10 Game Changing Tips For First Date Success
You’ve browsed the online dating sites, picked a few people you’d like to chat to and you’ve done the wooing/been wooed. Now it’s time for the first date! First dates are nerve wracking, even deciding on a time and venue is stressful to get right. Then there’s all the fears and worries over what to wear, wondering if you’ll like them, if they’ll like you and if conversation will flow.
But there are things you can do to make your first date go swimmingly. Follow our tips and who knows where things might take you!
1. Choose the Location Wisely
Location is everything on a first date. Always suggest a public place, such as a bar or restaurant and never meet anyone for the first time at their house or somewhere too out of the way. A picnic by a deserted lake might sound romantic, but it could be a bit too romantic for meeting someone you’ve never met before.
Pick somewhere quiet enough that you’re able to hear each other and get a good feel for them, but with enough atmosphere to not feel exposed and awkward. A quiet corner of a busy bar is good, or a popular restaurant. The cinema isn’t the best place to get to know someone as you can’t talk, and something active, such as rock climbing, might not go down too well unless you know they’d love it.
2. Keep Things Casual
Instead of pinning all your hopes on one date, avoid putting too much pressure on the situation. By all means pull out all the stops if you have the cash and you’re sure you’re going to get on. But a first date doesn’t have to be a lavish affair. It’s an opportunity to spend time talking to someone and seeing how you align, it’s not a time for extravagant gestures and
Try too hard and your date will spot it; going into it with an open mind is far better. Getting a date with someone you like the look or sound of is a confidence boost, so in the words of Del Boy, play it cool!
3. Consider Mobile Phone Etiquette
Leaving your phone on the table during dinner is a big no-no. It’s distracting for both of you and let’s be honest, it’s quite offensive – you’re giving the impression that something more important or exciting might happen.
But it’s important to also let friends know where you are and how you’re getting on. So keep your phone on silent, in your pocket or bag, and send that update text from the bathroom.
4. Be Yourself!
There’s nothing more false than simply not being yourself, and if you start off as someone you’re not, it’ll be a hard act to keep up if you end up on a second date and beyond. Being yourself allows conversation to flow more easily and authentically, meaning that everything will just feel more natural.
So don’t let nerves get the better of you and turn you into someone desperate to impress. Be true to yourself and enjoy it, you’re on a first date, how awesome are you?!
5. Be Prepared with Things to Talk About
A great way to avoid awkward silences is to have a few things up your sleeve to talk about that you’re passionate about. Good ideas are projects that you’re embarking on, demonstrating your ability to look to the future. These can be fitness goals, a craft project, a career change or a dream travel destination. You’ll be able to talk freely about a topic you know lots about, and open up your plans for discussion with your date to explore their views and aspirations at the same time.
6. Pick Your Outfit Wisely
What you wear can say a lot about you. There is a large element of being yourself, like we discussed above, but this needs to be weighed up against your ‘standard’ attire. As much as we champion being authentic, turning up to a first date wearing a scruffy T shirt, ill-fitting jeans and dirty trainers isn’t going to do you many favours. So dress smart, appear groomed and make sure your clothes are clean and ironed.
That said, overdoing things can give a bad impression, especially if heels or tight fitting clothing is way out of your comfort zone.
In a nutshell, do you, neatly. And dress appropriately for the venue!
7. Keep To Your Personal Boundaries
There is no right or wrong on how far you take things on a first date – but there are when it comes to your personal boundaries. Make your decisions before you go, and if you think drinking alcohol might make you take things further than you plan, then go easy on the wine.
It’s so important to protect your sense of self, and if you feel at all uncomfortable, make your excuses and leave.
8. Offer To Pay Your Way
Whether you’re male or female and you’re dating a male or a female, the rules on first date etiquette are shifting, and who pays what can be a bit of a minefield. Traditionally, when a male and a female had a first date, it was generally assumed that the guy would pay. In today’s world that isn’t necessarily the case.
Assumptions generally always lead to misunderstandings and offence could be taken by your date if you assume they’ll pay or you go ahead and pay without asking your date how they like to do things.
When it’s time to get the bill, or you’re queuing at the bar, casually say, “Shall we go halves?” That way hopefully you’ll avoid awkwardness. There’s still awkwardness to be had, especially if you don’t want to split the bill, but what’s a first date without a little bit of shifting uncomfortably?!
9. Plan The Second Date, But Only If You Get Along
If you get the sense that things are going well, and that your date agrees, then broach the subject of a second date, at the end of the first date. That way, your date is clear on your feelings; you like them and you’d like to know more. This boosts confidence and removes any feelings of “do they or don’t they like me?”. Perhaps mention an activity you like and ask if they’d like to join you in a few days’ time.
10. Let Go If It Doesn’t Work Out
A first date is exactly that, a first date. No matter what your dreams for your own future, the person you’re meeting for the first time isn’t necessarily in it, yet. Putting pressure on a first date to be Mr or Mrs Perfect could set you up for a fall. If things don’t go as planned, and the spark wasn’t quite there for either or both of you, it’s disappointing. But it isn’t the end of the world. It’s not a reflection on you, it’s simply that there wasn’t quite enough between you to make it to a second date.
As they say, there’s plenty more fish in the sea. We just all need to fish in the right sea, at the right time, for the right fish. Getting out there and having first dates will most definitely narrow the search. Good luck!