Preparing for a first date, especially a long-anticipated one, is a joyous moments. But at the same time, it can be a nerve-racking experience.
This is because going out on a first date requires careful planning and preparation to make it perfect. Naturally, you want everything to go smoothly to impress your partner, but you don’t want to seem obvious. Also, you want them to be comfortable and have a great time. You can pull these off if you know how to prep for a first date.
To guide you, we have listed 13 easy steps on how to prepare for a first date. Follow these tips to make your date memorable. .
How To Prepare For A First Date In 13 Easy Steps
Before the First Date
1. Get Some Information About Your Love Interest
Whether you know your date or not, finding out more about them will give you an idea of who they are and what they want. If you know who your love interest is but haven’t been on a date with them, you will want to find out what their favorite activities are or the kind of places they enjoy visiting.
Aside from knowing what interests them, your safety is paramount. So, if you have only known them for a couple of days or weeks, you might want to go deeper with the research before asking them out.
Get to know a bit about them by checking their digital footprint—social media accounts and simple google search. Let your family or friends know where you will be and who you will be going out with. Pick a public place and ensure not to share sensitive information like your home address or credit card details.
2. Have a Budget
One of the things required when preparing for a first date is money because someone has to foot the bills.Regardless of who is paying, having a budget eliminates the possibility of overspending.
Even if you decide to go dutch, have a budget and inform your date ahead about your intentions to split the bill. Afterward, you can then design your budget to reflect whatever choice you make regarding payment.
3. Pick a Comfortable Location
After you have sorted out your budget, the next step is to choose a comfortable location you will both enjoy. The goal is to take your date to somewhere they would like. As such, it’s important to avoid trying to ‘over impress’ them by choosing places you feel would be good for your ego.
Instead, gauge their personality to find out what kind of place would suit them. Are they classy and would likely want a fine dining and the red carpet rolled out? Or are they easy going and would rather enjoy a quiet, lovely date? Choose accordingly to help them have a relaxing date where they can be themselves.
4. Work On Personal Hygiene
“If you don’t smell good, then you don’t look good”– Katy Elizabeth.
Nothing kills a great vibe like poor hygiene. You don’t want your partner stylishly covering their nose or avoiding contact when you come close. Neither do you want them to choke on your heavy cloud of deodorant.
So when preparing for a first date, choose mildly scented products—soaps, perfume, deodorant,e.t.c.—and apply them moderately. Ensure you brush your mouth and take a bathe. Also, have mint gum handy to help freshen your breath while on the date.
It goes without saying that you should also be on your best behaviour on the date. For example, don’t pick your nose and eat without washing your hands. You want them to connect with you and possibly agree to a second date, not drive them away with your bad hygiene habits.
5. Pick the Right Outfit
Choosing the proper outfit highly contributes to your comfort. You don’t want to wear a long dress or suit to an ice rink or a sleeveless cloth on a cold day.
Also, pay attention to colors. A study on Sage Journals found that men and women who wear red look attractive. Red also connotes that you are sexually receptive, whereas when you wear black, you look more fashionable.
Finally, avoid wearing heavy makeup; keep it simple to show more of your natural face. Make a hairstyle that won’t get in your way or require constant handling while having a conversation. If you are a man, get a good haircut and shave to avoid looking untidy.
If you have no idea about how you should dress or where your date is taking you, go for something comfortable, sharp, casual, and easy on the eyes.
6. Get Ready for Engaging and Meaningful Conversations
A meaningful conversation is one of the pillars of a great first date. It gives you an opportunity to get to know yourselves better and bond.
Prepare to have an engaging conversation by researching what to talk about on a first date. Topics on politics or religion shouldn’t come up to avoid awkward silences.
Also, engage in the conversation by responding with short verbal affirmations or non-verbal gestures (like a nod), maintaining eye contact, and asking the right questions.
During the First Date
7. Be Punctual
The next step on how to prepare for a first date is ensuring you’re on time. First impressions matter and arriving late to a first date is not a great way to make that impression. Punctuality, on the other hand, may reflect how dependable and organized you are. It also shows your date that you value their time.
What’s more? Arriving on time allows you to calm your nerves and avoid the additional anxiety of rushing up to meet your date if they get to the location early.To avoid being late, set your alarm two hours ahead and a reminder for forty-five minutes close to the time.
8. Pay Your Date a Compliment
“A compliment is something like a kiss through a veil.”– Victor Hugo.
Pay your date a compliment to create a positive atmosphere and reduce any lingering first date tension. Not only will your date feel less pressured, they will also be happy that you love something about them or appreciate the time they took to get ready for the date.
However, try not to overdo it. Paying unnecessary compliments might embarrass them. Instead, be genuine and stick to the things you truly love about them. It could be their look, smile, or general appearance.
9. Maintain a Good Demeanor And Composure
Pay attention to your body language. For example, raising an eyebrow when they share an experience might come off as judgemental. Shrugging when they talk about something important might seem dismissive, and slouching might depict disinterest. Pressing your phone, fidgeting, or not maintaining eye contact reflects that you are uncomfortable and would rather not be on the date.
Don’t order a large quantity of food or the most expensive item on the menu if you are not paying or going dutch with your date. Also, it would be nice to offer to pay half of the bills even if your date does not ask. It shows you are responsible and thoughtful.
10. Be Yourself
The importance of being yourself cannot be over-emphasized. When you are less focused on being perfect, it allows you to relax and have a good time. Don’t overthink it. Just stay true to your values and avoid putting up a false personality to impress your date.
Remember, it is okay if your love interest doesn’t like who you are. There is always someone else out there who would fully appreciate your authentic self.
After the First Date
11. Reach Out After The Date
After you have prepared, shown up, and finished the activities you both mapped out for the first date, the next step should be to follow up with them. There is no need to worry about who should reach out after a first date but if you call or text to know if they got home safely, it will show how thoughtful and kind you are.
Moreso, it is polite to thank them for the date. Seize the opportunity to mention what you enjoyed or didn’t enjoy during the date. If you are attracted to them, let them know that you intend to see them again.
12. Weigh Compatibility
The general idea of a first date is to know if you are both compatible to start something long-lasting. To weigh compatibility, take your time to reflect on the events that happened during the date and what you might have considered a red flag. If their values or beliefs are what you seek in a partner, you can think of starting a relationship with them.
However, there is no need to cut all communications with them if you are not interested or they are not what you are looking for—a great friendship can also start this way.
Related Post: Why do people date? 8 Reasons + Side Tips
13. Ask for a Second Date
Ideally, asking for a second date should be at least a week after the first date. Waiting a while gives you ample time to decide what you want from your love interest.
Keep in touch while waiting to ask them out for a second date. However, don’t bombard them with calls or texts. Between the time after the first date and before asking for a second date, make it clear that you intend to see them again. This gives them time to decide whether they would like to see you again before you formally ask for a second date.
FAQs on How to Prepare for a First Date
During the pre-date stage, you should research your date, have a budget, pick a comfortable location, work on personal hygiene and pick the right outfit. While on the date, have an engaging and meaningful conversation, be punctual, maintain positive body language, and be yourself.
After the date, contact your love interest to thank them for their time, and take a few days to weigh if both of you are compatible before you ask them out on a second date.
Some of the things women want on a first date are meaningful conversations, attention, great personality, fun activities, and satisfying their curiosity.
From the survey answered by our Quora members, some of the things men expect on a first date are punctuality, active listening, live and meaningful conversations, and being yourself.
Conversations are one way to get to know your date, but bringing up sensitive topics like politics or religion might bring up arguments that would leave awkward silences and ruin the date. Topics to talk about on a first date are you and your date’s goals, passion, and relationship deal breakers.
Things you should not do on a first date include: Showing up late, being rude to people or the staff, constantly checking your phone, talking about your ex, and offering unwanted advice.
There is no laid-down rule on who should text first after a first date. However, you can text first because your date might be fretting and shy to text.
Some reasons why people date is for love, marriage, social status, and to avoid being lonely.
Preparing for a first date might seem like the most tasking part of starting a relationship. However, it gets easier once you do some research on whom you are going out with, map out your budget, get good grooming, and choose a comfortable spot and outfit.
During the date, avoid placing all the focus on yourself and leave your date regretting why they agreed to go out with you. Remember, the goal is to know if both of you are compatible for a long-term relationship. So focus on what’s important and have a swell time!