By Amy Hunt
A first date is always terrifying. Whether it's with someone you've been interested in for ages, or someone you've only just met - they never feel any less scary! So what are the best things to do to make sure that your first date goes swimmingly? Read our first date tips to find out...
Make sure to arrive on time This one may well sound like a given. But it's guaranteed to put a downer on a date if one of you arrives to the venue half an hour later, and keeps the other waiting. Not only is it rude, but it will also make the date who's already arrived feel like you're not particularly bothered - which could easily start you off on the wrong foot straight away.
Keep conversation light Remember, you don't know much about each other yet, so don't dive in at the deep end with personal subjects straight away. Start chatting about easier things, such as your job, likes, dislikes, TV and hobbies perhaps. It's a fun way of getting to know each other without coming across as too intense - and if all goes well, there will be plenty of time to get to the the more meaningful details a bit later down the line.
Engage with your date (and stay off your phone!)Master of first dates Fred Sirieix, the charming manager of the First Dates restaurant, has some useful tips to offer in this area. He says, "Eye contact and a nice big smile [is key]. It's a date and you're there to meet somebody and so hopefully you are interested - that means you are going to be listening attentively and you are going to give your all to that person and to the conversation. You don't want to be on your phone or looking around."
Know the difference between what to expect, and what to strive forWendy Newman, author of 121 First Dates, offers up her opinion on this topic. She suggests that there are things you can really hope for on a first date, and other things that are perhaps more realistic expectations. She says, "Expect to ask and answer questions that are uplifting, fun or bring out the unique sides of each other. Expect that there may not be chemistry - for you, for him, for either one of you. No chemistry happens often. Strive for bringing out the best in him. Strive for learning something new about this person. Strive for a friendly, connected fun time that could lead to more friendly, connected fun times." In short, hope for the best, expect a little worse...
Stay open-mindedIf you've met online, or have been set up by a friend, you probably won't know much - if anything at all - about your first date. So it's important not to immediately write off your date within the first few minutes, or even within the first half an hour. Keep chatting, because any immediate red flag may well come about because of nerves - so be kind.
Be honest about where it's goingNewman says "Be honest when it's time to let each other know where you are going on this date. Do you want off the ride? Or do you want to keep going? This may include a change of venues on the same night. Say you're having fun at dinner and he offers a stroll, a dessert somewhere else, or a drink at a favourite wine bar; if you're having fun, then simply say yes. If you're done, don't drag the date on just to be pleasant. End it."
Pick something fun to do And lastly, there is nothing worse than awkwardly sitting over a restaurant table with nothing to say. So, if you're apprehensive, pick a fun activity to do for your first date, such as rock-climbing, mini-golf, or dancing. It will take the pressure off and ensure you both have a good time.
Have you been on one too many failed first dates? Try the Woman and Home dating site, - it might well turn your dating life around...
Amy Hunt is Life Channel Editor at womanandhome.com, having been with the brand since 2015. She began as the magazine's features assistant before moving over to digital as a News and Features Writer, before becoming Senior Writer, and now a Channel Editor. She has worked on either women's lifestyle websites previously too—including Woman's Weekly, Goodto.com, Woman, and Woman's Own. In 2019, Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards, for her work on womanandhome.com. She is passionate about everything from books, to homes, to food and the latest news on the royal family. When she isn't editing or updating articles on cleaning, homewares, the newest home gadgets, or the latest books releases for the website, she's busy burying her nose in a gripping thriller, practising yoga, or buying new homeware of her own.
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