There really isn’t anything more nerve wracking than a first date. That all-important first impression is critical, and we all go through a state of near panic at the thought. However, with a few simple tips and tricks those nerves can be placed on the shelf and you can learn to relax and have fun.
It’s true a lot goes into the perfect date, but it’s a misconception that you have to maintain a rigorous set of dating rules. Gone are the days when dinner and a movie are the only choices. We’ll take a look at cool and creative ways to choose an activity, the perfect first date outfit and some conversation tips sure to turn your first date into something more.
What to Wear
Your outfit choice will depend on what you plan to do on your date, but there are few simple rules to follow that are appropriate at all times.
- Don’t wear a suit. Unless you plan to go to the opera, don’t wear a suit or even a suit jacket. That type of look can come across as too formal and stuffy, and generally that is not the impression you want to give. Browse an online retailer like Man Alive for some comfortable and situation-appropriate clothing ideas.
- Consider the time of day. Daytime dates and nighttime dates have very different wardrobe requirements. Long trousers or jeans are okay for either time of day, but shorts should only be worn in the daytime, unless you’re having an evening beach date.
- Think about your shoes. The wrong shoes can sabotage your first impression, and you really don’t want that to happen. Make sure your shoes are clean and suited to your outfit. You don’t want your date making assumptions about you based on your shoes.
What to Do
There are so many interesting and fun things to do on a first date, it’s a wonder people have stuck to “dinner and a movie” for so long. While that activity choice has merit, it’s far from the only thing to do.
If you know a little bit about your date beforehand, think about some things he or she likes, and go from there. A carefully planned date including things he or she loves says that you’re considerate and thoughtful, which are both positive characteristics you want to impart.
- Choose something outdoors. An outside date is a great way to feel relaxed and comfortable. Combine that with some sort of structured activity, and you’ve hit first date gold. Take part in a beach cleanup, go on a guided bird-watching hike, or hit the local go-karting track. Being active together gives you a lot to talk about when you’ve finished the daytime portion of your date and move on to dinner.
- Dinner and a movie with a twist. While dinner and a movie may seem boring, there are ways to spice up this tried and true first date agenda. For instance, see the movie first and discuss it over dinner. Alternatively, choose a theater that offers a food and drink menu, then you can move on to post-movie cocktails. Lastly, check to see if a local park is offering an outdoor movie night. You can bring a picnic and a bottle of wine and watch him or her swoon.
What to Say
Maintaining a conversation can be difficult under the best of circumstances, but with first date jitters that task can seem impossible. However, there are some amazingly simple topics to keep the conversation flowing.
- Ask questions. The fact of the matter is people love to talk about themselves. The best way to keep a conversation going, especially when it seems to be lagging, is to ask questions. Make sure you keep your questions specific, such as “What’s your favorite thing about ‘Breaking Bad’?” so your date will think about his or her response before he or she gives it.
- Keep up your end of the bargain. It’s true some people are more comfortable in first date situations than others, but that doesn’t mean you let your date do all the talking. Listen to what he or she says and respond appropriately. If he or she expresses a great deal of interest in something, ask him or her to tell you more about it. If your date asks you a question, give a response with specific information.
First dates should be fun, but they are often stressful. Make sure you relax, plan your clothing appropriately and choose something fun to do. If all goes well, you’ll be planning your second date, and maybe even the third one, before you know it.