Do's and Don'ts of a First Date

With cuffing season right around the corner, it can be really nerve-wracking taking that first step and putting yourself out there on a first date. It is no easy feat, so here are some tips to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible on your end so that you can secure that special someone right in time for the holidays: 

DO: Be on time! If the date requires you to get there yourself and you’re running late, let them know beforehand so they’re not waiting around for a while, or even worse, think you stood them up (it’s not a good look). 

DO: Dress appropriately for the date. There’s nothing worse than being uncomfortable in your outfit because of the activity for the date. You only have one chance to make a good first impression, and part of that impression is making sure you look ready for wherever you’re going! 

DO: Offer to pay your share. It’s 2019 after all, and while it’s nice to have someone be the bigger person and pay for you, offering shows that you are mindful about the sometimes high costs of dates. Even if they end up paying, your generosity won't go unnoticed

DO: Keep an open mind! Sometimes when going on these dates, the person you meet doesn’t seem like the person you were texting with or heard about from your friends. However, if we keep an open mind, sometimes people exceed our expectations in surprising ways that you may come to appreciate and enjoy. 

DO: Have manners! This one I cannot stress enough. This goes beyond chewing with your mouth closed or not talking when the other person is. Having good manners goes into the realm of maintaining good eye contact and being mindful not to talk about yourself too much. Of course, don’t glance at or check your phone too much. That one should be a no-brainer but it’s not. Seriously, people notice and it gets old. 

DON’T: Overshare. This one can be hard to gauge because sometimes first dates can bring about a sense of excitement of wanting to share everything you can about yourself: your hobbies, passions, hopes and dreams, beliefs. However, oversharing takes away the aura of mystery and may freak the other person out. Just the basics (hobbies, friends, sports) will do. 

DON’T: Ask them personal or uncomfortable questions. While this one doesn’t occur as often, it certainly can occur with the nervous jitters of a first date clouding your judgement. It is important to remember not to ask them questions you wouldn’t feel comfortable answering yourself, which leads me to my next point... 

DON’T: Bring up the “big” subjects. What I mean by that is there are subjects that one shouldn’t bring up at the dinner table: sex, religion, politics, and exes. I added the ‘exes’ part in there for good measure (you’ll thank me later), but I firmly believe this translates to a first date too. Those are all things more personal to you and definitely meant for more serious conversations down the road (if you get there, but you will because I have faith in you :)). 

DON’T: Make plans for immediately after the date! This one is a pretty major one considering you never know how a date is going to go and how long you will be on it. There have been many instances where I assumed it would only be 1-2 hours but it ended up being 4-5. It is important to be considerate of your time as well as the unpredictability of it all. Plans immediately after the date feels disrespectful but also puts a damper on the mood of the night. 

And finally... 

DON’T: Be discouraged! Not every person is made for one another. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t feel the chemistry or you didn’t have as much in common as you thought you did. I love the saying that there are “plenty of fish in the sea” because it’s absolutely true! You never know what kinds of surprises are waiting around the corner for you.

- Brenna Dyson