You have secured your first date and you want to make sure it all goes swimmingly. It’s a confusing time to date nowadays and there’s a lot of conflicting information out there, so it’s understandable if you feel a little nervous. To help you navigate the rapids of the dating river, we’ve compiled a list of etiquette pointers for you to bear in mind for your first meeting with your date:
1. The Queen Vic
Choosing the wrong venue can really set you off to a bad start. Surveys suggest that the majority of singles would prefer their first date to be drinks at a bar. That said, you shouldn’t take your date to your local, where you are likely to be greeted by friends, or worse, the ex. No matter how sociable your date is, you are meeting him/her to get to know them, so give them your undivided attention. Choose a neutral venue like a wine bar.
2. First Date Fashion
We all know how important first impressions are and the way you dress says more about you than you may realise. You may think that a distressed pair of jeans and your vintage T-Shirt make you look oh so sexy, but this look is likely to get you kicked to the curb quicker than you can say Hipster. Gents, think job interview without the suit. Remember to shower, shave and go easy on the smellies.
As for the ladies, the key word here is lady. Choose an elegant but understated outfit which will flatter your figure and use makeup to accentuate your face, but keep it natural. Men prefer natural looking women, who are confident rather than caked (in makeup).
3. Bad Manners
I’m not referring to the ska band here. It’s a quintessential British tradition to be well mannered and polite. Good manners will never go out of fashion and no one has ever complained about them. Remember what your mum taught you and you will be fine. And gents, it’s okay to hold a door open for your date or help her into her chair.
4. Vampire Vendetta
The fettuccine alla scampi e aglio (or pasta with garlic prawns to you and me) are out of bounds, unless a) your date has the same or b) your intention is to repel him or her from giving you a good night smooch. In which case – Buon Appetito!
Oh, and another word of advice here. If you are prone to clumsiness, stay clear of potentially messy meals. I once dropped my spoon into my soup and spend the rest of the date with a napkin round my neck covering the stains on my white top. Yeah, that’s how I roll.
5. Dutch Dilemma
This is the one issue that gives most people a headache. So let me make this easy for you. There is an unspoken expectation among women for a man to pay on the first date. However, some may prefer to go dutch. So gents, to make sure you are covering all bases, simply ask her if she would be offended when you pay. This way you are considerate and you give her an opportunity to decline, in case she’s really opposed to it. Sorted.
6. So Call Me Maybe
To be honest with you, this waiting around for 3 to 4 days after a date malarky annoys me. What is wrong with letting your date know (that night or the next morning) that you had a great time and that you hope to repeat it soon? You are interested in him or her, right? So, show it. (Editorial disclaimer: If you intend to see the person again, refrain from declarations of your undying love for a little while longer.)
Equally, let the other person down easily if you don’t feel that way and allow them to move on rather than holding onto a false sense of hope. Be respectful, thank them for a nice date and tell them the connection you’d hoped for just wasn’t there. There’s plenty more fish in the sea.
Do you have any tips for our members for their first date? Or a funny first date story to tell us? Leave us a comment or send me an email!