Anyone who has been lurking around the dating scene long enough knows that a good date is rare. Most first dates become nothing more than a distant memory lingering around like a stale fart.
Yet, hope prevails, and with these 15-steps you should be able to give a great first date and guarantee yourself a second date in no time.
1. Dress well
I cannot stress this enough. Presentation is everything. People form impressions and make judgments about you within the first 30 seconds of meeting you – which doesn’t give you much time to charm them with your supreme wit and super-human intelligence. So unless you have a face like Ryan Gosling with the charm of a new-born puppy, do yourself the grand favor of putting together an outfit that speaks for you well, and gives a good first impression. Ill-fitted or food-stained clothes are big no-no’s. If you are still feeling clueless, ask your mother to help you.
2. Arrive on time
No one wants to be waiting 20 minutes for their date to arrive with nosey waiters making pity-eyes at them. Be there when you say you are going to be there. If you are running late because your work meeting went on longer than expected, then at least let your date know and make it up to them by offering to pay for drinks.
3. Show manners
Here’s where you don’t spit your phlegm out onto the street, burp loudly or take the biggest muffin for yourself. As shocking as it seems, these things happen all the time. This is where you get to practice the manners your mother taught you… because all those lessons were leading up to this exact moment. Open the door for your date, let her choose where to sit, and for the love of all things holy, let her have first pick of the tempura prawns.
4. Relax and have fun
Let your hair down, and see the date as a night to have fun. This is not the time to stare unblinkingly into your dates eyes, wondering if they too are aware that you are soul mates. Take the pressure off yourself and your date, and lay the soul mate idea to rest – at least for the night.
5. Don’t drink too much
There is nothing more off-putting than having to deal with a drunk skunk on your first date. Not only is this wholly unattractive, but you’re sending the message that 1) you don’t know how to control yourself, and 2) you were so bored on the date that you felt the need to make it better with an abundance of booze. Plus, it puts you in an incredibly compromising position where you wouldn’t be able to defend or protect yourself, should you need to.
6. Don’t compromise yourself
Which leads us to the next point: don’t compromise yourself. If you have an irritable bowel, don’t agree to an ethnic restaurant (no one wants a rendition of Ben Stiller in Along Came Polly). If you know you can’t handle more than one drink, don’t accept the free-flow wine and shots that your date may be offering you. And, most importantly, if you don’t want to have sex on the first date, don’t be pressured or persuaded into doing so. Compromise will inevitably lead to regret.
7. Be confident
Confidence is the most attractive human quality. Anyone can be confident, it just requires the belief that who you are and what you have to offer is enough. But confidence should not be confused with arrogance! Arrogance, which is the belief that you are somehow superior to everyone else, is the extreme side of confidence and is a natural human repellent. Confidence needs to be balanced with a certain degree of humility, vulnerability and a whole lot of kindness if it is to be truly attractive.
READ: How to be truly confident without faking.
8. Show genuine interest
The worst dates are dominated by someone talking incessantly about themselves. Let’s take a moment to do some self-reflection real quick: Are you really so interesting that you need to spend an entire date talking solely about yourself? The answer is no, nobody is that interesting.
Instead, focus on asking your date questions about themselves, and then really listen to their answers. After all, isn’t the whole point of a date to get to know the other person? If you just want to share stories about yourself and not discover truths about your date then you shouldn’t be dating – you should be broadcasting.
9. Find common ground
The purpose of asking questions and listening to your date’s answers is to 1) find out more about them, and 2) find common ground. You both like red wine? Great! You both happened to visit Disney World in 2015? Wow!
Common ground gives you something to talk about. You can compare notes and ask specific questions such as, “Have you been wine tasting in Napa Valley?”, or “What was your favorite ride at Disney World?”
And suddenly, like pee from a racehorse, the conversation is flowing.
10. Be positive
Nobody likes a Negative Ned or Nelly. Negative Ned says, “Ugh, I’ve had such a rough week. I’m so tired. I can’t finish this steak, it’s too well done.” And Negative Nelly says, “There’s nothing I want to eat on this menu. I’m so fat since my break-up. Everything in life is so hard.”
Basically, negative people find the worst in every situation and drain all joy and every ounce of energy from the room. By contrast, someone who finds the positive in everything lights up the room and draws people to them like a moth to a flame. Be like Positive Patricia.
11. Compliment your date
After a first date, your date won’t really remember what you look like or what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel. If you make snide comments on your date’s choice of food and spend the night looking at her breasts instead of her face, she will remember that you made her feel stupid and like she wanted to cover herself.
If you pay her a simple compliment, however, like “What a lovely dress. You look beautiful.”, she will remember that you made her feel beautiful, and will want to see you again.
12. Reach for the cheque
This seems to be a somewhat controversial topic, but by rule of thumb, always reach for the cheque and go dutch. Not reaching for the cheque suggests that you are expecting the other person to pay for everything – which may not go down so well. Unfortunately, some men (not all) still believe that if they pay for dinner, the woman owes them sex. Perhaps these men cannot see the uncanny correlation between this expectation and prostitution, but to save yourself from a potentially awkward or dangerous situation, reach for the cheque and pay your half. This, at the very least, will make your date respect you a tad more and break any pre-conceptions that you are easily bedded or – worse – a sponge.
13. Show respect
The level of respect you show for someone and their personal boundaries speaks volumes about your character, and can help make up your date’s mind as to whether or not you are worth a second date. Not only will your date notice how you respect them, but they will also observe how you treat the waiters and barmen.
14. Affirm your date
Let your date know that you had a wonderful time with them. This is the part where you start saying goodbye. Give them a hug and a kiss on the cheek (or lips), but don’t linger too long. Awkward lingering goodbyes are the worst, and can leave the date hanging on a weird note that can’t easily be shaken. If you want to send the message that you really like this person and want to see where things go, don’t rush physical intimacy. Do let them know how attracted you are to them by leaving it on a sweet note such as, “I had a great time tonight and I find you very attractive. I’d love to see you again.” Aaaw!
15. Make plans to see them again
If you realize during the date that you’d like to see them again, make reference to upcoming events. They like wine? Suggest going to an upcoming wine tasting event with them. Or, they love nothing more than a good burger? Let them know about a really good place where they make ‘the best’ burgers and invite them to go with you some time. Follow up on those invites after the date and set a time and place to meet up again. Don’t be the guy or girl who waits two whole weeks before they try to make plans again, only to discover that their date has already moved on and is now dating the family dentist.
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