Dating 101: First Things First

What’s your worst fear? Lions? Tigers? Bears? How about going on a date with someone and realizing you can’t stand them within the first ten minutes?

Believe it or not, the first date is not supposed to be torture. In fact, it can lead to many more outings, but only if the first one is done the right way. To avoid a sticky situation, be sure to follow these tips.

1. Make sure the date is something you both enjoy.

Before you go on the date, you should have some sense of each other’s interests. If you are both into exciting, fun activities, try go-kart racing, skating, or Dave & Buster’s. If you’re both more introverted, try a Starbucks or Barnes and Noble date. You could also think outside of the box with unique options like a sip-and-paint or museum visit. No matter what you choose, it’s important that both of you genuinely enjoy it.

2. Use your manners.

“Please” and “thank you” both go a long way. For many people, lack of manners is a major turn-off. Gentlemen, be sure to open and hold all doors throughout the date. Ladies, don’t forget to thank him when he does hold the door for you. Lastly, when the night is coming to a close, ensure that both of you get home safely. Men, if you are dropping your date off at home, do not drive away until she is safely inside. Ladies, a “Did you get home safely?” text doesn’t hurt, either.

3. Put the phone down!

A text here and there is OK. An important phone call? You got it. But please do not be the date who can’t hold a conversation with someone because you are too attached to your phone. I promise you, Instagram can wait!

4. Hygiene…enough said.

Imagine you’re on a date at the movie theater. He leans over to put his arm around you and…yuck. No one likes a smelly date, so always freshen up. Breath mints could come in handy, and perfume and cologne have not gone out of style!

5. Remember, there are two people on the date.

When you’re on a date, it’s good to get to know each other. In fact, that’s kind of the purpose of a date. However, in the midst of you explaining your life goals, hobbies, favorites, pet peeves, and more, don’t forget to ask your date about his or hers. By doing so, you both will be able to pinpoint common interests, aspirations, and dislikes. Conversations like these can also be red flags as to whether or not this person is right for you.

6. Only go on dates you can afford.

While guys are typically expected to pay for the date, that isn’t always the case. Some guys may not even be aware of that stereotype and may expect you to pay for yourself. Just in case, ladies should always carry their wallets with them. There is nothing more awkward than two people staring at a check, trying to determine who is paying for it. Both individuals should bring enough money to cover the date just to be safe.

7. Decide if you want to hang out again.

Once the date is over, it should be easy to determine whether or not you want to go on another one. Did you enjoy yourself? Are you willing to put in more time and effort to get to know this person? Do you want to spend more time with this person? Asking yourself these questions can help you decide your next move. If you do want to hang out again, schedule your next date in advance. If not, politely let the person know that you aren’t interested in going on another date. Don’t force a connection or leave room for confusion.

Going on a date does not have to be as nerve-wracking as it sounds. It’s just a matter of being yourself and making the most out of it. This way, your first date won’t be your last.