Congratulations! You have a date! This means that you have connected with someone enough that they have agreed to spend some time together and see if sparks fly.
First dates can be an exciting and nerve-wracking experience, whether you are new on the dating market, returning after some time away from dating, or you are doing on your fifth first date this week.
To help, we’ve put together this list of dos and don’ts for a first date.
Here are some things to avoid on a first date in order to avoid uncomfortable situations, help you get to know your date, and raise your prospects for a meaningful connection.
A first date is not a time to shoot from the hip. You will want to make solid and concrete plans for where to meet, what to do, and when to do it. First dates are a little scary for both parties, so having a plan will help you be more comfortable.
If you agree to meet at your local bar for a bite to eat, then everyone has a better idea of how to prepare, what to wear, and what both of you can expect.
No matter what they say, being punctual is a choice most of the time. So choose to be on time. It shows respect and care for your date. If you are one of those folks who are “always late” just pretend your date starts a half-hour earlier.
Nothing makes a worse first impression than leaving someone waiting.
Once you’ve arrived (on time), give your date your undivided attention. Except in rare emergencies, there’s nothing happening on your phone that is more important than the person you are there to meet.
Keep your phone in your purse or your pocket, or turn it face-down on the table.
If you’ve been around the block, so to speak, your first date probably isn’t the best time for horror stories. Speaking poorly about your ex will make your date feel uncomfortable, and talking them up will make your date feel like you are comparing them and keeping score.
There will be plenty of time to compare battle scars on future dates. For now, get to know one another. Ask your date questions about what they enjoy.
Speaking of future dates–don’t assume that this date means that there will automatically be more. Sometimes dates don’t go as well as planned, and that’s okay. Other times the date is fine, but there is no spark. That’s okay too.
If everyone is on their best behavior and trying to make a good first impression, then there’s no such thing as a bad date. If someone acts the fool, then there certainly is. But nobody owes anyone a second date if they don’t want one.
On any list of first date dos and don’ts, many people want to know if it’s okay to kiss on the first date. And the answer is, well, that depends. If both of you hit it off, and if you both feel a strong connection, then that kiss may be nice. But for heaven’s sake, don’t go into your date looking for a one-night stand.
Our best advice here is to take a hands (and lips) off approach until you have a better sense of who your date is and what they want. We know it feels funny, but it’s okay to ask your date if they feel comfortable with a smooch.
That’s a lot of don’ts, so let’s look at some things you should do on a first date. Not date ideas, mind you, because we’ve covered that elsewhere. But here’s some general advice.
Remember when Mama told you to mind your p’s and q’s? We don’t know what that means either. But we do know that you should be on your best behavior on your date.
If you are trying to attract the perfect country girl, you’d best treat her right. Hold the door, buy her flowers, watch your mouth, and be polite. If you are trying to catch the eye of that rugged man, you should treat him right too. Don’t be rude or disrespectful, but definitely uphold your personal boundaries.
Your date wants to get to know you. The real you. So be authentic and honest. If you aren’t a churchgoer, then don’t pretend to be.
If you love sports, say so. If you are funny, then be funny, and if you’re the quiet type, that’s okay too. Nothing worse than thinking someone is perfect just to find that their personality is a deal-breaker later on.
Even out here in the country, online dating can cause trouble. So take safety first. We recommend meeting in a public place for your first date. A dance, a restaurant, or a public park can be great fun for dates and can help in case something goes wrong.
Paying attention to safety is key.
Like we said before, sometimes first dates don’t go too well. It’s a good idea to have an exit strategy. Some relationship experts suggest lunch for a first date, so the pressure is off because you both have things to do later (that hay isn’t going to bale itself). There’s a set end time, and if things go WELL, you can always extend.
It would be great if every first date goer felt comfortable saying “thanks but no thanks,” but that’s often tricky. So make a plan in case you need to get out.
Our best piece of dating advice is to meet your potential match on FarmersOnly.com. We do some of the work for you. Unlike other dating apps, you can assume that you have some shared interests and values, and their dating profile can help you understand what they find important.
FarmersOnly.com can help you find like-minded people and make that first date really count.