Tips on how to go out on a date with one of my best friends
November 10, 2010 1:35 PM   Subscribe

Any tips for a first date with a friend I've known for a few years?

I have an official date coming up with one of my friends from high school whom I have been talking to (phone/email) sporadically for the last few years. We are attracted to each other but live hundreds of miles away so we never see each other. I'm going to her town next month and I asked her out on a date in advance so we can definitely meet up.

The reason I asked her out on a Date is because she has hinted at it (I've learned to pick up on hints since my last relationship) and I think it would be nice/fun :)

I'm a bit nervous about it because we've been talking and know a lot about each other but we don't have much experience of meeting personally (lately) and so I'm trying to figure out how casual or formal the setting of the date should be or just generally how to approach this.

There's also the element of sex...

I think, from talking to her, she is very open to the idea but I have private reservations because I'm not sure how it will affect the dynamics of our friendship, which is currently very good for both of us because we talk about our personal issues and give each other advice and support, etc.

Do you have any advice for a confused 20 something year old?
posted by fantodstic to Human Relations (7 answers total)

Approach the date as if it's just something fun that you and your friend have agreed to do together, and while you're on it, have fun. Don't box your thinking into, "This is a Date with a capital D, so we have to act like this..." because you'll get nervous and be awkward. Just have fun. If it doesn't turn out to be as romantic/exciting as you think a date should be, then you and your friend have had a good time. If it does...hey, kissing!
posted by xingcat at 1:55 PM on November 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

You know each other and you both know what is up. Of all the possible scenarios in which to be on a date, you're somewhere near the top. So you don't have to be as nervous as you possibly are. Make it as casual-fun as humanly possible without being overtly intimate; I'd advise against meeting up for the first time at someone's house.

I have private reservations because I'm not sure how it will affect the dynamics of our friendship

You weren't strongarmed into this situation, which means part of you is cool with the dynamics of your friendship changing, obviously for the better. However, it's always a gamble when you move into dating; there's no way to avoid having to roll the dice on this one if you want to get into a relationship -- or whatever it is this date would commence -- with this girl.

Now, I know that worst case scenario playing in your head. You realize, for whatever reasons, it wouldn't work after the sex. Sex only screws up the friendship when there's just too much thinking about what it should means and not enough realizing what it's actually meant. If you two get it on and realize you're mutually not into one another, well, don't fret about what the sex must have meant. You're just two friends who tried something new and it didn't work. Time to be friends again.

If something goes really wrong? Well, the dice won't come up in your favor every time. Roll with the punches. Nothing ventured nothing gained. Blah blah trite cliche blah. Don't think about this outcome because if it happens, it happens and it's out of your hands outside of being cool-headed (see above re: not making a problem because you think there ought to be a problem) or not getting into the situation in the first place. And where's the fun in that?
posted by griphus at 2:00 PM on November 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

It's great that you haven't seen much of each other. You can't pretend you haven't been friends for ages, but you still want to keep it light and have a little discretion and mystery. You don't have to do a James Bond impression, but I advise against recounting your latest therapy session and all the ways in which it made you cry and even regress to urinary incontinence in situations that remind you of your mother's rejection of the parakeet when you were 3. Also, don't belch or fart with any kind of gusto. Authenticity is great, but no need to go for a total failure to suave.

Also, no sex on the first date. Just tantalizing kissing, with the nuance that you long for more with every breath in your body.

Don't stay too long. Four hours max, or at most five.

Basically, at this stage you want to leave 'em begging for more, and not in the porno sense.
posted by tel3path at 2:19 PM on November 10, 2010 [2 favorites]

Also, no sex on the first date.

Do what feels right to you. We had sex on the first date (or maybe before the first date, depending on what you mean by "date") and we are happily married years later. But if it doesn't feel right, trust your gut.

Anyway, without knowing the two of you it's hard to make a recommendation. Sometimes it's fun to play against type, and sometimes it's good to go with what works. What I mean is, pretend that both of you are super outdoorsy, granola-y people. I could imagine an awesome date where you totally reversed things, dressed up to the nines, and went out for a super fancy dinner date. Or it could be just as awesome to go on a hiking date complete with mud bog swimming, blisters, and mosquitoes. See what I mean? Be honest about who you are, and either amplify it or reverse it.
posted by Forktine at 4:40 PM on November 10, 2010

You ever get that feeling like "we didn't get a chance to talk?" Like, if she was a part of your circle of friends and it was always everybody going out together? Where, when you're all at the bar or getting some food and you say something to each other and someone else butts in and the conversations are always involving whoever is in earshot? Yeah, just treat it like this, only you don't get interrupted. Let her lead on anything physical.
posted by rhizome at 4:56 PM on November 10, 2010 [2 favorites]

You're going to have to choose whether you want to pursue a friendship or more: You'll have to take the risk of ruining the friendship if things turn uncomfortable between the two of you. You're right to assume there's an element of sex, especially since you're coming from out of town to take her on a date.

Be confident, show her you're interested, see if she reciprocates, and take it form there.
posted by zenm at 6:55 PM on November 10, 2010

Oooooh this was me 2 years ago! I was her!

What Mr Shazzam did was to take me on a picnic - perfectly casual, very cosy, very open and "light" surroundings. We sat for 4 hours just chatting and playing with the kids nearby... and ended up cuddling on the rug... and he kissed me. That was it! That was our perfect first date, and didn't culminate in a kiss because we planned it. It happened completely naturally because we'd spent 4 hours deep in conversation, which drew us both wonderfully closer.

He had the same apprehensions as you, but we both went into it treating the day like any other day I'd spend with someone I love hanging out with. That it ended up romantically was a sum total of my hopes + his hopes = success!

I'd imagine any type of casual setting would work - brunch, lunch, dinner, or do something really fun and activity related - go for a hike, a walk, go explore a place you both haven't been, try a class together...

Good luck, take it easy, and most importantly, HAVE FUN!
posted by shazzam! at 7:28 PM on November 10, 2010

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