With summer finally here, it's time to pack away the jumpers, delete Zoom dating from your phone (hopefully forever) and pop a few bottles of rosé into the fridge.
But with that sunny weather comes the threat of the most intimidating, scary and full-frontal first date known to woman kind.
Yes it's the first-date location that for years has put a cold chill down the spine of many women. Especially for those of us that really enjoyed a carb-loaded winter's lockdown a little too much.
It's the beach date.
Guys, seriously, while we're trying to play it cool and relaxed via text, can you do us a solid and NOT ask us to the beach for our first date.
You see, there's nothing quite like a dark bar, or candle-lit dinner to really see us in our best light. It not only adds the kinda filter often only found on Instagram, but a dark, soothing setting, with sexy background music does wonders for a case of first-date jitters.
We can wear our Spanx with ease. Knowing that the extra kilos put on over winter are quietly tucked away for a little while extra. You know, should the gym ever seem tempting.
Or that unsightly bruise often found just above the knee after accidentally knocking into the bed after arriving home from a girls night and a million chardonnays can do it's merry healing without being exposed in full daylight.
Now listen, I've had great dates at the beach, but it's usually after I've been on quite a few dates with the guy and he's already been exposed to "the morning after" side of me. You know, waking up with morning breath, perhaps a tad bit of mascara under the ol' eyes and unkempt hair.
Sure, more than happy to go to the beach with you after that, however as a first date?! Oh no, no, no, no, no.
I made the mistake last summer of going on an impromptu beach date with a guy I'd been chatting to on the dating apps and well ... I discovered that there's actually a bit of planning that needs to go into this sorta thing.
I was messaging him while enjoying a jolly good bake when he suggested he come join me. Now I don't know if I was dosed up on vitamin D, or if I had lost my senses for a second, but I said, "Sure, why not."
As I put the phone down, I suddenly got all self-conscious. How was my bikini line? Have I shaved my legs? Were my bikini bottoms a little too saggy in the bum? Why didn't I wear my new ones? Is it a little too bold to go make-up free on the first date?
Now listen, I am WELL aware of how shallow this all sounds, but I really enjoy getting all dolled up for a first date. Like, I pride myself on the system I have in place.
I like to use the fancy body wash usually located at the back of the cupboard, all hair (aside from that on my head) is to be removed ruthlessly, outfit laid out neatly on the bed and a glass of wine while I do my hair and make up. Simple.
Now subtract all of that, add some harsh sun lighting, saggy-bottomed bikinis and hair that resembles someone who has just been tumble dried through a wave (because I had) and try and turn that into a sexy first date.
He turned up looking all ripped and buff, and I resembled a beached whale.
By some sort of miracle, maybe because we were laying next to each other half naked, and sure, staring at the ocean while chatting can be considered some sort of aphrodisiac, I did manage to go on a few more dates with the bloke, but did I enjoy that first date. Nope.
So fellas, as exciting as it may seem to see us in a bikini on a first date, unless we're gym bunnies and live for a workout (one day Jana you will discover a long-lost love for the gym ... sigh), do us a favour and save it for a later date. A much later date.
• Jana Hocking is a podcaster and collector of kind-of-boyfriends | @jana_hocking | Jana (with a J).