A first date can be exciting, scary, and more than a little intimidating. There a few tips to remember on a first date in order to try and make it successful, especially if you want a second date. These tips are things that most people think they know ahead of time, but in the excitement of it all can let them slip their minds. If you're going on a first date soon - brush up on these tips to try to make it as successful as possible, so that if you find you do want a second date your dating partner doesn't look at you like you have lobsters coming out of your head.
1) Keep the chat about yourself to a minimum. Of course your date will want to know things about you, but let them lead the conversation that is about you. And always use it to find out more about them. People want to know that they are being listened to. They want to feel as if you are interested in them and what they are saying. If all you do is talk about yourself or your kids or your job and your date can't get in a word edgewise, they won't feel as if you were interested in them at all. Don't unburden all your troubles at home on the first date even if you've been desperate for someone to listen to them. A first date is not the time to whine about your boss or your children. Always focus on your date as much as possible.
2) Do not talk about exes. If your date brings up past relationships or wants to know about your past relationships or marriages. Keep it simple, answer questions directly, and then move on. Do not volunteer all the ugly details or the wonderful details of past relationships on a first date. The person you're with does not want to hear about how terrible this person was or how wonderful it was and how much you miss them. They don't want to hear about nasty breakups or divorces. If questioned, answer directly and succinctly and then move on. Keep the conversation focused on THIS date.
3) Dress for the occasion, properly. Try to find out in advance where you are going. Do not under dress and look as if you just rolled out of bed. Put some effort into it. Do not over dress and make your date feel out of place by wearing evening wear to a casual place or high heels for a walk. Don't dress to seduce unless it is your intention. Seduction on a first date is generally not a good idea, but if that's where you see the date heading from the build up then dress accordingly, but keep it tasteful. If you look like your date bought you with money for the night that might be exactly how they see you. Dress for the occasion and the place and for what you want to convey to your date and put effort into it.
4) Be prepared. If you have children, make sure they are well taken care of and that they will not be calling you during the date every 5 minutes. If you have a demanding job, make sure everyone knows you have this block of time booked. Do not constantly be on your phone talking or texting. Take care of things before the date, not during it.
5) Don't start planning a wedding in your head before the date. Great expectations can sometimes lead to great disappointment. Take the time to get to know this person. Let things evolve. Even if there is a ton of chemistry between you, don't get ahead of yourself and start picking out wedding dresses. If it's meant to be, it will definitely be there when everyone is ready to move forward. There is no need to rush.
6) Be yourself. Don't try to be something else or someone else. Don't lie. Stick to who you are. The person you are with wants to get to know you, not some persona you create for the date. The real you will always come out at some point, so stick with it from the beginning. Keep it real as they say.
7) Manners matter. Table manners matter. Manners in conversation matter. Watch how much alcohol you drink. Language matters. Manners go a long way especially on a first date.
8) Don't argue. Most people have strong opinions on subjects that are close to their hearts. A first date is not the place to start an argument. Conversation is fine, but argument is a road to disaster. The old standbys religion, politics, world views are all easy roads to argument. If they come up in conversation, state your views, but do so as a way to stimulate conversation, not as a way to get your point across. Argument is a first date killer.
9) Stay focused. All of your attention on a first date should be on your date. Don't flirt with the wait staff at the restaurant. Don't seem bored or uninterested. Don't drink too much and drift off. Keep your attention centered in the date.
10) Follow up. If you enjoyed the date and the person and you want to see them again, follow up. Calling is best, but email or text also works. Don't wait to hear from them. A nice follow up will give you the opportunity to know if they are also interested in a second date. If you just sit around and wait for someone to contact you, they may sit around and wait for you to do the same and then no one gets a second date. Always follow up if you want more.
Just a few tips to hopefully make a first date as successful as it can be. Chemistry plays a big part in dating and in dating beyond a first date, but if you ruin the first one, there might likely not be a second. Happy Dating!