I’ve never had the experience of a stranger asking for my phone number, and then meeting him at a restaurant for dinner and drinks. No attractive man has ever organized a flash mob to ask me out for coffee.

In fact, in my mid-20s, I have never been on a date.

I know other women who can say the same. They had a “boyfriend” in high school. Then a college boyfriend or two. Now, they’ve broken up and she’s ready to have some fun. At least, it looks fun in the rom-coms, but I’m sure if me and Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome were sitting across from each other at a candlelit table right now, I’d have no idea what to say!

Every notable relationship I’ve had began as a “situation.” You know how you think you’re friends, and then it just kind of eases over into something more? The texts went from, “What was the homework in chem class?” to “What you got on?” And for some reason … you answered.

Sooner or later everyone starts to ask, “What’s up with you and homeboy?” You say nothing, though you know it was up last night and the night before. And that’s fine until you watch “Think Like A Man,” and wonder why no one has ever embarked on an epic pursuit of your goodies. I want someone to string a million Christmas lights up on a rooftop and cook a gourmet dinner for me!

I can admit, watching those exaggerated depictions of what romance should look like has caused me to view my relationships as inferior. It frustrated me that my boos never planned anything special for me. But then I had to ask myself if that made his feelings for me any less real. And I had to check myself for setting such a low standard in the first place.

Going forward, I plan to not hold my date to an unreasonable expectation. I know I wouldn’t ask anything I would be unwilling to do. Then again, without some sort of dating precedent, how do I really know whats reasonable or not?

Any other Clutchettes out there who have yet to go on a “real” date? What’s your game plan for how to conduct yourself when it does happen?

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