First date. These two little words spell anxious anticipation in some, thrilling hope in many, and downright vomit-inducing fear in others. A first date can be the beginning of a beautiful romance that lasts forever… or the embarrassing decent into the beginning of the end. We’ve complied a handy little checklist for you to make sure that any first date goes as smoothly, painlessly and fruitfully as possible.
- Did you agree on the plan (or lack thereof)? There are no rules when it comes to dating, it’s about what you both feel comfortable with. If you’re both planners, then plan every detail. If you’re a bit more relaxed about what your night should be like then talk about what you’ll do tentatively and then go with the flow. Or if you’re both free spirits then just meet up and play the whole night by ear. As long as you both agree, and no one is unpleasantly surprised, it’s all good.
- Do you look decent? You should look at least decent, but don’t go overboard. Think about where you’re going and what you’ll be doing before choosing your look. You don’t want to seem like you didn’t try at all, but you also don’t want to try too hard because that gives the impression that you’re desperate and needy. So definitely brush your teeth and probably your hair, but ladies, don’t paint on a new face, and gents, don’t drown in a bottle of cologne.
- Do you have a Plan B? In case the date goes horribly wrong, think of an escape. Any of the following tend to work: “I’ve got to get up early for a class/meeting”, “I’m really tired”, “It’s getting late”, “I have a curfew”, “something suddenly came up” etc. If you’re not driving then have a taxi number handy.
- Are you rested, relaxed and confident? It’s a good idea to be well-rested and not overly hungry. Also, if you’re really nervous, do something to relax your nerves… a bath, meditation, whatever works.
- Are you aware of phone étiquette? Give your date your undivided attention. Emergency phone calls are probably ok but staring into your phone more than at your date is not… unless you’re deliberately trying to get them to take the hint that you want this to be over. But even then that’s not very nice.
- Are you checking out other people? Again, undivided attention. The culprit isn’t only the phone, it might be another hottie across the room… and if that’s the case maybe your date isn’t the person for you after all, or you need to learn how to focus on one person at a time. At least be respectful and don’t ogle others during a date.
- Are you over-thinking everything? Enjoy your time and don’t over-analyze every move and word. You can judge later, but for now just take it all in with a positive mindset.
- Are you being yourself? Even if you really really really like this person and all you want in the world is for them to like you back, they should get to know who you really are not who you think they want you to be. That wouldn’t be fair to anyone and it’s fair to call it fraud.
- Are you a drinking too much? Sometimes you get nervous and it helps to have a drink. It’s ok to have one drink, or two, or as many as your tolerance can handle, but don’t get ridiculously, embarrassingly drunk. Nobody wants to be seen with that person (and nobody wants the morning-after memory of being that person). Plus, are you driving home? Be safe.
- How are you going to end this? Think about how you feel about the person and end the date in a way you feel comfortable. Check for signals of what the other person wants too. If you want a goodbye kiss (or more… we’re not judging) and you feel that it’s mutual, then go for it, but tread lightly. If your advances are met with a friendly hug or a repulsed push, it’s time to stop right there.
- Are you going to talk again? Unless your date was a complete train wreck and you fear you’ll break out in hives at the mention of his/her name, it’s usually a good idea to send some kind of acknowledgement of the date, preferably something along the lines of “thank you” or “I had fun”. Even if you’re not really interested in seeing the person again, it’s never a bad idea to keep that bridge standing, lest you might need it later. What you do is definitely up to you… whether you resort to a simple text, a long phone call, a request for another date or something different altogether, is yours to decide on.
- Are you going to see them again? Think on this and test the water for whether they feel the same. If the response is positive, you might be on to something beautiful. If you don’t get a second date, rinse and repeat with another fish in the sea!
We hope this handy little (or maybe not so little) checklist helps on your next first date, and if you’ve got other tips and tricks feel free to share them in the comments below. Happy Dating!