This post was updated on Mar 31, 2020
So you’re looking for first date tips. Are you ready to get back into dating? Maybe it’s been a while since you have dated. Or perhaps you haven’t had good experiences.
If so, we recommend you doing our Dating with a Purpose module with an Advocate at PIVOT! As a teaser, here are a few general first date tips to survive and enjoy your first date.
1. Location, location, location
Plan the first date to include a short meet and greet. You do not want to box yourself into an evening with someone that you do not know or trust yet.
It’s important to feel comfortable being YOU on your first date. You are not there to be who you think they need you to be – represent yourself.
2. Remember your date is a date — not your therapist
The goal of a first date is to have a good time, connect and keep the conversation flowing so you can learn about each other.
Save talking about your problems or flaws until you know they are interested in getting to know you more.
This also means that you don’t want to be a completely open book. If you do, then what is there to look forward to for the next date?
3. Don’t talk about yourself the whole time
This follows from the tip above – you may talk because you’re nervous, but make sure you ask questions and get to know your date.
Of course, you want to be open, but don’t monopolize the conversation.
4. Be yourself
The best first dates are the ones where you can be yourself. Relax and let your true authentic self shine through. This will give you confidence, which your date will see.
5. Really listen
Be a better listener and practice actively listening – without interrupting.
There’s nothing worse than someone who’s not paying attention. You’ll feel embarrassed asking a question your date answered five minutes ago.
6. Open body language
Make sure you have open body language – keep your arms relaxed, not folded; smile and make eye contact.
7. Keep an open mind
This tip is key… your perfect match doesn’t mean they will be perfectly compatible. Don’t make assumptions or discount your date if they work in a “boring” profession or have different hobbies than you.
They may surprise you. And you may discover things you have in common that are more important, such as values and goals.
8. Offer to pay
Be prepared and offer to pay – even if they asked you to meet with them. It shows courtesy and consideration. And it feels better for everyone, no matter who ends up paying.
9. Send positive signals if you are interested
One of the most difficult parts of a first date is trying to figure out if the other person is interested in you or not.
If you’re having a good time and you like your date, then send signals – flirt, smile, laugh, look into each other’s eyes, and the message will become clear.
Or, better yet, tell them that you are having a good time.
10. Don’t be wishy-washy
Don’t be a pushover. If your date tells you they want to hang out in a bar, but you don’t drink, then tell them.
This is the same advice for being decisive: If your date asks what you’d like to eat, don’t say “I don’t care, whatever is fine.”
11. Don’t be attached to your phone
Leave your phone in your bag, on silent, and be focused and attentive to what your date is saying.
There is nothing more rude than being glued to your phone… being distracted by every beep, sound and vibration. Or worse, answering a call.
12. Make sure you ask questions – the right ones
First dates are supposed to be a playful and fun way to get to know someone new.
One way to get to know them is to ask questions. This also helps in keeping the conversation flowing.
But you want to avoid questions relating to politics, religion, exes, and their income. Leave that until you know them well.
Topics you may want to ask questions about include:
- Pop culture
- Favorite music
- What do they do in their free time?
13. Don’t get drunk
No matter if you like a drink or two, for the first date, stay in control of what you say and do.
14. Don’t have sex on the first date
Make sure you maintain boundaries on your first date and don’t have sex straight away.
Give your date a chance to grow into a healthy relationship, rather than being a one-off sexual encounter.
15. Don’t talk about your ex on the first date
Talking about your ex on a first date can lead to lots of questions, doubts and assumptions. Leave your discussion about your ex for later.
Allow yourself time to discover if you have similar values, outlooks and interests.
16. Be safe and have fun!
In summary, believe in having a positive outcome for your date. Be open. Be yourself. And most of all, stay true to yourself and your expectations.
If you would like more first date tips and more importantly, advice on how to build a healthy relationship, then contact PIVOT. We’re here to help.