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The First Date: Expectations Vs Reality

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Courtney is here with a tale of one of her worst first dates, hoping it will act as a warning to blokes, especially those who take their shoes off.

‘Do you want to go for coffee? Cos I like you a latte’

Once upon a time, there was a girl who had a rough idea of how a date should go, but a harsh slap of reality knocked the naivety out of her…

The year was 2016, exams and deadlines were looming and I was looking for a way to procrastinate. From the comfort of my sofa, trackies and a messy bun, I thought to myself, what better way than Tinder? While successfully ignoring my responsibilities, I could inflate my ego and maybe meet a fitty. Perfect.

Anyway, found a male and thought I’d better make sure he can handle my weird:

‘Do you want to go for coffee? Cos I like you a latte’

He took it well and we instantly hit it off. A few weeks later we arranged our first date and let me just tell you now, things went from good to bad to worse. If there’s one thing I got from this date, is an ‘experience’ like no other.

Guys take note.

In the few days leading up to the date, I had imagined how things would pan out. Maybe he would bring me flowers, get there early and wait for me? Y’know, make a good impression. Sunflowers would have been an instant winner, but hey, that’s just me. Perhaps he’d patiently wait for me to arrive and when I did, maybe he’d pay me a little compliment, something sweet, but not too gooey – this is the first date remember. I feel as though these are fairly reasonable expectations, surely I’m not asking for too much?

The reality of our date was a far cry from what I had imagined.

The reality of our date was a far cry from what I had imagined.

He insisted we go to the cinema, to which I protested a bit but accepted eventually. Plus, we went to the one in his home town so I drove half an hour to come meet him. It’s not that I don’t like driving, I love it in fact. The issue was with how he had said ‘well I don’t drive so we’ll go to the one by me’. On top of that, he rocked up late. When he FINALLY arrived, he looks me up and down and says ‘u look nice’. I thanked him, though admittedly my gratitude could have been more sincere had he looked me in the eye, maybe smiled once or twice, or made a joke.

I think we can all agree that the cinema is no place for a first date. There’s no conversation, you awkwardly sit side by side, and there’s the chance he may suggest you ‘share’ your popcorn. No thank you. I mean, realistically, you’re sitting next to a stranger in the dark for two hours – whilst not saying anything to each other, hmm. DON’T suggest cinema for a first date kids, and don’t be late.

Several times, throughout the film, he tried mumbling to me which was incredibly annoying, especially as he wasn’t saying anything of worth. This invited four, yes FOUR strangers to ask him to be quiet to whom he gave the middle finger to. I was absolutely mortified, and incredibly embarrassed to be seen with him and had to reassure those around me that he was not my boyfriend.

DON’T DO THIS. God knows what he was thinking but it wasn’t amusing in the slightest. If this does happen to you, if you are asked to quieten down, do not swear. I recommend apologising politely and retreating to your seat, whilst thinking about how rude it was that you had been talking through a film that a lot of people have spent £10 to see.

I guess at this point I was hoping we could share a laugh? However minor it may be…

During the movie, I popped out to go to the bathroom and on my return, he informed me that I had managed to miss the funniest part – he said this with the straightest face so I’m not quite sure what to believe. I resolved to sit down and flash him an earnest look of disappointment, paired with an ‘oh shoot’.

I guess at this point I was hoping we could share a laugh? However minor it may be…

As if he hadn’t already won me over with his immaculate charm, he then did something that topped it all off. He took off his shoe and scratched his foot. I kid you not, this happened, on a first date. He took off his shoe, and scratched his foot. He felt the need to justify his actions by telling me he’d been wearing those socks for a while. WELL THANKS, I REALLY NEEDED TO KNOW. I was utterly disgusted. I would have walked out at this point had I not wanted to see the end of ‘The Jungle Book’…

Advice at this point: maybe keep your shoes on.

Advice at this point: maybe keep your shoes on.

Safe to say, this was not how I imagined a first date would go and thankfully this wasn’t my FIRST first date. So, what was I expecting? Well to start with, I’d prefer my date to keep his shoes on and feet away from me, please and thank you. The ideal ‘fantasy’ of a first date would consist of flowers, charm and food, maybe a few cheesy puns? Ultimately, you want to enjoy a few hours with someone you’d like to see again. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has experienced an awful date so I’m hoping a few of you may be able to relate.

Date culture has evolved; it seems as though the gentleman is a dying breed and gone are the days of a guy walking up to our doors to pick us up. Instead of this, we may get a text saying ‘outside’, followed by a honk honk. Ladies, our chariot* has arrived. Not all first dates are doomed, we just need to trust in ourselves to do and say the ‘right’ thing and remember that it’s okay to be weird and make mistakes. I’m not saying that we all expect to be treated like princesses but a certain level of respect would be appreciated. Essentially, I’m easy to please, if we can have a chat about Disney then you’re golden.

*a decked-out Vauxhall Corsa

Got any funny Tinder/dating stories? Get in touch: @rifemag

Check out the Rife Guide’s What’s On listings to find things more appropriate than the cinema to go to