Modern first date rules
The key to it all is planning, if you choose the right kind of place to meet and you have everything you will need then you will feel more in control and relaxed.
• Meet in a public place, preferably one that you already know. Choose one that serves decent coffee and has a good atmosphere, then you will be in familiar territory and have fewer things to worry about.
• Make your own way there. It isn’t a good idea to get into a stranger’s car and even though you may have been chatting online for some time your date is still, at this stage, a stranger.
• Tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to be back and make an arrangement to check in with them after the date.
• Keep it simple. Remember that one date is not a big deal, it is simply a chance for you to see each other and have a face to face conversation which is usually a continuation of correspondence you have been having online. You don’t need to go all out planning a flashy night – that can come later.
• Remember your date is probably feeling exactly the same way as you and may even be more nervous. When people are nervous they sometimes say and do silly, uncharacteristic things. If this happens be charitable and forgiving and put it down to nerves rather than writing the date off or cutting it short.
• Be prepared. Have enough money to cover your coffee and a cab home. Have a fully charged mobile phone and the number of someone you can ring if you need to. Read the paper or listen to the news so that you have some interesting topics to talk about if the conversation dries up
• Be yourself. Any pretense you make will be exposed later so it’s always best to be honest, open and upfront right from the start.
• Relax and have fun. One of the most attractive qualities in a person is an enthusiastic, cheerful nature. Make eye contact, laugh when you find something funny and generally engage with your date – you will have a much better time even if you never want to see them again.
• Arrange to meet in a noisy crowded place. The aim of this first date is to give you a chance to get to know each other a bit better and this can be difficult to do in a noisy, crowded bar.
• Check your mobile phone for texts, emails and status updates every two minutes. Give your date your full, undivided attention for the hour or so you are together, your mobile can wait. Put it on on silent and keep it out of sight, not on the table in front of you.
• Drink too much. You could arrange your meeting in a coffee shop instead so neither of you are tempted.
• Leave your drink or personal possessions with your date if you step away for any reason.
• Lie about yourself to make your life sound more interesting. Trust that who you are is good enough and if you aren’t the right one for them that is ok.
• Moan, even if you have had a tough day, year or life a first date is not the time to offload. Especially don’t moan about your ex.
• Try to tell your whole life story in one date. Keep it light and enjoyable and remember to ask your date about their life and experiences too.
• Make snap decisions based on appearance or mannerisms; try to keep an open mind and an open heart.
• Give out your home address, email or workplace until you have met at least a couple more times.
• Go back to their place or them back to yours. It is 2011 but it is still a good idea to keep it light on the first date. That way you will respect yourself in the morning regardless of what anyone else’s opinion of you is. A kiss if it feels appropriate is sufficient, and is much easier to stick to if you have shared a coffee on a Saturday afternoon than come out of a club at 2am.
Whatever you do make sure you have fun and keep your focus on your feelings rather than trying to mind read whether your date likes you, they will let you know soon enough.
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