- Gender and Relationships
Are you nervous about your first date? Here's how to make it go as well as possible.
Just jumping into the dating game? Here's how to ensure that your first date is not also your last.
You've taken the first step and set up a time and place for your first date. You're really into this person, and you would love it if they asked to see you again once the evening is over. It's been a while since you were last on a date, and you're feeling a bit nervous, not wanting to chase this person away. How do you go about calming your nerves just enough to make yourself look as confident and as appealing as possible?
Chances are, you're probably sweating over all of the tiny details, from what you're wearing, to how your breath smells, to what you might talk about as you mull over the dinner menu with your date. My first piece of advice: RELAX. You shouldn't be preparing yourself for a marriage proposal. The first date should always be fun, open, and casual.
As far as meeting places are concerned, I suggest that you pick a location where you can either engage in an upbeat, fun activity, or a place where you can sit down and talk (or both, if you wish). Whenever I've gone on a first date, I have always met the person (that's right, met them somewhere-- they never pick me up or vise-versa) at a batting cage, book store, video arcade, coffee house, or a sit-down restaurant. In other words, a public place (both for safety's sake, as well as maintaining a relaxed atmosphere).
Few things are worse than a long, awkward silence in the middle of a date. Being a good conversationalist is a great skill to have in all aspects of life. But please make sure that you're not spending all of your time talking about yourself. The first date is intended as a get-to-know-you night, so the conversation should be as balanced as possible.
Asking general questions about family, jobs, hobbies/interests, music, movies, etc. is perfectly acceptable. But avoid heavy topics, such as dwelling on how your cat died last night, your overbearing mother, or how much you hate your boss. Also, try to avoid debates over politics, religion, abortion, etc (these should be reserved for the second or third date, when you're more familiar with each other). Keep the mood light-hearted and upbeat, and show that you are interested in what your date has to say.
If you do encounter an awkward silence, don't panic; here's a trick to keep the conversation going: take something you've already learned about your date and ask more questions about it (such as their job, hobbies, or where they are originally from).
Quick tip: avoid talking about your exes, and do not compare them to your date. This will usually leave them feeling very uncomfortable and out-of-place.
When the night comes to an end, you and your date are standing outside of the restaurant, about to go your separate ways. The date went very well, and you are hoping to see the person again. It's 11:30 PM, and he or she asks you if you would like to go back to their place for drinks. What do you do?
Since this is the first time you've been out with this person, my recommendation would be that you say one of the following:
Choice 1: "Thank you for the offer, but I really should get going. But would you like to get together for dinner again this week?"
Choice 2: "That sounds like fun, but can I take a raincheck/ could we postpone and go out again next week?"
If the date did not go well and you just want to call it a night, there's no need to give a long explanation as to why you don't want to go out again. Instead, I would recommend one of the following lines to help you make a quick exit:
Choice 1: "That's so nice of you to offer, but I don't really feel that kind of chemistry with you. We can get together again as friends if you'd like, though."
Choice 2 (if you really had a terrible night): "Honestly, I'm not really very interested. I think I'm just going to head home for the night, but thank you anyway."
Should the invitation present itself, I know that many of you will be very tempted to go back to your date's apartment/ house for some additional fun. However, I would not recommend doing this because-- once again-- this is only the first date. You have only just met this person, and you should be concentrating on establishing the image that you want them to hold of you.
To avoid any complications and to keep yourself safe, just go home. If the night went well, go ahead and call the person within the next day or two and plan a second date. But don't make it too easy for them to access your intimate side. Refusing an invitation back to their apartment will likely establish a sense of mutual respect, which will give you a few extra points. Just be sure to make it known that you would like to see this person again before you leave.