Even the most savvy and confident person can get a little nervous when thinking about going on a first date. You’re busy putting your best foot-forward while hoping that your date won’t turn out to be a total mess. It can be the start of something wonderful or a disaster; so I figured, why not talk about what you can do to increase the chances that you have fun, even if the first date also ends up being the last date! Here are five strategies to use when taking the plunge into the uncharted waters of the first date:
• Be Yourself. It’s okay to dress to impress, but don’t lie about yourself or pretend to be someone you are not. Don’t try to be who you think he/she’s looking for, just be you. If you’re faking it, it will come out and he/she won’t feel obligated to stick around.
• Have Fun. It sounds like a no-brainer, but sometimes people feel obligated to agree to go places and do things that they don’t really like—don’t do that! You should go to your favorite place, or to a place you think is cool or relaxing. If you find yourself some place that sucks, laugh about it and have fun with the limitations. People like dates who know how to turn lemons into lemonade (instead of complaining).
• Don’t Give it all Away. Resist the temptation to tell all and do all. You want to keep a little mystery about yourself—this is only the first date! Don’t air your dirty laundry, ramble on about your Ex, or jump right into bed. You may feel sexually liberated and open about your life, but give yourself the time to figure out if this man/woman is even worth the physical and emotional intimacy that comes with having sex or discussing the skeleton’s in your closet.
• Stay Cool and in the “Present.” The point of the date is to have a good time and figure out if you like this person or want to see them again. If you’re stuck in your head worrying, you can’t enjoy the date. Stay in the “present”—not thinking about the past or the future. Don’t start asking yourself questions like where is this going or is he/she going to call me after this? You’ll have lots of time to rehash everything in your mind when the date is over.
• Don’t Schedule a Marathon Date. You never know how things are going to go, so don’t schedule something too long (like a baseball game), where you don’t get to interact and get to know the person (like a concert), or where you have too many independent date ideas all run together on the same night (dinner, followed by dessert/coffee somewhere else, followed by a movie, followed by a drink/coffee!). You need to leave things open to happen in the moment and save the longer dates for the future.
Whatever you do, have fun!