For many people, having someone agree to go out on a date with them is only the first step of a very long and challenging process. What should you to do have a fun and enjoyable first date? How do you behave to not turn your date off? Are there questions that you should not ask or matters that you should not bring up? What should you wear? Before you lose your mind, you should sit back and take a deep breath. Dating can be nerve-wracking, but it should not stress you out so much and make you crazy. Below are tips that can hopefully help calm your nerves and lead you to a successful first date:
Choosing the right location
The perfect location for a first date depends on how much you know about your date’s interests. If you know that they are foodies, you can take them to that new, top-rated restaurant found downtown. If they say in their dating profile that they like art, you can probably find an art exhibit event in your area and get tickets to that. If they mentioned in their messages to you that they are kids at heart and enjoy theme parks, then plan to spend an entire day at one. But, if you are clueless on what types of activities they like, you can just ask them straight out if they have any preferences or select a neutral location that will give you the opportunity to get to know each other. Try suggesting going to a coffee shop or a bar.
What to wear on your first date is dependent on what activities you are planning to do. If you are going to a fancy restaurant, it is time to take your nice suit out of the back of your closet. If you are going to a park, mall, bar, or coffee shop, wearing something casual will be more appropriate. If the two of you agree to go hiking or play sports, you should be ready to don a sporty outfit and wear strong and sturdy footwear, and pack a bag where you can put your water bottles and a change of clothes.
Starting an engaging conversation
Avoiding awkward moments with a first date is one of the most difficult challenges of dating. If you are a quiet or shy type, or have anxiety, opening your mouth to say something to break the silence may be one of the hardest things you have to do in your life. To fix that, you should take the time to think of questions that are good conversation starters. According to studies, there are certain questions that are safe to ask on a first date, and they can actually help you get to know your first date and get a better understanding of their personality. You can ask them what they think constitutes a perfect day, what their most treasured memories in life are, or which people they most want to have dinner with. Let your date answer first, and do not hesitate to share what your views are on the topics as well.
Sharing information about yourself
You should not try to spill everything about your life on your first date. Avoid taking up the majority of the conversation talking about your childhood, failed relationships, issues with your job, and so on. Do not treat your date like a therapist who is there to listen to your long list of life problems. Instead, you should focus on talking about positive events or highlights in your life. Talk about the best vacation you have ever had, the funniest moment in your life, or your pets. However, make sure that you let your date take the spotlight too, and allow them to ask questions about you or share their similar experiences. The conversations should not be only about you, but an equal opportunity for the two of you to learn about each other.
Knowing what topics are off-limits
There are two topics that are not really good for first date conversations — politics and religion. If you have strong opinions about a particular government policy or a politician that are different from your date’s, there is a tendency to get too emotional or fired up when presenting your arguments. The atmosphere will turn heavy and sour, and ruin the fun and enjoyment. If you are a non-believer and your date is, you or they might feel the need to defend your or their stance about gods and churches, and lead to a heated debate that should never happen on a first date in the first place. However, some people may be thankful that they are not going to waste more of their time and money on someone who has opposing political or religious beliefs because they found out on the first date right away.
Trying not to show off
Sometimes, talking about yourself can be seen by others as showing off or being conceited. If that is not your intention, you should be careful with how you word or phrase your stories. If you want to talk about a recent job promotion, do not keep mentioning how great you are, how you think your bosses think you are great, or how incompetent your colleagues are in comparison to you. Instead, you can briefly talk about your positive traits and also cite the help support you have received from others to get to where you are now.
If your date talks about their first ever backpacking trip in Europe last summer, do not feel like you should make your annual Europe trip seem much better than theirs. Do not bring up over and over how you have been to the Vatican 10 times more than them or how you think that staying at five-star hotels in London makes for a more memorable vacation than staying at cheap, backpacker hostels. Everyone has different life backgrounds, financial capacities, interests and preferences, and others, so there is no need to belittle their experiences and make them feel inadequate.