How to prepare for a first date

This could be everything, or it could be nothing but set yourself up for success!

How to prepare for a first date
Photo by Omar Lopez / Unsplash

While dating can be fun - if, at times, an emotional roller-coaster - the "first date" is a particular major event.

The first date brings with it a potent cocktail of excitement, anticipation, anxiety, and doubt. It has the potential to be amazing or a complete disaster - at worst, it could be blandly mediocre.

But, first dates are essential if you're ever going to get to a second or a third date, so here's some tips on how to navigate them.

Get ready

Dress for the date that you're going on, not the date that you wish you were having.

If it's going to be a picnic in the park, you need layers and sensible shoes. If it's going to be drinks in a fancy bar, then you're going to need to wear something that works in that context.

You want to bring your A-game on a first date, but also not play all of your cards. Remember, this might not lead anywhere but it could be everything.

Have something to say

You've probably already been chatting online - you must know a couple of things about her that let's you ask engaging questions.

If you completely blank when you meet, open-ended questions are always a safe fallback. There's nothing wrong with asking: "What have you been up to today?"

Show some interest in who she is and what she's into.

Prepare an exit plan

A first date doesn't have to be long. It could just be meeting for a coffee - it doesn't have to be an all-day event.

It's really helpful to have somewhere that you need to be so that you've got a natural conclusion to the date. That doesn't mean that you're bailing early, it's just that you've got plans.

It's helpful to be up-front about your exit plan when you're planning the first date. "Yes, 3 PM for a coffee would be perfect - I'm catching up with some friends at 5 PM so that will work nicely!"

Set a clear expectation of how much time you've allocated.

Obviously, if it goes well, get that second date booked in!

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