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The First Date - Practical Advice


Expectations that are unrealistic, along with the baggage of past failed relationships can sometimes crush what should be a pleasant and exciting time – the first date.

Some tips you should keep in mind on your first date:

  • Act natural and be yourself. Don’t try too hard to make an impression; relax and enjoy yourself.
  • Have a clear idea of what you plan to do on the outing. Try to keep chance out of it. Spontaneity can be fun but it certainly reduces the worry to know where you are going and that you are dressed appropriately.
  • Do not lie. Don’t put your self in the position of having to worry about your little embellishments backfiring and being found out. And, how are you going to explain those little fibs and white lies away if the relationship really does take off?
  • Keep it light and bring some laughter into the date. Sharing the same sense of humor has to be important. You should try to get a laugh or two out of him. Then you will know you're connecting. If he doesn’t get your jokes, then what else does he not "get" about you?
  • No matter how great he is compared to the inconsiderate slobs you’ve had the misfortune of going out with (or were married to!), avoid telling him he's a nice guy.
  • Don't give up. Make a concerted effort to find out what interests your date. Give him a chance. Take some time to listen, look for his special qualities.
  • Be prepared should things not go well. Take your mobile phone with you. A pre-arranged call from friend can help to make an early exit from a date that is turning sour.
  • When meeting someone for the first time that you know only from an online dating service or a personal ad, make sure to go somewhere with plenty of people about. And do not blurt out your entire life story on your first get-together. Keep things general, movies, books, music, hobbies...
  • The first face-to-face meeting with someone you met via a personal ad or online dating service is very different from a first date. This is not a date - you are meeting to find out about each other, to assess whether you have enough in common to look at dating.
  • If you feel you are compatible and seem to share common interests, set up a true date to spend further time together.
  • The first date should be fun. Getting to know each other should be enjoyable and interesting. It should not feel like a job interview!
  • Plan something that allows you to interact. Choose an activity that interests you both, such as the theatre, or sports, or music. Do something you enjoy - it will take the pressure off, and give you further things to talk about.
  • Do not ramp up the pressure on yourself hoping that this time “he may be the One". Take it easy, it's only a date. You need to have realistic expectations. Some start planning their engagement while others fear for the worst.
  • If the date is going well, do not over do it by hanging in until the small hours of the morning. No doubt there will be a next time.
  • Should the date be a fizzer, don't make commitments or promises you know you will not keep. Don't try to be encouraging if you do not want to pursue the relationship. Be honest without being brutal. Brush yourself off and move on.

And, the No 1 mistake made on first dates: judging the other person too quickly and harshly. Keep your mind open always. There is always so many interesting things to discover about a person if you give them a chance.