First date tips are great for helping both women and men either new or reentering the dating scene avoid awkward, uncomfortable situations, and decrease the anxiety of dating someone you haven’t yet met in person. By following a few simple guidelines, you can put the fun back into that first date.
Relax and Enjoy
One of the reasons first dates can be uncomfortable is because we go into them with preconceived expectations. Our minds whirl with thoughts of whether or not there will be a second date or if this person will be ‘the one.’ That’s too much pressure. Approach the date with the attitude that you are simply going out to enjoy getting to know someone without any pretenses for the future. It’s only one date, not a lifelong commitment. You’ll be more relaxed and conversation will come easier.
This may sound like a no-brainer, but it needs to be said. Always meet your new date in a public place. By driving yourself, you will retain control of your safety and further protect your privacy by not divulging where you live at such an early stage. Of course your date seems harmless enough, but predators don’t wear demon masks. You have to use good judgment and not open yourself up to becoming a victim.
Keep it Light
A first date is not the time to bring up deep or polarizing topics. Sure, someday it might become important to reveal relevant information about your health, past relationships, or political views, but conversations that are too personal or too opinionated are a turnoff on a first date.
Dress for Success
No, we don’t mean wear a business suit. The outfit you select for your first date should make you feel confident and attractive. Whether casual or dressy, if you feel good about your attire and appearance, you will exude positive energy. Also remember to dress in a way that mirrors your personality since this will be your date’s first impression of you. If you wear something too revealing, you are sending a nonverbal message about yourself that might not be what you intended or want them to remember.
Your meal should be a background element to the date not the star of the show. If you order something messy, like spaghetti, or something you need to eat with your hands, like ribs, the food will become the focus of the night. Choose a dish that you can eat without struggling to keep yourself clean. Deep fried foods, dishes loaded with garlic or onions, and salads with dressing on the side are no-no’s. One more tip, if you aren’t picking up the tab, let your date set the tone for price range. Try not to order something more expensive than they do, and never order the most expensive item on the menu.
First dates. Love ‘em or hate ‘em? Tell us about your best or worst first online dating experience. Oh, and don’t forget to tell us how it turned out.