First dates to some can be the beginning of something beautiful and to others can be fairly nerve-wracking experiences. If the first date is with someone we like, our nerves will be in overdrive wanting to impress and make a good first impression. Everyone has slightly different advice when it comes to first dates as to what to talk about and what to avoid talking about, where to go and where not to go, and what to wear and what not to wear. But what actually makes up the perfect first date?
One of the most Googled searches when it comes to first dates is what to talk about. It can be difficult to think of what to talk about on a first date but there are some topics that are always good. Talking about your childhood and how you got to be where you are is always good and helps flesh out who you are as a person. Moving onto work is always a must so you can assess each other’s current lifestyles and potentially discover their ambitions.
Keeping it casual again, talking about food is a good go-to, even if it’s about the food you’re currently eating. This is often where people discover similar tastes – or completely conflicting ones. But that doesn’t matter. Moving towards pop culture is a good way to develop things in common. If you like the same music, TV shows, films, or books you have some ready-made conversation topics. The most important aspect is to talk with humour to discover if you are on the same comedic wavelength. If so, then you could effectively chat about anything – except religion and politics!
The most important talking point is…not you. You want to ask questions, learn about the other person. You’re not there to tell them everything there is to say about you but are there to show off your listening skills. There’s no point telling hilarious anecdotes and then forgetting all the details about your potential match. You have one mouth and two ears for a reason – so you can ask questions, ask follow-up questions, and ultimately learn all you can about another person.
Location, Location, Location
Once you’ve revised your script (don’t be embarrassed about this as many people do practice some talking points ahead of time) it’s time to put it to good use. The next aspect of a first date that could guarantee a second one is the setting. Most people opt for drinks or dinner. This gives a good opportunity to talk and gives you things to do while you do talk, such as people watch or try new food and drink. Somewhere casual might be better rather than a three-course waiter-led service which ends up with you spending more time talking to the people serving your food than each other.
Other people opt for more adventurous date locations. There are plenty of things you can do nowadays – from axe throwing to escape rooms, mini-golf to rock climbing and even go-karting. Of course, a first date where you might be climbing a huge chunk of plastic independently might not work as well as drinks on a terrace somewhere. Some people opt for the classic cinema date – but make sure you do something afterwards otherwise you’ll spend most of your time sitting in silence in the dark. Let’s say for ease of purpose that you choose a nice restaurant or bar that is affordable and somewhere accessible for both parties.
Dress to Impress
The next most important thing is to decide what to wear. Now, the playing field is more uneven for men and women here. While men can get away with a t-shirt and jeans, women often feel more pressured to dress up. The venue will play a large part in this. And you never want to look too dressy or too smart (so, no three-piece suits for drinks at Slug & Lettuce). You also want to try to match. Being under or overdressed compared to one another can start you off on an uneven keel, which you might never be able to recover from.
You should also make sure you dress for the date. If you’re meeting in the park to go running, then dress for that. If you’re going to the club later, then probably avoid the trainers. You are selling yourself as a romantic match, so you want the packaging to really showcase your best features and allow your date to fall for you and appreciate you.
Planning the perfect date can be difficult. There are many factors involved that you need to work on. Beginning with the bones of the date, you need to make sure you have the conversation down. A boring axe throwing session or mismatched shoes can be salvaged with good chat. While appearances are important, you’ve already achieved the date, it’s your chance then to use your personality to get you through it.