So you’ve worked up the confidence to finally ask that person who’s been catching your eye on a date, and – what’s more – they’ve accepted! Congratulations! You’ve navigated the first hurdle of a possible relationship. If the thought of the first date is giving you sweaty palms and heart palpitations, take a deep breath, relax and read on for some great first date tips.
1. Location, Location, Location
The first thing you need to look at is “where”. If you’ve spoken at length already, you may have some great ideas hidden in the back of your mind. Take cues from their online dating profile or from conversations you’ve had in the past. If they’re traditionalists, perhaps an old fashioned coffee shop would be their style. If they’re more modern, a trendy bar or quirky restaurant may be more fitting. Take into account their personal tastes but make sure it’s somewhere where you will both be able to hear one another.
2. Don’t Force a Set Amount of Time
Ideally, try and arrange a date that puts little pressure on you both, arranging to meet for drinks is much less frightening than arranging to meet for a full three-course meal and – if you really hit it off – you can always offer to extend the date into dinner.
3. Choose Somewhere to Fit Both Your Budgets
If you’re the one who asked, you may have every intention of paying for the first date and that’s admirable, but be prepared that your date might want to go halves and split the bill. To some people, allowing the other person to pay adds unwanted pressure to the date, whether it be because it makes them feel pressured into having a second date, or merely because they feel uncomfortable accepting gifts. Make sure you pick a venue that fits both your budgets and if they don’t reach for the bill at the end of the night no harm has been done. On the other hand, expecting someone to pay half and then realizing they have no intention of doing so when the bill comes in at the end of a night at a 5* restaurant can make the date an unforgettable experience for all the wrong reasons.
4. Dress to Impress
We’re by no means suggesting you go and buy a whole new wardrobe before the date, but make sure you’re putting your best foot forward on the first date. That means showing up well groomed and smart. That said, make sure you wear clothes you’re comfortable in; you don’t want to be sucking in your stomach or strangling yourself with a tie all night.
Video: Tips for a First Date from Dating Experts
5. Keep the Conversation Light
A first date is no place for deep conversations; it’s about getting to know each other. If you have children, talk about them by all means but make sure not all your conversation is about them, and definitely stay away from sentences like “I can’t wait for you to meet them”. Make sure you’re not always talking about yourself, and make sure you ask lots of questions about them. Most of all, never mention the ex! If it’s positive your date will think you’re not over them, and if it’s negative you’ll seem critical and harsh, and possibly not over them. keep it light!