You know the feeling — the shoes you’ve been in all day are hanging off your feet under the table, half of the bread basket is in your mouth and you haven’t heard a word your date said because you are systematically going through emails in your head and grabbing for your iPhone every time that person — what’s their name again, anyway? — glances away.
Let’s face it, as workaholics we’re happy to even have time for the date, so going home and changing/relaxing post-work and pre-date is nonsensical to even think about. And since chances are most of your brain (if not your body) will still be at the office, or checking off your to-do list for a good percentage of the evening, you have to have some ways to get workaholic-date-ready or you’ll never get past the first one. I’m not a first-date hater, but after ten years of them, I’ve come up with a few ways to make the transition from office to date — and, hopefully, from date one to date two!
1. Lose the Baggage
We all have baggage but, no one needs a visual reminder of it on a first date! Leave the large overstuffed, work-filled bag at the office! On a day you have a date, bring a clutch to the office and switch bags before you go out. Your papers and mess will be waiting for you when you get back – whether it’s right after the date or the morning after! (I’m not judging, I’ve done it before. You have to do what you have to do.)
2. Get a New OutLOOK
Perhaps you don’t have time to go home and change your whole outfit, but that doesn’t mean you can’t change your look. Bring a change of shoes or an accessory that will make you feel a little different. If you have Sarah Jessica Parker-style fatigue from wearing heels all day, throw on your cool motorcycle boots with the dress! Conversely, if you’re in an office-appropriate business suit, suck up the pain and bear some hot heels. Even better, a big accessory, something non-office appropriate, like a sparkling Betsy Johnson ring or a big Miriam Haskell statement necklace won’t just make you look better, it’ll give you that jazzed up feeling and an added boost of confidence! Change your look to change your outlook!
3. Pick Your Walk-On Music
In politics, candidates pick a song that inspires them and we play it as they come on to the stage or as they leave the stage. It’s known as “walk-on” or “walk-off” music – and it shouldn’t be just for politicians! If you’re old enough to remember Ally McBeal, then you already know this – pick your walk-on music! Choose a song that inspires you and pumps you up (no light rock) like Eminem’s “I’m not Afraid,” Katy Perry’s “Firework,” or heck, “Eye of the Tiger!” Just be sure to choose a song that gets in your head and puts a hop in your step. Play it right before you walk out the door, or better yet, on your way to the date.
4. Wipe Away the Day
Face wipes, cleansing wipes, or even baby wipes can be a workaholics best friend. Yes, we would love to shower before a date but, again, we’re lucky we made time for the date at all! So stock away some wipes (scented, unscented, anything you want) and do a clean sweep where you’d put perfume: on your neck, your wrists and even up your arms. It’s so much more refreshing than pouring on perfume and not quite as messy as an office bathroom face wash!
5. Grab a Bite Before Night
Is it one of those days where lunch slipped by without you acknowledging it? Going to a date on an empty stomach can lead to some messy results – you know, talking with your mouth full because you can’t stop ravishing down that basket of bread. Even worse, the room could start spinning after sipping a half glass of wine. Before you run out, or on your way to the date, grab a snack: an apple, a banana, even a bag of pretzels. Understand, I’m not recommending you skip lunch, but if it happens, make a snack stop. Dating is the opposite of going in the pool – eat right before!
6. Step Away From the Device
Ok, admittedly this is one I can suggest, but haven’t quite learned yet. Reminder (or for those under 30, newsflash): we used to go long periods of time without anyone contacting us and all of our worlds did not immediately crumble. Tell one in-case-of-emergency-person where you’re going so heaven forbid, if there’s a genuine emergency you can be contacted (although, in the words of my very wise brother, if there’s an emergency they’ll call 911). Then put away your mobile device. Spend an hour or two just having in-person contact. You can get right back to your emails and texts the minute you leave, but for the length of the date, focus on just being there. Again, I’m no expert at this one, but the connection I have with people is exponentially better on the few times I’ve done it (and so is the time in general)!
Add these six simple steps to your day and make workaholic dating more than something messy to check off your to-do list!