First dates are always awkward. You don’t know each other because you are meeting for the first time and you don’t even have a starting point. And although you wish for everything to go as smoothly as it does in your dreams, you can never predict what the reality has in store for you. Therefore, to make first dates a little less daunting and more positive, here are some basics that you should familiarise yourself with before going out with the person whom you could potentially end up sharing a long-term relationship with.
• Plan Ahead and Plan Well
Never treat your date as a college assignment that you would work for at the last minute or even a presentation that you can improvise as you go. Unless there is an emergency, there should not be any reason why you did not plan for the date. And as tradition would have it, this duty falls on a man’s shoulder so, they should be the ones actually planning everything out and making things happen.
Here are some tips that you can check off of your planning list –
– Pick a venue that is convenient for the both of you. In fact, offer to pick her up if you wish to go to a special place that may be a tad farther away than she expected.
– Choose a place that you know well. There should not be any surprises when you reach. Neither in the ambience nor the food and the service.
– Avoid picking a crowded place however fine drinks they serve. There is nothing more annoying than having to talk over loud music on a first date.
– Don’t forget to make the reservations, especially if it is a popular place. You don’t want to be waiting in a queue for 45 minutes to get a decent place inside.
• Don’t be Late
Getting the more obvious ones out of the way first, never be late on your first date. This is like an unspoken rule. And it is a good one. It is not about the man coming in first or the woman. It’s about showing how considerate and serious you are about your meeting with your date. It also shows how much you are willing to value your date’s presence. So, if you really like the other person, always be on time or 15 minutes early. It would not hurt anyone. Remember the planning that I was talking about earlier? Yes, reaching early would give you some time to plan and ensure that everything is on right on schedule!
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• The First Compliment is Always Remembered
There is nothing wrong with being modern but you should always leave a little room for some tradition. Although you should not feel obliged, it is nice to hear a compliment on your first date. Complimenting the date should not just be a man’s job. Women, too, should step up and compliment their dates. Have you ever considered the fact that men also spend more time than they usually do to get ready when they are going on a date? They do! They are excited, too. Therefore, don’t forget to say it like you mean it.
Here are a few dos and don’ts of giving a compliment on your first date –
– ‘Beautiful’ is okay but ‘sexy’ is not. Same goes for men. ‘Handsome’ is appropriate but ‘smoking hot’ is a huge no-no!
– Keep it PG-13. Always. Say ‘I am enjoying talking to you’ instead of ‘your words sound as sweet as I am sure your lips would taste.’
– Unless you are trying to be intentionally suggestive on the first date, which I don’t know why you would, avoid talking in an enticing whisper. If at any point, you find yourself talking like that, abort mission.
• It is Okay If You Do Not Make Her Feel Like a Queen
Gone are the days when it was one of your responsibilities as a man to make your date feel like a princess. That was a different time. The men were different back then. They were brought up with the thought that women are delicate and needed to be taken care of. Now, the truth is, everyone is fragile and both women and men need to be taken care of. So, treat her nicely but not like you are about to crown her as your queen. You can but don’t feel obliged to.
• No Matter How Big of a Feminist You Are, Pay the Bill
This one is for the men out there. You may know what feminism exactly means by definition. However, like many other traditions, paying the first bill is your responsibility. Now, there are good reasons why paying the first bill is a good thing. Firstly, because it shows that you are settled to handle finances and capable to pay the bills. Secondly, it shows generosity and thirdly, it sends across the notion that you can provide for your woman.
Women always look for security in men so, if you are hoping to make your first date a success, paying the first bill is imperative. Don’t feel compelled to pay all the future bills.
• Offer to Pay the Bill Even if You Know He is Paying
Attention, ladies! Read this properly. No man was born to pay your bills, no matter what your friends tell you. So, even if you are allowing him to pay the first bill, which he would because he wants to show you that he cares enough to take care of it, go ahead and offer to split or pay the entire thing. You are independent and enough empowered. So, offer to pay!
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• Women Hate Zoned Out Men So, Listen Intently
I cannot emphasize enough on this because it happens so often that it is, not almost, but literally insulting. Men get this weird look on their face when they are not paying attention. And that look makes it even more obvious for the women to spot that you are not present in the conversation, even if you are physically sitting right in front of her.
Let me put this as simplistically as I can. If you are not planning to pay attention and think that you have no control over you zoning out, stay at home and watch a movie or something. Don’t take that conduct in the outside world. You would only be wasting the other person’s time and ruining their night.
• Whatever You Say, Be Genuine or Don’t Bother
Don’t just say, “Oh yes, I totally relate to falling off from a tree as a child,” or “Exactly what I felt when my friends ditched me to go to Shillong.” Again, say it like you mean it. Some people have a habit of affirming to everything the other people say. It is as if they are on an autopilot, perpetually. So, if you are on autopilot and you happen to go out with someone who is a master at calling bluffs, you would be in a deep trouble. So, save yourself from the embarrassment and be genuine in your responses.
• If You Don’t Have a Pair of Nice Shoes, Stay at Home
My mom and dad taught me two things about judging men and women. Always judge a man by the shoes and belt he wears, which means if you show up on the date wearing a pair of flip-flops or soiled shoes and your belt does not go with your shoes, you have already lost your shot.
Similarly, always judge a woman by her heels. Not those heels. I am talking about the ones that are a part of your feet. A woman’s heels show how good a family she actually belongs to as opposed to what she claims because it shows how clean her house is. So, if you are not bothering to take care of your feet, simply wear a pair of pumps that would cover them up. Not as complicated as it sounds. It is really practical and efficient.
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• Ask an Occasional Question
Don’t just nod while sitting there. Interact. Ask a question or two. Show that you actually care about what the other person is saying. Try relating to it with your own experiences and share your piece of mind on the topic, too. This would not only help with the zoning out but also help you know more about the one you are spending your time with.
• Going to a Movie Theatre for Your First Date is Okay
While many people would advise you against it because they believe it is a conversation killer, I truly believe that it is one of the best first date ideas. Especially, if you are an introvert. Films are a great ice-breaker. There are two major reasons for this.
– You get a chance to get comfortable with a person without actually talking to them. And whether you believe it or not, when you sit next to another person, you get to know them better by just feeling the vibes that they are emitting.
– If you find it hard to start conversations, watching films offers you the golden opportunity to actually start off your date by talking about the film. Exchanging views about movies also helps you understand the other person’s choices and how their thought pattern works.
• Keep Your Grandfather/Grandmother Stories to Yourself on the First Date
I know you have a lot of talk about once you start off and get comfortable. But honey, hold those horses. If you want to get in detail with your stories, wait for the third or fourth date. Don’t jump into it directly. Long stories are a magnanimous turn-off. So, save them. The best way to avoid telling long stories is to think if what you are saying is serving any purpose or better yet make mental pointers. And stick to them! The other person would be too polite to stop so, why not stop yourself?
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• Be You
You must have lost count of the number of women and men who engage in fake laughter whenever they don’t get a joke or try to agree to everything you say just to fit in. Well, don’t be that because it comes across as something pretty obvious and it does not take a detective to know that you are faking it. Therefore, don’t put up a sham. Be you!
You are unique and awesome. And it does not matter if you are awkward because that just shows how transparent you are. If you are blunt, don’t hide it. Don’t be afraid to put across your views if you are strong-headed and disagree with something. It shows integrity. Regardless of how you are, remember that no one else can be a better version of you than you are. So, why deprive the world of the sheer joy that your company offers?
• Drop in a Text After Reaching Home
Very important. Mark it. Put a star against it so that you don’t forget it. Even if your date did not match your expectation, go ahead and drop a text after you reach home. It does not have to contain the words, “We should do this again sometime,” or “I look forward to meeting you again.” You can simply write, “Thank you for the good time. Goodnight!” It is to the point and it does not raise any expectations.
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• Don’t Get Too Drunk
Probably seems silly to put this as advice but there are so many people who cannot handle their alcohol and still choose to chug down large quantities of beer just because they are at a restaurant. Doing this would only make things obnoxious and it is not a good first date memory for either of you. And why intentionally ruin someone else’s night by doing something that can only be described as plain stupid? Therefore, have a good time instead of getting sloshed. Enjoy and let enjoy!