Dating is both the best and worst venture a person can ever go on.
With any given first date, it could lead to severe awkwardness and a wasted night, or a magical evening that could lead to something very special. What follows is something of a roadmap to help you have fewer dates like the former and more like the latter.
So, you have your eyes on someone special and you’d like to take them out on a date? Excellent! Before you even ask, you have some planning ahead of you.
Do not go to the movies on a first date. The entire point of going a first date is to get to know the person you’re taking out, and that’s next to impossible if you’re both sitting in a dark theatre where talking is prohibited and you paid money to watch the show. Similarly, avoid going to dinner on the first date. Watching someone chew is always a little awkward.
Best option: grab a coffee or drinks at a quiet spot and see where the conversation takes you.
Once you have your plan, you have to ask your prospective date out. Avoid being too vague by giving your date some options. Try asking, “Would you want to go out on Friday or Saturday?” rather than, “Would you want to go out sometime?”
This subtly shows that you understand that they are a busy person with a life and a schedule, and also shows that you’re capable of coming up with plans.
Something to consider is planning dates that have a natural ending. It’s a horrible feeling to reach a point in the date where one party is silently wondering if it’s over yet. If you go out for a drink or a coffee, the event has a natural beginning, middle, and end.
Another thing to keep in mind is that while surprises are fun (and you should consider keeping a few in mind), you need to let your date know what you’re doing. This will help them prepare accordingly.
Consider if you were on the other end of the equation. You would hate to get picked up for a date wearing your Sunday best when your date was a picnic at the beach, wouldn’t you? You don’t have to give away the minutia of your plan, but you should at the very least give them an idea of how to get ready.
As soon as you possibly can, make whatever reservations are necessary. If that’s a table at a fun jazz bar, designated lanes at a bowling alley, or whatever you might need, you want to make sure you have those down in advance.
This is a good time to point out that you should have at least one, if not two, backup plans. If you can’t get the reservations, or something happens so that you can’t make your original date plan work, be sure to call (actually calling and speaking with your voice is important during this entire process) your date and let them know of the change in plans and ask them if they still want to go out. They almost definitely will still want to, but it’s good to be courteous about this sort of thing. Your date will think so too.
The big day is here, your plan looks like it’s going to work out just fine, and your date is still on. It’s time for you to get ready. Make sure you look your best, as is appropriate for the event. If you’re going to a classy jazz bar for a drink, put on your favourite dress clothes. Break out the cocktail dress or the suit vest. Of course, if you’re going for a casual cup of coffee, clean and crisp casual wear is just as appropriate.
Ensure that you are well groomed and put your smells on. Put on your favourite deodorant, perfume or cologne but don’t go crazy with the stuff. Some people have a strong sense of smell and you don’t want to make their eyes water with nose-pain when they’re close to you.
Make an Olympian effort to be on time, if not a little early. There are few things as offensive about a date (especially a first) as having your date show up late. Don’t make them wait for you. You’d be surprised how frequently this happens.
You did it! You dressed your best, smell great, and you even got there on time! You meet with your date and… now what?
The first thing you should do, before anything else, is compliment how your date looks. They’ve probably put a lot a lot of effort into their appearance and it would mean a lot to them if you said something.
Once the event has started, make sure you’re attention is fully devoted to your date. You’re there to learn about this person, and honestly, this is where you’re on your own. But as you’ve planned everything out, set up the event and yourself appropriately, and are devoting your attention to date, the rest is up the nature and the other person.
There is always the possibility that you misjudged the person you’ve asked on a date, and the evening doesn’t go the way you’ve expected. But just like the great one said “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” so at least you tried.
You made it to the end of the date and you two are about to go your separate ways for the night. HUGE TIP: Never try to force yourself into your date’s home. Seriously, never do that. Vampires cannot enter a home unless they are invited and you should be the same way.
End the night respectfully, no matter how your date went. Whether that means ending with a goodnight kiss, or a simple farewell depends on how you feel, and what you feel comfortable with doing.
Armed with these tips, you have all the knowledge you need to plan fantastic dates. Best of luck to you and remember to have fun while you’re meeting new people.