17 Awesome Tips to your Perfect First Date

First dates are usually tough and rather tricky.  And as the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression! 

No matter how well you get along with someone online, everyone knows that nothing really happens until you get in front of each other.  That’s when you’ll find out if there is enough chemistry to lead to romance.  And that can put a lot of pressure on both people.

The way you look, behave and communicate all have a huge impact on whether your first date will lead to a second. A great first date can make all the difference. It’s therefore important to present your best self to make sure that things go well.

To help you, not only get through your first date and also enjoy it, we provide the following road map; -

1. Choose a perfect place.

This first meeting is an experience, not an interview, where do you go? The place you choose to go on a date has a lot of do with your age and also expectations out of the date.

It is always advisable to pick a place that will let you walk and talk at the same time. This will provide readily available talking points.  It’s the connection that’s important, not what you do. 

The ideal meeting place is somewhere neutral and public. Stay away from movies or other activities that will make it hard to talk to your date. Attending events or participating in fun activities together will help you both loosen up, and you can reserve some time afterward to have some one-on-one interaction.

Do something cheap: the park, zoo, a promenade, the museum.  All of these will give you ample things to look at and chat about, all while creating a fun, shared experience that will be memorable for both of you… and open the door for a heart connection.


2. Keep the date personal. 

If you want to know what to do on a date, stop thinking about what others think. Plan the date keeping both your interests in mind. Do both of you like a band that’s playing in your city, or would your date prefer trying a new cuisine, or would you prefer to play it safe and just go for coffee? Plan the date keeping both your intimacy levels and comfort in mind.

Involve your date. It’ll make them feel appreciated and more involved. In most cases, girls expect the man to come up with all the plans. But to start with, ask your date for suggestions or places she’d be interested to go to. 

The key here is to keep your date’s comfort in mind.

3. Make yourself presentable.

Take a hot shower, wash your hair and brush your teeth. You are going to want to make sure that you are clean, fresh and ready to put your best foot forward from the skin outward. It can be awkward going on a date with someone who smells bad or has food stuck in their teeth, so start by taking care of your basic hygiene needs.

Dress to impress on a first date. Like it or not, most people judge books by their covers. So make sure you look fabulous! Pick an outfit that makes you feel comfortable and confident but isn’t too revealing. Instead go for the casual, classy look. Jazz up your outfit with some accessories and killer shoes!

4. The rules of dating. 

Don’t be late on a date, and don’t ever stand your date up. Not only will it demonstrate that you are taking the date seriously, it can also give you a chance to get comfortable with the setting and mentally prepare for your introduction.

If you are the guy, behave like a gentleman and treat your date like a lady. If you are the girl, be the damsel around your date and help him feel more like a man. It’s just a few of the most important dating rules you need to remember to have a perfect date. 

5. Be polite. 

Manners say a lot about a person. In addition to simply acting friendly, show your date that you are a gentleman (or a lady) by being considerate. Guys should hold open doors, pull out chairs and offer to pick up the bill, if it pleases the girl. Both people should practice good manners when eating and speaking to keep from making the other uncomfortable.

Common courtesy is a must, but it may be off-putting to some people to have things done for them. See how your date reacts to little gestures before forcing more of this kind of behaviour on them.

During the date, keep your cellphone on silent mode and answer only urgent calls. Leaving your cell phone out on the table during a date could ruin your chances of making a serious connection. A cell phone detracts from intimacy. Most importantly, say “please” and “thank you.”

6. Show an interest in your date. 

Give your undivided attention to your date so that they know you have taken a genuine interest in them and what they have to say. Maintain eye contact when talking, and nod or make small verbal confirmations like “mmhm” and “I agree” to signal that you are really listening. When people feel that they are interesting to others, they become more confident and more comfortable as a result.

Don’t dominate the conversation or constantly turn it around to be about yourself. Let them talk while listening intently, then share your thoughts when the discussion comes around to you. Get a feel for your date’s mood during the course of the date. Be mindful of considerations like “is he/she comfortable?” “Am I talking too much?” etc.

7. Keep the Conversation Interesting.

Conversation is one of the most important parts of a first date and it's often pretty difficult to navigate. Conversation on a first date needs balance between impressing someone and learning about them.

Things like hobbies, travel, movies, culture, sports, etc., are all suitable topics. Stay away from personal and sensitive matters, there will be plenty of time to talk about your past relationships, family issues and political views in the future.

Never plan out what you are going to say ahead of time. Rehearsed lines and jokes end up having a negative effect on the date. Think about what you can do to make sure that your discussions are not the boring but not risky type. Just have a pleasant conversation with your date and keep the happy conversation going.

The key is creating a “shared experience” that establishes a lasting, romantic connection from the get-go.  Avoid common mistakes like asking stereotypical questions or dominating the conversation and instead up the ante a bit by asking some riskier questions.

Save your real or perceived problems and flaws until you know she/he is deeply interested in you or at least interested. The goal of a first date is to have a good time and to contribute at least 50% of the effort toward achieving that goal.


8. Make your intentions clear from the start.

Avoid playing games. If you are looking for something serious and get the same feedback from your date, then keep the end of the date PG-rated. Give yourselves the luxury of having something to look forward to.

But remember, you are not going to propose to them. So, there’s no need to go overboard on the first date. Keep the first date light, fun, and romantic. 

9. Create memories. 

A first date has to be memorable. You have to keep in mind that your date will definitely have a conversation about this date with their friends the next morning. The more special you make them feel that evening, the more their friends will speak in your favour the next morning. Look for ways to create something memorable and happy during the date and the date will tilt in your favour no matter what.

10. Focus on having a good time. 

Remember to relax and think of the date as a treat rather than an obligation. First dates can sometimes be nerve-wracking, but stay positive and try to have fun. Keep your date (and yourself) laughing and don't take the occasion too seriously. Get absorbed in your conversation and shut off the part of your brain that's constantly analysing whether the date is a success. Whatever your reasons are for dating, the most important thing is for you and your date to enjoy each other’s company.

If you feel like your date isn't having a good time, switch up your activities. If you both feel awkward talking over drinks at a fancy bar, for instance, pay the bill and go for a long walk outside, or find something else to do to take the pressure off. You may just need a change of environment.

11. Use the "Right" Amount of Eye Contact.

When we lock eye contact for too long, the other person might see that as forced dominance. This is usually not something you want to exude on a first date because it's confrontational. Too much eye contact was actually counterproductive therefore balancing the right kind of eye contact is crucial.

The right amount of eye contact is about 7-10 seconds of eye contact at a time. Hold your gaze, look away briefly at a window, waiter or other table, then return the look.

12. Mind Your Body Language

Body language can reveal all kinds of things about another person and how you present yourself is equally as important. Whether you realise it or not, we read a lot into a person's body language, so you want to make sure you are not sending out the wrong signals.

Don’t assume an unattractive pose. That means that men should not pretend to a macho style where they strut about and assume a truculence as a way of looking strong. Neither should women seem aloof. It comes across as snobbery.

Both should also not pretend sophistication. It is intimidating rather than appealing.
Just keep your body language relaxed and comforting. It is suggested that you keep your movements subdued at first. Remember that you are seated next to a stranger, so use small gestures, slower movements, and don't crowd them.

Once you are comfortable together (and you are no longer seen as a threat) you can make faster, more animated gestures. Basically, show interest in what your date's saying and doing, but don't go all Kramer on them.

13. Stay in the moment.

One of the things that makes first meetings so nerve-wracking is how much stock we place in them. Even though it might be hard not to think about the future, stay grounded in the present moment.

It might be tempting to discuss things like marriage and children, especially when you have had good rapport with someone online.  Take the pressure off yourself by letting them initiate any such discussions.  Doing so gives you the advantage of truly seeing where their mind is at and what they think of you.


14. Look for things you have in common. 

As you’re talking to your date, pick up on similarities between the two of you. Perhaps you are both pet lovers and can bond over pictures of your pets, or you might discover that you are both die hard supporters of the same sports team. Highlighting what you have in common is the best way to establish a deeper connection. It can also take some of the pressure off conversation starting out, as you will find that you have much more to talk about.

Learn to appreciate your differences, too. If your date doesn’t happen to share your viewpoint on something, don’t automatically count in as a strike against them. Think about how their opinions speak to their character.

15. Saying Goodbye or See you later.

If things have gone well, ask your date if they would be willing to see you again at the end of the night. Be assertive and make it known that you have had a good time with them. Leave your phone number with your date and encourage them to call or text you, or ask for their number if they seem open to giving it to you. If you have made a good first impression, you could be on your way to forming a strong, lasting relationship.

If you want to see them again, don’t end the evening with a handshake or a hug.  If you like them, let them kiss you. Just let it happen. You want to establish a romantic feel to your interactions with them from the outset. Be assertive in signaling you would like to go out or go out again. This could mean calling to say you had a wonderful time or enjoyed meeting or sending a note, text or email. Be genuine. 

16. Follow-up.

Call your date the next day and thank them for a lovely evening and if things clicked for you two, ask for a second date. If they are not there, leave a message thanking them and ask them to call back.

If they don’t call back within 48 hours, give another call. If they still don’t call back, learn to take a hint and pursue other options. And absolutely under no circumstances do you text, Facebook, or tweet their date to follow up with them.

17. If it didn’t work, accept and move on.

If you are not enjoying yourself, trust your instinct and don’t hesitate to call it a night. If your date can’t appreciate the wonderful person you are, don’t waste your time; you are bound to find someone who does.

But it is also advisable to give a person at least two dates (especially since the first one isn’t really a date!)  If you decide they really aren’t for you, keep it simple and gracious. Say, “Thank you for a nice time. I enjoyed meeting you, but I feel we are not a match.”

Be prepared for rejection too — it happens. Get really good at handling it. If you suffer a major loss, grieving is necessary. But not getting a second or third date isn’t major loss. It is the opportunity to move on and find the person who does want to be with you.

Remember:

The main point is to be yourself and work toward and believe in a positive outcome. When you do, dating will be pleasurable and the outcome that follows will be healthier and more productive.
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