Online dating: 5 first date tips
So: it’s your first date with someone you’ve met online, and you’ve no idea how to approach it. Sound about right? Don’t panic, Attractive World has loads of tips to properly prepare you for your first outing!
However, before we begin, it’s important to emphasise that there’s no magic recipe. A large part of success in dating is respect for the codes of decency; gallantry, politeness and good manners are all key parts of the game. Below, we have listed a few first date tips to help you master the dating stage and set the odds in your favor for a brilliant evening.
Choose the right look
First of all, take a hint from West Side Story, and play it cool. Leave the ballgown on its hanger, and ditch the suit and tie. Instead, aim for an outfit that, while smart, will showcase you in a way you are comfortable with. Let’s not delude ourselves, the physical is the first thing we pay attention to. It is therefore essential to appear confident during a first date, and confidence grows from comfort. Go for a classic style: trendy, chic and casual.
For men: Think jeans, shirt, sweater, and decent shoes - the last one is particularly important. Single women have sharp eyes for detail, so avoid worn-out sneakers, overly gelled hair or dousing yourself in too much aftershave. It’s a nice quick way to fling any chance of attraction right out of the window.
For women: Ladies, be sure not to abuse the makeup or foundation, and opt for natural tones rather than a makeup bonanza. Men will prefer it, and you will feel more comfortable by being more natural. Again, comfort = confidence!
Nobody wants to date an impersonation. Don’t try to be someone you’re not - after all, you want your date to like you for who you really are, not who they think you are. Faking it will lock you into a vicious circle that will not help to build a long-term relationship.
If you are rather shy, for example, don’t feel the need to try to be extroverted; instead simply assure yourself it’s a part of your charm. Laugh a lot but don’t like your laugh? Don’t be embarrassed - these kind of quirks are often what people find the most endearing about their partners. If you’re a little goofy, own it! Goof it up, and if your date is right for you, the sparks will fly. Why would you want to be with someone who doesn’t like what makes you unique, anyway?
To make someone want to be with you, you must first be happy with yourself. Stay natural and spontaneous; a person who feels good in their own skin will always radiate charisma.
Read More: Is there such a thing as 'the one'? How to Find Your Soulmate
Relax your expectations
One of the most important first date tips is to try to keep your expectations light. It doesn't have to be love at first sight, and it's not necessary to act out your favourite rom-com - this is simply a time for the two of you to get to know each other. It's important to remember this, otherwise you may build up such an idealised image of your date that it can only end in disappointment when the reality doesn't match your dream scenario.
Remember, this is a first date for both of you. At this level at least, you have everything in common. If the person has agreed to see you, it is because they are interested in spending time with you. That should be a confidence boost in itself! This isn’t speed dating, so you have plenty of time to charm them in your unique way.
This may sound cliché or old-fashioned, but manners do indeed maketh the (wo)man. Showing respect to the person you meet with is the bare minimum. Everything else about the date might be up to chance, but basic manners are something everyone should adhere to.
First, be punctual. Good luck pulling it back that first impression when you arrive 45 minutes late mumbling vague stories of train delays and Google maps errors.
Second, be sober. Of all the first date tips listed here, this may be the one that can make or break your evening. It may be tempting to guzzle a couple before the date for confidence, but beer doesn’t make a great aftershave, and slurred words never charmed anyone. Watch your intake during the date too - match each other drink for drink, to be safe. That way, if you do get drunk, at least you’ll be drunk together!
Read More: Maybe he's just not that into you? 7 Signs He Loves You
Ask the right questions
Your goal is to learn more about the person in front of you, so start with general questions about their work, passions and hobbies. Spice up topics with snappy anecdotes to make them feel at ease. Never leave a silence by initiating discussions on things like cinema, gastronomy, books, current events, television - whatever gets your motor running, share it.
Avoid overly personal questions, it helps to make the suspense last a little longer. If you feel you know everything about the person from the first date, the second may be rather stifling. Similarly, do not reveal all of yourself, let him or her discover you gradually. Tease them by dropping in wry statements like "I'll tell you this story another time". Less is more.
It’s worth bearing in mind that you don’t always have to agree! Having the same interests is great, but contrasting opinions can make for a far more interesting conversation. If you are on the same wavelength, perfect. However, if not, don’t feel that you need to say ‘yes’ to please your date. If you feel that the topic is tricky, it’s perfectly acceptable to state that you don’t necessarily agree, and end with a touch of humor to change the subject.
Moving from the virtual to the real can be a daunting transition. If you’re a jumble of doubts and apprehensions, try to focus on the exciting side of the date: the first meeting, the first conversation, the first shared laugh, and more. The occasion will be new and nerve wracking for both of you, so remind yourself that you are equals in this situation, all you are on the date to do is make friends, have fun together, and discover your shared affinities.
Ultimately, no matter how many first date tips you read, simply remember that nobody can predict the result, so why worry about it? Be yourself, relax, and above all, have fun!
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