March 6, 2018
While a lot of the advice I give revolves around how to get the first date, even more important is how to nail that first date. First dates can be nerve-wracking, whether you’re a seasoned dater or not. Let’s take a look at some tips for the all-important first date:
What not to do on a first date:
- Have your phone out or text
- Talk about your ex, positively or negatively
- Be late without notice
- Be excessively late, with or without notice
- Be rude to a server… or anyone
- Drink too much
- Talk about work the entire time
- Have bad breath/hygiene
- Talk about marriage (either your future one or what went wrong in your last one)
- Fail to tip well
- Talk about yourself too much
- Be fake or some false version of yourself
- Flip the “off” switch if no attraction
The last point always gets some questions. Sometimes we walk into a date and know within a matter of minutes that there is no physical attraction whatsoever. I’m a big believer that attraction can grow, but in order to grow, there at least has to be a little seedling to start. If there’s not, many people will just turn off, or no longer be present on the date. This means that you’re not only wasting your time but your date’s as well. Rather than deciding that this date is a failure at the get-go, instead, reframe your mind. Could this person teach you something? Could he or she be a business contact? When you frame things as, “What can I get out of this interaction?” then it’s a more pleasant experience for both of you.
What to do on a first date:
- Confirm one day before the date (via text is A-okay)
- Arrive on time
- Greet each other with a casual hug (hug = date, handshake = interview)
- Wear clothes to match the venue
- Put the phone away (Yes, away!)
- Smile and remain positive
- Ask questions
- Have a two-sided conversation
- Most importantly… have fun!
One additional point about confirming a day before the date. Use the confident “Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow” vs. “Are we still on?” If someone is inclined to cancel, it won’t matter how you ask, so you might as well show your self-confidence.
Body language—how to increase the “flirt factor” on the date:
- Face your date: Are your knees facing your date or turned away? The more you point them towards your date, the more likely you are into him/her, and vice versa.
- Sit next to or catty-corner rather than across: It’s much easier to have a more intimate, and less interview-like conversation this way.
- Maintain eye contact: If you want someone to know you’re truly listening, then make the appropriate eye contact.
- Again… Don’t forget to smile
There are no right or wrong questions to ask on a date, but the ones that do better require more than a simple one-word answer. For example, “What made you passionate about medicine?” is more interesting than “What do you do?”
Some other ideas:
- How was your day? (Often overlooked, but a great conversation starter.)
- What do you like to do after work?
- What made you decide to move to this area, and how do you like it?
- What does your ideal Sunday look like?
All of these questions are things the other person already knows about him or herself, so it doesn’t require too much introspection. Then you can delve deeper:
Level 1: What do you do?
Level 2: Have you always had a passion for medicine and animals?
Level 3: What are some of the more memorable stories from your job?
Level 4: Were you scared when you thought that sweet cat wasn’t going to make it?
Remember that, in dating, there’s no perfect science… far from it. But using these pointers will at least get you on the right track… and potentially a second date!
7 thoughts on “The Art of the First Date”
Great article Erka!
Thank you! Hope you’re well!
This was a good article. However, I wish more people believed in 2nd and 3rd dates to see where things go. Plus, everyone is so stuck on the
1) coffee meet
2) drinks / appetizers
3) finally maybe activity and a movie etc.
I think the dates would go better if there was an activity to share that still allowed for conversation during, and if not at least following it.
I use several of those conversation topics so I appreciate the reassurance.
I’m glad you enjoyed the article and are already using some of the questions. I also agree about the second or third date. People are often too quick to make a judgment these days. This is actually the first article I ever wrote after starting my business! https://www.alittlenudge.com/2011/03/the-rule-of-two/
So your start of relationship always follows first date and it is always exciting and memorable one. An anxiety, uneasiness and dilemma about what to do and how to be at first date are always in the back of your head. There is an Instagram account name “Ourfirstdate” which shares secret stories of couples.
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