First Dates: Thou shall not judge.

First Dates. It may be a cliche topic to blog about, but I'm milking it for what it's worth because last night for the first time in a long time I went on one. I hate first dates. I hate the novelty, the adrenaline, the expectations, the preconceptions, and I hate the anxiety. Before you even go on your date, dilemmas occur, the usual two being what to wear and where to go. Dress? Overkill. Skirt? Slutty. Trousers? Prudish. Nightclubs? Too noisy  Restaurant? I'd eat too much. Cinema? No banter. The main reason I hate first dates though is because they force you to analyze yourself, how you look and how you act. But with all my worries I found myself standing and waiting excitedly.

Gum. Perfume. Lipgloss. Gum. Perfume. Lipgloss. Gum. Perfume...No lipgloss? Too sticky? What if we kiss? What if he doesn't like lipgloss...? Oh g*d! Too late. OK OK Lipgloss.There he is! Smile Steph. Smile.

I was relieved when I spotted him, and it wasn't because he looked hot. It was because for all the photo 'research' (otherwise known as stalking) I'd done on facebook, in a moment of panic I actually doubted whether or not I'd even recognize him, but I did. He looked like an adonis and I felt like a pleb. Quick! Say something...anything! "You smell nice" I said. Oh dear...Sincere compliment, weak delivery.  As we walked to find a bar, if I'm honest I wasn't really listening to anything he was saying; I was too preoccupied making a mental list of conversation topics and date no-nos. No politics, no religion, no ex-boyfriends, no excessive swearing, no rambling, no using my blackberry.

Drinks in, we sat down. I should've had one at home for dutch courage I thought. But within minutes, to my relief I realized that extra drink wasn't needed; the conversation flowed easily. Admittedly, the more he spoke, the more I found myself thinking how wrong my preconceptions of him were. Good looking guy, top off on facebook, ex model, equals arrogant player...but I was astounded to find out he was considerably down to-earth. His humour and intellect knocked my judgement out the window and secretly I felt ashamed. The problem was I now panicked about what he thought of me; a pleasant surprise or a terrible disappointment? Egotistical I know but I had to ask. "What did you think I'd be like?" I said as my narcissim overrode my suppressed curiosity; hats off. I didn't mean to put him on the spot, but he was honest and dealt with the question well. He simply told me he'd hoped I wasn't a rude girl. I laughed, he laughed, and we laughed some more because my accent is the furthest from 'rude' you'll ever get; Queen's English mostly. It goes to show that no-one should judge too quickly and it taught me a big lesson.

Half way through the evening I had a panic though.  He'd offered to get more drinks from the bar while I sat saving our spot. I used that time to get rid of my gum (I hoped this date was going well enough to get a kiss) and I took out my phone, knowing that my blackberry would be flashing from bbm's from my girls. I was right. 1 missed call, 2 what's app messages (iPhone) and 3 bbm chats. "How is it?!" "Do you need a 'get out'?" "Have you kissed him yet?" After my speedy replies, I put my phone away and waited for him to come back. I waited. And waited. And waited. The longer I waited the more I panicked. What if he's just left?! Am I that bad, that ugly, that boring. After waiting for what felt like eternity he came back with 2 drinks and two shots. Thank goodness for that.

The more the drink, the more the banter. I'm not saying that I need to be drunk to have a good time, but to have a good time I need not to be nervous and to not be nervous I need to lose (some of) my inhibitions. The sambuca, vodka and Long Island ice tea's did what they were payed to do; ease my worries. I was now laughing my way through an anecdote, telling him about the time me and my dad went to a Tiesto concert in Shanghai, how I got into a fight with a girl, and how my dad 'accidentally' knocked the girl flat out on the floor. I seemed to be making him laugh; bonus points for me I hoped.

Bonus points to him; it was a pretty magical first date, but I'm glad it's over because I'm ready for the second. That's if I made a good enough impression. And just to re-iterate, I will not be making any snap judgement's from now on. He proved me wrong.