How to Have a Perfect First Date

perfect first date

The purpose of a first date is to schmooze  and enjoy and see if there’s enough interest  to continue on a second date. ~ Anonymous (Tweet this)

We have all been there. Going on a first date can cause a lot of emotions in us.The first date is just an ice breaker. We tend to feel anxious, excited, confident, maybe not-so-confident – basically everything all at once. There are plenty of things we can do to make sure we have a perfect first date. So breathe deep and remember the following first date tips for women and men and treat yourself to a very special day.

Tips to set the stage up for a perfect first date

Here are some simple tips which can help you enjoy your time with your special someone and make a great first impression.

1. Act like yourself

It is really common to want to withdraw when you are spending time with someone new, especially romantically. There is a tendency in most human beings to want to “play it cool” and not be completely honest. Though there is no need to share all of yourself on a first date, it is important to be true to yourself on this date.

If you start out a relationship as someone other than yourself, you are letting someone get to know “a you” – that does not actually exist. Take it easy, be yourself, and if you two do not hit it off, do not blame yourself. Everyone is not for everyone.

2. Do not over share

Though I just said that it is important to share yourself, it is also important to not divulge too much. I am not suggesting anyone plays up “mysterious” just for fun, but rather hold back on every detail of your life. Really intense family history, relationship issues, that time you were fired for a scandalous reason? Those things can maybe wait until you two know each other better.

Focus on the normal stuff that comes up casually. Work, school, siblings, your favorite restaurant, the last movie you saw—those conversation pieces are the things that most people feel comfortable discussing with people they are not familiar with yet.

3. Ask lots of questions…

…but not too many questions.

I know this can be a really fine balance, but it is not difficult to strike. Have you ever been on a first date with someone who only talked about him or herself? Do not be that person.

And on the flipside, try not to be the person who just asks questions and is not sharing anything about yourself. There really is an easy way to do it. Though it may feel scripted, it is okay to answer a question and then say, “And what about yourself?” It may seem corny or insincere, but if you have no other way of reciprocating (some people have a hard time asking questions—it’s okay!), this will be the best and easiest choice.

4. Try not to let nerves overwhelm you

As aforementioned, we all get nervous before a first date—or at least 99% of us do. If you are feeling extremely nervous before your date, take a few deep breaths, have a glass of wine, and just relax. Take your time getting ready and try to talk yourself down before you meet up with your date. Even if you are incredibly nervous in the beginning still, by the time you sit down and are chatting, everything should begin to calm. Don’t forget to breathe.

5. Do not overdress

Similar to “being yourself,” if you overdress for a date, you are not helping the nervousness factor. Decide how to dress depending on where you are going to dinner, or what movie theater you are going to. There is no reason to wear your best pair of heels, or your Sunday finest just to make it a perfect first date. Dress like yourself, in what you feel comfortable and good in, and take that confidence with you. Let your date get to know you on a sincere, truly you level, and the rest will be history.

6. Do not go too far

At the risk of sounding too old-fashioned, it is important to make sure you and your date respect one another before taking it to any next step. Getting to know each other on a conversational level is the best way to lead into a potential relationship one day. There is always time for the next level in the future.

7. Tread carefully around certain subjects

Though these days, it is easier and maybe even more socially acceptable to discuss politics and religion in an open forum, it is not the best conversation for a first date. Even if you are extremely dedicated to your views, try to stay away from having any kind of controversial conversation on your very first date with someone. You never know what someone’s background is, or what their family thinks, or what kind of life experiences they have had. Keep things lighthearted unless the subject comes up. If it does, be respectful and cautious.

8. Do not discuss finances

Similar to politics and religion, discussing personal finances can be a Perfect First Date Killer. If you have a job that pays you very well, or maybe a job that does not pay you well at all, neither is the kind of conversation you should be having with a new person in your life. Save the money talk for way, way into the future.

9. Don’t talk about your Ex!

It is a common punch line in romantic comedies at this point, but no one wants to talk about their “ex” on a date with someone new. If it comes up in casual conversation, it is okay to briefly discuss the statistics (how long you were together, etc.), but stay away from everything else. Saying negative things about your ex or praising his or her are both unattractive to someone new. That conversation can be had when it needs to be had.

10. Try not to count on a second date

Though confidence is always key in life, it is important to not entirely bank on your next date with this person. By the end of the first date, if you both wish to see one another again, absolutely plan the next date. However, if it comes up before the end, it could come across as presumptuous and unattractive.

Yes, going on a first date does not always have to go wrong. You are worth a perfect first date too! Be cool, and if a second date comes later, give yourself a high-five.


About the Author

Jessica Tholmer has a degree in English Literature. Jessica is a full-time writer for a small company, but she writes for multiple other forums. Jessica writes about love, life, and everything in between for HelloGiggles, though her work has been featured on Nerve, The Gaggle, The Conversation, and The Siren as well.

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