Tips for a First Date

The first date does not need to be nearly as difficult or awkward as most people make it out to be. The problem is that most people go about the first date all wrong. Contrary to popular belief, the purpose of the first date is not to impress the other person and secure a second date. The purpose of the first date is to have a casual conversation, get to know the other person and decide if you are interested in a second date.

1. First Date Ideas

First DateSometimes you and your partner will have somehow figured out a plan for the first date, but usually you will have to pick a place and then inform the other person. Your default play in this situation should be a date at one of the two following places:

  1. Ice cream shop
  2. Coffee shop

This is easy and non-threatening to the max. It doesn’t cost a lot and it completely avoids the awkward situations that come with fancy dinners and movies. A casual ice cream or coffee date is perfect for the first date because it allows conversation to flow in a relaxed atmosphere. This is the time for you to get to know each other and start bonding if there is a spark. Stuffy restaurants and dark movies are just too uncomfortable for first dates unless you already know each other well.

The non-threating part of this date means it’s easy to escape if the date isn’t going well. Coffee and ice cream are both short dates and can be ended with minimal time investment. If the date is going well, you can always extend it with drinks at a nice bar, a walk in the park or anything else that happens to be nearby.

Guys: One tip that works well is to offer to drive but also let your date know you are fine with meeting there. This takes a lot of pressure off the woman because now she knows she won’t be stuck with you in the car. If she elects to meet there, that makes your job that much easier.

2. The First Date Meet and Greet

You can dispel much of the awkwardness of the initial meet-and-greet by giving your date a quick hug and a simple compliment. A quick hug initiates physical contact and displays confidence while also showing that you’re not a pushy date. A quick compliment is not even necessary but if you go that route, pick something casual like “you like nice.” Don’t go over the top with anything creepy like “your eyes look so dreamy.”

3. What to Wear

Clothing is a pretty easy thing to get right. Pick something that looks nice but is still appropriate for the venue. If we are using the ice cream shop or coffee shop idea, you don’t have much pressure at all. Just wear nice clothing that accents you well.

You can wear jeans and dress shoes if you want, but don’t dress as if you’re going to the most exclusive nightclub in the city. Iron your shirt, make sure your jeans look nice and definitely remember to wear clean, new shoes (guys). Your shoes don’t have to be polished to a mirror, but they need to be in good condition.

4. First Date Conversation

Conversation can be awkward on the first date, but don’t stress over it too much. The more you stress, the worse it gets. Just have fun with the date and ask questions if you can’t think of anything to say. This is where practice comes in handy. The more first dates you go on, the easier it gets. If the conversation stalls and you experience a moment of silence, it’s not the end of the world.

Most people have problems finding things to talk about, but some people talk way too much. If you are a talker, you will need to make a conscious effort to let your date say things as well. Ask questions and then truly listen (with eye contact) when your date responds. The good thing about being a talker is that you probably won’t endure many awkward moments of silence.

5. Chivalry

This first date tip is for the guys. Chivalry is not dead: hold the door for your date and be a gentleman. Just make sure you don’t fall all over yourself when trying to be a gentleman. If you try too hard, you’ll end up looking goofy and desperate. Basic things like opening the door are plenty for you to show a little class. Take your time, smile and be confident.

6. Smile

Confident smiles will take you a long ways on the first date. Smile and show some teeth when you do it. Smile when you meet, smile when you say something funny and smile when you say thanks to the waitress who took your order. Oh and smile when you say good night.

7. Perfection is Over Rated

Be yourself on your first date. If there are little weird things about you, that’s fine. Everyone is a little odd at times. If you’re confident and smile a lot, you can get away with quite a few imperfections. Besides, who wants to look exactly like everyone else? Be proud of who you are and you’ll come across as a normal but confident person, which will actually set you apart from all the rest. At the same time, this will help you find someone who cares about you for who you truly are.

8. The First Date Kiss

The first date kiss is all on the guy. Here’s how you do it: when you are parting ways, tell her you had a nice time, give her a quick hug and then go for the kiss. Keep your hand lightly on her back, glance down at her lips and then move your head in for the kiss. If she meets you halfway, you are good to go. Make it a brief kiss unless she keeps it going.