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How to prepare for a post-lockdown date with a real life human

IMAGE AND WORDS BY LOUIS HANSON

Love is a battlefield and you must be mentally equipped for horny combat.

As the world begins to open up once more, so too will your dormant heart. After months of doom scrolling through Instagram and running out of several bedside tissue boxes (from crying, of course), you’ve decided to wrangle yourself a date with an actual human being.

Congratulations! In the age of social media, choosing to physically date someone is a big deal. This means they’ve tentatively passed the routine background check – Google search, LinkedIn stalk, the price of their share house on realestate.com when it sold back in 2011 – and you’ve deemed them tolerable enough to stare at for at least 45 minutes. So far, so good.


For more dating advice, head to our Life section.


“But wait! The closest I’ve come to intimacy in 2021 is watching my Sims WooHoo on a five-hour loop!” you exclaim. “How can I prepare for a date with a literal human?” Well, as someone who a) is a literal human, and b) is partial to the occasional Sims WooHoo viewing session, I hereby deem myself the prime candidate to guide you through the 101 basics of first dates.

Let’s dive in, shall we? In terms of a date activity, it’s paramount to choose something that you can excel in, but in a nonchalant, ‘I didn’t realise I’d be good at this’ kind of way. In a COVID-free city, for example, you might choose to go bowling in a bid to subtly flex your bowl-to-pin proficiency.

Others, like myself, may choose to simply inhale a bottle of sauvignon blanc in 15 minutes at a picnic. It’s about finding what activity works for you. Emphasis on the you. You need to be in control of the activity, whatever you decide it to be, as you are the driver of your own destiny on this date.

Love is a battlefield and you must be mentally equipped for horny combat. You want to enter the date with your best foot forward, after all, emanating a girlboss attitude that one can’t help but be enamoured by. But what happens if you don’t choose the activity, you ask? Let my own personal downfall serve as a beacon of education.

One time I agreed to go on a first date to Holey Moley despite giving approximately zero fucks about mini golf. In hindsight, it wasn’t very girlboss of me to partake in an activity I didn’t care for, but he was really hot. (At that point, he could’ve suggested watching paint dry and I would’ve been like, ‘Yeah, babe, absolutely!’.)

Alas, the date turned out exactly as I’d expected – aroused, I was not. It turns out Holey Moley doesn’t really scream ‘Hey, let’s have sex after this’. Who would’ve thought? (But hey, if the vision of a grown adult hunched over in a miniature golf course permeates eroticism for you, putt away… who am I to yuck your yum?)

Furthermore, it’s imperative that you eliminate any chance of small talk from happening on the date. Not one breath should be wasted on discussions based around the weather, nor should any questions à la “What do you do for fun?” be entertained. With all due respect, you didn’t get this far through a global pandemic – and gussy yourself up to look this cute – only to hear them talk about their uni subjects. Absolutely not.

What if the conversation flows really well and you feel a spark emerging? Maybe things even get a little saucy, and you’ve been left with tingles in both your heart and nether region? In this case, you may acquire what I’m officially coining the ‘post-first date scaries’.

‘I liked them, but did they like me? I’ve already picked our wedding date (September 3rd) and the names of our three children (Amethyst, Sapphire and Glen), but how do they feel?’.

Proactivity is key in resolving these post-first date scaries. Message them first and be transparent about how you’re feeling (minus the September 3rd wedding date and Amethyst, Sapphire and Glen, for now). If the feelings aren’t reciprocated, never fear – I trust you’ve mentally lined up 15 other options during your time in lockdown. 

If there are plenty of fish in the sea, as they say, then dating in a post-lockdown environment is kind of like swimming through shark-infested waters as a teeny, tiny fish: pure and utter chaos. The main consolation, though, is that we’re all tiny fish, swimming together in these infested waters, scrambling to salvage our pre-pandemic mojos. 

So don’t be afraid to continue putting yourself out there on first dates should this one fall through. There’ll be a hunk o’ spunk fish right around the corner. Just keep swimming, friend.

For more first date advice, try this.

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