Congrats, you successful socialite! You won’t be spending your Saturday night alone again. You’ve scored yourself a date—a first date, to be exact. It’s an exciting opportunity to meet someone who could be your next significant other. Who knows? Maybe this will be the beginning of your happily ever after.
First dates are exciting, but they can also be incredibly nerve-wracking. But if you follow a few golden rules on your first date, you can get yourself a second date. Here are 5 important first date tips.
1. Pick a Great Venue
The best date situation is one in which you mutually agree on the time and place: “Hey, would you want to go with me to that thing next weekend?” It’s a whole lot tougher when you’re in a position where you have to choose the date activity.
Ultimately, it shouldn’t really matter what you do on your date—if there’s a spark, you’ll each have a good time regardless of what you’re doing. But in some cases, the activity you do can be the difference between an average date and a good date. And an average date is a bad date.
Since the first date is all about getting to know each other, you should go somewhere together where you’re able to talk. A movie is a popular date choice, but it might not be the best thing to do on a first date because you won’t be able to chat while the movie is playing (unless you want to irritate all the other movie-goers).
You don’t have to do anything in particular—even a simple walk in a lovely part of town could make for a fun date. Just make sure you do something in which you’ll both be comfortable and engaged with each other.
If you use a dating app, you might not want to chat it up too much with your date online. Save some conversations for the first date!
2. Dress to Impress
You should definitely try and look your best on your first date. At the minimum, you should be wearing some of the nicer clothes in your wardrobe, and be sure to comb your hair or put on some cologne or perfume.
You don’t have to dress up in formal attire if the situation doesn’t call for it. For example, you wouldn’t want to wear a button up or cocktail dress if you’re going on a daytime date, or if you’re doing an activity like bowling. But you should always try and look your best without overdoing it. Do some research on cute date night outfits if you need some inspiration.
Even though you want to look nice, it’s also important that you do your best to dress comfortably. Uncomfortable clothing can keep you from having fun and can be a big distraction. If anything, bring comfortable shoes, especially if the date is going to involve standing or walking. You can wear a fancier pair, but bring a pair of comfy backups that you can wear after dinner.
3. Don’t Be Shy About Your Best Qualities
Everyone wants to make a great first impression on their date—we all want to exude some kind of idealized perception of ourselves that we have. But our best and most unique qualities are often the ones that we’re shy about showing other people. Don’t be afraid to tell your date about the subjects you’re interested in, even if they seem “uncool.” Do you love going to art festivals? Tell your date about your favorite one! When you’re open about your passions, you’re able to show more of your true personality, and your date might even be interested in the same things.
4. Be Prepared for Pit Stops
While you’re on a date, it’s good to take “pit stops” every now and then to check your appearance and process the date thus far. Take pit stops before dinner, after dinner, and toward the end of the evening. Escape to a nearby bathroom and make sure your hair is still nicely combed, and that you don’t have any food in your teeth (you might want to bring a mini-brush). If you’re more of an introverted person, you can take this moment to think of some interesting topics of conversation with which to engage your date.
5. Temper Your Expectations
The best dates are oftentimes the ones in which you don’t set very high expectations. That doesn’t mean that you can’t be excited about it, or that you’re uninterested in the person you’re going with. But if you set high expectations (if you expect everything to go perfectly, or expect to get invited in for hot coffee at the end of the evening), there’s a higher chance you’ll be disappointed if the date fails to live up to them. Just have fun and enjoy having company for the evening!
If you keep these 5 tips in mind, there’s a better chance that your first date won’t also be your last!