Nowadays, a lot of people meet online. And while that’s perfectly fine and can very well lead to a successful relationship, it can mean that the first date might be a little awkward. You don’t want to give too much away, but you also want to pique your date’s interest enough to go for a second meetup. All in all, there is a lot to consider. And while you shouldn’t overthink it and end up behaving like a completely different person, there are certainly lots of pieces of advice that can help you make the first date truly count and win your date’s heart naturally. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for that first date in the right way!
Choosing the right place might not seem like rocket science, but it is crucial for a successful first date. Picking a meeting place where both of you will feel comfortable will allow you to focus on the things that matter and converse without annoying distractions. A cozy café may be a much better choice than an expensive restaurant if you’re not used to such places, for instance. Nevertheless, don’t panic even if this decision doesn’t end up being the best one. If things go well despite it all, it will give you both a memorable anecdote signifying the beginning of a lasting relationship.
Nothing makes a sloppier first impression right off the bat than being late to your date. Causing your date anxiety this way will set a negative tone for the entire date, so don’t make him feel uncomfortable by “being fashionably late.” Don’t worry: being early won’t make you look desperate. So, be sure to start getting ready earlier than you think you need to and be there on time!
It should go without saying that there are certain etiquette rules that you should stick to if you want to make a favourable first impression. Your table manners speak volumes about you so don’t act pretentious but do watch your actions. Another way in which your manners will be evident to your date is how you treat the people around you. How you interact with restaurant staff will give away your real character, so hopefully, that’s not something you will have issues with.
Just like the perfect date needs to be held at the right place, you might also want to give some thought to the food you will be having. First of all, if it’s undecided whether you will have something or just hang out at a coffee shop, you want to grab a few bites beforehand, just in case. Secondly, if you’re cooking the dinner yourself—a fantastic way to steal someone’s heart, it must be said—go for something simple and don’t overcomplicate it. Wine is an indispensable part of any dinner date, so be sure to choose the right variety for your meal. Ask a friend or consult a guide if you’re not very well-versed in the topic.
As for the interactions, you want to make sure that you give your date your full attention. Make eye contact and show genuine interest. Ask him questions instead of just letting him ask you. Ask about his hobbies and anything that will give you a common thread to follow along. You can even ask him interesting questions to make the atmosphere fun and playful. Be an active listener instead of just waiting for your turn to speak. Don’t pretend to agree with him if you don’t. At the same time, even if you’re curious, steer clear of asking too many questions and sounding inquisitive. You don’t have to learn everything about him on the first date—there will be plenty of other occasions to take it further if things go well anyway. Finally, refrain from checking your phone during the date. It sends the message that you’re not interested after all.
Did you know that the way you address someone can completely change the way they feel about you? If you want to establish a connection, be sure to address your date directly by his name. If you are reluctant to do so, it may come across as cold, and you don’t want to put distance between the two of you. At the same time, be sure to respect his preferences. Don’t call him by a nickname right away unless he says that’s what he’d prefer. Addressing him directly will immediately make you feel closer to each other.
A good sense of humour is one of the most attractive qualities people look for in a potential partner. So, if you possess this quality and people generally know you as a fun person to be around, don’t hold back. Making your date laugh will score you quite a few good points, and it will also break any kind of tension or awkwardness that there may be between you. Impress him with your wittiness, and he’ll look forward to the next date for sure.
You want your date’s jaw to drop as soon as you walk into the place. The perfect outfit is the first thing he will see, so nailing it is paramount, even if it’s your personality that you truly want to win him over with later on. You certainly don’t want to dress too casually as an elegant outfit is what will elevate your presence. However, overdressing can end up being quite uncomfortable, especially if the place you visit is a rather casual one. Go for something foolproof that will highlight your best assets and make you feel feminine and beautiful, like a floral dress. Don’t forget to consider the weather, though: if it’s freezing outside, don’t go for that miniskirt.
You want to bring your best self to this vital occasion. A neat and well-taken-care-of appearance, besides being attractive, will also send the right message about you as a person. Pamper your skin with nourishing creams and lotions, do your nails, shave or wax according to your personal preference, even if you don’t plan the date to go any further than a dinner—you can never know for sure! Grooming yourself will not only make you look good, but it will also make you feel good in your skin. Taking care of our bodies boosts our self-esteem and mood so we will be acting more confident. Finally, put on your signature perfume: scent is a powerful tool in leaving a lasting impression, and the right perfume makes you more desirable, too.
No one can deny that men are highly visual beings, so you must put your best face forward to pique their interest. While you don’t want to wear so much makeup that you’re hardly recognizable, trying out a few looks before the date is a good idea. You will want to draw attention either to your lips or your eyes. A classic red lip is sexy and elegant, but don’t feel obliged to go this route if you don’t usually wear such heavy makeup. Instead, you can focus on a natural look with a heightened emphasis on your eyes. Lookup a beauty salon like Lash Blossom and get a set of eyelash extensions for an alluring gaze. You won’t even have to worry about your mascara smudging this way.
If there is even the slightest possibility that you will bring your date back to your place after your dinner, nothing is more embarrassing than getting home to a dirty apartment. Even if you’re not a particularly disorganized person, the rush of getting ready can easily leave the space looking like an absolute mess, which will make your neat appearance seem fake, even if it’s not. So, try to keep this in mind as you’re getting ready, and don’t leave the entire contents of your lingerie drawer laying around. Additionally, you may want to give your bathroom a good cleaning. Both of you will feel more comfortable if you take these precautions.
Finally, it’s important that, throughout all these preparations, you don’t lose sight of who you are. Don’t try to change too much to impress your date with a phony personality. Don’t act cynical to seem cool, but don’t fake optimism if you don’t truly mean it either. Faking it may work this time, but it won’t work in the long term anyway. If you’re a little weird, don’t hide it. At the end of the day, your date might prefer your true personality in the first place. Being yourself will allow you to focus on the present instead of every little thing that might not matter, and you’ll be able to enjoy the date—and that is the most important thing.
It’s easy to feel stressed about the first date since it’s such a crucial moment in any relationship. It’s your only chance to make a great first impression, after all. While something minor shouldn’t stand in your way if the two of you click, it’s not always as easy as in the movies. Remember these tips, and the chances of success will be higher!
Alison Pearson is an interior design student. She is a writer and designer, and her ultimate passion is art and architecture. She is also a bibliophile and her favourite book is “The Sound and the Fury” by William Faulkner. Follow her on Twitter.