“It’s a Date.”
Three magical words that hold so much promise. We need love in our lives; we want love in our lives. Life is too inadequate without it. And because it is so important to us, it has quintessentially been a factor dominating all kinds of social-cultural protocols and institutions. The good old days had courtships, scandals, arranged marriages and pastoral romances. Today, we have dating. We date to search not only for romantic company, potential love interests, but also partners with whom we would like to share our entire selves with for a lifetime. It is somewhat like shopping for the right shoes, requires trial and error to find the perfect fits you could die in. ‘Modern world needs’ require us to first date, then decide on a perfect course for a relationship and dates are thus indispensable for finding true romance.
Let’s get down to business. Met someone, sparks flew, some laughter, some blushing, some teasing happened. And you both agreed to go on a date to spend time and get to know each other a little better. Wonderful!! I wish you all the luck in the world! But first date jitters giving you second thoughts? Look no further, I am not pretending to be some kind of a messiah, I cannot tell you whether he/she is The One but I can definitely provide you with a checklist to ensure you put your best self forward. Take a deep breathe, clear your mind, reign in your anxiousness and let’s go through the 10 things you cannot forget about when on a first date.
10. Who is your Date?
Don’t make faces. It is important to know who are you going out with. As exciting as blind dates feel like, if you have asked someone out, or been asked out, it’s reasonable to know a lil about your date. Not everything, but something at least. What do they do, where are they from, what do they like, basically some basic facts that would help you prepare you for possibilities you would otherwise be unaware of. It is also instrumental for the next step… That is planning.
9. Okay, we need to make some plans. Not good plans. Great plans.
Planning is crucial. Because you should not spend the evening trying to make plans after meeting your date. Also, it is also handy to have a reservation at a restaurant, or tickets to a movie or a game. Please note that is essential not to make conflicting plans, so inform, and be informed, about plans if any. They help you choose what you wear, how to behave, how to present your most appealing self according to context- your attitude and responses at a concert as opposed to a swanky restaurant will naturally be slightly different. Make some alternative plans so that you don’t have to think on your feet if your date wants go somewhere else, or if that plan fails for some reason.
You should also make an escape plan. Just in case. *wink, toothy grin*
8. So, that’s what you want to wear?
You know whom you are going along with, you know where you are headed to. You must pick your clothes accordingly with a balanced taste. Clothes do make the man when it comes down to first impressions. Your date would be more attracted to a well dressed person rather than someone wearing something unappealing. Stick to well fitted clothes, less revealing, well cut clothes. Don’t wear a cowboy hat to a restaurant and shoes you cannot walk in to a hike. Embrace your bodies and dress happy. Take a warm shower, wear some nice perfume, smelling good is important. And ladies, let your radiant beauty shine; avoid wearing more make than you normally would.
7. DO NOT forget your purse.
And the essentials it must carry. Phone, keys, lipstick, mouth freshener. Mr Guy, maybe you are not carrying a purse, but do have a wallet on you, and everything else you definitely need stowed away in your pockets, without weighing them down. People, DO NOT FORGET YOUR MONEY. Preferably, split the bill. Yes, ladies, the men like it when you make the offer. Guys, if you have asked her/him out, how can you forget your wallet? Yes, whoever had made the initiative to arrange and plan the date should ideally pay for the same, but making an offer to split the bill is courteous. Kindly do not get into a fight over who pays what or how much. If your date insists too much, politely comply. There is always a possibility to return the favour next time.
6. Be confident. Relaxed. Pleasant. Don’t be in a bad mood.
Confidence is sexy. It is okay to be nervous. Don’t feel too worked up, your date agreed to spend time with you because he/she is comfortable with the idea of spending time with you. Maybe, even likes you a lot. Carry a relaxed, confident, pleasant demeanour. Maintain a good posture, steady eye contact, and smile. Your overall attitude and body language will speak volumes about who you are as a person. Try to keep your spirits up on the day of the date, if something is troubling you resolve it quickly or put it on hold to come back to it. It is more necessary have to a date with a free mind than be unfairly preoccupied. In case of emergencies, it is alright to postpone it; no well wishing date will hold a grudge against you.
5. Make interesting conversation. Don’t get too pushy for information. And please, listen.
Enough cannot be said about the importance of communication between two humans. When you talk deeply, share, smile, and understand, you bond. Don’t be nervous if you aren’t good at this, making small talk initially will start rolling things forward for you depending on how well you connect. Too many questions can be a turn off, so ask questions that won’t probe too deep, but would make for a fun conversation that would reflect how you both think and form opinions. The possibilities emerging from a good conversation are endless. Keep it balanced, don’t dominate the conversation all the time (maybe your date isn’t interested about how unhappy you are with your boss/your extended theory about aliens and military conspiracies). Take an earnest interest in your date and attend to their words. It’s okay to lean in to listen.
Please take note that if you or your date is an introvert, it’s okay. Keep your boundaries, but relax them a bit too. No force, no rush.
4. You are not going to starve yourself, are you?
Order what you would like to eat, not what you would like to be seen eating. Salads (read: eating less/eating healthy) don’t make people think that you are any more attractive than what you look like. Avoid getting sauce all over your chin from your spaghetti, or any extra cheese on your shirt. Eat with delicacy and grace, but please do eat according to your appetite and whatever entices your taste buds. Avoid persuading your date too hard to try any exotic food he/she might not be comfortable to try. You don’t want to look adventurous at great costs.
3. Check for chemistry. Things getting too awkward and boring? Do both of yourselves a favour and bail out politely.
Here is where the ever popular practice of friend texting/calling in the middle of the date helps. Most definitely inform someone when going out and make them call at least once to check up on you when you are on a first date. It can help you end an unhappy date on a good note (or just assure the friend that you are alright and everything is fine in 30 seconds flat). Excuse yourself whenever you are compelled to take a call, courtesy speaks volumes.
And, if your chemistry is sparkling like fireworks, fantastic! Enjoy yourself to the fullest.
2. Stick to your boundaries. He/she is not the end of mankind.
You are not under any pressure to do any-freaking-thing under the sky that makes you uncomfortable to entice your date. Be clear about what you like and dislike. Though you can always bend the rules a lil bit for some good fun, you are under no obligation to do anything that you might resent or regret. Also, you aren’t obliged to kiss or have sex after one date if you don’t want to. Just as your date isn’t either. A warm hug, a handshake or a kiss on a cheek can be just as proper and nice. If your date had a good time, he/she will want to see you again. And thus you can wait a bit to try pushing your boundaries as deemed proper by you.
1. Want to meet your date again? Don’t be shy, drop a hint and call later to make more plans.
So your date was absolutely fantastic, the chemistry was hot, conversation was deep, and you had the time of your lives. While parting, tell them warmly that you had a good time, and would like to see them again maybe. Tell them if you mean it. Last impressions are just as important as the first ones. Their responses will tell you whether they feel the same way or not. And if you didn’t like the date so much, part courteously. There will be many more first dates with more wonderful people. You don’t have to force anything to work out.
Set for the date? You will be just fine. These aren’t rules, just guides. In fact, don’t be restricted by any rules. Every human being is special and every encounter is unique. Go ahead and have a lovely time!