Going on a first date is always nerve wracking, no matter how many times you’ve done it — and this is doubly true for blind dates and those you’ve met online. Meeting someone for the first time can be a lot of pressure, but it can help to keep a few of these things on our list in mind. To calm your nerves before a first date, take look at our first date guide for queers and lesbians.
1. Be realistic
A date is not a precursor to a life-long commitment. Rather, it’s an opportunity to get to know someone a little better and see if there is any compatibility there. You may already have a strong lust for the other person, but you want to use the date to explore possible shared interests,hobbies, and values. If you feel things are clicking, great, but if you don’t get a good vibe, that’s OK too. It doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you (or her).
2. Don’t overshare
Refrain from talking too much about your past experiences and focusing the conversation on your previous relationships. It’s okay to lay out what you’re looking for in a relationship, just be direct about it, rather than telling a sob story about your last partner’s shortcomings.
3. Do most of your talking on the actual date
If you met online or through a dating app, once you’ve agreed that you’d like to meet, try to keep the conversation centered on the where and when.
How many times have you heard about or experienced an in-person date that was a huge dud because the other person “wasn’t at all what she seemed like online.” Being present will keep you from jumping to conclusions or having unrealistic expectations.
While on the date, put your cell phone away. It can be easy to get distracted by texts or social media, especially if you’re nervous and looking for something to do with your hands. But if your date thinks that you’re more into your screen than her, what do you think the odds of a second date will be?
4. Put some real thought into the date itself
A first date is not the time to shoot the moon in terms of time and money, but you should pick a place that you both like and feel comfortable, and that enables you to exit comfortably without causing a scene if things aren’t going well.
Also, be prepared to have something interesting to talk about, don’t forget to ask her about herself. When she answers, ask follow-up questions that indicate you’ve actually been listening. If you already know something about her interests, try to read up a bit about it beforehand so when the topic comes up you can navigate the conversation. Even if it’s something that doesn’t exactly stir your passions, it never hurts to learn something new.
5. Be thoughtful
This is a tricky one. Going over the top in terms of money spent can be construed as trying too hard or showing off. Going too low-end can sour things before they even have a chance to get started. Let’s face it, most of us aren’t made of money. Plus, you may be between jobs or recently had to foot the bill for an expensive home repair and are not in position for a big splurge. Thoughtfulness and creativity will impress most people more than just waving your platinum card around. A picnic in the park with a nice bottle of wine can be much more romantic than bumping elbows with all the other socialites at the latest “in” eatery.
6. Keep it real
Don’t think that you need to put on a show. After all, if things progress, the real you is going to be revealed eventually. So, dress how you normally dress, act how you normally act, and care about things you normally care about. Don’t pretend to be into something that you really have zero interest in. And while it’s OK to put forward the best version of yourself, it still has to be the real you – otherwise what’s the point? Remember, the reason to go out on a date is to get to know someone better; just be honest with your date and yourself.
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