Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the worlds only daily column trying to make sense of the strange and exciting world that is dating. Lets be honest here and put it right out on the table: First dates are awkward. Getting ready for a first date is usually a process met by a flood of uncertainty and a lot of pacing around in front of the mirror. Do these jeans make my butt look big? Is it too late to call and cancel?But ones apprehensions when preparing to go out with someone for the first time can usually be met with a warm feeling of excitement mixed with optimism. You start with a blank slate when you actually agree to go out with someone for the first time, and for a few brief moments in the car on the way to (insert first date activity here) the person you barely know sitting next to you has no flaws. He opened the car door, therefor he must be a gentleman. Or, wow he actually owns a car, plus five points.These are the types of inferences you can actually get away with when the relationship is in its fledgling form. Everything is great up until the other person actually starts talking, and then theres no going back. Carrying on a conversation during a first date is a real make or break thing. If you cant make it through a two hour dinner without wanting to run for the door then its pretty safe to say you wont be dinning with that individual again in the future. Almost everyone is capable of carrying on an effortless conversation with people they just meet, but for those of us paralyze by fear and uncertainty on a first date there is nothing more deadly than the awkward silence. Its like first date quicksand. If you sit in it for too long it will completely bury you. To combat the devastating effects of awkward silences we like to always have a few randomly obscure questions in our back pocket. Questions that really get to the heart of who that person is. So, what is your criteria for buying laundry detergent?Do you think we would have met in our past lives?Would it bother you if I corrected your grammar?Sure these questions may seem pretty out there, but in our experience first dates are always treated with far too much seriousness and questions like those above almost always render a reaction more exciting than uhh, pass the bread.Dating in general can be daunting, and there is usually no greater feeling of relief than when you realize the person sitting across from you has second date potential. The pressure is off when it comes time to get together for a second date. For instance, our most recent second date was an afternoon spent doing laundry. Sure it wasnt your typical date, but we couldnt help feel optimistic as we walked away with clean socks and plans to meet up again. ***We out on this Monday, trying to get back in the work groove after a relaxing weekend filled with rainbows and fabric softener.
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