Monthly Archives: June 2015

My Thirties: Components to a Good First Date (Part 1)

So a few weekends ago I was a chattin’ with a male friend I hadn’t seen in a while. He said to me, “Ashley, I have read some of your funny dating stories…the guy who brought his friend along…the guy who got really drunk, but how come you don’t talk about your good dates?”

I lightheartedly replied, “Because I haven’t had any.”  And then I added, “Well, good first dates aren’t as funny to write about as the bad ones.” But, come to think of it– I have had good dates. I actually had a pretty good one last week or so. Now, I never heard from the guy again, but that doesn’t mean it was a “bad” first date, (for me at least, ha!) perhaps I just wasn’t what he was looking for?  And that’s ok too.

couple drinking coffee


(PS the photo above is an engagement session of an Austin couple, hope you don’t mind I used this photo for my blog!)

So then Hector (my friend) tells me, “Well you should write a blog on what a good date looks like so we (guys) know.” Well, Hector this one is for you!! (and anyone else who cares to read)…thanks for the blog idea, per usual I have plenty to say….so here we go.

What a good date looks like (to me).

**please remember my thoughts do not reflect ALL women (or men) and my tips come from personal experiences, I am definitely no expert and could possibly have it all wrong.

First, before I begin on what constitutes as a “good first date,” I have to add that I am in my 30’s and have been going on dates (off and on-ish) for the past four years (and sharing some of my experiences along the way).  I used to think it was Austin, but I realize it is everywhere. It is the same complaints I hear from women and men and yet the cycle somehow cannot be broken. Having a positive outlook becomes increasingly harder as you go on yet another bad (or sometimes good-just “no spark”) date and the instant gratification of our generation’s “always looking for the next best thing” attitude doesn’t seem to help either…but I digress.

Red Cloud Scene

So in my twenties–I was down for kayaking, putt-putt, RR Express games, dinner, drinks, etc. on first dates. Sometimes I had two in a day! Dog parks, a hike, lunch, a drink on a patio, happy hour, oh the fun… But, now…now I am in my 30s, and it’s a whole new ball game, or maybe same ball game, new teams?

Time has become REALLY important to me and I don’t like wasting a few hours on an insignificant first date…let alone a terrible one. And my time now consists of: quality friends, “me” time, work, health, and well, scheduled activities/obligations. I have now had plenty of years texting away, going on crappy dates, second guessing myself and would like to think I am closer to knowing more of what I want and who I “click” with for date #2.


Me in my 30’s…

girl watching netflix

Also while writing this blog, I realized it isn’t the actual date that makes part of it good, it is the part leading up to the date that makes the date kinda good (I would say 35%). I say that because I feel like the last few guys who have actually asked for my number have never asked me out. I am not talking “asked for my number” because they felt obligated and I pressured them or anything…I mean guys who have gone out of their way (or online dating which is not really out of the way, but specific after several emails showing interest), asked for my number, texted a few times and then NEVER asked me out (despite even asked me out over email: Him: “Would you like to get a drink/smoothie/coffee this week/”  Me: “Sure sounds good, here is my number” Him: text, text, text-never asks. I don’t get it?! I already said I would, then you can’t set it up. ________. Insert the appropriate word you feel to explain this situation here, I have to refrain).


After writing the above paragraph I then stumbled upon this article on “Text-lationships” and I see a little bit clearer now, good advice, thanks Matthew Hussey.

I often feel good about a first date when the following things have happened:

Note that all these will start with “The Guy” I guess you could say I am traditional? If this applies to homosexual couples, then I suppose the one who takes more initiative has to do more work? The alpha type perhaps?, but unsure how that works. I have heard of ladies asking men on dates-but I just don’t buy it.

Part 1A: IDEALLY [Post  exchanging of phone numbers]…

  • The guy maybe texts once after he has my number (let’s say this stemmed from online dating or from a dating app)… to let me know it is him, is polite and says he will be in touch, then a few days later CALLS or texts to ask if a good time to chat. If he got number in person-say “I will give you a call”…then, perhaps, actually do it? Just a thought.
    • **TIP** dudes, bros, guys: Sometimes if you haven’t met the girl in person and you are going to take a girl out on a date-a phone call will save you time and money. I think you can tell a lot from a phone call and chatting with someone to see if you actually want to meet.

callthe girl

  • The guy–(while on the phone) asks if I have time to get together in the week. I am going to be honest–I do not like going on weekend dates. Yes weekdays can be hard with work, gym, commitments, etc, but if you really want to go on a date, you can set aside a little time. Actually you MUST set aside a little time if you proclaim to not be a single-cat lady at age 45. My weekends are jam packed with things (but if you both agree and have free time, go for it).
  • The guy also asks or finds out what part of town I live in. I get it-traffic sucks and I barely want to date anyone who lives South of Ben White ha, BUT when someone takes into consideration where I live and traffic/timing (swoon!!) Women like thoughtful. Sadly, I don’t think this is something that can be faked or learned later really, but if you don’t naturally have this instinct, please remember to ask and plan-it is thoughtful. I don’t mind meeting in the middle if we are on complete opposite sides of town, but so long as I can get it all done: work, gym, shower, beat traffic.. see you there. (most likely 6-8min late because that is how I roll). BONUS points for picking a date place near me!! {Sidenote: Nothing is more annoying to me then the guy who wants to hang out a few hours beforehand. Make. A. Plan}


**TIP** Actually do research. Look at the menu, look at the parking situation, proximity, HOURS, etc.–once I had a date who didn’t realize reverse HH (happy hour) wasn’t on Sunday and planned our date an hour before close, then he complained about the menu being expensive–Ugh, it was the worst, I didn’t eat for our dinner date, I think I had taco cabana after. –read here for more.The guy gives a few options, but ultimately makes a decision. Women want a MAN, not a boy. A confident, but sweet MAN. And a good balance is one that lets said lady weigh some input: what she likes, where she hasn’t been, what she doesn’t eat, etc, but said pursuer makes final decision based on those answers. It does NOT have to be THAT exact conversation that the date place of choice is decided. In fact, it is pretty cute when a guy says he is going to do research and get back to you.

'Bring me a nice bottle of something that'll impress the lady, for under a fiver.'

  • Guy settles on place and decides during that first conversation OR gets back to me a day before said date to let me know decision. A text is ok to confirm time and place and make sure it still works–also shows her you are thinking about it, and you stick to what you say you are going to do (another swoon).

Part 1B: Acceptable First Date Choices:

  • Here’s where it gets “tricky”… Personally-as a girl who is kinda over dating and will know within 10min if she would be willing to see a guy again I do not do dinner or drinks for first dates. However, I still find them as acceptable first date ideas-along with exploring something new or doing something active if you already have a common interest/activity. I have had some bad first dates that had guys getting way too drunk (a few that had a few cocktails before they met with me then continued to get wasted….got a little handsy, were close talkers and some that even invited their friends along on our date). Ay yi yi…

drunk date

I have also had the occasion where I was going to have one or two and it lead to…ummm four or five? as the conversation was flowing and it wasn’t awkward yet fun. However, then the next day I am hurting and re-thinking all the crap I said the night before that probably wasn’t first date material, the awful story I told from junior high and an insecurity or two. Whoops! (Imagine that).


  • **TIP**If you ask a girl if she wants to have drinks and she says “I don’t drink during the weekdays”–or any other reason as to why she doesn’t want to have a drink. I don’t think it should be questioned then. I think it should be respected. Perhaps asked later? I like it when someone can be with me and not feel the need to be drunk.

drunk texting

  • What I do prefer for first dates is something simple and easy. Coffee shops! Nope, I don’t drink coffee but I can still find something on the menu to drink. Starbucks is always an easy go to, but this is Austin and there’s plenty of cool coffee shops too. I also like places that aren’t dead silent but have enough buzz and conversation flowing around them so that others can’t ease drop on our awkward first date convo.
    • **This next statements is evident of just what my 30’s have come to, ha** I don’t do dinner dates any more because in the past I have found the two hours+ of talking, the bill and the calories aren’t worth it to me. Do I realize that sounds insane? Yes. Don’t even get me started on the great debate of who should pay for first dates either.


(I find the above stat interesting, the older people get the less they believe the man should pay for first date).

  • I also like smoothies/fro-yo and Juice Land…again all for the same reasons as above, and great alternatives if you don’t like coffee. Plus many of these places have patios, which can be nice on a pretty day or great if you are cooped up in the office and take a break
  • Time of day is up for debate as well. As someone who makes her own schedule, I enjoy a lunch date or mid-day date in between appointments and working out. For me it almost seems like less pressure and more casual, which I like. The cons: I am in “work mode” and feel like I talk about work too much. And then if you hit it off, an evening dinner or drinks for the next go round is more exciting and something to look forward to.

As you can see I have a lot of thoughts about how to begin even asking someone out on a date. Seems trivial and silly, but often times there is NO first date. I get turned off by the late night “how was your day?,” “cool” “lol, nice” text conversations or the guy who gets number and checks in every two weeks-what is up with that? I think a GOOD DATE comes from when the above items actually happen. It makes things seamless..nice..planned. It’s the little gestures that go far-even if after the first date it doesn’t. I would say, for me, about 60% of good first dates start like the above (my ideal tips to asking a girl out). Doesn’t mean there is date #2, just means at least I had a pleasant time on a first date.

Part 2 will consist of What NOT to talk about on first dates and components of a good first date.

If you made it to here without skipping you are amazing and should email me, I will send you some candy or something. As always, thanks for reading!