Your first date is mere hours away and you are a bag of nerves. ‘What ifs?’ run through your head, scenarios good and bad have you packing your bag with everything from spare lipstick to bandages. You know, just in case. Well, I have narrowed down the list of things you have to worry about by graciously removing at least ten things, leaving you with time enough to pile the contents of your wardrobe on the bed. Without further ado then, here are ten things to remember for your first date.
- If you are in charge of organising the date, then have a think about it to make it relevant. You don’t want to be the person who takes a different date to the same restaurant every Friday night. Think of what you know about your date already and try to include these details into your planning. Know they love penguins? Why not surprise them with a trip to the zoo. Did their profile mention how much they adore chocolate? A trip to a chocolate factory with a pre-arranged tour could be your ticket to an excellent first impression and a great date as well! Always make a back-up plan – nothing says thoughtful like running from a soggy picnic in the park to reserved tables at a good restaurant in town.
- When it comes to getting ready for your date, one thing is paramount: wear simple, comfortable clothing that suits you. You want to make a good impression, so don’t choose this moment to wander far from your comfort zone and get a green mohican to appear more ‘cool’. Make sure you approach your date with an open mind and try not to fixate on tall, dark and handsome. Might be you have a thing for blondes you just never knew about.
- Having finally arrived at the crucial moment when you meet, possibly for the first time, pay attention to your date! This is not the time to become self-absorbed. Pay them a genuine compliment and show you appreciate the effort they have made for you. Try not to be so nervous you whip out a generic, ‘You look nice.’ Maybe even pre-prepare some compliments specially, to calm your flummoxed mind.
- Listen to your date when they are talking! Try not to dominate the conversation, you want a good back and forth to get started. Ask questions about them. Have a few conversational gambits up your sleeves in case of lulls. Make sure you are up to date on current events so if all else fails you can discuss the economy intelligently.
- Try to keep yourself in the moment, enjoying the date. Reminiscing about the last relationship you were in or comparing your current date to an old paramour is the fastest way to ensure there is never a second date.
- Whatever you do, avoid your mobile phone. Everyone is onto the old ‘family emergency’ get out clause by now and responding ‘for work reasons’ is a terrible excuse. Give your date your full attention. Leave your phone on silent or vibrate, have it fully charged certainly for safety reasons, but don’t answer it or text while you are with your date. It is just plain rude.
- There is no way to say this one lightly: don’t come on too strong. Even if you just woke up from a nightmare where you were the last person on Earth, alone forever and you believe this to be a portent there is absolutely no need to share this foreboding with your date. You will freak them out and put extra pressure on the outcome of your first date. Dating is meant to be fun people, not an audition for marriage or parenthood!
- Stay positive and show your good humour and relaxed nature. Treat others as you would wish to be treated. Shouting at the waiter doesn’t impress anyone, it just makes you look like a bully. No-one likes a bully.
- Ah, the age-old who-pays-for-what issue. Here’s a solution: whoever initiated the date offers to pay. The other can offer to purchase the next thing, like going onto a bar for a drink or meeting up next week for coffee. Alternate paying can help you raise the awkward point of a second date, without appearing pushy. Make sure you carry some cash on you as well, in case you end up paying for your half or your cab home – or just in case the place you’re at doesn’t have a card reader.
- Stay safe. Make sure you don’t drink too much. If you need to calm your nerves take deep breathes not shots of whisky. Let a friend know where you are and tell them to expect your call at the end of the date so someone knows where you are. If you feel uncomfortable with the way the date is progressing, either bring it up or leave. Stay in a public place and be cautious. If they are a nice person they won’t mind you taking precautions for your safety.
Have a good time and remember, above all, to just relax and have fun!