Currently based in Chicago, IL, Unsolicited AF is a blog by Zarina Mendoza. Her posts take on dating problems your shitty friends are probably giving you the wrong advice on.

First Dates Are Important To Learn Who's Worth Your Time & Who's Not

First Dates Are Important To Learn Who's Worth Your Time & Who's Not

First date jitters are a real thing. We all know this because the first dates are really all you get because if you blow it, there’s no second try.

I go on a ridiculous amount of first dates, but rarely any second ones and this is because first dates are tell-alls of what a man thinks of you and how much he respects you. But it’s not only on them, it’s on you. I may be old school when it comes to this topic, but I still believe first impressions are everything and every move you both make will determine what’s going to happen next. Typically, the first step is a guy will ask you when you’re free and where you want to go. And if you say you don’t care, well…

If you don’t have an opinion, he’s going to take you to his regular first date spot where all the other women he’s dated have been before.

The choice of where, when, and what type of first date you two have is both of your choices. Give him options you like for a different change of pace. And after bantering with a guy for awhile, at this point he should have some sort of idea of what you might like. So when I get asked, I always have him do a little thinking by saying, “Pick a place you think I would really love.” This is a great response because the place he chooses can determine how invested he is in impressing you and I have two examples of when this worked out greatly and showed me what these men were about.

  1. The Man To Pursue

    I met this guy at a bar where we quickly exchanged numbers and set a date for the following night. In the morning, he shot me a text asking what I wanted to do and I told him I was in the mood for hookah. So, he did his research, asked a couple friends what the best spot was (which I already knew the answer for) and he chose correctly. This place had a great ambience, good music, and BYOB — where this man made an effort to go out of his way and get my favorite type of red wine. He was early, waiting for me outside in a nice button up, some dress shoes, and was on his A Game. This is a man who had clearly done his homework, is respectful and was worth pursuing.

  2. The Man To Drop

    This next guy was an entirely different story. I was walking out of my local gym and he was too. We exchanged numbers and set a date for sometime during the week. A few hours after we parted ways he reached out and said he knew exactly where to take me. He had done research and glanced over my resumé where I had mentioned I was a “Ping Pong Extraordinaire.” He took me to a ping pong bar which was thoughtful of him, but the place itself was utterly horrific.

    I get there five minutes later than planned and when I walk in, the smell of pee made my eyes tear. It was a complete dump of a dive bar that I had to double-check if I was at the right address because he was nowhere to be found. So I texted asking where he was, and it was then when he mentioned he was just leaving his place. I take a seat at the bar —which needed like three good Clorox wipes and a blacklight test — and give him ten minutes. He shows up in what I’m pretty much sure what he wore to the gym when I met him and there’s clearly not much effort on his part. After one game of ping pong, I told him I had to dip out. He was not worth much more than that. So DO NOT feel bad if this happens to you and stick it out through the entire date. If you’re not having a good time, leave!

Moral of these stories are to find out how much work he’s willing to put in to win you over, if he’s trying at all. Sure signs of his effort:

if he’s running late

Does he make sure he tells you beforehand? Or when it’s already past the time you two set? A good guy wouldn’t dream of making a lady he likes wait without communicating it to her. It’s common courtesy and easy to shoot a quick text because being a few minutes late is not a big deal when informed.

if he picks you up

Does he walk to your door to get you? Wait outside his car for you? Or not even bother and just sit there in the driver’s seat on his phone? I’m all for a man who does the first two. The latter guy, don’t expect him to open any type of door for you.

if he doesn’t have a car

Does he offer to meet you at your place first? Or at least pick a place that’s in the middle of you two? This shows he’s thoughtful and knows that even though he can’t offer you a ride, he’s trying his best to make it easier for you to meet him.

Pay attention to how he presents himself

Does he have a fresh new cut? Is he dressed sexy AF? Wearing cologne? Or does he look like he just threw something on and didn’t even bother to look in the mirror? All these factors show how much he for one, cares about himself and secondly, how much he cares to impress you.

Why your friends are shitty

Some of your friends give you the completely wrong advice that you should “play the game” and intentionally not look like you tried so hard. That dressing up nicely makes you look desperate to want a man. That is not the case at all. And if you’re ever unsure of what to wear, just ask the guy what the vibe is like! I’m 100% positive that if he’s planning to take you bowling or to paintball or something, he will warn you to bring socks or a crappy change of outfit. But always put your best foot forward and dress to show him you’re a woman worth the work. ‘Cause let me tell you, no man has ever complained about me wearing heels with a nice outfit or dress.

Everyone has different standards when it comes to first dates but I can tell you, men will show you how much they’re willing to invest in you based on the first date they take you on. And FYI, this all doesn’t just fall on the guy, us women have to show what we have to offer on first dates as well.

First dates are a two-way street and the responsibility falls on both ends.

If you’re willing to portray the best version of yourself and he is too, awesome. If the balance is off, that’s okay too. First dates are a way to see if the two of you are compatible, if you’re on the same path in life, and if essentially, you two want to go out again.

For the man worth pursuing, don’t forget to let him know the great time you had and appreciate this guy because they don’t come around the block too often. Shoot him a text of your gratitude and he’ll be wanting to take you out again. Don’t do that bull where you wait for him to make the next move — but I’ll give you more on dating etiquette another time. For the other type of man, if he reaches out as if the date went great, tell him straight up why you’re not interested and see if he takes the steps of planning a better date after you’ve given him your reasons. If he genuinely wants to try again, see if you’re willing to grant him another chance and if not, well at least you said what was on your mind.

Date Someone You Actually Like Or Just Enjoy Being Single

Date Someone You Actually Like Or Just Enjoy Being Single

If He Shows You Who He Is, Believe Him

If He Shows You Who He Is, Believe Him