Dating can be tough, but the rewards can offer you more than enough to compensate for the initial scary step into the dating world. If you’ve met someone on a speed dating night that you’d like to get to know better, and you’re planning your first “proper” date, it can be pretty nerve-wracking. With this in mind, we’ve put together 5 of the most important tips to help that first date go well. You never know, it may be the start of something special!
1. Plan your date well
One of the hardest things about a first date is striking the balance between getting to know someone and avoiding awkward moments when neither of you can find something to say. You can take away the stress that comes with conversation starters by doing something interesting that gives you something else to talk about if you’re not sure how much to reveal about yourself. The zoo may be one option, art galleries another. If you go to see a movie or a band, remember to spend some quieter time together afterwards to talk, otherwise, you may as well have been going with anyone!
2. Plan your conversation starters
Planning for gaps in the conversation is great prep for a first date. Write a list (but don’t take it with you!) of things you want to know about your date, and think of some really interesting ones. Not just “what do you like doing?” or “where do you work” though. More interesting questions such as “what would you consider a perfect day” or “if you were famous, what would you like to be famous for?” make getting to know your date more fun, and asking those sorts of questions will make you seem more interesting too. In addition to this, try and think what your date may find interesting and different about you and practice working it into conversation.
3. Dress well for your date
A first date is a big deal, but in order to project yourself well, dress as yourself. Don’t buy new outfit that pulls you in everywhere so that you can’t breathe on your date, and don’t go for the wow factor if you’re likely to spend all of your date adjusting yourself. You need to be comfortable but looking good, so choose something from your wardrobe you know makes you feel good and that will give you the confidence boost you need. In the same manner, look after your personal hygiene, smell nice, but don’t use a whole bottle of aftershave or perfume that will remind them of a department store foyer. Subtle scents that only take effect when you lean in close are great.
4. Pay attention
Your date will at some point talk about themselves. Pay attention and ask questions to make sure they know you’re interested. Glancing at your phone to check your Facebook status or looking around the room to see who else is there will likely end in your date getting frustrated and clamming up.
5. Relax, it's just a date
Being overly nervous only tends to lead to you compensating for this by being too overbearing, not talkative enough or coming across as someone who isn’t you. Don’t ever pretend to be someone you’re not. They’re on a date with you, so whilst you should show them the best of yourself, putting on a persona that you can’t sustain will never lead to a long term relationship, and may not even get you a second date.
Remember these top tips for getting through your first date and you’ll be far more likely to not only enjoy your date, but have a good shot at seeing your date again! Good Luck!