Thoughts From Guys On Our IM: What Are Your Pre-Date Nerves?
Guys — they’re just like us! In this episode of “Thoughts From Guys On Our IM,” the boys who make up our chat list confess what makes them nervous before and during a date. Yes, dudes get nervous. Shocking, I know. Read onward! THE SALESMAN, 28
Amelia: So, you’re going on a date with a girl for the first time or someone you just started seeing — what stresses you out?
The Salesman: How about everything? Where to go, ambiance, not seeming like I’m being too serious, not seeming like I’m being too divey, not spending too much money on her, not spending enough money on her, how many drinks to have prior, what time to meet, what day, etc. Everything.
Amelia: Are you worried about not seeming too serious because you’re trying to hide that you ARE feeling seriously potentially or because you don’t want her to get the wrong idea?
The Salesman: It’s because girls take every little thing a guy does and analyze the shit out of it and come up with these asinine ideas, when really, they’re correct about 1 percent of the time. I don’t want her to get the wrong idea. I’m in non-serious mode, just want to get down to brass tax [sic] if ya know what I mean.
Amelia: So, what is brass tacks for you? And why don’t you just say that to her?
The Salesman: Brass tacks — I guess my ultimate goal is usually sex, but I’d be very happy with a mutual oral adventure (not necessarily at the same time). But you can’t just say that. You can subtly insinuate it, I think. I think making out on date one is a good win. Then date two, same or more. Or instead of date two, just meet up while you’re both out and spend the night somewhere.
Amelia: So, basically, you’re going out on dates at this point in your life because you’re looking to hook up — nothing serious. So your fears before a date are how to get to that place without spending a ton of money or giving her the wrong idea?
The Salesman: Yeah, well said.
Amelia: Ha, thanks. Okay, but imagine you actually really LIKE a woman. Like, you want more than just sex. (Can you imagine that?) What stresses you out then?
The Salesman: I think a lot of the same things, just different reasons behind them. I don’t want to scare her off by being overly interested, but still want to show interest. I find it harder to loosen up if I’m really interested. Put her on a pedestal, ya know?
Amelia: Right. So if you’re nervous on a date, is that a sign you’re into her in a more serious way?
The Salesman: Definitely.
THE GRAPHIC DESIGNER, 36
Julie: What makes you nervous before a date?
The Graphic Designer: Hmm, running into one of my few girl enemies.
Julie: You have girl enemies?! No you don’t.
The Graphic Designer: Yes, i do. She moved. I just learned that last week, but before, when I would see her, I would just leave immediately.
Julie: What’s the back story?
The Graphic Designer: I was a real jerk, for the most part. I mislead her. After that, she would write fake missed connections mocking me.
Julie: Whoa. Okay, so what else makes you nervous on a date?
The Graphic Designer: Stuttering makes me nervous. I get nervous about my speech, especially on first dates. I had years of speech therapy, so I deal with that daily.
Julie: I would have never guessed.
The Graphic Designer: Yeah. I’ve learned to notice when it’s going to happen so instead of stuttering, I rephrase my sentence. And when I’m nervous it happens more, which is mostly when I meet someone new. Or in large groups I get nervous.
The Graphic Designer: But other than that, I don’t get too nervous typically. I would say just in general I’m concerned with making a good impression and watching my speech.
THE ACTOR, 31
Amelia: So, you’re going on a date with a girl for the first time or someone you just started seeing — what stresses you out? I think we tend to assume dudes are all calm and not giving a s**t, but i don’t think that’s true.
The Actor: Good assumption. Most of the stress comes from acting like you could care less!
Amelia: Ha, I knew it!
The Actor: Well, for a first date, I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself, or her, so finding the right outfit is key. I don’t want to look like a working stiff, but at the same time, want to show her I’m fashion savvy. Honestly, I would say the pre-date stress is the worst. Example: If I meet a girl late night in a bar, we talk, exchange numbers and then go out a few days later — chances are I had a few when we met and we were in a dimly lit bar. So, I’m optimistic about what she looks like in the light of day and stone sober. Buuuut, that’s not always the case.
Amelia: So, basically all of the things that were there when you met that compelled you to ask her out, may be missing when you actually go out.
The Actor: Well, you certainly hope not. But I’ve definitely left my apartment a few times not having a clue what I’m walking into… The good thing about first dates is they are all pretty much interviews, so you can just keep asking questions and the conversation just moves on without too much work. The date itself is pretty easy.
Amelia: What’s the deal with worrying about how you seem to her? Like wanting to seem calm.
The Actor: Well, I always try to paint a lovely picture even if things aren’t all honky-dory. If things are bad at work, or problems with the fam, or health — these things I’m not going anywhere near on date one. First Dates are all about making yourself look as normal as possible. And of course being as hilarious as you can be.
Amelia: Yeah, definitely not the time to discuss your mom’s depression or whine about not getting a raise in years.
The Actor: I went out with a girl one time — blind date — and I quickly realized that I was just completely not into this. So, I just started talking about all my problems. How much I disliked my job, not happy with everything, etc. The interesting part was, if I had tried to call her for another date, there’s NO WAY she would have answered.
Amelia: Sign he’s not into you: he’s talking about his hemorrhoids.
The Actor: Exactly!
Amelia: Now, do you ever get nervous about the potential to kiss someone on a date? Whether she’ll think you’re a good kisser? If you have good breath?
The Actor: Good Kisser? Breath? Nah, not those things. Timing, a little. But, I usually wait until the girl makes a move to kiss me, that way I know. Just need a few signs and I’ll pull the trigger. Touch me in some way — hand on the knee when you laugh, grab my hand when you’re telling a story … hand job under the table.
Amelia: Obvs. Are you worried about seeming cool and calm because you think there’s something about a nervous guy that turns a woman off?
The Actor: Being nervous can be cute, so, I don’t think you want to bury it. You just want to seem together and yourself — but, if you’re spilling drinks and sweating at the table, that just can’t be attractive.
Amelia: God, guys are just like girls.
THE WRITER, 35
Julie: So, you’re going on a date with a girl for the first time or
someone you just started seeing — what makes you nervous?
The Writer: The whole situation, really. Trying to kiss her for the first time … the best kind of nervous!
Julie: Are you worried about whether she’ll like you?
The Writer: Of course! Will she want to kiss me? What’s her story? So many unknowables.
Julie: This is going to be anonymous, by the way.
The Writer: Oh, well in that case — I’m nervous about asking her if she’ll let me poop on her.
The Writer: No, seriously. If my breath me stankin’. If she thinks my baldness makes me seem too old for her… If I’m cool enough… I mean, usually I’m pretty confident, but it depends on the situation and every first date is pretty different, but thats what makes it exciting I think. It’s actually a problem for me — the excitement of the first date is so rich. I told a friend once that the first kiss is the high point of a relationship.
Julie: You want that experience over and over again, all the time?
The Writer: Yeah, pretty much.
Julie: I like the apprehension more than the tension.
The Writer: I like the nervousness. That’s what it’s all about. I could just do first dates over and over again. Maybe mix a couple second and third ones in there, but mostly first dates. It can be miserable, too, but it’s kind of fun. I know I’ll land on my feet even if I get dissed. And it’s so INTERESTING to get to know someone you don’t know at all. When things are going well, it’s so full of possibility.
Julie: Well, it’s the adrenaline you’re addicted to.
The Writer: You can imagine the whole idealized future without facing any of the mundane or s**tty aspects of the reality of it. So it’s in its perfect form, that first date, that first kiss… what a rush!
Julie: Oh god, you’re the worst! Because then you’re on to the next!
The Writer: I know! Well, not always.
Julie: It’s called a relationship, not a laser light show.