First date? How exciting! Whether you meet someone in a traditional way or online, it’s useful to know what you should do on a first date to find the relationship you’re looking for. Yes, I assume you not only want to have fun on a date but also find someone with whom you can build a serious relationship.
1. Before you get on the date
Yes, this one is actually before you go on that first date. Once you agreed to go on a date with that person, set the time/date. What I strongly recommend you do leading up to that special day is find a way to ‘communicate.’ If you meet him/her in person, maybe you already have his/her phone number. Guys, call her up. Get to know her more. I’m sure she appreciates it. If you meet that person online, you might not want to share your phone number just yet. That’s okay. You can chat more via the messaging feature on that dating site. That’s the best way to get to know each other more. I personally found that I felt more at ease and had more fun if I somehow communicated with a guy before meeting him in person. It’s like preparing each day for a test. If I didn’t communicate at all with a guy, it usually fell flat and I didn’t feel that comfortable on the first date. It’s like cramping all studies in one night for the test the next day. Needless to say, it didn’t go well.
Not only this gives you both opportunity to get to know each other more, it also gives you a sense that he/she is serious about seeing you or not. Trust me, you can tell. I even found myself canceling the date with a guy after chatting with him (online) for a few days before we met on that scheduled first date. I trusted my gut feeling and I think I saved myself time.
And finally, that first date comes. Here is what I recommend you do:
2. Dress up…appropriately
A guy or gal, you should dress up at least a bit. It depends on where you decide to meet, dress accordingly. Even if it’s casual, make sure your shirt is wrinkle-free, comb your hair, and make sure you smell nice. Nice, but not overwhelmingly so! Just a whiff of great scent takes you a long way, trust me. It shows that you respect your date to show up with your best self. Do not underestimate the importance of a first impression.
3. Be on time
Unless there is a terrorist in your town and a bomb goes off, you have no excuse to be late, especially on a first date. Plan your commute, traffic, parking time, etc. It’s always better to be early. Getting there ahead of time gives you the opportunity to calm down your nerves and look more relaxed.
4. For guys: show chivalry is not dead
This is an opportunity for you to shine. Open the door for her, pull out a chair for her, take her coat, etc. And girls, let him do it! I know most of you are independent and strong enough to do those things yourself but LET HIM DO IT. It sounds easy but it still needs adjustment. I myself still have to remind myself to let him do it. After doing everything myself all my life, I am not used to being taken care of. But these small gestures are so sweet. It makes courting fun.
5. Easy on your drinks
I don’t drink, so it’s not a problem for me. But I’m sure most of you do. Limit your drinks to two, that’s it. Girls, even if you plan to split the check, always assume that a guy will pay. So, be mindful of the size of the bill.
6. Order what you want to eat, not what you ‘should’ eat
Girls, if you want a burger, why not? I asked a lot of guy friends and they unanimously say a girl is more attractive if she orders something else besides a salad! So go for it! But, like I mentioned about drinks, be mindful of what you order. Make sure it’s not the most expensive item on the menu. Remember, a guy will most likely pay, so don’t act like you’re on a date with him for an expensive meal. And don’t be too picky about your order. This is not a night when you order “No mayo, no bacon, easy on the dressing, please,” when you order a BLT sandwich. You want to appear hard to get but easy to please. High-maintenance is always a turn-off.
And don’t pick on the other person’s food unless you get approval to do so. One time, I went on a first date with this guy. Somehow he felt so comfortable that he started picking on my food too. We weren’t even feeling that much of chemistry. So, no, he didn’t get a second date.
7. Start a conversation on something light and fun and keep eye contact
Hopefully, by this first date, you know more about each other to have a good conversation. Maybe ask him/her more about that hobby s/he does. Be flirty but attentive. Make sure you keep eye contact and pay attention to what s/he is saying. Keep the conversation going. But if somehow you feel like you are uncomfortable with silence, don’t force a conversation to come out. It probably means you guys are not clicking as you expected you would. And that’s ok.
8. Always order dessert
Unless you feel uncomfortable with how the date is going at this point, always order dessert. Trust me. It’s like an icebreaker. Another idea is to leave that restaurant and go get dessert somewhere else. It gives you guys a break from sitting down in that post for so long. Walking side by side after getting to know each other a bit more also makes the date less stressful.
9. When it comes to a check, a guy always pays
Sorry, guys…but you should pay on a first date. I don’t care what anyone says or what you’ve read anywhere. A gentleman always pays on a first date, always. And girls, always offer to split the bill. It’s a great gesture to let him know that you’re not on a date with him for a free meal. I always offer to split the bill or at least pay for dessert later or put in a tip.
10. Ask for a second date if you want to
When it comes to a time to say goodbye for the night: guys, always be honest and ask her out on a second date if you want to. Don’t listen to the old myth about waiting three days because you don’t want to look too eager or whatever. Trust me, if you want to see her again, most likely she feels the same too. And she definitely wants you to make the move and say it. And even if she doesn’t, you know it then, instead of torturing and doubting yourself for another three days. Girls, if a guy doesn’t mention a second date, well, that’s ok. Maybe he’s too shy or nervous to think at that moment. Give each other a good hug and say goodbye. My rule is no kissing (on lips anyway) on a first date. It’s too fast.
11. Girls, always say “Thank you” for the lunch/dinner
Even if you are not interested in seeing him again, at least say, “Thank you for a dinner. It’s very nice meeting you.” And if you’re interested in seeing him again but he hasn’t asked, say something like, “Too bad that that ice cream store didn’t have your favorite flavor. I know exactly where it does. Maybe we can try it next time?” A guy with common sense will pick that up and will ask you for it if he’s interested. If he doesn’t, oh well, he’s not meant to be and you know sooner than later.
I hope you get the second date. But finding someone who reciprocates the same feelings you do is not easy. So, don’t beat yourself up if he/she doesn’t feel the same way. Just take it as a good experience and you’re one date closer to find the one who is meant to be for you.