5 First date ideas inspired by ‘queer eye’ for a better dating experience

I quite like the Netflix reboot of Queer Eye, which makes me the rule, not the exception. It’s great (fab) television. (Except for the flippant manner in which a Black Lives Matter/Blue Lives Matter resolution is forced in Episode 3.) Mostly, Queer Eye rules. At its core, the show is about empowerment, no matter how you identify. So at the risk of co-opting advice meant for men, I imagined how the Fab Five would upgrade my first date ideas.

To be transparent about my stance on first dates: I’m in the midst of a podcast in which I have been going on many dates in order to get out there after losing my mom last year and subsequently, the desire to meet anyone new.

I have gone on 23 dates so far, to be exact. (Woof.) But grabbing drinks on Tuesdays with nice gentlemen from the same two apps, wearing the same barely sultry sweater has grown monotonous. I need a dating makeover! I need Jonathan van Ness to give me a pep talk! (@JVN, I’ve definitely watched your Insta stories to pump me up before dates.)

Tan France, who reps fashion on the show, is such a well dressed human that I’m not sure I’d ever be comfortable letting him see what I wear on a date. (Definitely not my go-to sweater.) But note that I said you should feel so good in your outfit, not look so good.

While Tan arguably gives the most tangible advice for men on the series — wear clothes that fit, get a tailored suit — his best advice is about feeling confident: "Style is not fashion. Fashion is not trendy after a season," Tan says in Episode 7. "Honestly, I could give a sh*t about fashion. Style is dressing the way that [makes] you feel confident."

I think this is the perfect advice to take on before you go on a first date — feel great in what you wear. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should wear something you’re only comfortable in (one last shout out to my sweater!), but it also doesn’t mean you should wear something you’re only uncomfortable in (wear shoes that fit!). Ideally, you could pick one new and exciting but also flattering piece of clothing that makes you feel like

I think the lesson to take from Antoni — head of food and wine — is not to stress the small stuff, like the food or drink on a date. I’ve been guilty of stressing over how casual or formal a bar a date picked, as if somehow this would allow me to read their minds and intentions. Hot tip: it’s just a drink. Or meal. It’s not that big of a deal.

Antoni told Vulture that he the best advice he’s been given since the show came out has been to ignore the press, good or bad. "I maintain a healthy amount of ignorance," he says. I mean, what am I going to do, cry about it? I have to laugh! It just goes with the territory. I signed up for this." Same with dating — some people will like you, and some will hate you. Go into a first date with less riding on it.

Oh, and another important tip to take from Antoni: bring up one cool thing that you’re into on a first date. Yes, I’m referring to his band tees and the tee featuring Hanya Yanagihara’s novel A Little Life. I wouldn’t wear a Strokes t-shirt, but mentioning what you like is always a good move.