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Never Been on a Date: How to Prepare for Your First Date

January 21, 2023

Firstly, I’d like to say, stop stressing! If you haven’t been on a date before it isn’t the end of the world. This article will give you everything you need for a (hopefully successful) first date - from how to put yourself out there and find someone to date, to how you can prepare and what you can expect. 

Throughout my twenties, I thought the more dates I went on, the better my chances would be of finding “the one.” However, that’s not always the case. The number of dates you go on does not equate to your chances of getting married. 

With so many ways of finding a date these days and the increased use of online dating and dating apps, you’d think the hit rate would be extremely high. However, research suggests that only about 13% of people who use dating apps get engaged or married by meeting someone this way. 

What Does This Mean for Me?

With this information in mind, if you aren’t the type of person who’s gone on date after date, not all is lost. Many people meet “the one” on their very first date. Many people also meet “the one” via friends and family, as opposed to some of the more popular methods used in today’s society. 

Going on your very first date can be daunting and stressful. The thought of talking to one person, who you hardly know, for an entire evening may feel overwhelming. You may even think of canceling the date. But, as someone who’s been on many dates myself, I will give you my top tips for avoiding awkward situations, as well as tips on how to prepare for a date.

Remember, it’s just a date.

Is It Okay That I’ve Never Been on a Date? 

Yes! There are many people out there, in the same boat as you, who have never been on a date either. 

Plucking up the courage to go out with someone may feel scary. Going on a date requires a certain level of confidence. It also means you need to put aside your fear of being rejected. So, it’s no wonder many people find the whole dating scene overwhelming and put it on the back burner. 

Being in your 20s or 30s and having never dated may feel isolating, especially if you’re the type of person who’d like to find a romantic partner and hope to get married. Then there’s also the added pressure of friends, family, and society in general – all who want you to get married and have babies ASAP. Many see this as some sort of “end goal.” 

Remember, this is about you and about finding out what/who makes you truly happy. There is no time limit. You can date as much or as little as you like, or not at all. So, yes, if you’re just about to start dating, it’s okay! 

How to Put Yourself Out There and Find a Date?

how to put yourself out there and find a date

1. Dating apps and online dating

Perhaps the easiest and quickest way to meet other singletons in today’s day and age is via technology. From dating apps like Bumble, Tinder, Hinge, and Grindr to striking up a conversation in someone’s DM on Instagram or Facebook, the options are seemingly endless. 

Some of the benefits of meeting people this way is that you’re fairly quickly able to filter out people whose profiles don’t align with what you’re looking for. You also have the “safety net” of the screen you’re sitting behind, making the start of conversations less awkward and intimidating.

Dating apps are a great way to dip your feet into the world of dating, especially if you’re a little shy or insecure. Many people can score their first date, first kiss, and maybe even their first serious relationship this way.

If you don’t have an online dating profile set up, and you aren’t on social media, I highly recommend one or the other (if not both). See it as a soft introduction to dating life. 

2. Ask friends and family to set you up 

Still, the most successful way to meet a great match is via friends and family. According to research, 39% of people met their partners this way. 

Let your friends and family know that you’d like to start dating and let them work their magic as matchmakers. 

Meeting a partner via friends and family usually has a higher success rate for the following reasons:

  • Friends and family have your best interests at heart when selecting someone suitable
  • They’re able to do a compatibility check of sorts, on your behalf, before you meet the person
  • Chances are because you have mutual friends, you’ll have more in common and more to talk about
  • Your nearest and dearest already approve of them so you don’t have to worry about this being an issue later on

3. Say yes to opportunities 

I’ve seen this before, many people want to get out there and want to go on dates but as soon as an opportunity shows up they shy away from it. 

You need to get used to saying yes to new opportunities, even if they’re out of your comfort zone. I’m not saying you need to say yes to everyone and every opportunity, but saying yes to opportunities that look promising will improve your chances of success when it comes to finding relationships/dates/hookups. 

4. Get out there 

Get out of your sweatpants, out of your lounge, and into the town. Your soulmate is not going to magically wander into your home. 

If you want to stand a better chance of meeting the right person it’s important that you get out there, be seen, and start socializing. Even if it’s one small step at a time. 

If you’re a shy person, a good way to get out there and meet new people is by asking other single friends, who are perhaps not as shy as you are, to accompany you on a night out to your local bar/hangout/restaurant. 

Make sure you remain friendly and approachable and try striking up a conversation with other people if you’re feeling brave. This is a great way to make new friends, and potentially meet someone special. 

Other options are to join a sports club/hobby club where you can meet people with similar interests. Or, try your luck at speed dating. The great thing about speed dating is that you definitely won’t be the only person there looking for love, you’re all in the same boat. 

The more you make socializing a habit, the easier it’ll become. It’ll also mean you’ll have more chances at in-person interactions and higher chances of meeting the one.

5. Strike up a conversation

strike up a conversation

Don’t shy away from striking up a conversation with your local barista, coworker, or the new neighbors who have just moved in. You never know where a simple “hello” might lead. 

Not only is this a great way to make new friends and contacts, but it potentially also opens up your dating pool and possibilities.

6. Interact with your coworkers

Meeting someone at your workplace seems to stand a pretty high chance of success when it comes to dating. Many people have reported that they met their partner this way. 

This is perhaps a good avenue to explore because you’ll already have some things in common with your coworkers, and they’re people you’ll end up spending a lot of time with. 

So, be sure to interact with your coworkers.

How to Prepare If You’ve Never Been on a Date Before?

1. Pick a venue that suits both of you

Make sure that the chosen location for your first date is a place you’ll both feel comfortable. If you’d prefer something that’s activity based (like adventure golf or tenpin bowling) to a restaurant or crowded bar, mention it. 

Don’t be too shy to suggest switching up venues if the one he selected won’t make you feel comfortable. 

You’ll also want to make sure that the place you go to isn’t overcrowded or too loud so that you can listen, chat, and interact effectively. 

2. Think of some topics you can talk about

If you’re worried about what you’ll talk about/running out of things to talk about, prepare beforehand. 

If the two of you have things in common – like a love for sports, traveling, similar backgrounds, or careers – it’s always a great starting point for conversations. 

The more you find in common, the more you’ll have to talk about. Chances are, you might have so much to talk about you might need a second date.

Some other great topics for conversation are: 

  • Where you’re both from 
  • Your hobbies
  • Books, movies, and music
  • Traveling 
  • Your favorite local restaurants, bars, hangouts
  • Goals and ambitions
  • Ask about their family and friends
  • Chat about your careers 
  • Any other random information that makes for fun conversation starters

3. Be yourself

Be authentic from the get-go. There’s no use putting up a facade and pretending to be something you’re not when you want the person you’re on a date with to like you for who you truly are. 

Being confident in who you are, and the way you look will benefit you in all aspects of life. And, luckily, confidence is something that can be learned. So, if you feel you’re lacking confidence, start building it up one small step at a time. 

4. Be honest 

be honest

Don’t tell any lies, no matter how small. Sometimes, it’s tempting to add details (that may not be entirely true) onto stories to try and impress guys, but this is the wrong way to make an impression. If you get caught, chances are he might be put off by the dishonesty. 

Lying and dishonesty will start your relationship on the wrong foot, creating a breach of trust from the beginning. And, all relationships require trust and honesty to function harmoniously.

However, this doesn’t mean you need to, or should, share your deepest secrets on your first date either. Be careful of the information you share with somebody you hardly know. If they ask for information that you aren’t comfortable sharing, simply let them know that you’d prefer to share that information once you know each other a little better and then change the subject. 

If they care about you and your feelings, they will respect that.

5. Don’t agree to anything you aren’t comfortable with

No matter how big or small something might seem, if you aren’t comfortable doing it, say so! It’s incredibly important to set boundaries from the very first date or else you might be taken advantage of at some point. 

Figure out what you’re comfortable doing and not doing before you go on your first date. Also, decide on what you’ll say in an uncomfortable situation before you’re confronted with one, so you don’t fall for the pressure in the moment. It can be something as simple as “I think we should save this for another time,” or “I’m not comfortable with this right now.” 

In my dating experience, there are many men who respect women with firm boundaries. In fact, they like it when they meet someone who’s seen as a challenge. 

6. Put your phone away

When you’re on a date it’s important that you show the other person respect and put your phone/other distractions away. Take time to listen to them and interact, regardless of the way things are going. 

Nothing is more off-putting and disrespectful than someone who doesn’t value your time and energy. Plus, spending the evening on your phone is likely to ruin your chances of a second date. 

7. Dress your best, with a sprinkle of confidence

If you want to make a good impression, especially on your first date, it’s important that you put effort into your appearance. Pick out an outfit that’s fit for the occasion and make sure you adhere to the dress code of the venue you’ve selected – you don’t want to be arriving in sandals and shorts at a formal venue or arriving in a cocktail dress to adventure golf.

Putting effort into your appearance shows the other person that you respect both yourself and them. 

Most importantly, make sure that you feel confident in whatever you choose to wear!

8. Embrace the awkward moments

There are bound to be a handful of awkward moments on any first date, especially if you’ve never met the person before. Just go with the flow and embrace it. Don’t overthink it. And remember, they happen to all of us

Awkward silences are a great opportunity to ask new questions (I highly recommend making a list of questions you’d like to ask your date before the date). 

Another thing to remember is that the more dates you go on, the better you become at navigating these awkward moments. Plus, the more you get to know your date and the more confident you become in yourself, the less awkward silent moments will feel.

9. Offer to pay toward the check 

On a first date, it’s always polite to offer to contribute towards the check. It’s the respectful thing to do in many cultures and it shows the other person you’re prepared to meet them halfway. 

If, however, you chose the venue, and it’s pricier than most, you might want to consider getting the check. If your partner insists on getting it, thank him for his generosity. 

Whatever you do, don’t make a big deal about the check.

10. Don’t rush things

If you’ve never been on a date, it’s important to remember not to rush things from your very first date. Don’t put pressure on the situation. Many people are scared off when they feel there’s too much pressure and too many expectations from the get-go. 

Relax. Take things as they come. Let your relationship unfold and evolve naturally.

Don’t dive in head first asking about marriage, babies, earnings, and when the two of you can move in together. This is a sure way to scare guys off. It’s also a sign of immaturity in relationships. 

11. Keep your fears in check 

keep your fears in check

For someone who’s never been on a date, it can feel scary and overwhelming to meet people who you have an interest in dating. However, it’s important that you don’t let your fears take control and stop you from dating. 

Keep your fears in check by asking yourself what you’re afraid of – is it a fear of rejection? Fear of the unknown? Talking to someone with relationship experience might help you navigate these fears and make things a bit easier. 

From past experiences, I can tell you that the more dates you go on, the less fearful you’ll be, and the more fun you’ll start having. 

12. Think about why you’re dating/what you’re looking for

Think about what you want and what you’re looking for before you start dating. In my opinion, a successful dating life starts when you know what you want. 

Write down what outcome you’re after (i.e. casual hookups/a serious relationship/meeting new people) and then write down the qualities that are important to you in a partner. This roadmap of sorts will help you find a relationship that’s fulfilling and meets your needs. 

It’s also important that you’re transparent with your partner about what you’re looking for from early on in your relationship. This way, no one runs the risk of getting blind-sided or hurt when they realize, months down the line, that you’re on completely separate pages. 

FAQs

Is it okay that I don't want to date anyone ever?

Yes, it’s absolutely fine if you’re not interested in dating. Many people, across the globe, choose not to date for various reasons. You might not be interested in dating because you haven’t found anyone you have romantic feelings for, you’ve been hurt in the past, you’re too busy, you’re asexual, you’re very picky, or you’re just not ready. Whatever the reason, it’s okay if you don’t want to enter a relationship or date.

Is it easier to date in your 30s if you never dated anyone before?

Every decade comes with its pros and cons in the dating world. Some of the benefits of dating in your 30s are that you’re more likely to know what you want, you probably also know yourself better, and know what you can offer a partner. You’re more likely to meet people who want something serious and have left the game-playing behind in their 20s.

Should you tell someone you've never been on a date?

Don’t feel ashamed if you’ve never been on a date, perhaps you’re just a late bloomer. Everyone starts dating at different times. If telling someone that you’ve never been on a date makes you feel better, do it. However, you also shouldn’t feel pressured to have to tell someone who you’ve just met.

If the relationship becomes more serious later down the line, disclosing this information is simply a nice way for your partner to get to know you better. It’s something that’s likely to impact the way you behave in a relationship and should make your partner more understanding, too. 

Conclusion

If you’ve never been on a date before, it’s completely normal to feel anxious when preparing for your first one. It’s likely that your partner feels the same way, too. Take things one date at a time and remember to be your authentic self and just have fun with the process. 

If you follow the above guidelines, you’ll be well-equipped for a successful dating experience. 

I hope you enjoyed this article. Comment below and let me know your thoughts. If you loved it, I’d really appreciate it if you gave it a share. You never know who will benefit from reading this.

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