It's not easy being young and single these days.
Your family constantly asks you why you can't just meet a nice boy through your friends or "at a party," and everyone you know who's moving in with their SO or getting engaged (seriously, WTF?) met in college and that ship has, sadly, sailed.
You, on the other hand, are spending your evenings swiping mostly left and you can barely remember what bar you were at last night, let alone who you met there.
As if dating wasn't nerve-racking enough, back in the good old days (so you've heard) when you were already pals with your beau-to-be, sourcing your possible partner on one of the dating apps you keep deleting and re-downloading not only means you're not 100 percent sure who you're going to be meeting.
Cue stress, stalking and a lot of dutch courage.
Here are the 23 stages of going on a first date:
1. You're close to giving up on Tinder for good after 235 matches and no interesting conversations.
2. Then a message pops up...
3. They're cute and suggest a date within the first few messages.
4. So you agree to a weekday date, which means spending all day at work mentally pulling apart your wardrobe.
5. You make the mistake of telling someone in the office and now you're being interrogated.
If only you had more to go off of than three profile pictures and a bio that reads "Recently moved here. Love the gym, football and just chilling out on the weekends."
6. You rush home to make sure you still have at least two hours to get ready.
7. But with three hours to go you start panicking and wonder if you can still cancel.
You desperately try and think of any reason you could be busy at the last minute.
8. In a last minute panic, you decide to track them down on social media to confirm they're not catfishing you...
9. While having a glass of wine (or two) to calm your nerves.
10. You're finally ready but worry you've overdone it a little.
But you continue to apply more powder and lipstick until it's time to leave.
11. You start to panic that they're going to stand you up, so you send a precautionary text.
They don't reply within five minutes, so naturally you assume you're being ghosted.
12. They REPLY.
You still question their catfishing potential, but at least they're not going to stand you up.
13. You get an Uber five minutes late to avoid arriving first.
14. You spot them at the bar and they look exactly like their picture.
15. You let out a manic nervous laugh upon introducing yourself.
16. After a few initial questions, there's an awkward silence.
17. But then you down another drink and everything is going well.
You don't know if you're having a good time or you're just tipsy, but they're basically the same thing so...
18. You find out that you actually have quite a bit in common, they're funny and they have a DOG!
You start getting a little ahead of yourself.
19. You excuse yourself to go to the restroom and text your friends to give them an update.
20. And then when the date comes to an end you hover around trying to judge their body language.
Do you hug? Kiss? Are they even interested?!
21. They suggest meeting up again and say they'll text you.
22. You spend the next 24 hours staring at your phone.
23. They finally text, and you plan another date for the weekend and the whole going-on-a-date process starts all over again...
But this time you're even more nervous since you actually want to impress them.