It doesn't matter how calm and suave a guy appears on the blind date. These thoughts go through every guy's head. He might be using advanced meditative techniques to push these thoughts out of his mind, or they could be piling up like a multi-track train wreck in his mind, causing him to sweat through two layers of clothing and stammer out, "So...do you like stuff?" Whether he's an ice-cold, secure master of conversation or a total weirdo, these thoughts have crossed his mind. Maybe they stayed there.
1. "What if I get murdered?" This is a legitimate concern for anyone. What if you're not who you say you are? What if you're a murderer? What if you're two murderers? What if you take us home and then murder us while we're sleeping? We will never know for sure if you're cool or if this is just a complex murder plot until at least the fifth date.
2. "What if she is basically my evil twin?" Getting murdered might be better than sitting through three courses with someone you have nothing in common with. Awkward dates have nothing on the hell-date that is two people who hate each other and are kicking themselves for ordering potato skins and salad and a grilled chicken. God help you if the service is slow.
3. "I hope I have an opportunity to do something really cool so I can impress her right away." Maybe a waiter will trip and fall, and I can perfectly catch the tray of drinks he drops without spilling anything. Maybe I'll punch a guy in the face? Maybe I'll save a baby from a well? Google Maps says there are no wells in this area, but a man can dream.
4. "What if I can't figure out who she is?" There is no easy way to go up to a stranger, ask them who they are, and then calmly tell them, "Oh, sorry. I thought you were a different person, and I don't know what the person I'm looking for even looks like." Sure, if someone came up to you, you'd think nothing of it and assume they were meeting someone on a blind date. But when you're the one who has to ask them, it can give you crazy anxiety.
5. "What if she doesn't show up?" Getting something for free is cool unless it's the free drinks the bartender gave you because you hung out for two hours before admitting to yourself that you got stood up.
6. "What if I thought she didn't show up but I really can't figure out who she is?" This hasn't been a legitimate concern since 2002 when everyone started carrying cell phones, but the thought will still cross our mind in a moment of crisis.
7. "Is this shirt too douchey?" Guys don't have many options when going on a first date besides "button-down."
8. "What if she hates the restaurant choice?" This is one of those concerns that only matters to people choosing a restaurant on their first (or maybe second) date. Have you ever gone to a restaurant that was so bad you hated the person that brought you there?
9. "Oh, man. Should I get kind of drunk?" This is the only true quandary when it comes to first dates. Do you have two drinks? Is one of you waiting for the other to order a third but you don't want to be the first? Do you say, "Screw it," and have six drinks and hopes she also likes to drink? Do you get blackout drunk and avoid the problem altogether by not even remembering it happened?
10. "What if my card gets declined?" Everyone does the same exact thing whenever a card gets declined. It doesn't matter how much money you have (or don't have):
- You tell the waiter/cashier, "It was working today."
- You ask them to try again.
- When it still doesn't work, you flip the card over four or five times looking for imperfections.
- Say, "I'm calling my bank when I get home," to no one in particular.
11. "I really hope she's not late." God forbid you have to look at a menu by yourself for 10 minutes.
12. "OK, focus. You are fine." At a certain point, you just suck it up, calm your nerves, and leave for your date. You enter a zen-like state where sitting in your room freaking out about your upcoming date is way worse than any date ever possibly could be.
13. "OK, let's get there, like, five minutes early." This is great because you're still early, but you're not so early that you have to kill time if she's late. You don't want to be that person sitting in his car in the parking lot because you got there an hour early.
14. "We've met. She seems fine. No murder vibes. This is going well." And of course, you had no trouble finding her—she looks like her picture except maybe without the filters and artistic blurring.
15. "What does she look like naked?" THIS IS A QUESTION FOR ANOTHER TIME, NOT WHEN SHE'S TELLING YOU WHAT SHE DOES FOR A LIVING.
16. "What kind of vibe am I giving off?" I feel like I'm doing OK, but what if she's perceiving things differently? What if life is just a series of shared perceptions? What does that even mean? I just missed what she was talking about because my brain decided to go into "first year philosophy major" mode.
17. "Oh, no. Is that my friend at the other table?" If he comes over here, it's basically a pop-quiz of everything she told me so far. I need to at least remember her last name and her job. Hold on to those thoughts, just in case he decides to come over here.
18. "I think I'm going to go in for a goodnight kiss after this, but those jalapeño poppers were a terrible idea in hindsight." I thought ordering those would show her that I'm bold and daring, but now I just have horrible breath. Why was that my thought process? WHO WOULD EVEN JUDGE A PERSON'S CHARACTER BASED ON APPETIZER CHOICES?
19. "Screw it. We both had three beers." OK, that went well. She's into it. I killed it on this date.
20. "Don't text her right away. Don't text her right away. Don't text her right away." It's going to be super tempting to shoot a text out, but we have to play it cool for at least 24 hours.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.