These first date ideas will help you avoid disasters, achieve your relationship goals and actually enjoy the dating process!
Before the tips, a quip from radio psychologist Dr Joy Browne:
“People will tell us everything we need to know about them in the first 15 minutes – most of us just don’t pay attention to the information we get,” writes Dr Joy Browne in Dating Disasters: How to Avoid Them. “The most extreme case of this tendency is when we’re dating. In addition to the stress and excitement of meeting and reacting to a stranger with potential romantic interest, we’re busy presenting who we want to come off as: likeable, lovable, cute, sexy, and sane. We see less of who the other people are because we’re so nervous about who we are.”
Before you go on your first date, make sure you’re not ignoring your gut feelings or instinctive reactions. Trust yourself; you know when someone is – or isn’t – good for you!
For more dating tips, read Dr Browne’s Dating Disasters and How to Avoid Them.
And here are seven first date ideas…
7 Ways to Avoid Dating Disasters
1. Admit that you’re nervous. It’s charming to share your fears, and it makes you more likeable. Dating disasters occur when you’re not being honest or vulnerable, so try to relax and be yourself. If you can’t think of anything to talk about, just say so. These dating tips from a relationship expert may also help.
2. Reconsider dinner. Here’s a first date idea: don’t eat a meal together! “Eating in front of a person you barely know and want to impress is not the world’s most comfortable experience,” writes Dr Joy Browne in Dating Disasters. “Everyone at the table feels pressured and on edge…and the food hasn’t even arrived yet.”
If you do decide to eat dinner together on a first date, read Should You Cook a Meal on the First Date? 10 Tips for Tapas.
3. Pick a great location for a first date. Avoid movies, plays, the opera, or a loud concert for your first date. The point of the date is to get to know one another; if you can’t talk, then you won’t connect. Instead of dinner at a restaurant, consider these first date ideas: art galleries, amusement parks, museums, botanical gardens, dance lessons, or cooking lessons.
4. Set your date on a weeknight. Another great first date idea is to pick a low-key night, such as Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, to avoid the “Saturday Night Date Pressure.” Or, consider meeting on Saturday or Sunday afternoon, when it’s daylight and low pressure. To achieve your personal dating goals, schedule a short amount of time – not a 7 hour marathon.
5. Pick the right clothes. “Make sure that your clothing is clean, comfortable, and appropriate, and it doesn’t send any message that you don’t want it to,” writes Dr Browne. “If you’re the person making the date, be clear about what you’re going to wear – it’s okay to suggest the dress code so at least you’ll match, more or less.” If you do happen to dress too formally or too casually – let it go. Relax and enjoy yourself, and you’re less like to encounter a dating disaster on your first date.
6. Be on time, or call ahead. Don’t be late – that’s a bad first date idea! If you’re a few minutes early or a few minutes late (by “few”, I mean 5 or 10), it shouldn’t be a problem. If you’re more than 15 minutes late, call as soon as you know you’ll be late and give an approximate arrival time. To achieve your love life goals, show common courtesy and a sign of respect.
7. Talk about your environment. Dr Browne writes, “Commenting on your surroundings, the weather, other people at a party (making sure you’re not being mean), a painting, a wall color, the food, or the band that’s playing can make great conversation starters, but using wit on an early date is always a bit problematic. Even for those of us with a good sense of humor, we have no idea what someone we hardly know will find funny.” Dr Browne also points out that nervous women tend to speak faster, while men tend to clam up. So, give your date time to collect his thoughts.
Not good at small talk? Read What to Talk About on the First Date – 10 Easy Conversation Starters.
How do you avoid dating disasters — and do you have any tips for first dates? Please comment below…