Mastering The First Date
by Lee Blackspur
Is there anything more nerve-wracking in the entire human experience than the first date? You want so hard to impress that someone new, but haven't a clue where to start. Use these helpful tips to get you started!
No Surprises - The first date isn't the time to splurge on a surprise outing for you and your new love interest. That's fantastic that you convinced the zookeeper to allow you a private tour and picnic after hours. But you didn't ask your date, and she's allergic to anything with more than two legs. Oops!
Worse still, your favorite restaurant might not serve anything that your date can actually eat. If you have a brilliant idea for your first date, always run it by your date first to make sure it's a plan that will work for both of you.
Keep It Simple - You and your date should be able to enjoy each other's company on this first outing together. Try to avoid places with a lot of distractions or background noise. For example, a nightclub is a great place to hang out with friends, but a horrible place to try to have a conversation. A movie is a fun date, but you won't get to know anything about each other at all.
Instead, visit a museum, go window shopping or have coffee in the park. You'll have plenty of time to chat and there are always things going on around you if the conversation well runs dry. You can people-watch or chat about the museum displays instead of the usual, "How long has your wife been missing?" unavoidable small talk.
Kick It Off To a Good Start - Every person, male or female, should have something nice to say about their date when they first meet. It's a real ego-boost if a girl knows that you noticed the effort she put into getting ready for the date, or if a guy sees that you appreciate his sense of style. It shouldn't be painfully difficult to find something good about the person you're going out with. It's just good manners...so say something nice and get off on the right foot!
Listen to Your Date Carefully - The whole point of the first date is to get to know each other. Practice being an active listener. If you don't understand what your date is talking about, ask questions. Be interested in what they're talking about...or steer towards a more neutral topic if you really aren't interested.
Don't interrupt when your date is talking. Engage yourself in the conversation at hand, instead of thinking about what to say when they stop talking. Enjoy their company. If it's really painful to sit through the conversation, you're probably not a good match!
Listen to Yourself Even More Carefully - Watch out! You don't want to be the whiny, complaining person that your date couldn't stand for another moment. If you've had a bad break-up or a horrid day at work, leave it at home. Focus your attention on your date and don't make them your punching bag for all of life's problems.
This rule applies to more than just the way you communicate with your date. The way you treat the wait staff, bartenders, ticket takers and coat checkers reflects on your personality... and your date is watching!
Drink Socially - If you don't drink at all, this isn't a concern for you. Unfortunately, some people let their nerves get the better of them and end up overdrinking on the first date. Trying to write it off as, "I don't usually drink that much" just doesn't work when you're stumbling and slobbering your way to the cab... alone.
Never drink more than one or two drinks and don't use alcohol to fight off your nerves. If you're having a really hard time keeping your nervousness in check, tell your date you're not feeling well and try it again another night. They may think you're just trying to get out of the date, but you have a much better chance of going out with them again than if you had gotten raging drunk.
Remember Your Manners - While most people no longer expect to have the doors opened for them or their chair pulled out, it doesn't hurt to try. Whether male or female, always thank your date for the evening and be honest if you have no intention of going out with them again. Not "Wow, that was awful!" honest, but "Thank you for the wonderful time tonight. It was nice to meet you. Maybe we'll run into each other again some time" honest. Don't say "I'll call you" when you won't.
The Kiss - The dater of either sex can feel free to take the lead on this one. But beware... if you haven't received any kind of signal or vibe that they're interested in a kiss, a kiss on the cheek is a good start. However, if they lost a shoe in their hurry to get out of the cab and up their stairs, you can pretty much assume they're not coming back down for a goodnight smooch.
Remember, your first date should be an opportunity to get to know one another and decide if there is a relationship there worth pursuing. Don't put so much significance on the first date that it causes you ulcers just to think about it! Just be yourself and if they are a good match for you, there will be another date on the horizon.
About the Author
Lee Blackspur is the owner of My-Dating-Advice.com which provides online and offline dating tips, advice and articles for men, women and teens of all ages and experience.