When it comes to dating, especially first dates, we can all use some helpful reminders about what to do and what not to do. It can be a nerve-wracking time, but if you stay comfortable and just be yourself, you'll find yourself looking forward to your second date, your third date, and so on.
- Don’t choose an outfit or hairstyle you have to keep adjusting
- Ladies, this means that strapless top that matches your eyes, but you have to keep pulling up every 20 seconds. That tight bodycon dress which gives you a perfect hourglass figure, but manages to expose your whole bottom to the world unless you keep pulling it down with every other step you take. That lacy bra which makes your breasts look like something straight from a Victoria’s Secret catalogue, but makes you scratch your back every 3 seconds. Those wedges which give you crazy blisters unless you position the sling exactly 2.345 centimeters from your heel.
- Gentlemen, those jeans with the button that keeps coming down and the fly that keeps becoming unzipped unless you do that (in)conspicuous crotch graze to pull it up. Those socks that match your trousers and loafers, but keep sliding down from your heel every 4 steps. The new hairstyle you’re trying out which requires a different part so you either have to fix that piece every 4 seconds or risk looking like Justin Bieber circa 2010.
- You get the idea. Wear something that fits. Whether you are male or female, try wearing your outfit for an hour or two before the date to make sure you won’t have any wardrobe malfunctions.
- Don’t talk about controversial topics
- Topics like religion, gun control, and politics can tear apart nations, drive assassinations, and cause series of wars lasting over centuries, then they can ruin a first date. Likewise, avoid controversial social issues, such as the refugee crisis, same-sex marriage, or the death-penalty. Generally, if it is a topic which is often debated and divisive, avoid it. A date is about getting to know each other, not debating over who is more right or wrong. You may also run the risk of seeming patronizing or condescending as you think you are politely explaining your stance.
- Don’t mention past relationships
- Talk about yourself, your interests, your hobbies, your families, and your passions. Do not talk about your exes, even if it is for a comparison or a funny story. Your date does not care about your ex. Not one bit. Not even if s/he was a major movie star with a side job as an astronaut. Not only does it make you seem spiteful or petty if you decide to talk badly about your ex, it also makes you seem like you are not over your ex or your past relationship.
- Don't only talk about yourself
- A one-sided conversation about yourself is never fun. Ask OPEN ENDED questions about them after you finish your answer. If you notice your date giving one-word responses in response to your stories, zoning out, or trying to change the topic away from you, you may be going on too much about yourself. If you have spoken for more than 75% of the entire date, try to ask some questions yourself and listen.
- Don’t order messy or hard to eat foods
- If you are going to have a meal, try to save the sloppy joes or the crab legs for future dates. We all want to make a good first impression and that can be difficult when you have sauce all over your mouth or accidentally fling a piece of food into your eye.
- Don’t be rude
- This means be on time or call ahead if you will be late. Put your phone away, that text message to Mom can wait. Stop complaining about the weather or how bad public transportation has gotten. If you have nothing nice to say, do not say it. Do not chew with your mouth open or burp loudly after that sip of sparkling water. Do not make fun of other people. Just remember your basic manners.
###**Dos** * **Do** let your date know how you honestly feel * Try not to waste your time or your date’s time. We live in a world where we can use our phones to get a pizza delivered to our house in 20 minutes. If a date went well, send them a text or a call later that night letting them know you had a great time and want to meet again. Ladies, you can do this first, too. Do not wait for the guy. Likewise, if you did not feel any connection between you and your date, let your date know you are no longer interested. Don’t just ignore them and pretend that never happened. Ghosting sucks and makes you seem like a jerk. On the other hand, don’t lead them on with “I’m busy” or “Maybe next week” messages. !(/content/images/2017/07/pexels-photo-225232.jpeg)
- Do what makes you comfortable
- Do not try to follow what you see in the movies or what your friend’s go-to tactic to impress if it is awkward and not something you would normally do. If your date invites you to their apartment afterwards for some drinks, feel free to say no. If s/he uses that as a deciding factor to not have a second date, well, you’re better off with someone else. If your date randomly suggests you guys go to a rock wall after dinner and you are deathly afraid of heights, you do not have to agree. Find something else to do instead that you will both enjoy. Remember, a date is two-sided, you should have fun as well as your date.
- Do dress to impress
- Now is not the time to dig out your most favorite pair of sweatpants with the salsa stain on the left thigh or to do the sniff test on that blouse you dug out of your laundry hamper. Dress appropriately for what you both have planned and make sure the place you will be at does not have a dress code. Going to a world renowned 3-star Michelin restaurant with valet service? True, there is no dress code, but those slacks you might want to wear directly from work probably won’t cut it. Going to the movies and then grabbing a frozen treat from the ice cream shop nearby? A tuxedo or night gown might be overkill. Dress for the occasion and make sure everything fits or is tailored to you. You do not have to wear a $800 dress or shop for a new outfit. Just make sure your clothes flatter your body, match, is ironed, and clean.
- Do bring up hobbies and your interests
- Your hobbies may seem mundane or nothing out of the ordinary to you because you are surrounded by it and those who also do it. However, it can open up new conversation if your current one is lulling and also help you show case your personality and good traits without bragging. Doing parkour and getting a $5000 grand prize last weekend may just be normal to you now, but can easily impress your date and start a new conversation topic. Volunteering at the animal shelter every evening may seem routine to you, but your date may see you as a selfless, educated, caring person.
- Do be yourself.
- Be honest with each other. Wouldn’t it be horrible to pretend you loved triathlons just because your date does them and then he wants to train with you and now you’re knee deep in the internet reading about wetsuits? Wouldn’t it be awkward to pretend you were a vegan and then he sees the picture you posted of you and your friends eating steak for lunch the day after on Facebook? It is hard to keep up with lies and even worst when they all catch up with you. You should want to grow old with someone who will love you for who you are, not a fake persona you made up.
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. If you both met at an LGBTQ+ pride rally, then feel free to discuss those social issues. If both of you absolutely love wings and meatball subs, then go ahead and order those dishes – just make sure you do not stain your best shirt! If your date is quiet, but seems intrigued by your story about fly fishing at 4am, then go on about it. Trust your gut and do what feels right.