6 Things Type A Personalities Should Tell Themselves Before a First Date

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Art Credit: Erich McVey

I remember the first time someone classified me as a “type A” personality. I was mortified.

In all my years of living, I had never seen such a term associated with anything other than a negative connotation. In a moment my life flashed before my eyes and I saw myself in a terrible light: neurotically taking over group projects, lashing out on friends who picked me up late, and even rolling my eyes at slower students during “read aloud” time in third grade. I’m a savage, I thought. How do I live with myself?

Obviously, that's being a bit hard on myself. The truth is, being type A has certain benefits. It’s what pushes me to excel at whatever it is I’m doing and keeps me focused and organized. But being this way also comes with a plethora of downsides, like being more prone to self-inflicted breakdowns, stress, and the occasional heart attack (that’s only sort of a joke). Above all else, being type A means that I can be equally hard on everyone around me—including any poor sucker who might be pursuing me for the first time.

Whether stemming from an ongoing flirtation or a mere case of online matchmaking, first dates are typically nerve-wracking for even the most confident man and woman. If you’re a woman of the type A variety, this inevitable sense of anxiety may be intensified for both you and your escort of the evening.

When you aren’t in control of the events unfolding, it’s easy to become wound up and lose sight of all the wonderful plans your guy has attempted to make. For your sake—and his—it’s important that you take a moment to step out of your state of hypertension, take a deep breath, and remind yourself of the following.

01. Your date is a person.

This should be evident by his beating heart and lack of fins, but as type A women we can forget that the people before us are only human and are bound to make mistakes. Furthermore, they experience feelings and emotions in response to how you act around them. So when your date opens the car door for you and you comment on his being 10 minutes late, you’ve essentially deflated him for the night.

Be humble and respect that the person before you has more to offer than a few hours of festivities. He should be trying, of course, but he shouldn’t be feeling so scrutinized that being with you reminds him of his first day on the job.

02. He’s intuitive.

Unless the man is so into himself that he wouldn’t notice if you stabbed your own eyeball with a fork, he is likely watching you for signals that might suggest you are (or aren’t) into him. I can recall a personal experience in which my affinity for my date was completely overlooked due to my obvious disappointment with the movie he chose. Needless to say, I didn’t get a call back, let alone a chance to explain that it wasn’t him—I just really hate Nicholas Cage movies.

Type A women (and women in general) tend to forget that men are insecure, too, and thus are more likely to walk away from their time with you reflecting on everything that went wrong rather than everything that went well. Even if you’re positive you could have planned a much better night than that which your date is providing, you both will feel much better about yourselves if you hide any dissatisfaction and call to attention the aspects that are going well.

03. It isn’t about you.

Or maybe I should say, it isn’t all about you. It takes two to tango, so it’s important for both parties to be considerate and aware of the other's circumstances. If you’re on a date and your royal A-ness is starting to rear its ugly head, take a second to put yourself in your date’s shoes and see things the way he seems to see them. Maybe he was late because he was horribly nervous and needed to give himself a pep talk. Perhaps he picked this less-than-five-star diner because he always has a good time here and wants you to be a part of that. No matter what the scenario is, embrace the opportunity to let someone else be in control for a change. View the unpredictable evening as a unique experience instead of an inconvenient one.

04. It isn’t a race.

Type A people are goal-oriented and usually more concerned with the end result than the process of getting there. They demand efficiency in regards to their usage of time and aren’t interested in wasting a single moment. This is great for home renovations and duties at the office, but it’s hardly the appropriate mentality for going out with a guy. Instead of fixating on the next thing (or 10 things) you have on your plate, try placing yourself in the here and now.

05. Consider his type.

It’s always possible that you will be passing the next several hours with an equally structured and rigid person, in which case you can relate to the obvious depth of his intentions and should be able to sympathize—as a type A, there’s nothing worse than having someone rain on your carefully plotted plans. But if by chance you’re out with a more relaxed individual, resist the urge to view his blasé attitude as apathy. He may be just what you need in order to achieve the lifestyle you’ve always secretly desired: one of realistic standards and permission to fail.

06. Don’t be afraid to say yes to a second date.

If you liked the guy but weren’t really feeling how he chose to pass the time with you, kindly suggest a round two that you create the agenda for—and let your A-ness shine. But be sure not to get too crazy about the little details, once the date is planned, sit back and see where it goes! He’ll probably be relieved by the idea of not having to be in total control, especially once he’s already established his chivalry by taking the lead.

As important as it is to do all these things for your date, it’s equally important that we type A women do this for ourselves as well. Whether it’s a need for control, an unnecessary degree of hostility, or our own personal time crunch getting in the way, I encourage all hesitant date attendees to put their most intense qualities aside, revel in the moment, and “B” content in the face of budding romance.