Upicnic | An Open Letter To Those Who Have Had it with Crappy First Dates

An Open Letter To Those Who Have Had it with Crappy First Dates

BY KATE
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8/19/2016

Dear Hopeless Romantic, 

I’m not here to offer you my best dating tips or advice on how to sneakily ditch a bad date - though I do have a few elaborate schemes involving sick pets, work crisis, and the old faithful fake emergency - because I’ve come to terms with the conclusion that no one really knows what they’re doing when it comes to dating.

It’s a disastrous process. It’s obvious that our date expectations as a generation as a whole have taken a drastic hit. Thanks to instant gratification apps like Tinder, Bumble or Grindr, we get excited when someone actually seems to put some kind of effort into a date. 

And when that someone actually tries, it still doesn’t guarantee that the date won’t be weird/ awkward/ full of unexpected silences and non-sequitur conversations. Because let’s be real, first dates can be really, really awkward. First and foremost, planning the actual date is tough, too. Make sure it’s not too casual. Make sure it’s not intimidatingly elaborate. Make sure it’s entertaining. Are you meeting them there, or picking them up? Will you have enough to talk about? Should you dress casual with still enough cleavage in sight, or should you go for your best bomb-shell outfit?

Whoever came up with the dinner + movie combination for first dates, clearly didn’t think through the logic behind it. Why? Because what do you do during that movie? You just ate - do you really want to be making out? You might want to start slow and just hold hands... which also means one of you will have trouble eating popcorns and drinking. So awkward. If you’re trying to avoid talking to the other person, though, movies are a great idea. But isn’t that what the first date is for? Learning more about your date and see if you’re somewhat compatible enough to keep it going.

Don't take this the wrong way, I'm not here to discourage you from dating altogether. There is a bright side. 

After my fair share of awkward, uncomfortably quiet and sometimes boring first dates, my favorite first date idea is, by a landslide, a casual picnic in the Central Park. 

Of course, this idea only works when the weather gods are in your favor, but when this does happen, it’s quite rewarding. A picnic provides sufficient leeway for making the date as casual or as glamorous as you feel comfortable making it. You’re guaranteed conversation topics at a picnic, and with a beautiful city like ours, you’re destined to have a good time, even if the other person ends up Snapchatting the entire time. Plus, hello Instagram – cause you know that picnic date is gonna end up being shared and adored.

And even if the date still ends up being awkward, I promise you there will be enough going on around you to dilute the awkwardness –start from those guys unable to drive their boats; and hey, those acrobats are really amazing; the saxophonist is playing weird songs; or what are those guys trying to do, is that Thai Chi? The conversation possibilities are endless.

Best of luck, and happy picnicking!

Sincerely, 
A New Yorker tired of crappy first dates

 

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