10 Tips for First Date Success

Shelley S
2434 days ago.

It may be sad to say, but I’ve been on a lot of first dates recently. A lot of first dates unfortunately means no second dates. While most people think that the time just before the holidays is when everyone is looking for a date, Match.com actually reports that their busiest time of year is from January 4th – February 14th, with everyone looking for that special someone for V-day. While everyone is out there vying for their first dates, I feel like the least I can do is offer a little insight from my experiences.

When going out for the first time, there of course is the notion to impress your date, but here are a few key parameters to put your best face forward.

1. Dress nice, but don’t over do it. Of course you want to look good; first impressions last a life time, right?! The key thing to remember is to ensure that you’re not going over the top; dress for the occasion and make sure you’re comfortable in the clothing you’re in for the setting. If not, you’ll be focused on your discomfort and miss out on the super cool story your date just told.

2. Don’t get drunk! A drink or two is great for loosening up a bit and relaxing the nerves of a first date, but keep the drink count to a minimum. While you may feel sexier the more you drink, you definitely don’t look that way!

3. Keep the conversation flowing.  If the conversation falls flat, the date is as good as done. Listen to what your date has to say and there will naturally be opportunities to respond and keep the conversation flowing.

4. Don’t hog the conversation.  While this largely goes along with #3, don’t hog the conversation and only talk about yourself for the sake of keeping the conversation flowing. Your date will feel neglected and will probably assume that you’re pretty self-centered.

5. Do NOT ask or talk about Exes.  Nothing is more uncomfortable than sitting with a perspective partner and hearing them talk about how awful their last was. In my mind that leads me to fast forward a few years and think that I’ll be the name on their lips. Conversely, don’t ask about the previous relationships. It creates a very uncomfortable situation when asked why your last relationship didn’t work out.

6. It’s OK for a woman to pay.  This isn’t 1950, there are plenty of strong independent women in the world who don’t need a man to always pick up the tab. Women – Don’t always expect the man to pay. Men – Don’t be surprised if a woman wants to cover her own tab. Determine your own rules for the date.

7. Keep it light.  Again, I understand that the first date is all about wowing your possible future significant other, but keep the atmosphere light. Something like coffee, cocktails, or lunch is a good low-pressure option. This alleviates a lot of the pressure if the sparks aren’t flying and you’d like to respectfully decline a 2nd date.

8. Be yourself.  If you’re typically a no-makeup type of girl, don’t go over the top with makeup. If you’re not a wine guy, don’t fumble through ordering a bottle just to set the mood. Be polite, but don’t be afraid to crack a joke. The last thing anyone wants is a bait-and-switch. The first date is the expectation; show the real you.

9. Don’t expect anything physical! Everyone can acknowledge that gone are the days of it being totally taboo to go home with someone after the first date, but don’t make it an expectation. Sometimes the sparks are there and the chemistry is making you itch for the good night (or even good morning) kiss, but not always. The expectation creates unnecessary pressure and can make for a very uncomfortable goodbye, if one person isn’t feeling it.

10. Be HONEST.  Sometimes it just isn’t there. Period. Don’t give false hope of a second date or promise a call the next day if it isn’t going to happen.

dating-couple Most importantly of all, have fun. Stay in the moment and don’t think too far ahead. If the date is a bust, just think of it as a learning experience and a great story that you’ll have to tell your friends. After all, there are plenty of fish in the sea!

What’s your biggest deal breaker on a first date?


Mills Properties

Shelley S

Shelley is a St. Louis native, but a nomad at heart and has lived in most areas of the city. She is mom to two miniature versions of herself that keep her laughing all the time. A self-professed fitness and nutrition junkie, you’ll usually find her at the gym or in the kitchen. One of her favorite things to do is take delicious recipes and make them healthy. Known for randomly busting into song and/or dance, Shelley has never turned down a challenge and secretly believes she can do anything.

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