First date do's and dont's

9 First Date Tips You Need to Know

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First dates are an interesting challenge that we all go through in order to build romantic relationships. With them comes certain rules you have to follow out of courtesy such as timeliness. Other rules are firm for the sake of your safety thus should never be overlooked such as meeting in a public place and informing your loved ones of your location. In this article we will explore tips you need to make sure the first date you’re on will be a success.

Respect your date’s time

The conversation that leads up to meeting has important information such as when and where you are supposed to meet. This is an agreement made by both parties so you should honor your end of the deal. In case of an inconvenience that will result in you being late such as your car broke down or stuck in a traffic jam communicate with your date of your location and situation.

 You might see it as a small inconvenience but it tells your date that your word can be trusted and you are a communicative partner. Having to sit in a location such as a restaurant waiting for someone who is half an hour late, does not communicate is the recipe for a bad time. They won’t be as responsive as they would have been if you respected them and their time enough to arrive on time or communicate if unable.

Dress well on your first date

first date: man in gray suit standing beside woman in green dress
Image: Juan Vargas

Let’s be honest, first impressions matter not only to your date but yourself. Going on a first date your appearance is the first step introduction you make with a person before the conversation. This is where they can put a name to a face if you have never met before and thus tells them more about you. Clothes are an expression of who you are and will definitely create idea in their mind of who you are. If possible dress to not only impress but express who you are as a person in a method that suits the environment in which you are meeting.

In the case where you have met your date before, it is not an excuse to slack off thinking they know me, there is no need to impress. Truth is there is a reason to impress. You want your date to see the version of you that you never show in previous interactions. Your date gets to see what a transition from friend to partner looks like, if you slack off from the start you might lose favor in their eyes as a potential partner no matter how great the conversations are. Many people like being impressed by those they love.

Ask Your Date Questions

A first date is an interview in a casual setting. By asking questions you gain two valuable things. First you get to know who your date is as a person. It’s the first glimpse you get into their likes, dislikes, interests and goals. This information is important so that you can judge whether you have an interest in them or not.

Second is that by asking questions you show your date that you are interested in them.  The enthusiasm in which you use to converse will give you more replies unless your date is horrible and gives one word answered. You may not be interested in your date from the start like a blind date your family or friends set up; be a courteous and act interested. Bored out of your mind don’t set up a second date, be pleasant enough at the moment. If they are rude and display multiple red flags that make you fear for your safety then excuse yourself and leave.

Have an exit strategy

Whether it is a tinder date, blind date or someone you know always have an exit strategy. There are dangerous people in the world and it’s up to you first to protect yourself. On this date your safety is a priority so if things go belly up get ready to leave.

  • Stay sober so you that you can make informed decisions on what is right or wrong. Being inebriated lowers your situational awareness which can make it easy for someone to harm you.
  • Make sure someone knows where you are, who you are meeting, when you will be back and the location. This information is important as it helps them keep watch over you from a distance. If the date is extended, give as much information as needed. In case things go wrong they can easily come get you away from the situation.
  • Meet in public in a well-lit area, preferably at daytime. This way you can see the person you are meeting well enough. Second other people in the same area can see them too so if something were to happen they can step in and assist. If they insist on going to their house, back away from the date.
  • Have your own transportation lined up. If it’s the first time you are meeting it is probably not a great idea to have them know where you live. First dates are a get to know you chat but telling or showing the location of your home unsafe for you. The best option is to meet them at the venue. Not the parking lot but inside the venue. When it is time to leave you aren’t sure how a date ends so have a ride home lined up. Quick exits work when your date is not driving you home.

Focus on your needs

man in black long sleeve shirt sitting on chair
Image: cottonbro

It’s easy to get carried away in trying to get your date to like you but don’t. As stated earlier a date is like a casual interview meant to get to know your date more. Focusing on how you can appeal more to them can result in you add false embellishments on your character as a way to act familiar to them and their likes. The false portrayal of yourself will leave you with imposter syndrome as you have to commit to an unneeded lie. If you don’t like what they like express it.

Your focus should be on figuring out if you like your date as a person or not. The shared and different interests make for excellent conversation. Don’t force a connection where there is none instead enjoy the moment.

In Seinfeld, George Costanza stated,  “If you take everything I’ve accomplished in my entire life, and condense it down into one day… It looks decent.”

This is true, on the first date you catch a glimpse, if you like what you see and hear you can agree to more dates. Emotional developments take time to show, it’s not a Disney princess love at first sight phenomenon.

Set boundaries

Boundaries? But we barely know each other and it’s just the first date….

Yes, you need to set certain boundaries on the first date to ensure your comfort. Gone are the days where women were forced to sit still look pretty but act demure as their male counterparts crossed lines. It’s the 21st century, you need to focus on what makes you comfortable and uncomfortable then verbalize them. These can be how much physical touching you are comfortable with, same goes for your date. If either party is not comfortable with touching, verbalize and respect.

Another can be in terms of expectations after the date. An example is sex. If you aren’t comfortable with having sex after the first date make it a clear boundary ad don’t allow guilt trips on the matter. Failure to respect your boundaries as early as now is a clear picture of what to expect in the future.

Carry your wallet

first date: brown leather cross body bag with eyeglasses
Image: Pixabay

Whether they said they are paying or not it is best to carry money. It gives you the added security of choice on when you decide to leave the date, if your date leaves or they forgot their wallet. The comfort of being able to pay for the meal you are eating even if you aren’t the one paying eases your mind a lot. You don’t get a cold chill if your date stays in the bathroom too long leaving you on the table with the bill you cannot afford. Ease of mind is best to relax your nerves enough to get to know your partner.

Explore the heavy topics

Nothing kills the mood like going on several dates and falling for your partner only to find out a life changing difference in goals such as not wanting or wanting children. It sounds too much but it is better to weed out the people who don’t share your view in important matters. Bring in the heavy topics like career goals, family, finances and religion.

It won’t be a deep dive but enough to see where they stand. Making future plans for your self involves sharing an outline of them so each party knows if they will pass or commit. Want to travel the world but they have no interest, it is better to wait and find someone who wants the same.

Have fun

The first date is not supposed to be stiff and awkward. Chat with your date; enjoy your meal as well as the ambiance. If your date is not communicative find ways to enjoy the moment, like try something new on the desert menu. This way no matter how good or bad the date ends you don’t feel have feelings of regret for having gone. Find your silver lining in an otherwise bad situation.

If your date is communicative then explore a range of topics that you are familiar and unfamiliar with. Learn something knew on that day along with spending time with a nice person.

Bottom Line

First dates are both exciting and nerve racking, you get to meet and know a person in a different way. The unfamiliarity of the other person should be a moment to spark up conversations that are fundamental in the building of your relationships. Though overlooked by some, it is the gateway glimpse into what you can expect in the future.

Weeding out incompatibilities that may cause discourse as the relationship progresses. Politics might seem mundane if you are not actively interested but it is a topic to be discussed as it holds valuable information of their character as they talk about on their beliefs. First dates are the building blocks to relationships and thus should be treated with the seriousness needed as well as the fun expected.

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