How to Date
Tips on how to have a good first date. Look fresh. Be you and forget games and rules. Try to enjoy it rather than think ‘am I going to get laid/snog/second date’. Pay attention.
Boring but important safety bit
You’ll know this anyway, but make sure that you are as safe as possible, particularly if you are meeting someone for the first time. Consider meeting with other friends, or telling a friend/carer/parent/trusted adult where you are going. Meet in a public safe place, ideally one that you know. Know how you are going to get home (plan your route and when you need to leave). Arrange to text someone during the date so they know you’re ok. If you’re drinking booze keep your eye on your drink and try to make sure of what it is you’re drinking (more on booze and safety here).
It’s good to look and feel fresh: obvz. But the reason I mention it is that it’s important to feel good about yourself and often we can help this by spending a bit of time making ourselves look and smell good. So do whatever works for you to get ready, have a nice hot shower, or a bath. Put on your lucky pants, favourite T shirt and make sure you smell lovely, you don’t have to wear expensive aftershave or perfume: just smelling of you (but fresh) is good. Whilst you do all this put some music on, or your favourite film/TV programme and try to get your confident date face on.
Be you – forget games & rules
People always say when giving advice about dating and stuff ”just be yourself”. This is easier said than done because on a date we might fear getting rejected so it’s very tempting to try to really impress someone, to be someone else or to try and use dating tips and techniques. The problem with this is that the other person won’t be seeing anything like the real you. This doesn’t mean telling someone all of your faults and absolutely everything about you, but it does mean that you need to try to be authentic.
But being authentic isn’t easy to do either because you might not know what that means. So think about what your friends say about you at your very best. If you aren’t used to thinking about yourself in positive ways you might find this useful.
Enjoy *this* date not the next
Try not to think about where the date is going too much. If you’re constantly thinking about whether you are going to get laid, or have a snog, or a second date, or a marriage proposal you won’t enjoy the date and, ironically, will probably not get all the things you want from it because you’re too distracted.
So try to have fun. Keep it light and frothy. This doesn’t mean that you have to make jokes all the time (actually lots of people find that annoying), and you shouldn’t try to be something you are not. Pay attention to what the other person is saying, notice their facial expressions, try and let the spark happen.
As well as being distracted about where the date might be going, there are other things that can distract you too. Because of nerves and wanting to make an impression sometimes people are too busy thinking about what they are going to say next rather than what the other person is saying now. Remember that dates are just about chatting with someone not at someone. So listen hard and try to go with the flow of conversation rather than just looking for opportunities to tell your killer stories.
Think about your body language, even if you’re not massively into the date. Checking your phone, folding your arms, yawning or turning your back on your date is not a good look. If you aren’t really enjoying the date it’s okay to tell a little lie and end it early “I’ve got a really early start” “I’m feeling a bit tired.”
Please split the bill
I think that if I could force everyone in the world to do one thing on a first date then that would be to split the costs of the date in two. Reason?
If one person pays then the other person might feel like they owe them something: eg another date, a snog, a shag, a compliment.
If it’s awkward going Dutch (if you are British, anything to do with £ is always awkward), then you could pay for different things (one person pays for the hot dogs, the other pays for the dodgems).Also you might not have much cash: don’t worry you can still go on really romantic and cheap/free dates. Get a coffee/hot chocolate and go for a walk in a nice park. Sit in a cafe and people watch. Go to a funfair. Go to a gallery or museum. Have a really quiet date in a library and look up rude pictures. More tips here.
In case it goes really well …
You might really start to like each other and fancy having a snog or sex. Just make sure that you aren’t really drunk, or full from dinner. Remember that it’s up to you what you want to do. Just in case things get really hot really quickly, think about the sex things you might want to do in advance and think about the ways you can make sure you don’t do something you don’t want. More about this here OMG YES.
Got any more tips?
PS yes the illustrations look like it’s only straight couples that date – it’s not OBVS
© Justin Hancock, 2015