Whether you met someone on a dating site or you’ve had your eyes on each other for a while now, first date jitters are no joke. Depending on who you’re going with or what you’re looking for, preparing can be even more nerve-wracking than the actual event.
From what you wear to the way you smell, you want to make a statement with every tiny detail. And even though you know yourself to be a catch, some part of you still hopes their expectations of you are not too high.
Funny thing is, it doesn’t matter if it’s your second time ever going on a date or you’ve lost count, the first date with someone new always feels different. You’ve probably had or heard so many failed date stories to justify your fears.
As you consume the following first dates tips, you will also find on how to improve your odds. Don’t forget the other equally important side of the coin. What not to do on a first date? Well, this list is quite long, so grab your munchies as we go through all 27 of them together.
Table of Contents
You know what they say about impressions? The first one matters a lot. Not showing up on time the very first time you’re meeting someone doesn’t exactly communicate that you respect them or their time. Not everyone appreciates being fashionably late, and doing it without prior notice might cause your date to write you off before you even start.
First dates should primarily be about getting to know each other. For that to happen, the conversation has to go both ways - not you telling your companion your entire life story without letting them get a word in, or vice-versa. Even if what they have to say isn’t all that fascinating, try to pay attention or find an excuse to end it early.
If all goes well, there will be plenty of chances for them to see you drunk, no need to let it happen on the first date. It’s okay to take a glass or two, depending on your tolerance level. However, you shouldn’t drink so much that it impairs your judgment or leaves you at your date’s mercy.
Unless you’re friends with your companion or have known them long enough to trust them to a reasonable extent, don’t leave anything you intend to consume unattended. It’s a tough world we live in, and not everyone who looks responsible is quite sane. If you must take a bathroom break or something, finish your drink before leaving or abandon it altogether.
Whether you were married for ten years or in a toxic situationship before this, try to leave the baggage labeled ‘ex’ at home before meeting someone new. This is one DON’T you have to make a conscious effort not to let slip, especially if your wounds from your last relationship are still fresh. You don’t want to give the idea that you’re still into, or worse yet, embittered by your ex.
Unless questions about your parents come up, no need to prattle about what an amazing (or otherwise) father you have, or how you support your family. Keep the focus on the two people on the table, and leave your dad out of it.
From the doorman to the waiters, everyone you encounter on any occasion deserves some respect. If that doesn’t come naturally to you, don’t be yourself in that regard on a first date. While it goes without saying to not be rude to your potential partner, you should also try to be polite to the people serving you.
Do you have a problem keeping your mouth closed while eating, or have any other quirks related to chewing? Everyone eats, but one of the fastest ways to turn a stranger off is to be a messy eater. You can relax with your date as time goes on, but try not to forget your table manners on the first date.
Notwithstanding, you shouldn’t starve yourself for fear of turning your date off. You can always order something that plays to your strengths. For instance, if chewing loudly is your issue, you can steer clear of crunchy meals instead of becoming irritable because you’re hungry.
You may not want to wait for another second to inspect the package, but you should if you don’t have your date’s permission to touch them. Light arm grazes are probably fine, but anything beyond that could be too much too soon. Thankfully, there are fewer handsy body language cues you can flirt with.
Whether it’s interjecting overzealously in an attempt to let your partner know you’re listening or inserting your opinion while they’re still talking, it’s best to steer clear of interrupting them altogether. While you may be eager to get your words out the moment they form, understand it might make them feel like their opinion doesn’t matter, and no one likes that.
Although this person is a potential life partner, there is no need to table your entire plans on outing number one. If the subject comes up, paraphrase, and move on to the next topic. If they want to hear more, they can let that inspire them to try and score more dates with you.
Have you heard one of those cute couple stories where both parties knew that they were going to end up marrying on their first date? Yeah, they are the exception, not the rule. You are both still strangers at this point. So, try not to get so ahead of yourself that you start planning your future together right away. If you like them that much, focus on making it to the second date, for starters.
While it’s essential to touch the subjects that are important to you, don’t get so fierce that your companion feels like they came for a debate unprepared. It may help to avoid controversial topics that can potentially set you or them off altogether. And if an argument comes up, know when to let it rest.
It really grinds my gears to see somebody I’m talking to get so carried away by their phone that I have to repeat myself. It’s bad manners and shows a lack of regard for this person if you can’t get your head out of your phone for the better part of the outing. If you can’t manage without it, maybe don’t meet up in the first place?
Although this is more of a guy thing than ours, I feel it is important enough to mention. Even if it’s what you do for a living, don’t be that person who analyzes and offers nuggets of wisdom nobody asked for on a date. They’ve lived their life up to this point, I’m sure they can manage to go another day without your golden advice.
Politics, body count, religion, exes, finances, the right way to start a family, and children are some of the topics that would be best to avoid. However, if they do come up, try not to dwell on them, especially if you two disagree. Nobody needs that kind of intensity on a first date.
It’s a new world with new rules, we don’t wait for a man to get our bills anymore, and you shouldn’t even do that when you go out with friends. It’s one thing if they insist on paying, but you should at least offer to go dutch.
I think you’ll agree with me when I say confidence is sexy. It isn’t exactly considered good form when you wear your insecurities like a mask. They don’t need to know you’re that concerned with your oily face just yet. There is no need to keep checking your hair and makeup at the table as well. If you must, excuse yourself and go to the bathroom.
If you’ve been on a few bad dates, you’d know the importance of keeping your expectations at bay. Better to go with zero hopes and be pleasantly surprised than to place this almost stranger on a pedestal and return home disappointed.
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Although you may want to look your best to impress, do yourself a favor and stick with an outfit you feel comfortable in. Once you leave your house, you really can’t tell how the evening would go. You may have to switch venues last minute, or even decide to do something totally different, best to wear something that lets you enjoy yourself either way.
On the other hand, you shouldn’t use being comfortable as an excuse to dress shabbily. You don’t want your potential partner to think they are not important enough for you to try and impress. Plus, someone who blatantly neglects their appearance generally wouldn’t fill anyone with confidence.
Again, the initial dates should be about seeing if and how you two connect. For that to happen, each of you has to be the other’s center of attention, not your friends, and certainly not theirs. If you need other people there to boost your morale or for security, have them sit at a distance, not with you as a third wheel.
Even if carrying conversations isn’t your strong suit, you shouldn’t let negative energy in on day one, let alone be the person who brings it. The thing about a vibe is that it spreads, so you potentially run the risk of ruining the whole thing for both of you by being in a bad mood.
If you won’t be having sex with this person right away, there’s no need to go into details about that part just yet. I’m no rigid supporter of “date first get down later,” but I do believe in leaving some things to the imagination.
I believe that while you need some degree of privacy to get to know each other, it shouldn’t be at a location so private that you can’t readily cry for help. It may just be my paranoia speaking, but with the number of women that have been assaulted by strangers from the internet, it’s best to take no chances.
You never know if things will go so well that you won’t mind engaging in some afternoon delight. Imagine getting all hot and bothered while wearing your most embarrassing panties. Even if things won’t get there, the kind of confidence sexy underwear gives you sure couldn’t hurt your overall odds.
There are plenty of things a lady shouldn’t do on their first time out with a potential partner. Instead of keeping up with them all, you can focus on conducting yourself with proper etiquette. For the most part, just don’t go late, be polite, don’t mention your ex, and don’t do anything you wouldn’t want to see on social media with your name on it.
If you feel a connection with your date despite it being the first time, feel free to kiss if you want to. However, consider keeping it light if it’s with a stranger whose oral hygiene you can’t vouch for yet.
You shouldn’t pick a location where you can’t get to talk, like the movies where it’s too quiet or a club, which is too loud. Avoid creepy places altogether, unless you’re both heavily into it. Also, make sure wherever you choose to go is public enough and that you can easily find your way back.
There is no harm in hugging on the first date, although no rule says you have to either. You can keep the embrace platonic if you’re not comfortable with the person yet, or scrap it altogether and stick with a handshake.
If you’re an adult and mentally capable of making your own decisions, you can do whatever you feel like. As long you’re not hurting anyone, and you both agree to it. Just be sure to do it because you want to and not because you feel pressured. However, it’s best to wait, if the dates progress into an actual relationship, then it’s safe enough to get down and dirty.
I hope you had fun going through this list, which ultimately is what a first date should be about. In addition to getting to know each other, of course. Just remember to ask questions and observe the necessary etiquettes, and you will do fine. As usual, kindly leave a comment and share the article if you enjoyed it.
Utilize this tool to verify if he's truly who he claims to be
Whether you're married or just started dating someone, infidelity rates have risen by over 40% in the past 20 years, so your concerns are justified.
Do you want to find out if he's texting other women behind your back? Or if he has an active Tinder or dating profile? Or even worse, if he has a criminal record or is cheating on you?
This tool can help by uncovering hidden social media and dating profiles, photos, criminal records, and much more, potentially putting your doubts to rest.