OK, I’ll admit it: I’m kind of a serial dater. Rarely does a week goes by when I’m not meeting a new guy for a drink, or going out with someone who’s won a spot in the hard-to-get-to second round. I’ve even mastered the art of multi-dating, which is juggling three or more dudes at once. (During one particularly busy patch of multi-dating, I went on five dates in one week.) It’s not that I’m hard to please — it’s that I’m pretty particular when it comes to guys. Hey, I’m 23 — I can afford to be picky.
The one thing my dating experience has afforded me (besides hilarious stories to tell my friends) is advice. (I wish it would have provided me with a serious boyfriend instead, but that’s beside the point.) I’m not here to tell you who should pay on a first date, or how to make your boyfriend or girlfriend kiss better. Instead, I’m gonna tell you how to play it safe while you’re playing the field. (Safe sex advice not included.)
Tell Before You Kiss
Before you set out on your date, make sure you tell someone you know that you’re going. Whether it’s your parents, your best friend, or your roommate, this person should know where you’re going, whom you’re going with, and when you expect to be back. Tell them that if you’re not back by a certain designated time, then they should call you to check up. The best-case scenario is that you have so much in common with the guy that you just lost track of time!
Make It Public
Plan to meet your date in a public place, not at your apartment or dorm. Even if you intend to have the guy pick you up outside your place, you never know what kind of lame excuse he could use to get into your apartment. While it could be inevitable that he finds out where you live, he shouldn’t get inside until you want him there.
Keep Your Lips Zipped
When you go out with someone, especially someone you met online, it’s important to keep your cards close to you during your first few encounters. Don’t reveal too much personal information about yourself or your family. You may decide that you don’t want to go a second date with the guy, and you don’t want your secrets spread around if your rejected date comes back with a vengeance. (Hey, it could happen!)
Get Buzzed Lightly
When you’re on a date with a guy, it’s pretty easy to forget your tolerance. You’re kinda nervous so drinking feels good; the guy usually buys the drinks, and you’re watching someone who can probably drink more than you down beers like they’re water. But whatever you do, stick to a two-drink maximum. The more Cosmopolitans you down, the less inhibited you’ll be. (Duh!) The downside to that is that your date, who’s probably a little less buzzed than you are, then has the upper hand. Keep the playing field even by keeping your sobriety intact. Besides, puking on your first date is a surefire way to not get a second date.
Happy dating, kids!