The first date after the end of a long relationship can be a delicate affair.
It is not unlike losing one's virginity. For someone who has been dating for a bit, you're more experienced, you're used to the conversation, comfortable with the awkwardness and you might not have a lot of expectations.
But for the one on the first date, this is a turning point. This means something. There's certainly a broken heart. Or maybe an angry or sad heart. And the point of the date, and the person in front of them, is to forget that. Or get over it. Or maybe you're just taking your friend's advice and getting out of the house to meet someone and start getting over the damage your x-wife did when she left you.
I've been the experienced person on a few of these dates.
These men in front of me. With broken and damaged hearts. Trying to move on with their lives. I see their vulnerability. I know they have great lives and possibilities in their future - even if they don't see it. I know those futures are not with me. I am but a momentary stop in their lives. I try to make the experience as gentle and pleasant as I can.