A first date can be incredibly nerve-wracking. Even if you know the person you’re going out with, the fact that it’s the first time you’re spending one-on-one with them can make you nervous. In turn, this makes you more likely to do or say things you wouldn’t normally do. Don’t freak out! Before you go on your next first date, here are some tips to make sure that it is unforgettable – in a good way!
- Do have a first date routine. Develop a routine that you can perform before any first date to automatically put you in the right mindset. It should calm you and make you feel confident and excited rather than anxious and nervous. It can be anything from having a bubble bath with candles to laying out your favorite first date outfit. You might spend some time journaling about how great the date will be or even doing some self-talk in the bathroom mirror. Routines can be very calming and relaxing and that will make your first date go much more smoothly.
- Don’t ask people about him too much before your date. Everyone has an opinion and if you ask, they will share it. Give yourself and him the advantage of not having preconceived opinions of him. Decide for yourself.
- Do be yourself. Remember that you want the person you’re going on a date with to like you for who you are, so be yourself right from the beginning. Don’t say you love board games if they bore you to tears. You don’t have to agree with everything he says to make him like you. Be genuine and remember that you’re awesome. It’s better to have a great first date because he likes you for who you are than to have a good first date because you tried to be who he was looking for.
- Don’t talk about past relationships. If your date goes well, there will be plenty of time to talk about past relationships, but the first date with someone is not the time for that. Remember that he’s not any of the men you’ve dated in the past. There are plenty of other things to talk about so keep the relationship talk, past and future, out of the conversation for now.
- Do dress comfortably. If you’re dressed in clothing that you don’t normally wear or something that you’ve never worn before, you might be uncomfortable. It’s hard to be relaxed and have a good time when the new jeans you bought are pinching or rubbing you the wrong way. Instead, choose something you’ve worn before that fits well, looks great on you, and makes you feel confident.
- Don’t go somewhere that’s totally new to both of you. It might be tempting to try to impress your date with the newest restaurant in town or perhaps an adventure hike through the mountains, but this can backfire on you. There’s nothing that will ruin a first date faster than food that one of you can’t eat or falling down a rock cliff. Keep it simple. A tried-and-true restaurant and a walk through the park are much more likely to result in a great night.
- Do take time to listen. A lot of people talk a lot when they are nervous, so make a conscious effort to be silent and listen to what your date is saying. Don’t be afraid of little silences. Give them time to complete their thoughts. The reverse is true here too. If you’re the type of person who clams up when you are nervous, make an effort to give more thorough answers to his questions.
- Don’t make snap judgments. Most of us have preconceived notions of certain actions or words. We believe “if this, then that” and these ideas are not always true. Give them the time to reveal what they really mean when they say something. Let his actions speak for him. Don’t jump to conclusions in the first 15 minutes of your date.
- Do go somewhere public. Always plan to have your first date in a public setting. First dates should never be at your house or his. Go out for dinner. Walk in a busy park. Be somewhere that there are a lot of people around. Nothing will kill a first date faster than worrying if you’re going out with a serial killer or something.
No matter how many first dates you’ve been on, they don’t get easier. Both of you are likely to be nervous. Putting some thought into a first date – where you will go, what you will talk about, or what you won’t talk about – can make the date go a little smoother.