First Date Tips

Need some first date tips to help you get over the jitters? Dating can be nerve-racking, especially if you're out of practice. Relax, follow these simple guidelines and enjoy yourself. Dating is supposed to be fun, right?

Groom Well
Make sure you shower, dress up and invest time in your personal hygiene before any date. You'll want styled hair, pressed clothes, a moderate amount of makeup and a light scent. Don't wear anything too loud, brash or strongly scented; go neutral on this first date.

You want to be approachable and friendly. While you don't want to be overly eager or googly eyed on a first date, you will need to keep a smile on your face and remain amiable throughout the evening. This is not the time to gripe about your boss or complain about the weather. Put your cheeriest foot forward.

Ask Questions
Come to the date with a few ice-breaking questions ready. You'll want to stick to safe first date conversation topics like the following:

  • Where were you born? Where did you grow up? What brought you here?
  • What do you do for work? How did you get into this field? Do you enjoy your work? What's the best part of your job? If you could do anything, regardless of pay, what would it be?
  • What do you like to do for fun? Ask details about hobbies or interests.
  • What are your favorite (fill in the blank)? Movies? Books? Musical artists? Radio programs? Television shows?

Share About Yourself
Your date can't develop feelings for you if you don't disclose information about yourself. While this is not the time to confess that you love your cats more than you ever loved your ex or that you are drowning in debt, this is the time to share your personal flavor. Talk about the same topics listed above. If you were introduced to your date through a date agency, you may already have some common ground topics established. Share details about a favorite sport or hobby; describe what you would consider a perfect way to spend a Saturday. Give your date a glimpse of who you are.

Keep It Short
First dates are tricky. You may know in five minutes that this person is not for you, or you may find you want to spend the whole evening getting to know your date. Set up the first date as a brief meeting with the opportunity for more. Suggest you meet for cocktails at a local pub or coffee at a coffee house. If the drinks go well, you can always offer to go out to dinner, a movie or dancing to extend the evening. Or, if it's not going well, you can down that drink and say you have plans for the evening, but you are grateful the two of you got to socialize for a bit. 

Be Gracious
Even if you are 100 percent sure this person is not the right one for you, you should end the date graciously. You never know; you may end up working with this person later, or perhaps this person will be the one who knows the right match for you. It never hurts to make a new friend. Thank your date for a nice time and don't commit to anything you don't feel good about. Instead, keep it positive and noncommittal.

What If You're Smitten?
It takes two to tango, so the best you can do is make it clear you had a great time and would like to get together again. When you leave, give your date a hug, make sure your date has your contact information and suggest another meeting time. Keep it casual, but specific. "I'm free Friday night if you want to get together again" is a good way to make it clear that you really mean it when you say you want to see him again. If he hedges, leave it open. You can't force another date, but you do want to make it crystal clear that you are interested. A follow up thank you e-mail or text message is a good way to let your date know you would love to see him again.

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