3 July 2021

How To Dazzle on Your First Date

First dates are a complicated dance. You’re excited, but you want to seem relaxed. You want to sound smart, but not arrogant. You don’t want to come on too strong, but too much restraint can make you look uninterested. There’s a lot of pressure, and when you’re in the thick of it, you forget that you’re supposed to be having fun. Follow these rules to help you survive your first date and hopefully secure your shot at a second.

Don’t Monopolize the Conversation

First dates can be awkward and if your date is a little shy, you may feel like you need to carry the conversation to move things along. Just remember to ask questions and show genuine interest in your date’s life. Only talking about yourself comes across as self-aggrandizing behavior. If you don’t know where to start, ask about work and hobbies. Make sure to use active listening skills like non-verbal communication to let your date know you’re hanging on every word.

Staying in? Cook a Meal Together

Entertaining at your place is a great way to impress your date. It’s also a great opportunity to break the ice and see how you work together in the kitchen. Just make sure to do a little prep work, unless a trip to the grocery store is also on the itinerary.

Going for one of those modern virtual dates? You can still enjoy a home-cooked meal and lively conversation via Zoom. Spice it up a little by sharing your Moscow mule recipes while you each cook separately, together. If it goes well, maybe your next date will happen in a shared space.

Respect Your Date’s Space

If you go the traditional route and forgo the virtual first date, then you should still keep your hands to yourself. Excessive touching on a first date sends a message that you’re handsy with all your dates, which can be a little creepy. If you’re really interested, give your date some space and let your chemistry bring you together organically.

Keep It Lighthearted

The first date probably isn’t the place to dive deeply into personal ideologies or political opinions. Tell some jokes. Be funny and flirty, but not crude or offensive. Find something you have in common that you can laugh about, like a favorite comedic movie or TikTok channel. Laughing together helps to break the ice before you get to know one another on a deeper level.

Don’t Balk if Your Date Offers To Pay

Not everyone is looking for a provider, and one of the first signs of your date’s intentions is when there’s an offer to split the check. Don’t be offended by someone wanting to chip in. It just means you’ve got an independent person on your hands who wants an equal stake in a relationship. If you’re dead set on buying dinner, then let your date cover ice cream or the movie tickets.

Dress Like You Care

Attire is another area you want to carefully consider. You want to be comfortable so you can focus on your date, but you don’t want to look like you just rolled out of bed. Practice basic hygiene: shower, shave and brush your teeth. Choose clothing items that are clean and wrinkle-free. Make sure to follow any guidelines set in place by the restaurant or venue for your date, but make sure you look and feel like yourself.

These rules also apply to virtual dates. Leave that tattered college hoodie on the floor and put in a little effort.

Use these guidelines to help you relax, but don’t think you need an outline or script for your first date. Just relax, let the event play out organically and try to have a great time.


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