Saturday, July 24, 2021

Tips to having a successful first date

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Maureen Umeh
Maureen is a graduate of Public Administration. Full-time social media strategist and content creator.

First date anxiety is a natural as anything you can think of. No matter how composed and confident one may appear, there’s always some anxiety associated with first dates. It brings with it all sorts of uncertainties and insecurities. If you’ve been chatting or texting with someone for a period of time and you like each other, the next step is to go on a date together, right? Yes. But it’s not always that easy.

As valentine’s day is a just a few days away, a lot of people will be going on first dates if not blind first dates. Just picking a place and time can be stressful on its own as both parties have to be in agreement. But if you manage to agree on a time and place, you still have to get ready for the date. From experience, don’t listen to your friends when going on a first date, blind or otherwise. They’re more likely to raise your expectations to unreasonable levels.

But we are not your friends so we’re able to be more objective about it. We want you to enjoy your first date and hopefully have many more dates in succession. So we have some tips that can help you enjoy your first date below.

12 Tips for a Successful First Date

1. Keep it simple.

Don’t get it in your head that a first date has to be spectacular. It could be as simple as you want it to be. A cup of coffee (or tea if you want), could serve you well. Afterall, the aim of a date is to get to meet the other person. So, make it as simple as you can.

2. Prepare some date questions

Unless you’ve been chatting a long time and know a lot about each other, you would need to prepare some questions or topics of discussion for the date. You’ll be spending an hour to two hours with this person so you don’t want to have lulls in the conversation or awkward silences while you think of what to say. So, arm yourself with possible questions or conversation starters. You may not need them but won’t you be glad you did if you do end up needing them?

3. Wear something that makes you feel great

Don’t try to overly impress your date by wearing something spectacular or expensive that doesn’t suit you or you’re not even comfortable wearing. If wearing ties make you itchy and uncomfortable, ditch the ties. If you’re not comfortable in heels, why bother? Just look great. Your date won’t think any less of you. On the other hand, if you like makeup, put on makeup. Don’t feel like you may appear as fake or unnatural. But also, dress appropriately for where you’re going. Don’t be overdressed for the occasion.

4. Show up as yourself

Leave all your airs at the door. Also, don’t try to determine what your date wants and then try to project that. Be authentic; be yourself. It’s exhausting trying to be someone you’re not. If you’re sassy and bold, don’t try to act timid and demure. If you’re loud and obnoxious, maybe tone it down a bit but don’t try to slide down the scale. The aim of the date is to find someone you connect with. How are you going to find that person if you’re not even being yourself?

5. Get relaxed

couple on first date relaxing with a glass of wine
Couple on date holding hands in a restaurant

People feed off the energy you bring. If you’re stressed, they’re likely going to feel the stress. if you seem uncomfortable, you’ll also make them uncomfortable. So, just relax and enjoy yourself. By so doing, you give your date the permission to do the same and you both may end up enjoying yourselves.

6. Make a strong first impression

First impressions matter a lot as you can’t get a second chance. People form their opinion about you in the first few seconds based on your appearance and demeanor. Smiling is a great way to make a good first impression. It easily marks you as friendly, likable, and open. It could also make the other person feel like you’re happy to see them. Don’t try to be aloof to project an air of indifference or be plain rude. You came out to meet them. You should look like it.

7. Ask simple questions

A first date is not the time to dig deep into the person’s life. Ask them questions about what they’re good at, their passions, and their favorite things. Those topics help them radiate joy and confidence and make them appear even more attractive. If your date asks a deeply personal question, feel free to deflate it. You can say you’ll be willing to talk about it when you know each other better. Try not to allow it to affect your mood.

8. Eat what you’re comfortable with

black couple on first date eating
Eat what you’re comfortable with

A first date is certainly not the time to try out something new to impress your partner. What would you do if it doesn’t go down well with you? Exactly. So, should your date want to order for you or want you to get something more exciting on the menu, please weigh it very carefully. Also, don’t make your date feel bad for ordering what they like if it’s not to your taste. They’re also being themselves.

9. Listen to your date

A discussion is not a competition of who can get the most words in. When your date is talking, listen attentively and try not to interrupt them. Ask follow-up or clarifying questions of the discussion topic to show you were actually paying attention.

10. Give your date attention

Don’t hog all the attention on the date by talking only about yourself and your many escapades. Nobody wants to hear that. If you wanted to have a monologue with applause, you could have just stayed home. If your date is on the reserved side, they may let you drone on and on but it doesn’t mean they’re interested. Make sure you have a balanced interaction.

11. Part on a good note

first date couple had a nice time
First date should end on a good note

No one expects to kiss or be kissed on a first date but something has to give and it better not be a handshake. You spent the last two hours getting to know this person. They deserve a hug at least even if it’s a one-handed hug. But don’t push it if they don’t want it. Say your goodbyes properly and part on a good note. Maybe walk her out to the car or cab at least.

12. Follow up as soon as possible

If you had a good date, feel free to send a text or chat to your date telling them so. Don’t assume your date already knows. Don’t let it linger for days waiting for who will make the first move. That’s just playing games. And this goes both ways. It’s no particular person’s job to do the follow-up. It could be as simple as a text saying “I had a really good time tonight”.

I hope with these few tips, you will have a very wonderful first date. And if perhaps you’re not willing to go on a second one, you would have at least had a really good time together. And like everything in life, if you don’t succeed the first time, don’t worry about it. Learn from it, restrategize and try again.

Are there any more tips that have worked for you?

Please let me know in the comments below.


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5 months ago

Hmm Maureen, you keep wowing me anytime. Well, getting relaxed and as comfortable as possible o desirable on a first date could be quite difficult, especially if you guys are just getting to know each other, or the connection is t three yet.

5 months ago
Reply to  Kenechukwu

Sorry, I meant the connection isn’t there yet. Apologies for the typographical errors.

5 months ago

This is wonderful. This a life guide to first date. Of all rules, be yourself and try to accommodate the other

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