I’ve come to the conclusion that people fit into two categories: Either first dates excite them or first dates intimidate them.
Most people are in the latter.
Maybe it’s because you’re meeting someone off a dating app and perhaps you’re unsure of how the date will go. Or maybe it’s because you’ve had a lot of crappy dates up until now.
If that’s the case, then we need to talk. You see, first dates don’t have to suck. I know this is a bit of a wild idea, but they can actually be enjoyable.
The key is reshaping the way you think and handle first dates.
If you want to ensure that you never have a crappy first date again, then here are some ways to prepare for a fantastic first date:
Pick A Spot Or Activity You Love
Don’t feel like you have to default to “grabbing drinks” just because that’s what everyone does. If going to a dimly lit bar with awkward chairs makes your skin crawl, pick a different activity.
Suggest going to an exhibit opening or grabbing coffee at your favorite spot. Do something you would actually enjoy doing with your friends.
If your first dates involve doing something you loathe, it makes sense why you’re not enjoying them.
Do A Little Self-Care Before
In preparation for your date, do some self-care.
Apply a face mask, take a bath, or read a bit of your favorite book.
Do something that either feels indulgent or helps calm your nerves. You don’t want to rush to get ready for the date and walk out the door flustered. Your demeanor before the date will often carry over into the date.
Remind Yourself Of Your Value
The way your date goes does not determine your value. Repeat that until you believe it.
Often, people give too much value to the way their date treats them. But the person you’re seeing is not above you. They aren’t the holy one, determining people’s worth. Remind yourself before the date that you’re freakin’ rad, too, and no person can change that.
Lower Your Expectations
I can only speak for myself, but I used to go into first dates hoping the person would be “the one.” Now I realize that’s a whole lot of rubbish.
Dating isn’t solely about finding “the one.” It’s about learning what you do and don’t want in a partner. Expecting every date you’re going on to be something incredible potentially puts a lot of expectations on the person.
Instead, lower how you think the date will go. Then you’re able to see the person for who they are. While they might not be a perfect match, there’s still room for it to be fun.
Have Fun Regardless
As stated above: Your date might turn out to have different values than you or be someone you’re just not that attracted to.
In that case, you have two options: secretly sulk inside or just enjoy the date anyways.
Unless you’re going to fake an emergency call from your “sick aunt,” you’re already on the date. Your mindset is going to determine whether the next hour completely sucks or is enjoyable.
If you want to have a fantastic first date, safety is of the utmost importance.
Make sure to always meet in a public place. Don’t let the person walk you to your car if it’s in a remote area. Never take a drink that you didn’t watch the bartender make. Always let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be done.
Because once you have the basics covered, you can genuinely enjoy the date for what it is.
I hate board games in which I have to lie. It stresses me out, and I can’t hold that composure for too long.
The same idea applies to dates. If you’re trying to act like someone you’re not, it’s going to be draining. You’ll be too focused on everything you do, you won’t be present for the actual date.
So relax. Be yourself. If your date is someone you need to “impress,” then they weren’t meant for you.
Tell Them if You’re Enjoying the Date
If the date is going well, let the person know. People get all caught up in trying to decipher someone’s feelings after the date.
“Did they have fun?”
“Why didn’t they order dessert?”
“Will they call?”
Instead, rid yourself of the worry by saying, “I’m having a lot of fun.” If your date did too, they’re going to let you know, and you won’t have to spend the entire night lying awake, wondering if you’ll ever see them again.
Just like anything, a first date is what you make of it. You can set it up to be fantastic or be a victim to whatever happens.
My advice: Start doing things differently to make first dates fun. That way, you’re willing to keep at the process until you find your last first date.