First dates became a regular habit when I first started online dating. I would feel nervous, excited, scared, and anxious all at the same time. It made dating a lot to handle at times. However, after awhile, I started to figure out my own formula to combat the stress, while also ensuring that the date fulfilled it’s purpose. So, for all of you ladies preparing for a first date, here’s a few tips that have helped me in the past:
1. Pick the Place
You automatically put yourself in control of the situation by choosing the first date location. Aside from the perk of being able to pick a place that will make you feel comfortable, you’ll also look like a confident person that is capable of making decisions.
Make sure you choose a place that facilitates your motives. For instance, if you want to get to know someone better and aren’t the type of person to hook up on the first date, a movie night in your basement might not be the best environment.
Choose a pubic setting with a limited timeframe. Even though it’s great to have a positive attitude, keep in mind that the date could still go bad. Feeling trapped in an uncomfortable situation can be hard to bear, but knowing you much easier to bear when you know it won’t last too long and have the safety net
Personally, I almost always choose a coffee house for my first date spot. I’ve found that coffee houses allow ease of conversation, are generally low-key, and fit into a flexible timeframe range. Plus, a coffee house isn’t an overly expensive date, which brings me to my next point…
2. Go “Halfsies”
This may be a slightly controversial idea to pinpoint, but I believe that it’s important to note. Please understand that I do not feel that this is something that should always happen. In fact, I love it when guys pay! However, this is just a first date. More than likely, this is the first time you two have ever met. If this date doesn’t go well, you may never see each other again. Why is it fair that only he has to pay for it?
Paying is often the most awkward part of the date. Is he going to pay? Is she going to pay? Are we going to split it? Gah! It’s just a mess. Whichever route you decide to go, make sure you know ahead of time to avoid confusion.
Generally, guys will feel inclined to pick up the bill. If that’s what you would like him to do, make sure to give some nonverbal cues. Little things like subtly avoiding eye contact with the check or leaving longer pauses between conversation may be enough for him to take a hint. However, if you would like to pay for your half or even the full amount, make sure to speak up right away.
Usually, I like to get to dates a little early. In the case of the coffee house scenario, I would purchase my own coffee right away. This alleviates some of the pressure from the guy and allows me to get acquainted with my surroundings. This way, I am cool and collected when he arrives.
3. Wear Something that makes you Feel Confident
When I have a first date lined up, my mother always asks jokingly if I’m going to wear my first date outfit. Apparently, I’m notorious for this repeat offense, but if it works it works! Confidence is your best accessory. Sometimes all it takes is the right top or perfect jeans to make you feel on top of the world. Take advantage of this opportunity! It might just be the easiest part to execute.
4. Come Mentally Prepared
I always think of a few topics I’d like to discuss before going into the date. This tactic is especially good to use if you aren’t great at thinking of conversation pieces on the spot. Plus, you have more time to put thought into these ideas beforehand.
Relax, he’s just another person just like you. He might be just as anxious and nervous to meet you as well. Remembering that you both have this common ground to stand on might help to calm your nerves.
5. Be Honest and True to Yourself
Why would you want to be anything else? Be respectful of one another’s time by not wasting it. Be straight forward about your intentions and always tell the truth. In my opinion, this should really be a no-brainer!
If you know this isn’t the guy for you after the first date, tell him. It’s better to end something before it begins than to wait around for it to end in disaster. Think of all the other opportunities that you could miss. Life is too short!