We’ve all been there. The nerves of that very first date. Sweating profusely, wondering what on earth you should talk about with a person who you have probably never even met before. Maybe the messaging back and forth has been going okay, some cheeky flirting thrown into the mix, but now it has come to the dreaded first date and suddenly the urge to remain single is becoming slightly more appealing by the minute. But I am here to tell you that first dates do not always have to be nerve-wracking experiences and can actually be quite fun. In case you have any doubts, here are some failsafe dating tips from those who truly have been there, done that and bought the t-shirt.
Don’t be late
First thing’s first, I would argue that this one of the most underrated first date tips of all. Do not (and I repeat DO NOT) be late without good reason. Allowances for emergencies, getting lost, and unplanned traffic aside, no one wants to be left waiting on a date – and especially not the first date! Equally, keep it in mind if your date turns up late too. It doesn’t always spell disaster for the rest of the relationship (maybe you are both late and you end up being a chaotic match made in heaven!) but making sure you are both on time is a sure-fire way of setting off the date on a good note.
Choose the right location
The location is paramount to setting the vibe of the date, and the key to a good first date is choosing to do something that both of you will enjoy. Maybe you are both bowling pros, or maybe you would prefer a relaxed pint at a local pub. Whatever you decide, whether it is food, drinks or catching a movie, a first date should above all be enjoyable and fun!
There’s no better way of breaking the ice and easing into conversation (and also earning you a few brownie points!) than opening up the date with a compliment. You like their hair? Their shoes? Tell them! I’m not saying that this will lead you into a long, wild conversation about hairstyles or their sense of fashion – or perhaps lack thereof – but it will definitely open up the floor to a much less nervous date.
Think of a few questions in advance
Regardless of whether you have been messaging relentlessly for a week straight or whether it is your very first blind date encounter, you will most likely have a few questions in mind to ask them. It doesn’t always have to be serious, but having a couple of icebreakers planned ahead of time will calm your nerves and reduce any awkward silences you may find yourselves in. As a big foodie, my personal favourite is asking about their death row meal (i.e. your last ever 3 course meal of your choosing before you die). It is a great question to open up further conversation, and now is as good a time as any to find out they like pineapple on pizza or exclusively survive off chicken nuggets. Other great icebreaker questions could be asking about hobbies, their plans for the weekend, or their taste in music (although do be prepared to reveal the depths of your guilty pleasures that Spotify wrapped has very recently exposed to the world).
Last but definitely by no means least, relax and be yourself! If you have made it as far as securing a date, the chances are they are interested in you already. Maybe you have a mutual friend, common interests, or maybe it was a chance encounter online. Either way, you want someone to like you for who you truly are, and the only way to do that is to not overthink and just be completely yourself from the get-go. If they don’t like you, they are definitely not the one!
Even after all of this, not every first date is going to end in happily ever after. Not everyone locks eyes Romeo and Juliet style and decides that it is their dream coupling. Dating can be a long process of not only figuring out the kind of person you want to be with, but also the kind of person you are whilst on dates too. As a wise man once said, sometimes you have to kiss a few frogs to find your Prince Charming. An unsuccessful first date isn’t the end of the road for your love life. Take it as experience and know that you are one date closer to securing your perfect match.
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