First Date Essentials: What To Bring, And What To Leave At Home

You’ve got your favorite lip gloss, mints, and enough money to cover your share of dinner, but are there first-date essentials you’re forgetting to bring — or forgetting to leave at home? Learn from my mistakes and make sure these things are on your first-date checklist. BRING THESE:

Even if you’d never even dream of sleeping with anyone on a first date (except that one time), bring one. Or three. You’ll be happy you did once you’re getting hot and heavy and he pulls out a condom that was manufactured in 1993.

An Excuse To Leave
If you don’t think you’ll be able to fake your way through an “emergency phone call” from your best friend with a straight face, let him know at the start of the date that you have an early meeting/hair washing scheduled. If the date is lame, you have a believable excuse, and if it goes well, you can ‘fess up and laugh about it.

Happy Hour Self-Control
It’s easy to accept “just one more drink” when the drink is on him, but know your limits. When I decided to make it my mission to go home with a bartender at my local bar one night, I found liquid courage in the form of numerous glasses of white wine. Four hours later, I fell asleep while trying to go down on him on his couch. Save that kind of class for date number three.

The Ability To Take A Compliment
There’s no bonerkiller quite like a woman who can’t take a compliment. Bite your tongue before responding to a compliment with any variation of disbelief, sarcasm, or contention. Fake an enthusiastic “thanks!” enough times, and eventually you’ll say it like you mean it, because you do.

The Word “No”
“Do you want to meet my parents before we head out for that drink?” No. “Do you want to come over and watch my acting reel?” No. Whether you don’t want to go home with him or don’t even want to make it to dessert, a date is not an obligation to listen to his six-hour life story if you’re not feeling it.


New Shoes
No matter how comfortable those sexy stilettos felt in the store, leave them at home and put on a pair you know you can walk in. He won’t notice either way, and you won’t have to utter the words “blister” and “callous” over candlelight.

Your Google Research
I once went out with the son of a late well-known actor. It was the stuff of my Google fantasies, and I scoured through internet search results with wild abandon. But two margaritas in on our first date, my background check started merging with our conversation and I was fighting the urge to finish his sentences when he started talking about his family. Do a quick search to make sure his name doesn’t come up in a national cult membership directory, but resist the temptation to read his sister’s blog and e-stalk him via Google Maps.

Control-Top Anything
Did you know that there is no sexy method to take off control-top pantyhose? I do now. A little muffin top (or a lot) goes over a lot better than releasing various pockets of flesh from their nylon prison in the heat of the moment.

Fad Diet Restrictions
You don’t have to order raw meat, but don’t spoil dinner by picking over your menu for an entree that agrees with your all-liquid, no-carb, 900-calories-per-day diet. If you don’t want to partake in your date’s diet of beer and bacon, offer to pick the restaurant and choose a place that has something on the menu for you besides the lemon in your water.

A Complete Change Of Clothes
The Walk of Shame is no fun, so throw a pair of comfy leggings and undies into your purse if you’re planning on making it an all-nighter — but leave the tote bag at home. Bringing along shoes, accessories, your travel toiletry bag, and your fuzzy slippers doesn’t say, “I’m coming home with you.” It says “I’m coming home with you…forever.”