine bar. The guy you met at the bar who was shotgunning beers with his frat bros at their reunion may not be as juvenile as you think. You’ll never know unless you give him a chance. So, unless he was recently paroled or you can see the tan line from his wedding ring, go ahead and say yes. Who knows? He could be The One.