Being raised on Disney and its endless vault of Prince Charmings, a girl can grow accustomed to the idea of looking for a man who will sweep her off her feet.
But what happens when the would-be prince tries sweeping you off your feet too early?
One first date shook everything Disney taught me to the very core. I learned that Disney lied. Horse drawn carriages and romantic gestures from someone you barely know are not romantic – they’re extremely creepy.
I thought I was heading in for a typical bad first date when he asked me to pick him up from his apartment. Upon arrival, I noticed a limo hanging out in front of his building. My immediate thought was, “awww, someone’s husband or boyfriend is so sweet.”
When I got to my date’s door, I was presented with a bouquet of two dozen, long-stemmed red roses that were so big, I could barely see his face. I then realized who the limo was for.
Once in the limo, he poured me a glass of champagne from an ice bucket.
“Oh, I’m only 18,” I nervously rebutted. I thought he was only 20.
We arrived at Bern’s Steakhouse which only made me feel even more uncomfortable. Bern’s was a place my grandparents went to, only on occasions such as their birthdays or anniversary.
Dinner was very uncomfortable and filled with lots of silence, awkward pauses, and very little eye contact.
When the limo pulled back up to his place, he invited me to come in. I was hesitant at first, but figured if I was clear up front, it would be ok.
“I’m not going to sleep with you,” I said.
He assured me that was not what the night was about. He was trying to impress me. I reluctantly agreed to go inside. The date ended with us sitting on his couch, finally having a conversation.
I agreed to go on another date with him, as long as there was no limo involved.
Now that I am married (not to that guy), I constantly hope my husband plans a date night like that on special occasions. But when the romance and mush is crammed down your throat on the first date, romance turns into creep-fest.
So how do you draw the line between the romantic and the creepy? For starters, don’t spend about $500 on the first date.
The first date is about getting to know the other person in an effort to determine if there will be future dates. You want to go somewhere where you can talk and have a conversation.
One of my favorite first-date options is indoor rock-climbing. There are several benefits to an active first date like this.
You get to know each other on a very fun and open level. Whether you’re rock climbing for the first time or you’re a pro, it’s fun to do an activity that relies on help from the other person. Another bonus to choosing such a casual atmosphere, is that you don’t have to dress up.
Most importantly, the main benefit to an active, casual date is multiple ending possibilities. If the date is bad, your excuse out is that you are smelly and do not have a change of clothes. If the date is good, you can invite the date over to take a shower and get ready for part two – dinner.
Try thinking outside of the box. Be creative and thoughtful. Even if you are just a frog, you’ll quickly turn into a prince.
Shaunda Wickham is a junior majoring in mass communications.