1 of 17 Corbis
First dates have amazing possibilities. They can blossom into lifelong partnerships, they can be the spark that ignites meaningful friendships or they can end up simply being a few great moments shared with someone of the opposite sex. All of which have the potential to be equally fulfilling in their own way. The end result however isn’t as important as the experience itself. So the goal should be to make the experience the best it can possibly be. You can’t control what men do — at least not directly! — but your actions lie within your sovereignty. Here are 15 Ways to Have the Best First Date Ever.
2 of 17 Getty Images
A lot of people are reluctant to be themselves from the outset for fear of rejection. Being yourself from the beginning is the best thing you can do. (This means you should stop thinking about “the kind of girl he’d probably like” right now, and just show up as yourself.) It allows you to find out if he is comfortable with your personality. There may be times where there just isn’t a significant spark as a result of conflicting personalities, and that’s perfectly OK. The sooner you become aware of this the better.
3 of 17 Getty Images
One of the best ways to ensure that your date will be a success is to get a sense of his personality beforehand with a brief phone conversation or through emails or texts. If you’re anything like me, you would much rather have your first meaningful conversations in person. That’s understandable. However, sometimes just a few text messages can reveal a small sense of who he is and whether the decision to go on a date will end up being worth your time.
4 of 17 Corbis
Believe it or not, first dates can be very stressful for men. As much as we hate to admit it, sometimes we just don’t know what to do. For us, the ultimate goal is to please you in some way and to make the experience one that causes us to be looked at in a favorable light by you. Help your date out and give him some recommendations. This will greatly lighten his load and ensure there’s a mutual interest from the start.
5 of 17 Corbis
Avoid the awkward car ride that sometimes happens when people try and save the “good conversation” for when they get to the designated destination. By meeting up at a set location you help to alleviate some of the pressure that comes with attempting to make a good first impression.
6 of 17 Getty Images
When attempting to get to know a person, the less distractions the better. Nothing ruins the mood for him more than being somewhere with you where he has to compete for your time and attention. Unplanned “group dates” are never fun, especially when he is trying to impress you; which he is. He needs to feel like he has all of your attention. This is vital to his self confidence which aids him in his pursuit of you.
7 of 17 Corbis
Getting started early is to your advantage because it allows for flexibility. If you guys hit it off, the early start time will allow you to continue the fun by adding more activities then originally planned. This also helps to keep your options open since certain venues close at earlier than others.
8 of 17 Corbis
The more prepared you are the better. Think of some conversation starters and some good ways to break the ice before you leave the house. The planning of the date can be as fun as the date itself. Do that part together. This can help get the chemistry going beforehand by creating a healthy anticipation of the time you will soon spend together.
9 of 17
Life works best when we embrace its fluidity. Make a conscious effort to be flexible in terms of your schedule. Try not to sandwich your first date in between other obligations you may have. A first date only happens once. Taking the time to enjoy it has the potential to improve the experience. When your focus is constantly on the clock, you can miss things, making it hard to get to know him.
10 of 17 Getty Images
Skip the “standard” dinner and a movie routine and change things up a bit. A first date affords you the opportunity to have a clean slate with a person of your choosing, so why do something you’d do any old Friday night? Go for something new, fresh and exciting. It will make for a much more adventurous time.
11 of 17 Getty Images
“Excuse me, but I have to take this!” …Do you really? I must admit that I’ve been guilty of this on more than one occasion. The truth is, the world can wait while you enjoy the moment with your date. When you are present and honed in to what is happening now, it allows you to fully embrace the first date experience. It also keeps you from having to constantly break the interaction, interrupting what chemistry may be developing.
12 of 17 Getty Images
One of the best ways for you to get to know him is to genuinely want to understand his perspective. Cultivate a conversation by being open to engaging with him intellectually. Everyone has a story. If you listen closely you will discover his. In doing so, you will also come to realize just how much people in general have in common. Good meaningful conversation has the ability to satisfy our need for companionship and to take seemingly random human interaction beyond the surface into a place of fulfillment.
13 of 17
Craft your first date around an activity that’s conducive with the time of year you’re going out. Fall lends a wonderful opportunity to take your date outdoors (think: apple picking, paddle boats, hikes), which always makes for a good time. Wine tastings; lunch in the park; ball games. There are plenty of things to do and experience together year-round. Think outside the box.
14 of 17 Getty Images
Want first date magic? Give your expectations the night off! Many times we go on dates with expecting certain outcomes and that keeps us from truly enjoying the moments we share together. Is he marriage material? Does he fit my standards? Will his mother like me? Whoa! These are valid questions, but the answers you seek are found within the interactions you’ll have. Instead of trying to shape the experience, simply embrace it for what it is and let it flow.
15 of 17 Getty Images
If you’re interested in him, send him clear signals. No games! Trust me, he’s trying desperately to get it right, so If he is succeeding, let him know it. Smile, laugh and give him the look that only a woman who’s interested can. Sometimes we men need a little assurance along the way. If you want him to open up, this is the trick.
16 of 17 Getty Images
Have fun! Relish the opportunity of meeting someone new and enjoy it. Happiness starts with perspective. During your first date it’s possible you may discover that you and him do not share a lot in common. Enjoy what you do have in common and attempt to understand the things you don’t. Even if this turns out to be the first and only date you go on with him, enjoy it. Learn from it and accept it for exactly what it is. Remain open and remember life is best served with a smile.
17 of 17 Courtesy of Kevin Carr
Let’s talk some more. Be sure to leave questions or comments for me below. Keep up with me over on IfMenAreDogs.com or find me on Twitter anytime. For more advice from me, read 10 Things You Think Impress Him, But Don't.
You may like
Get The Essence Newsletter and Special Offers delivered to your inbox!