Are you excited to get out of your student housing, but nervous about the fact that you’re going on a date? Perhaps you’re dreading the awkwardness of hanging out with a total stranger. Well, stress no longer.
It isn’t the activity that can make or break a date. It’s your ability to socialize. If you’re awkward, then your date will also feel uncomfortable, even if you’re at the perfect restaurant or on the most amazing horseback ride. It’s the person that makes the difference.
The first date is a great time to start showing them that you respect them. Be sure and give the other person their space and don’t feel like you need to rush to be physical. Always keep in mind that no means no. If you set boundaries for yourself right from the start, then this should never be a problem.
When I say respect I mean physically and mentally. Respect their opinions. Just because they think differently than you doesn't make them wrong. Hear them out and try to understand where they are coming from.
2. Common Courtesy
There are a few major do’s and don’t when out on a date. These things should be common knowledge, but just in case you need a quick refresher.
- Check your phone – Before you leave the house turn your phone to silent. Resist the urge to check your phone during the date. It is rude and distracting and tells the other person that what they have to say isn’t important to you. Unless there’s an emergency, you don't really have a good excuse for having your phone out.
- Talk about ex’s – Common knowledge but a good reminder. Ex’s do not belong in your conversation. Maybe there will come a time when you need to discuss the emotional baggage that they left behind, but that time is not during the first date. In fact, it probably isn’t second or third date material either.
- Be alone – This only applies if you don’t know the person. Just because they’re cute, doesn’t mean that they are safe. Take time to get to know them before you allow yourself to be alone with them. Safety is best.
- Bring your wallet – Even if they asked you on the date, always bring your wallet. It is the polite thing to do and can save you from an awkward situation if they decide you should have to front some of the bill.
- Pay attention – Try to stay focused on what they’re talking about, even if it’s a subject that you have no interest in. You’re not signing up for a lifetime of this subject, just an hour or so, which means you should be able to stick it out.
- Give them the benefit of the doubt – If they say something offensive try to give them the benefit of the doubt. I’m not saying to tolerate your date being a total jerk, but if one thing they said bothered you, it isn’t the right time to climb onto your soapbox and indoctrinate them with your ideas.
Your date doesn’t make this an awesome time, you do. In fact, you can play a large part in whether both of you have a good time. Conversations are so important while dating because that is how you get to know each other.
If you’re not sure what to talk about then try to figure out what the other person is passionate about. Don’t make them feel like they are being interrogated, but if you can find their passion then you’ll have a conversation that can last you the whole date.
4. Make Suggestions
If the date is taking a turn for the worse or you don’t feel comfortable with what your date wants to do, don’t be afraid to make suggestions. I’m not saying you shouldn't go bowling because you're bad at it, but if you have moral issues with what is happening then don’t be afraid to speak up and suggest an alternative.
On the flip side, be willing to try new things. If there is nothing morally compromising about what you’re doing then try putting yourself out there. Who knows, maybe you’ll really like the new thing.
If you’ve given the person a chance and you’re certain it won’t work out, then be honest with them. Try to be delicate, but also be upfront. You don’t want to waste their time and vise versa. Depending on how this conversation goes you might still be able to be friends without it being awkward.
With these 5 simple tips in mind, you should never have a bad date again (at least it won’t be your fault anyway). You can be the difference between fun and lame. Enjoy your dating life and good luck!