Finally, your hard work has paid off. You’ve taken the time to craft the perfect profile, chosen a gorgeous picture, scouted out the local talent, and dazzled matches with your wit and charm; only, now they want to meet up. GULP! When it comes to that all-important first date, it’s so, so important to plan for every eventuality, and to ensure you’re comfortable with arrangements. What is it they say about prior preparation…?
Where are you meeting?
We cannot stress this point enough; when it comes to meeting an online date for the first time choose a location that’s public or familiar, and always tell at least one person where you’re going. Such a tactic will ensure you feel safe and comfortable in your surroundings, and will allay the fears of those who know and love you. Now that’s out of the way, make sure that you and your date are on the same page when it comes to where you’re meeting. Be as specific as you can to prevent confusion, and always clarify if you’re not sure. There may be more than one Red Lion pub in your town, or numerous fountains within the shopping complex. Which location are you both referring to? There’s nothing worse than arriving at separate locations, only to find you’re now several miles apart.
Make sure you’ve done your homework
What was it your date had said about their favourite hobbies? Did they like that particular film franchise, or loathe it? Be sure to re-read some of the instant messages you’ve shared in order to remind yourself of some of the things they enjoy; not only will you appear attentive, but you’ll also provide yourself with an array of conversation starters. It’s also well worth giving your date’s profile another look. Was there anything you’d like to ask them about their career, aspirations, or hobbies?
Time to eliminate those nerves
There’s a good chance that your date is going to be just as nervous as you are. However, severe jitters could seriously impede your ability to have a good time, so it’s worth attempting to allay them now. What do you usually do to relax? Whether it’s reading a book, watching your favourite boxset, hitting the gym, or heading to a hair salon, set aside some time for doing something that’s solely for you. We all need a little time to ourselves, and there’s never been a better time to pamper mind and body.
Dress to impress your date
It’s always a good idea to delve into your wardrobe with a couple of days to spare; don’t leave everything until the last minute or you may end up panicking, and choosing an ill-fitting outfit that does little to flatter your favourite features. The key here is comfort; rather than opting for an outfit that’s going to flash the flesh, choose something you know if flattering and comfortable. Dress for the season, and the occasion, and always seek a second opinion if you’re having doubts.
First date housekeeping
So, you know where you’re going, you’ve gone over your notes and have a few conversation starters in mind, and you’ve taken measures to calm your nerves. What’s next? Arriving promptly will always be appreciated, so make sure that your date is set for a time you can make without having to rush about; lunch break meet ups are popular, but will you run the risk of getting caught in a meeting, or having to dash off halfway through?
Above all, keep conversation light for this first date, and try and have fun. It’ll only be as stressful as you make it, so focus on the aspects of the date you’re enjoying. Remember to ask open-ended questions that will encourage conversation, and actually listen to the answers, and prompts, that your date is providing. Be honest about your intentions going forward. Are you keen to have a second date? Would you like to maintain a friendship, but forget romance? Let your date know, with as much tact as possible, how you feel. It’ll save any confusion, or one of you getting their hopes up.