So you recently met that special someone you cannot get your mind off, whose mere presence makes your heart race. The feeling is by all indications mutual and you have asked her out on a date and she said yes. What is expected of you? What is expected of her?
A first date is very important. It is, in most cases, what determines whether or not two people will pursue a relationship. It can be a great experience but it also brings a lot of nervousness and anxiety. How should you act? What should you talk about? What should you wear? Where should you meet?
Though everyone has their expectations on how a first date should be, it’s important that you both make it fun and enjoy yourselves instead of worrying too much about how things will go. Here are a few guidelines.
BEFORE THE DATE…
The activity. For a first date, it’s important to plan an activity that will allow for conversation. In this case, a movie date, concert or any other activity that may involve other people will not be appropriate, as it will not allow the two of you to talk. The first few times you spend time with someone, especially on your first date, should be about getting to know that new person. A lunch, dinner or coffee date would be appropriate in this case.
Plan ahead. Do you have a place in mind where the two of you can meet? How will you both get there? Is it possible for you to pick her up? Could she have any dietary restrictions that you should consider before picking a restaurant? Consider all these and run the place you end up picking by her so you are both in agreement.
At the restaurant, choose a place that is intimate, like a corner table or booth, somewhere away from constant interruptions. Avoid places that are too expensive like four or five star restaurants for a first date. This way, you won’t have to spend too much and your date won’t feel indebted, especially if you both decide not to take things further.
Dress appropriately. Looking for something to wear on a first date can be tough. You want to look good and still be comfortable. Look for something you can wear without being too dressed up or too casual. Before you choose what to wear, consider the place and time of your date. Ladies, avoid wearing too much make-up or dressing provocatively. It does not portray you in the best light. Be simple and classy in your dressing. Men, ensure that you’re well groomed and smell nice.
DURING THE DATE…
Conversation. A first date includes talking about oneself as you get to know one another. However, don’t talk about yourself too much or centre the conversation on yourself. It may make you come across as self-absorbed. Ask your date about himself; find out what he does and what he likes, but also not in a way that may make it seem like a job interview.
First dates are not the time to talk about exes. Conversations on politics and religion should also be kept to a bare minimum. Be honest about everything from the type of music you like to whether or not you have children. Don’t try to cover up your idiosyncrasies, try to be what you think your date will like or come across as the perfect human being. Some of these are what make you unique, and could end up being something your date likes about you.
Be a good listener. Don’t just wait for your turn to talk. Keep the conversation going. Pay attention. Ask questions. Watch your own body language, lean in to listen, nod in understanding and also try briefly paraphrasing some of your date’s answers as encouragement to keep him or her talking. Make eye contact. Not only that, but also hold eye contact to show that you’re a confident person.
Don’t worry about uncomfortable silences. They happen. Don’t feel the need to fill every minute with conversation. When one conversation fizzles out don’t jump over yourself trying to start the next. Give your date a chance to start another one. It will show that you’re comfortable with yourself, which will make her feel more comfortable with you.
Put away your phone. Checking your mobile phone during a date is one of the quickest ways to make someone feel uncomfortable. Whether you’re taking a call or a text, using your phone sends the signal that you’re not interested in your date. If you really have to use your phone, excuse yourself.
After the date. Walk your date to her home if it’s nearby. If not, walk or drop her at her bus stop or even offer to drop her there if it’s convenient. A hug or handshake is acceptable as you part. Text to let your date know that you got home or wherever you were going safely. Thank him or her for the date, whether or not you had a good time. If you did have a good time, say so and probably say that you look forward to doing it again.