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Sunday, May 9, 2021

College Relationships: First date advice

I met this guy online. He was the first guy I went on a date with who was younger than me. I was 22 or 23, he was 21. We met up at 5-6 and he decided we should go to The Wild Buffalo. He asked me if I wanted to do body shots and I told him no. Then we went to Bob’s Burgers where we shared a meal, he kept mentioning how much he had spent on the date when all he paid for was a round of drinks and an entree we had to share. He also had his own name tattooed on his arm. -Cassie Dartt

Almost everyone has a first date horror story where they have to pretend they’re in the bathroom while actually calling their friends to come get them. First dates can be awkward, so I’ve put together some do’s and don’ts to help ease your mind and calm those first date nerves.


You could do the classic dinner and movie date or if you’re old enough, grab drinks at a local bar. Straight hard alcohol or shots should generally be avoided, maybe sticking to a beer, hard cider or a cocktail!


  • The Up & Up (21+, also connects to Rudy’s Pizza): The outside section with small tables creates an intimate environment at a fun bar.  It’s also quieter, so you can actually talk to your date.
  • Boundary Bay (Also serves food! All ages): The classic brewery hosts events like Bluegrass night and Irish & Folk Night if you want to shake it up!
  • Schweinhaus (Also serves food! All ages): The newer biergarten hosts karaoke every Wednesday, it’s also owned by Copper Hog just down the block.  Their German style food is perfect if you’ve had a liter or two of craft beer.

Cheaper eats:

  • Casa Que Pasa (The Jumbo Potato Burrito will run you $7.29): A Bellingham staple with burritos the size of a newborn baby, you and your date can even split one making the dinner bill a little bit lower.
  • Man Pies (The Classic Chicken Pie coasts $7.30): This quirky restaurant also serves beer on tap. Go for lunch on the weekend and check out the Bellingham Farmer’s Market just a couple of minutes away!
  • Aslan Brewery (All ages! The Classic Bison Burger costs $12): Aslan is a newer brewery and includes things off the menu that are gluten free, vegan and their beer is 100 percent organic


  • Copper Hog (Price varies based on lunch or dinner menu, Pulled Pork Sandwich will run $10 while Flemish Wild Boar Stew is $16): The Copper Hog a self-proclaimed gastro-pub. It’s a good place for group dates and hosts seating inside and outside.  They also offer mimosas with POG juice and hard liquor specialty drinks like jalapeño vodka.
  • Bayou on Bay (Again depends on lunch or dinner, Catfish runs $10 or Steak Frites at $19): It’s great place to find Cajun food in the Pacific Northwest. If you and your date are brave, try their catfish or frog legs.

Because of a limited college student budget, cheaper eats especially for a first date are the best choice.


No more “The man has to pay for the first date!” Offer to split it.

Rule of thumb is, the person asking should pay.

If one person is adamant about paying, let them do it!
If one person is adamant about splitting, do it!

If your date ends up paying for you, thank them.

And from a worker in the foodservice industry: tip your server!

Clothing & Makeup

Senior, Deana Fuller goes for the edgy vibe. “It totally depends on what you’re doing. For me, I find you can never go wrong with a skinny jeans, a nice top, some killer boots and of course my leather jacket but I always wear that,” she said.

Senior, Dre Aparicio finds himself to be more comfort oriented in his outfits.  “A t-shirt and jeans with Vans,” he said.  His partner on the other hand is the opposite.  “He is all about dressing up for date night. He would wear button-ups, a bowtie and nice pants. Often making me look like a bum,” Aparicio said.

Overall, it seems like you should be able to wear whatever makes you feel most like you. Man and the Mascara blogger, Jordan Kunigk, gave advice on clothes and makeup.

“I would want to look very fresh, well-groomed and put together.  First dates are very impressionable and set the tone for your relationship, they can make or break anything for both parties,” he said.

The following appearance tips are a mixture of my own and Jordan Kunigk. I provide tips for women and Jordan provides tips for men.

Appearance tips for men:

  • Hair is styled or cut and groomed, same with eyebrows.
  • Shave your face or keep your beard trimmed.
  • Shower!
  • Wear a button-up shirt and a cardigan because it’s that time of year. You could also wear a flannel, but make sure it’s clean.
  • Clean! Make sure your pants and shoes are clean, you don’t want to look like you just came from doing construction, it’s not flattering.

Appearance tips for women:

  • Similar to men’s tips, keep it fresh and clean with showering and hair styled.
  • Don’t go overboard with makeup, it depends on where the date will be but keep it as “you” as possible.
  • Don’t look like someone else, be yourself (same for guys.)
  • It’s cold this time of year, layers will be your best friend! You can totally wear a dress but add leggings, a cardigan, a warm overcoat, some gloves and a hat.


First date do’s and don’ts

When I graduated from high school my mom got me a book on proper etiquette. Thanks Mom & Emily Post!


  • Ask your date questions, it shows them you’re interested in them
  • Be on time, if not a minute or two early
  • Have good manners, use “please” and “thank you,” no burping, holding the door open
  • Always tip if you’re paying, your date will notice if you don’t and it says a lot about your character


  • Don’t talk about your exes. Never a good sign, it’s a red flag you’re not over the ex.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation!
  • Know that there are certain topics that are off limits for first dates – financial situations, exes, religion and politics are generally not topics to talk about on a first date.
  • Don’t check your phone constantly, it’s rude and the person you’re on a date with should be the center of your attention

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