There’s more to a first date than just getting to know someone. Keep reading for 10 key things you should always do on a first date.
Do you want to know the secrets to the first date? Are you hoping to learn a bit more about your potential partner?
Preparing for the first date can be scary and exciting at the same time. Even if you’re confident everything will end well, it’s good to know some tips for having a good time.
If you’re someone ready to go on a date and need some preparation tips, keep reading for the answers you’ve been waiting for.
- Use Active Listening
Active listening allows you to take in and retain more information per conversation. This proves useful once you’re on the first date and each party starts sharing the small parts of their lives. Your date will have a life full of personal reflections and minutia. It’s important that you listen intently if you wish to form an accurate idea of their lifestyle.
Deep listening involves thoughtful responses as well. If you prove that you understand what you’ve heard you’re likely to build a rapport with your date. In fact, one of the quickest ways to building trust in any relationship is through active listening.
Since active listening is so important it’s essential that you limit your distractions. The fewer distractions you have around you the more capable you are of listening. This is why picking the right location for your date is a top priority.
- Pick the Right Spot
Your location does a couple of things when you’re on a first date.
- It influences everyone’s behavior
- It affects how you prepare for a date
Before you pick a location understand that most people have nuanced relationships with different kinds of venues. Your date might be someone who could care less where you eat. Regardless, the easiest way for you to pick a location is by knowing the ways different venues will change your behavior.
Moreover, you can better prepare for your date by maintaining awareness around the previous fact. For example, if you plan to take your date into a crowded situation it might prove difficult for you to hold composure. Conversely, you might feel it’s necessary to find a venue with enough going on to keep things interesting.
Either way, picking the right location is one of the first steps toward mental preparedness.
- Be Mentally Prepared
Many first date tips will advise against holding unrealistic expectations. In fact, being mentally prepared means more than being composed, it requires you to be aware of the expectations surrounding your date.
Planning out the whole date in your head can lead to a lot of nerves and tension. Before you go out on your date try taking a big pause. There is nothing to be afraid of on the other side of your experience. In reality, your date is likely to feel just as nervous.
Instead of forming expectations, try being present for the experience. This may be hard if you’re nervous, so try looking up meditations or calming exercises before going out.
- Hold Off On Big Gifts
Many people bring large gifts or make public displays of affection to earn the approval of their date. Rather than pulling out all the stops, try showing small acts that reflect the kind of person you are.
On the first date, we all want to put our best foot forward, but in reality, all we need to do is demonstrate who we really are. If you’re thinking about setting a good impression you can try giving a gift that is subtle and nice.
Choosing a large gift on the first date could make your partner feel pressured or even guilty for not bringing one. Instead of letting this happen, think about the kind of gift you would feel comfortable receiving on your first date. If you can’t think of a good example, try checking out BloomsyBox for a simple yet alluring gift.
- Smile and Make Eye Contact
When learning how to date it’s important to start with basic gestures. Smiling makes others feel more safe and comfortable. If you pair steady eye contact with an honest smile you’re likely to make a good first impression.
In fact, making eye contact is proven to keep others engaged. Furthermore, doing this can raise your personal confidence level.
If it’s challenging for you to hold eye contact you can do simple exercises to get better at this. You can try watching videos that specifically engage eye contact or practice with yourself.
The upshot? Facial cues conceal and reveal meaning. If you keep looking away or frowning then it appears you’re disinterested or anxious.
The easiest way to fix this is through practice. You will have plenty of time to practice simple facial cues with everyone from loved ones to other first dates.
- Body Language
One of the first things anyone notices on the first date is the other person’s presentation and body language. Once you’re closer you take in the smaller details of the face, hair, and eyes. Therefore, you can make a positive first impression simply by paying awareness of the way you stand, walk, and use your hands.
One tip is to stand straight but not uncomfortably so. You want to stand straight enough to show confidence and readiness to talk at eye level, however, you don’t want to seem overly composed.
Another tip is to use your hands when you speak. It’s possible to convey emotion and thought with your hands. You can do this most easily by studying hand gestures and body language.
Empathy is the number one tool at your disposal when the big night finally comes. This emotional toolbox lets you identify with your date and gives them the confidence to do the same.
More than anything you want to establish trust and show compassion. Don’t just mirror your date, but ask them questions that you’ve given some thought. Do your best to identify with their interests and lives.
These tips will take you much closer to emotional intimacy and honest communication.
Mindfulness means being aware of how you feel, how your date might feel, and of the details of your shared situation. This one is more abstract than others and requires that you think over the reasons why you’re going on a date in the first place.
This doesn’t mean that you should give up on your date, instead, you should address what needs going a date takes care of. Do you want this more than you want your own approval?
In other words, mindfulness is holding awareness for your reasons and your actions before going on a date. Do this and you won’t be as nervous or worried beforehand.
Be open and honest. Transparency raises trust between people. If you start your night being completely open about how you feel then your chances of having a good time level up.
You don’t have to pour out all of your feelings. However, you can open up about your deeper interests, desires, and goals you have for your life. These facts bring people closer together and make insecurities move further apart.
Furthermore, transparency gives you the chance to see if you’re on a date with the right person. If they accept you for who you are then things are likely to be positive.
- Establish A Second Date
The goal of a first date is almost always to establish a second. If after following the steps listed above you think a second date is in order, follow these steps:
- Express as openly as you can your thoughts of the date
- Ask out of honesty, not out of obligation
- Use confident body language and make eye contact
This might seem like the quickest way to get your heart hurt. Yet, being open about your internal state is the way to reaching closure and a second date.
Make Your First Date Count
The moments leading up to the first date can be daunting or uplifting. The promise of a second can cause some of us to feel accepted and joyful. It’s preparing for the moment in between that cause many of us to shiver with doubt.
In truth, as long as you are honest with yourself and your date you will be fine. After reading this post you have a larger toolkit for presenting yourself and asking for a second date. What else is there to do?
For starters, dating advice is relevant across all areas of romance, relationships, and psychology. You can become a better-prepared partner by knowing more about your brain and the secrets to relationship success. So, what’s stopping you?
Your next step is to read across topics to gain a better sense for what it takes to be a healthier person. Go out and grow to your heart’s content!
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A professional writer with over a decade of incessant writing skills. Her topics of interest and expertise range from psychology, to all sorts of disciplines such as science and news.