The big day is finally here! It’s time for your date with your new crush! You couldn’t be more anxious and excited, but you also want to do everything you can do to make sure things go smoothly in order to make a good first impression. Last week we covered some important things to think about before your big date. Now let’s discuss the actual date…
1. Be on time
There is nothing worse than waiting forever for someone who is running late, so do what you can to be on time for your date. What kind of message does it send to your love-interest? Yes, things come up, but do your best not to keep your date waiting for you. Besides being rude…it can also put your date in a bad mood and ruin the date before it even begins. If you know ahead of time that you will be late, call or text your date to give them a heads-up. It’s common courtesy.
2. Have a good attitude
I can’t tell you how many people set themselves up to fail on a date, by just having a bad, negative, defeatist attitude about what might happen on their impending date. Instead of hypothesizing about what might go wrong or how awful the date could go based on your ‘bad luck’ or past dating horror stories, focus on bringing your best self to the date. You chose to go out with your date because you had some level of interest, right? So based on that, you should feel some level of excitement about spending time with your date. Why even agree to the date, if you’re not going to have fun?! Bring some sunshine with you and seek out the joyful moments while on your date.
3. Look good, put time into your appearance
Take some time to put yourself together before your date. Even if the date is casual, it’s important to put together a nice outfit, be freshly showered and/or smelling fresh, with hair styled (coiffed bed head is acceptable). If you just stroll in for your date without making an effort, it sends the message that this date is not that important to you.
On the other end of the spectrum, don’t go overboard with your outside appearance. You don’t want what’s going on on the outside to distract your date from getting to know the real you on the inside…have a neat appearance, but too many frills could overshadow the true you.
4. Have fun
It’s a date people, not brain surgery. Have fun with it! Dating, especially the early dates, should be fun, get-to-know-you sessions. The moment you start to take things too seriously, too early on, all of the fun goes away. Make fun the goal for your date….save the serious stuff for another time and a later date.
5. Pay Attention to Body Language
This one is huge! Try to avoid folded arms, yawning, a furrowed brow, and any other gestures that indicate boredom or disgust. You may be having a swell time, but the wrong body language could send the wrong message to your date. If you are enjoying your date’s company, use subtle signs of interest like touching your date’s arm, shoulder or back during a heartfelt story. Laughing at your date’s jokes, and maintaining consistent eye contact with your date are also positive non-verbal signs of interest. These are all signs that show your date that you like what’s happening between the two of you.
6. Paying the Bill
Everyone has an opinion about who should pay on a date. I’m a big fan of good old fashion chivalry, so I do feel that in boy/girl relationships the guy should pay on early dates, and especially the first date. If that doesn’t sit well with you, another reasonable assumption is that the person who asked for the date should pay for the date. If you want to pay for your portion of the date for personal reasons, that is your prerogative. It is also a nice gesture if the person who was asked out offers to make some sort of contribution to the date, though he or she shouldn’t feel obligated. A small contribution like paying the tip on the dinner bill or tipping the valet is a nice gesture if you feel so inclined. Just remember that whatever you decide about paying on a date, it will always set an important tone early on. The first dates should hopefully set you up to succeed with your new love-interest, so everything should be done to ensure that a good first impression is made from the start.
7. Saying Goodnight
At the end of the date, be sure to make it clear if you’d be interested in another date. If you aren’t comfortable saying “I want to go out again,” giving your date a ‘2nd date hint’ can give him or her a clue that you are up for another night out on the town. It can be something as simple as “I’d like to try that new restaurant you were talking about…maybe we could try it sometime?” (Feel free to insert any other topic or place that came up in conversation during the date.) If your date is also interested, he or she will most likely get the hint and will suggest a specific day for a follow up date. Make sure your date has your contact information, so solid plans can be made. A handshake, hug, or a kiss are all acceptable depending on your interest level.
If your date doesn’t suggest a follow up date, or if you are not interested in a follow-up date, end the date politely and graciously. Even if you are not romantically interested, there’s no reason to burn bridges. If there was some tension during the date, things ended awkwardly, or you were offended by something, just let it go. What’s the point of causing an argument or conflict when you can quite simply choose not to go out with your date again? Politely say goodnight and move on with life.
These are some general things to remember when on early dates. Keep these tips in mind on your next evening out with a new love-interest. Next we will cover what to do after your date has ended…
Erin ‘The Dating Advice Girl’