Those First Dates!

Editor’s note: Jess Roe is a photo editor at Zulily where she creates beautiful visual experience that makes Zulily's product detail pages stylish. In this article, Jess talks about her experiences with the first dates she had over past couple of years!

So I have to admit, over the last couple of years I've done my fair share of online dating. I’ve had a bit of success, but I’ve also been on loads of first dates, that never seem to materialize into much more than that. When I sit down and reflect back on a lot of these first dates (and even second dates), I’ve realized there’s definitely some themes that have influenced whether I accepted a second date or not. If I had to sum it all up, what I’m looking for on a first date is a guy who can actually plan a date, who exhibits some form of manners (crazy right?), and carries himself with a positive air/confidence.

This first topic I always find a bit funny, and have had some interesting debates about, with friends - and that’s a guy who can actually plan a date! Maybe I’m a bit old fashioned, but on a first date there’s something fun about being “taken” out. It feels nice when you've invested some effort into impressing me with your plans. Even if I plan every date from now on, it’s nice to know you can coordinate, and make it happen. If planning isn’t your forte, just by asking some simple questions…my favorite restaurant, the nights I’m free…you can still easily make it happen! 

All right, now on to the actual date! Manners were huge in my family growing up, and definitely something I pay attention to, and look for in someone else! While it’s easy to be nervous and self-conscious, I would hope you would still revert to your basic social skills when on a first date. I don’t need you running around, opening every door, or going over the top, but a little please and thank you, goes a long way. Another biggie is how you treat the wait staff. It’s always a major turn off on a date when the guy can’t make small talk and have fun with a waiter. I know you’re here to interact with me, but I also care about how you interact with others you encounter in your life. When you’re acting like you’re above the wait staff, I can’t help but wonder how you’d treat the other people in life – my friends and my family – this is important to me. 

Going along with character, I’ve found a person’s tone can be a major turn off on a first date as well. The way you talk about your friends, family, work and hobbies reflect a lot about the meaning and value you place on these different topics.  To me a first date is all about sharing and getting to know what makes another person tick. If you’re talking negatively about your family, or your job, it’s definitely a red flag and not enjoyable. I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember that last time I got excited to date someone who didn’t respect their family, hated their job, and had no passions in life. I get it, bad days happen, and sometimes work sucks, but I don’t need to hear about it on a first date!  

With all of this said, I never like to approach dating with a checklist, well maybe I should say a hard and fast one. I always get annoyed when I receive emails from guys getting upset about an attribute I’ve mentioned in my profile as being highly important in the person I date. I know the qualities I’m looking for, and don’t feel I should be judged or have to compromise what these are. While the above mentioned categories are not make or break, being able to plan, having good manners, and a positive attitude on life are important qualities that I value, and for me influence whether I want to continue dating another person.