The 22-year-old date virgin

Are you a date virgin? Oliver Rich explains the expectations of dating for someone who’s never been on a date.

 Preparing for a first date can be stressful, from choosing what to wear, to where to go, or making sure you aren’t too early or too late - the list is endless. With millions of questions constantly whirling around, how do you ensure that you show off your best self on a date, even if you have no dating experience?

Being a 22-year-old gay man who can’t even commit to using auto top up on his Opal card, it stands to reason that I am single. Big time. In fact, I have never even been on a date before. Yes, I am a date virgin, something that fills me with both gratification and anguish. I am yet to go on a date, but several scenarios have played over in my head about how a date would play out. Him picking me up and taking me out for a quick dinner that turns into hours of talking, laughing and smiling…. but what if I’m wrong? What does an actual date even look like?! Are there other date virgins out there?

Being in my 20s without having experienced a date, gone are the days of naively fantasising about a Disney prince coming and sweeping me off my feet and living happily ever after. For me, being in my 20s means being at the age of friends announcing engagements and submitting to the idea of long term relationships. I can’t help thinking that for me it is too late to be a part of this and that I’m destined to be the cliched cat lady in 10 years.

Don’t get me wrong, I know how the world works, but with such a huge emphasis placed on dating and ‘settling down’ it seems like a hard thing to get into. Where would one even start?

While the thought of this has consumed me for a far longer time than I would care to admit, I decided there is only one way to change this, no matter how uncomfortable or awkward it may be.

 So, what do you do if, like me, you’re a date virgin??

1.     Get out there:

 There are so many ways to meet new people nowadays, so why not take advantage of them. Becoming more social is the easiest way to meet new people. Joining a local sports team, a local club, or even sign up for some dating apps. With apps such as Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, blah blah blah, there are endless opportunities to connect with people without the real commitment of having to meet in person right away. Who knows, you might just find Mr/Mrs right.

2.     Ask someone out:

I mean personally speaking this one can be tricky. I have never asked someone out; I’ve always been too afraid to try, but I can imagine the pride and excitement of having enough nerve to do it, and it must feel pretty great. This could be the perfect way for all you other date virgins (hoping that there’s a lot of you) to create the ideal first date that you would like to have, starting with asking out who you want to.

3.     Who tf cares, live your best life:

Screw waiting around for Prince Charming to come and blow you away with the date of your dreams - create it on your own. Going on a date is all about showing off you and your interests, so when going on a date that should take priority. No matter what, you have something special to offer, are unique and deserve to go on the perfect date. Putting yourself out there can be scary. I can attest to that. But if you don’t put yourself out there you will never know the possibilities.

My final suggestion is to empower yourself when going on a date, even if it is for the first time. Show your date how incredible and unique you are. There is nobody like you, so take full advantage of that. If you do that, you have nothing to lose, and as a worst-case scenario, you were able to do what you wanted to do and showed yourself.

 That being said, if anyone wants to take me on a date feel free to hit me up on Instagram… lol (@oliverrich).

Oliver Rich is a final year Communications and International Studies student, who is a strong coffee addict and movie buff.