Picture this -
You're sat on your sofa, grinning at your phone as your text messages come through from that person you have been talking to for around a month. You have spent hours imagining what it would be like to meet and go on a first date. They pop open the champagne with the most pre planned romantic date that reminds you of the black and white movies you secretly watch on T.V. They aren't even fazed by the fact that you are wearing a ballgown to a restaurant, in fact, they have bought you a tiara to match.
You spend the night dancing, and drinking, but you never get drunk enough to make a fool of yourself and they are the most perfectly well behaved date you have ever had and you are nothing but a classy date yourself.
Back in real life, you are sat in your pyjamas for the second day in a row, surprised that you even put on underwear that day, binge watching Netflix texting this mysterious person that your friends are convinced is in fact your mum texting you for groceries, and your mum believe that they are an axe murderer. I mean, of course they aren't an axe murderer. You did the wise thing and jokingly asked! Duh!
Everything is going great until something pops up.
Oh my god it's happening! The date I have been dreaming of... OH MY GOD IT'S HAPPENING! WHAT THE HELL AM I GOING TO DO?!?!
Suddenly, all the wonderful images you have had are replaced with the thought of - What if they are horrible? What if they eat with their mouth open? What if they take me somewhere dreadful? What if they think i'm ugly/fat/stupid? OH MY GOD MUM WAS RIGHT, I BET THEY ARE AN AXE MURDERER!
Of course, you can't say no! That one question doesn't change how lovely they have been since you first started talking, but now you're terrified. They want to take you out tonight but you have no idea where so first horror. What the hell are you going to wear?!
You can't wear something too fancy because what if they take you to McDonalds?! I guess the ball gown is out of the question. But what if they take you somewhere fancy? Then you'll stick out like a sore thumb. Clothes flying everywhere, until your wardrobe is now your floor, and you're sat in your wardrobe with a bottle of whiskey, frantically texting your friends through your tears, and screaming "How dare they have a life and not reply when I need them?".
A few glasses of dutch courage later, you have found a wonderful mix of fancy and casual. Job done. Then it's to your face and hair. Stumbling over the heels and jumpers that are cascading over your carpet, and stomping on the upturned plug you had lurking underneath you reach the mirror.
Oh my god, the mirror. Well, obviously it's broken, either that or it's going to take a miracle to get rid of that face in ... *glances at the clock* TEN MINUTES. Suddenly, there is powder and hairspray fogging the air, until your eyes are watering and you're squinting to see through to the mirror. There are spots appearing as you watch, and your hair has decided that today it's wants to be a stubborn afro with no intention of doing what you want.
Once you're done, you're staring at yourself in the mirror, and glancing as the clock. With every second that goes by, your stomach becomes more and more like there is a mexican party, where the man with the trombone is spinning around and hitting the sides, until there is a knock at the door.
Once you have gagged, and tied your mother up into the cupboard, and given strict instructions to the neighbour to release her once you are at least a mile away to save any embarrassment, you shakily answer the door.
Now this can only go one of two ways. The love of your life could appear at the door holding a ball gown, chocolate and a tiara made of blood diamonds, or just an average Joe could be slumped over your doorstep, picking his nose and wiping it on your new curtains. However your reaction is the same thing every time. The nervous hello whilst doing a laugh for no reason that sounds more like you are plotting to kill him rather than go on a wonderful date. Then the next dilemma, WHAT THE HELL NOW? Hug? No hug? Shake their hand? No that's too formal... Wave? Well that was a stupid idea. So you settle for standing awkwardly, and hoping that they will lead you in the right direction.
Now, for the rest of the date, no matter where you go, you always spend the entire time questioning everything that is happening and nervously laughing. Awkward silences you could always combat in a day to day life become the hardest things to stop on a date, and unless you fill them nervous laughter, you both sit there hoping you think of something to say. If you go for something to eat, you're the most self conscious you have ever been. At home you would put the burger in your mouth hole quicker and messier than your little niece can trash your room, but on a date you try to cut it apart with a knife and fork and give up when it comes to trying to eat something you know you are going to spill down you.
Trying to say your opinion on a date becomes a landmine, as you don't want to tell them that you are in love with cats, and hope one day to own an entire cattery one day so you can roll around with them and eat cat food before you notice that he has I HATE CATS tattooed across his knuckles. You accidentally mentioned a story that involved your ex, and when they asked who you did that with you end up blurting out a name of someone you have never met before and thinking why on earth did I choose Donald Bacon? A mixture between a duck and Kevin Bacon was of course a logical choice.
Now once the date is over and it is time to say goodbye you have the worst problem of the night. Kiss or no kiss? If one of you commits to it, and the other one doesn't then it's going to be too awkward for you to handle, and your body will just combust into the colour of red and the ashes of your remains will blow away into the nights sky. Then you start to think, what if he is a terrible kisser? Then you're going to have to wash your mouth out with bleach, then OMG why did I eat that garlic bread?!
It turns out, he doesn't kiss you, but you hug awkwardly, trying not to embrace too hard that he turns into a diamond, but you end up patting him on the back to try and find his release button when he won't let go.
You awkwardly back into your house, and collapse onto your bed alone. Wip off your bra, plonk on the TV and cry into your pillow at how embarrassing you must have been. How could you have said that you thought he looked like Nigel Thornberry? How could you have then done the impression which made you sound like a mixture between Pat Butcher and Yoda? After all of that, how could have ended it with the statement "Don't worry, it's sexy!".
Sobbing into your phone, you curl up in front of Netflix, stuffing your face with sweets and that questionable sandwich you left the other night and you think. Was it really worth it all? Then..
And you think - "Oh sod it, I've got nothing better to do".
And that is how dating starts... Doesn't sound great, but hey! It's a reason to put pants on and eat free food right?