Advice

New Year’s Eve: Good First Date or Bad First Date? We Weigh the Pros & Cons.

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What makes a good first date? Chemistry, of course. But there are circumstantial factors that come into play as well. Sometimes an unconventional date will work magically; other times it will just ruin the magic.

So, is ______ a good first date? Ask us at thedatereport at howaboutwe.com and we’ll debate the pros and cons. Today we’re tackling that monster of a holiday, New Year’s Eve.

Bad First Date:

Chiara says: The thing to remember about first dates is that no matter how bad it goes, you can usually just “call it an early night” or bow out after the first drink. Not so on New Year’s Eve! If you meet up with someone at 9, you better both be in it for the long haul, or you’ll end up alone and depressed at midnight.

But what’s even worse than ending up depressed and alone is the possibility of ending up with someone you’ve discovered you have ABSOLUTELY no chemistry or future with, but with whom you’re determined to doggedly stick it out. And what if at midnight you don’t WANT to kiss this person, but then feel obliged to? And what if you’re surrounded by couples, sentimentally swaying to Auld Lange Syne, and you and your awful date will awkwardly grin at each other and you’ll both feel out of place because that’s what happens when you’re stuck in a room fraught with emotion, of which you feel none of?

Better to spend New Year’s Eve, the most bittersweet, nostalgic holiday of them all, with people you actually care about, rather than with someone you might possibly care about some day, but just as possibly not.

Good First Date:

Michelle says: In theory (and, I suppose, in the movies), I love New Year’s Eve. I love the sparkling dresses, the glittering winter wonderland scene, the clinking of Champagne glasses, and of course, a kiss from the person you’re madly in love with at midnight. (I know, I know; I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.)

In reality, this never happens. That elusive winter wonderland is too expensive, and the bar you can afford (which is still a ripoff) has revolting appetizers, gives you each a measly half-flute of the bubbly stuff, and is showing the 11 o’clock news on big-screen TVs while you bask in the green glow of poker lights. (That really happened.) Or worse, your boyfriend of 2 years decides that once again he wants to spend the holiday — which is also his birthday — with his buddies, and you end up sobbing “I [hiccup] miss [hiccup] him” at a friend’s apartment, drunkenly leaning against a shower curtain for support and falling into her bathtub. (That’s, um, hypothetical.)

So, now that we’ve established that New Year’s Eve sucks no matter what (come on, it can’t just be me!), I say, screw it. Go ahead and spend it with a stranger, especially if all of your friends are happily coupled off. (You don’t really want to be around their sappiness all night, do you?) Your expectations will should be fairly low: You don’t even know this person, so how good can it be? Pick a bar on the divey side, preferably one with games (shuffleboard, Skee Ball, Scrabble, whatever), smuggle a couple of cans of Sofia into your purse, duck into the bathroom at 11:50 to pour the sparkling stuff into your cups — and if you do hit it off, having your first kiss at midnight would make a pretty good story.

Just stay away from shower curtains. Trust me on that one.

What do you think? Thumbs up or thumbs down on NYE as a first date?

Originally published in December 2010.

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