There’s no denying that dating is daunting and that’s particularly true of first dates but if you’re looking for a relationship, then dating is almost unavoidable and most of us will find ourselves on a date at some point in our lives. If you’re worried that your nerves might get the better of you, here are our best tips for a smooth first date.
Common First Date Fears
Where should you meet? What will you wear? Will you have anything to talk about? These are all common worries when planning a date. It’s important to remember that the person you’re meeting will probably also be feeling this way too!
You may be worried that they won’t find you attractive but while you may be hyper-focused on your perceived ‘flaws’, they’ll be meeting you for the first time and are unlikely to notice the things you dislike most about yourself. On the other hand, you may worry about what you’ll do if you don’t find them attractive. If that’s the case, remember that this is only a date, not a contract! Even if sparks don’t fly the moment you lock eyes, you may still enjoy their company for an hour or two and although it’s a popular trope in romance films and novels, love at first sight is actually pretty rare and doesn’t necessarily indicate long-term success in a relationship.
Another thing people often worry about is coming across as awkward, perhaps by stumbling over their words, saying the wrong thing, spilling their drink or getting food in their teeth. Some of these can be combatted by trying to ease your nerves before the date so you’re less on edge but at the end of the day, we’re all human and if someone likes you less with coffee down your dress or lettuce stuck in your teeth then they’re probably not the one for you anyway!
How to Have a Smooth First Date
The good news is that there are a few simple things you can do to help your first date go a little smoother.
Wear something that makes you feel good, rather than aiming to please the other person or second-guessing what they might find attractive. If you feel good in what you’re wearing then you’ll exude confidence. So whether that’s a brand new dress or your favourite jeans and a nice top, you do you. Wearing something sexy under your clothes, like matching lingerie can also give your confidence a boost, even if the other person never knows about it!
Check your posture
Your body language can say a lot about you even before you’ve had the chance to open your mouth and speak! Make sure you stand or sit up straight with your shoulders back and head up. This will make you look confident and interested, versus sitting slouched with your eyes down or gaze averted.
It’s great to be chatty and let your date get to know you but don’t just talk about yourself, make sure to ask questions too. Remember it’s not a job interview though so give them time to answer and let the conversation flow naturally, rather than peppering them with rapid-fire questions about their job, hobbies and family!
If you’re the nervous type, you could prepare some topics in advance in case you don’t know what else to talk about. This doesn’t have to be anything overly complicated, it could be something as simple as a popular film you’ve watched recently, something you read in the news or a recent trip you took or a hobby you’ve tried.
Don’t lie about anything! Even if it’s a tiny white lie that slips out when you’re nervous, it’s better to correct yourself and be 100% honest and truthful, particularly if you think that you’d be interested in seeing the person again in the future. You don’t want to trip yourself up by fibbing now and getting caught out later.
Make sure you follow up with your date afterwards. Even if it wasn’t the best and you don’t see a future date on the cards, it’s kinder to say so than to leave them hanging. Ghosting may be all-too-common in the modern dating world but it’s also bad manners. Likewise, if you had a great time and would like to meet up again, don’t be shy about saying so!