On first dates, there is a lot of pressure. They're similar to interviews, except you're selling your personality rather than your professional talents, which may be a lot more intimidating. You want to come across as intriguing and attractive rather than employable and capable, which is easier said than done. When you add dating apps to the mix, where dates are virtually blind, you may expect even more anxiety. When it comes to finding a romantic partner, a first date is basically a make or break.
Individuals learn some significant no-no from their first dates, not just from the people they meet, but also from their own behaviour. The first lesson is to avoid wearing really uncomfortable booties simply because they go with your outfit—not it's worth it to struggle to keep up with your much taller, flat-footed date taking long steps along brick streets for the sake of aesthetics. Could you please open the door for me? That's a good start. Are you being rude to the waiter? It's been a pleasure getting to know you. On the first date night, call me "babe"? Never call you again.
While they may appear to be minor concerns, even the tiniest detail might be a deal-breaker for some. To help with the unavoidable tension of first dates and to give you some date night ideas, we enlisted the help of relationship specialists to uncover the most important first date dos and don'ts, as well as the greatest first date ideas. If you stick with us, you'll be able to handle first dates like a pro in no time.
Advice for first dates
First and foremost, make plans for the date. It's easy to get into the habit of "grabbing drinks" since it's informal, low-commitment, and, let's face it, the booze helps to take the edge off. Other outings, on the other hand, are great for meeting possible partners. The best types of activities for first dates are ones that foster communication and aren't solely focused on getting to know each other. Things like bowling, mini-golf, movie night or a casual festival relieve some of the pressure off the dialogue, making it feel less like a feared interview. The key to easing into the date and feeling like yourself is to connect over a similar interest.
27 percent of singles say activity-based dates are the easiest for them to be themselves, while 29 percent say sit-down dinner dates nights are the best for open communication. So, how do you feel about typical dinner dates?
While they require more commitment (you can't just leave after one drink), 55 percent of first dates that take place in a sit-down restaurant are successful.
You can maintain eye contact and take in your date's facial reactions and gestures by sitting across the table from them.
It may be more intimidating than walking through a park and looking at trees instead of your date's face, but it won't prevent you from learning how you feel about this person sooner or later. Just avoid going to a ramen joint. Sure, the unique ambience is entertaining, but try telling someone about your birthplace while slurping slippery noodles from a bowl of broth with chopsticks. I'm speaking from personal experience here.
The first date works best when you treat it like the introduction it is: it's all about the feeling you get when you're in your date's company, not about knowing everything there is to know about them.
Knowing when to end a date, even if things are going well, has a significant impact on future dates. You will leave your possible mate guessing if you avoid elongating or overstaying on the first date. Nine times out of ten, your curiosity will lead to a follow-up date. First dates should be virtual because of the current coronavirus outbreak, but if things are back to normal, adhere to these suggestions.
Do's and Don'ts on a First Date
After you've decided on a time and place for your first date, it's time to focus on the meat and potatoes of dating: the big dos and don'ts on the date itself. Don't ruin an otherwise perfect date by making these typical yet catastrophic errors.
Do not: arrive late
We're starting with the basics, but you'd be astonished how few people value punctuality. No matter how busy or in-demand you want to appear, arriving "fashionably late" to your first date isn't appealing. It's simply plain obnoxious.
Do not: Check your phone
Nothing is more inconsiderate than someone continuously staring at their phone when you're out with them. "Whatever is on this screen is more important than you," it screams. That's probably the worst message you can give to someone you've never met before. Put your phone on quiet, put it away, and focus entirely on your date.
Don't: Use too much force
Although you're on a date and the ultimate goal is to find a loving partner, many individuals find coming on too strong a turn-off. Using pet terms such as "babe" and "honey" is a big no-no, and I agree. I'm not your babe—we just met!
On a first date, excessive touching is also inappropriate. If you're bowling with your date and he or she gets a strike, go for the playful high-five. Holding hands, the entire time you're walking around the park is definitely a touch excessive for a first date.
Don't: Concentrate solely on yourself
The purpose of a first date night is to get to know someone; don't make it one-sided by talking just about yourself. You're trying to impress your date, so it's normal to want to tell them everything you know about yourself, but don't do it. It's especially easy to fall into this trap if your date is shy, but just because your date is quiet doesn't mean you should start ranting about your middle school instructors.
By asking questions and attentively listening to your date's responses, you can promote an engaging conversation. On the first date, there's no need to tell your entire life narrative. Hopefully, there will be plenty of time in the future for this. The most important thing to remember on the first date is to share the basics and let the discussion go wherever it wants to. When you're on a date and you're talking about the oddest stuff, it's a sign that things are going well because you're genuinely in the present.
Do: Take your time choosing your attire
On a first date, appearance matters a lot, despite the fact that it may appear superficial. Dressing sloppily gives the appearance that you don't care about making a good first impression. Consider the date's activities, and then dress as though you were meeting up with buddies for the same event. Wear something comfortable that lets you feel like yourself and makes you feel appealing. Your date will sense your ease and confidence.
Do: Pay attention
When someone isn't paying attention to you, it's evident. Boredom is visible in drifting eyes, which will make your date clam up and appear boring. Instead of stressing about what you'll say next, concentrate on paying attention to what your date is saying.
When you listen to someone, you're sending them a signal that you're both interested in developing a relationship. You may not be able to comprehend them as well as their former acquaintances, but at the very least, you will send a signal that you will be able to do so soon. It all boils down to this: show your date that you're interested in what they're saying, and they'll ideally return the favour.
Use proper etiquette
Returning to the opening-the-door scenario, a person's manners, or lack thereof, reveal a lot about them. This applies to more than simply placing a napkin on your lap before eating and avoiding ribs. The way you handle the folks you're with on the date is quite telling. Saying "please" and "thank you" to waiters, as well as "excuse me" when you run into someone on your way to the table, are all basic courtesy behaviours that you should be doing anyway, but especially on a first date when your date is forming an impression of you. Demonstrate that you are courteous to others.
It is your first date and you would not definitely want to pretend. So, be you and show the true version of yourself.