How to have a successful first date – dating tips from the experts
Yes, much of it comes down to chemistry, but there are a few fail-safe tricks to navigating a first date that you should know about. Follow the dating tips below to lead you to that crucial second date.
Avoid social media stalking
‘It’s always tempting to ‘accidentally’ check out a date’s social media accounts before meeting up. In fact, our research shows that over a third (38%) of us admit to a pre-date Google. Try to avoid it, if possible. In-depth social media stalking will make you form judgments before you’ve even sat down together so prioritise getting to know the real person, rather than their online persona.’
‘A first date is your opportunity to get to know your date – and for them to get to know you. While we all want to present the best version of ourselves, dressing in a way that feels unnatural is guaranteed to make you feel uncomfortable and is likely to put a damper on your date. Wear something that you’re comfortable in and that reflects the real you.’ Venue choice should also give you an opportunity to chat and get to know each other - steer clear of the cinema on a first date.
Try a confidence exercise
‘First date nerves are natural, but you can tackle them by employing a few confidence tricks. Visualise a great date – one where the conversation flows easily – and hold on to the positive feelings that the thought encourages. Affirmations are a useful tool too. Stand in front of the mirror, put your shoulders back, and say out loud ‘I can do this’. It may sound strange but it really works.’
Have a laugh
‘When we laugh we release endorphins, which can help us to relax. Sharing a laugh on a first date is a great way to break the ice as well as an effective bonding tool. You don’t need to start telling knock-knock jokes, but if you have a funny anecdote or two in your arsenal, don’t be afraid to share.’
Use open body language
‘Most of what we communicate is through our body language rather than words. Folded arms and legs creates a physical barrier that implies you’re closed off. Try to adopt open body language instead. And don’t be afraid to make eye contact – it’s a great way to show your date that you’re interested.’
‘There are few things more attractive than someone who gives us their undivided attention. And there’s nothing worse than spending time with someone who’s constantly looking over our shoulder at something or someone else. Make an effort to be engaged and present on your date and save checking your phone until they go to the bathroom!’
‘Asking your date questions not only shows that you’re interested in what they have to say but it also allows you to get to know them, which is what a first date is all about! Don’t stick to small talk. More intimate questions about your date’s hopes, dreams and passions will help you forge a closer connection – and it’s a lot more interesting than talking about the weather.’
‘Nothing is as reassuring as a genuine smile. If you go into your date with a positive attitude, you’re much more likely to have a good time – and make your date feel good too.’
Split the bill
‘Who should pay the bill is one the most hotly debated aspects of first date etiquette. Traditionally, whoever initiated the date would pick up the bill but, these days, it’s much more common to split the bill. But if your date does insist on paying, it’s more polite to graciously accept than argue about it!’