FIRST dates can be unpredictable and really awkward, especially since, most times, you have little or no knowledge about your date.
No doubt, many often obsess about the financial aspect of the date, looking great and making a good lasting impression, as well as matters of intimacy, probably sparked by fear that we might be stereotyped, may come on too strong, or end up looking a little too desperate.
All Woman asked readers to share their take on first-date intimacy: How far is going too far? Should you kiss? Is sex okay? Should you go with the flow? This is what they had to say:
Raymond, 45, investment banker:
For me, I consider myself a gentleman so I will allow the lady to be comfortable and give her anything that she wants. I don't want to be viewed as someone who wants a one-night stand, so I will allow her to take the lead and follow her. So, you can say I am a go-with-the-flow kind of man.
Monique, 36, pharmacy technician:
I am old-fashioned. I believe in getting to know someone, so I will make no haste to jump into bed or be cleaning anyone's mouth. Sometimes not doing anything [intimate] will tell you a lot about the person, too.
Erica, 33, real estate agent:
I believe the connection that I have with the person will dictate my behaviour during the date. If it is that we have been communicating for a while, then chances are there will be some amount of chemistry. Also, even if you just met, the initial conversation would have been as such that you accepted a date request.
Dre, 39, police officer:
My rule is to go with the flow — no rush, no fuss. I believe there should be a balance; you don't want to be too pushy or too withdrawn.
Monique, 45, banker:
It depends on your relationship with the person. Being on a first date does not mean that you just met the person. I think if you have been talking for a period of over two weeks, then I think that it is okay to kiss and get to know each other. However, reserve the sex for marriage if it gets that far.
Sade, 26, security personnel:
Things have changed drastically, so for most people nothing is off limits, even on the first date. Personally, having sex on the first date depends on the type of interest you have in the person. If you only have a sexual interest, which means you are only attracted to the person sexually and only want to fulfil your curiosity, then it is okay. I am not a fan of just having sex with someone, not being certain if this is actually who you want to be in a relationship with, or if this is actually something serious developing — so I usually just hold off on intimacy.
Camille, 37, teacher:
For first dates, it's based on the situation. Each situation is unique. If, for example, I meet the person online, then definitely something like sex on the first date is a no-no. If it is a case where you have known each other for a while and you decide to take it further and go on an official first date, then if sex happens I think that it's okay. I personally wouldn't do it, but I wouldn't have an issue at all with a kiss on the first date as a reward for an evening well spent, or so on.
Dane, 18, college student:
A first date means just that, it's the first step in a process of getting to know each other. A hug is okay, but kissing and sex are off the table. I want to know the person and I want him to know me. So let's laugh and talk for hours and at the end, take me safely home and say goodbye with no expectations, except maybe a second date if things went well.
— Penda Honeyghan