Ah, the first date; a situation with the ability to enthrall us with enchantment, paralyze us with anxiety, or torture us with boredom. No matter how many of them we’ve been on, those initial butterflies don’t seem to let up, and for many, they’re out of our control.
But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It just goes to show what a melting pot of chemical reactions a first date can be. Whether we end up happy or disappointed, the prospect of a first date with someone we’re genuinely interested in can be a big deal – and that’s why a lot of us get so nervous.
These are tips for both men and women who want some advice on how to make the first date go more smoothly. While some of these tips may not apply to your personality type, they can at least be thought of as ideas to help you shift your perspective and loosen up.
This is just as important for you as it is for your date: you don’t have to dress in a tuxedo or a ballroom gown, but wear something nice that makes you feel comfortable and confident about yourself. When you start that first date you’re likely to criticize yourself for things you could have done better – why not take some preemptive measures to reduce that criticism? If you look nice, you’ll feel nice, and that can make a big difference.
Your date will see that you dressed sharp, which is a sign that you actually care about being there with them. It’s a subtlety, but it matters!
Asking people questions about themselves is an excellent way to spark up conversation. If you just sit there and stare at your phone or the menu or the sidewalk, that’s gonna be a bad sign to your date. You wanted to be there with them, so ask them about who they are, what they like, what they think!
I’ve already mentioned the next one, and in this day and age, it’s probably one of the most important tips I could give anyone.
Put your &#$@ing phone away
I’m serious! You didn’t go out on a date with this person so you could sit there texting your friends or browsing Instagram – and honestly, if that’s what you end up doing, then the date must not be going very well. Unless you’re using your phone to bring up a funny video on YouTube you told them about, or a song you like, just make the effort and keep the phone in your pocket. Nothing says “I’m very interested in getting to know you and I like being around you” better than forgetting that you even have your phone while you talk to them.
This might seem a bit extreme to you, but just like dressing nice, it’s a subtlety that your date will notice and appreciate.
Easy on the booze
I get it, you like drinking, and it makes you mellow out and feel more confident. But think about how it will look to your date if you breeze through 8 beers during dinner and are noticeably buzzed. Unless your date is meeting you halfway and you’re slamming shots while arm wrestling each other, just take it easy, you know? If you hit it off with them, you’ll have plenty of time to get hammered once you’re more comfortable with each other. You don’t want to raise any red flags right off the bat.
If you’re really that nervous that you have to drink in order to stay calm, you might want to think about exercising more often, or drinking a lot of soothing tea, like chamomile. Figure out what will make you chill out throughout your day and do those things before you go on the date.
This is the most important tip I can give you. You need to test the water and see if you can really be yourself around this person, right? There’s no better way to do that than to just be you. And I’m sure you’re sick and tired of hearing the “be yourself” catchphrase, but there’s a reason why people say it. The more “yourself” you can be around your date, the more you know that you could actually get to like this person and spend more time with them.
If there’s a moment of awkward silence, or you can see that your date is nervous too, talk about it! Make it into a joke that you can both laugh at. Do everything you can to break the ice and get the conversation off to a smooth start. The more honest you are, the more honest they’ll be, and the easier it will be for both of you to truly get to know each other.
First dates can be magical things – treat them with respect and you’re likely to get some good results!