First dates bring anxiety with them. It’s common to wonder what you should to do for a first date, how to act, if the person will like you, or how far you should go. For a first date you need two things: a plan and guidelines.
Ideas for First Dates
A Favorite Restaurant
Going to your or your date’s favorite restaurant will bring out both of your personalities. You get to find out about picky eating habits, favorite foods, and even food allergies. Food itself is a great conversation piece and you’re sure to have some good conversation inspired by your menu.
Fairs, art shows, or cultural events are a good way to go, because it’s a relaxed environment that can create a lot of different conversations. Many different types of foods, goods, and people make up a public event and you can watch your date interact with these things to get a feel of their personality.
Forget going to the movies. Movies as dates are generic and should be an addition to a date, not the basis of one. In going to a comedy act or a play you can have a more involved conversation than just a plain old movie.
Typical, yes. Boring, no. Put in a little effort by avoiding a chain coffee shop and instead finding a local one. What makes a coffee shop an appealing date is that it is easy to have a conversation and focus completely on your date.
The beach has a lot of components that make up a good first date: it’s public yet intimate, there are a variety of things to check out, and the scenery is great. Beach cities also have a lot of art festivals and shows that are worth looking into.
Places to Avoid
Loud concerts or clubs: You can’t talk, you can’t connect, so what’s the point? Also, your date is going to be nervous, so don’t expect them to start head-banging on a first date either.
Family Get-togethers: This involves way too much pressure and is very uncomfortable for both parties. You want to have an environment that has very little pressure and doesn’t intimidate either one of you. Plus, your family is bound to tell embarrassing stories, so you might as well just avoid that scenario.
Extreme Sports: Seeing a football game is one thing, but going black water rafting is another. While extreme sports are good dates, as a first date they’re a bad idea because they’re not only intense and intimidating, but they are usually expensive.
Volunteer Work: This isn’t really a date. You’ll be so busy helping others that you won’t have time to connect with your date. Volunteer work is commendable, but not a great first date.
Anything Alcohol Centered: Nobody is intelligent or attractive drunk. A glass of wine with dinner is okay, a beerfest is not.
Rules of a First Date
Don’t Try Too Hard
Trying too hard turns you into something you are not. While you may want to flaunt your great skills and your intelligence, it could end up scaring your date away. Chances are, if they said yes to go out with you then they are quite aware of your intelligence level and skills. The success of first date isn’t how impressive someone is, but how it feels to be around them. So be relaxed and be you.
Don’t Over Analyze
If you’re sitting across the table taking mental notes on your date’s personality quirks and wondering if they’ll be a suitable partner for life, tell your mind to slow down. People get nervous on first dates, resulting in saying and doing a few dumb things. If your date is a little absent-minded or clumsy, don’t hold it against them. However, if you feel there is a definite red flag– such as being too pushy physically or having a bad temper– then don’t bother going out with this person again. Never ignore a red flag, but don’t over-dramatize useless things either.
No one needs to know the name of all your pets from when you were three years old until now. Talking too much about yourself is a turn off and leaves little to be desired. Ask your date questions about themselves and listen to their answers. When they ask you a question, keep answers short but informative. Don’t give a life story, but don’t be anti-social either. Keep the conversation balanced and you’ll be fine.
Don’t Go in For the Kiss
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve known each other, a first date is about spending time together without the pressures of physical intimacy. It’s relaxed conversation with someone you’re interested in. Physical “passes” on a first date show a lack of self-control, lack of respect for the other person, and possible ulterior motives. So stick to compliments and conversation.
Keep It Short
Anything less than a half hour for a date is tacky, but a first date that lasts seven hours is a ridiculous idea. Meet your date in the evening or before other plans. (Having alternate plans you have to attend to is also a good way to get out of a bad date!) A short date keeps your date wanting more.
Remember that a first date is supposed to be fun and relaxed. Take the time to get to know your date on a friendly level, and leave intimacy for a committed relationship. This will make a date far less nerve-wrecking a lot more enjoyable.