How to Have a Great First Date.

Written by Dating Expert and Coach
Rikki Dymond

Whether you met on a dating site like Flirtini or were set up by a friend, first date jitters are a real thing! The idea of potentially meeting a love match is exciting, but along with that excitement comes nerves and sometimes stress or anxiety. So, how do you let go and just have a great time?

I like to think of first dates as a training ground. Unfortunately, learning how to date, choose a good partner or even build a solid foundation for lasting love aren’t a part of our curriculum at school. We learn these skills through trial and error in the school of life! Each date you go on is an opportunity to practice flirting, conversing, and determining what you like and what you don’t like in a partner. It’s your chance to hone your skills and develop a good understanding of what you want and need. Each date you go on is a chance to learn, grow and one day meet that someone you just “click” with.

Here are some of my expert tips for how to have a great first date:

Confirm Your Plans

If you’re the one who’s arranging the date, be sure to take the lead and reach out to your date the night before or the morning of to confirm plans. This sets the tone for the date and allows you both to prepare without worrying or wondering if, where, and when you’re meeting.

Pick the Right Place

Be sure to choose somewhere that has enough visual interest that you can take comfortable pauses during conversation, or even talk about what’s unfolding around you. Avoid long dinner dates and go somewhere that you can have fun, but isn’t too loud so you can still talk and get to know each other.

Create a Ritual

Create your own first date ritual or routine — something you can do before every first date to calm your energy and relax or pamper yourself. This could be reading a book, grooming, having a bath, meditating, journaling, hitting the gym or doing yoga. Whatever it is should make you feel good but also calm your nervous system and allow you to release stress before meeting your date.

Remember that the person you’re meeting up with probably has the same pre-date anxieties that you do. Last minute second thoughts, sweaty palms, and butterflies are very common for both men and women.

Do a Mind Trick

One of the best ways to take the pressure off the date is to pretend that you’re meeting one of your best friends. Go into the date like you're meeting a good bud, someone with whom you can’t wait to catch up, exchange stories, and have a good laugh. After all, aren’t those the makings of an amazing date?!

Throw Out Expectations

Throw away the idea that this person could be the “one” and go into it with the mindset that you’re getting to know someone new and seeing if you get along. The first date is a chance to get a feel for their personality and their vibe and to see if you have enough in common to hang out again! When we put too much pressure on first dates and go in with sky-high expectations, we get stuck in our heads and it’s really hard to connect with the person we’re meeting.

On that note, don’t expect a kiss at the end of the date! It’s better not to have expectations and be surprised than to expect something and create an awkward moment.

Ask Good Questions

Save the interrogation questions for another time; this isn’t a job interview, it’s a first date! Allow the conversation to flow by finding a good balance between asking open-ended questions and sharing details about yourself and your life. Instead of asking about your date’s favorite vacation destination or color, ask questions that will help you get to know them and spark interesting conversation.

Here are some examples of good questions to ask on a first date:

  • What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?
  • Tell me about your closest friends.
  • What were you like as a kid?
  • Do you have any pet peeves?

Follow Up

If you had a great time, either arrange your next date before the first one ends, or at the very least make sure you text your date right after and let them know you had a great time!

Bottom line: First dates can be intimidating. Use these tips to de-stress, have fun, and let your true personality shine!

Dating and More Related Stuff