Dating is easy. You swipe a cutie on Tinder, partake in some witty banter, and settle on a date for Thursday.
Well, sort of. You flake that Thursday when work runs late, and your new cutie flakes the following week due to travel plans. After multiple utterances of "sorry, just seeing this" and what at times feels like textual harassment of a stranger, you both find a date that actually works. You propose a cute sake bar for drinks and it. Is. On.
(Or at least it better be, because three flakes and you're out.)
Modern romance... so adorable, am I right?
When date night finally comes, if you are a sane person, you are probably going to feel at minimum one or two butterflies. There's the threat of rejection, the possibility that your date is a casual sociopath, and the fact that getting the date on your calendar was harder than putting the cover on your duvet so it better be great.
Because to do lists always calm me down, here are 10 ways to prepare yourself for a Tinder date:
1. Breathe Because Chill Because It's Tinder
I, too, hate being told to chill, but you need to.
Take a deep ass breath. You swiped a person with your finger because his face did not cause you any aversions and he seemed nice. Now you're meeting him IRL. That's it.
2. Put A Time Limit On Getting Ready
If you spend two hours getting ready for a date, you are now investing at least four hours on a virtual stranger (if things go well). Pressure on a first date is gross, so take as much off as possible. Twenty minutes is plenty of time to look like a person after work.
When I spend two hours getting ready, I usually end up with Shirley Temple curls and an over-plucked eyebrow (yes, one). No bueno for being recognized by my date.
3. Plan Your Date Outfit Ahead Of Time
The number one cause of getting ready freak outs? You're trying on your 85th outfit.
Avoid the meltdown by knowing what you're going to wear ahead of time. It doesn't need to be fancy. Come straight from work — that's totally fine. At most, he's probably swapping out his glasses for contacts. Wear something comfortable and take the pressure off.
4. Refrain From Google Stalking Your Date
Or checking his Instagram. Or peeping his Spotify.
You will find things to talk about organically if he's a good match for you, and stumbling upon a recent Venmo transaction with another lady is going to make you spiral. Just say no to pre-date detective work.
5. Do Whatever You Want Down There
It's 2017, and I'm not going to tell you to "get a wax." You're probably not effing on the first date, but if you are, maybe have recently showered; cleanliness rules.
And when it comes to your bush? You do you, lady.
6. Know Where You're Going
Not "where you're going" in terms of a long term relaysh versus marriage, but in terms of actual geography. Rushing leads to weird vibes and being late does not actually make you look cool, so Google Map the F out of your route to the date.
Early? Grab a drink at a nearby bar, strike up convo with a cute bartender, and call it a date warm up.
7. Feed Yourself (Unless You Are Going To Dinner)
Ordering a slightly dirty gin martini is a really chill move until you remember you haven't eaten since 2 p.m.
If getting super drunk on a first date is not your choice move, order some deviled eggs with that 'tini, or simply make sure you've eaten dinner before the date. Yes, I am your mom. Also, trust me.
8. Decide How Long You Want To Stay Out
Early meeting at work the next day? Even if the date is going super well, it's not a bad idea to set a two-drink limit. You don't have to adhere to exactly two drinks, of course, but if you go into the date with a curfew and a plan, you'll feel more in control.
If new boo is amazing, it will be enticing to him if you peace out after a couple drinks. Leaving him wanting more sounds archaic, but is definitely still a thing.
9. Do A Last Minute Tinder Check
The same way you would brush up on notes before a big presentation, you should take a moment to check your date's profile one more time. A final scan will help you remember exactly what your date looks like, so that you can find him in the inevitable sea of people out on Thursday night Tinder dates. Plus, you'll be able to take note of some details you can ask questions about.
Also, go to your own profile and take note of all of the other matches you have. Maybe even swipe a little before you walk into the date. You're not trying to be a f*ckgirl, you're just reminding yourself that there are a lot of fish in the sea to ease your nerves. No big thang.
Remind yourself that this is just one date with one person, and if it goes well, great, but if it goes terribly, also great. You have a good story and you are that much closer to finding the right person for you.
10. Fake It 'Til You Make It
Smile and walk into your date confidently. Hide those nerves on the exterior, and your interior will follow suit. If your date turns out to be an a-hole, forget the smiles, but generally, if you are open and honest, your date will be, too.
It may seem silly, but even going through this checklist and mentally checking off all of the things you have done to prepare for a date might bring you some comfort if you get nervous before meeting someone new (like a normal person).
These suggestions are not the only things you can do to prepare yourself for a Tinder date. If getting a manicure or going to yoga after work makes you feel like the most self-assured, authentic version of yourself, do that instead.
Above all, remember: It's one night of your life. You've got this.