You met a great guy at a coffee shop. Or your friend finally convinced you to go on a blind date. Or maybe you were matched online. Whatever the case, you’re going on a first date! Go you!
First dates are the best. Yes, they come with a host of nerves (are there going to be awkward pauses?) and irrational fears (what if he’s a serial killer?) but they also come with possibilities of kisses, new experiences, and, just maybe, forevers. Here are some do’s and don’ts to help you get through the night and onto happily ever after.
Do suggest or be open to unconventional dates. Sometimes it’s easier—and more fun—to get to know someone over a hot sauce tasting or rock wall climbing than your typical dinner and movie date. Unique activities take the pressure off and let you two just enjoy getting to know each other.
Don’t cyber stalk your date. It’s tempting to get to know the digital version of your date before the real life one. After all, with just a few clicks you can see his Facebook check-ins, Instagram bio, and Twitter quips. However, it’s easy to get a false sense of someone via their online persona. Hold off until after the first date. That way you won’t accidentally mistake his gorgeous sister as an ex-girlfriend!
Do be excited! It’s easy to get into a cynical spiral (re: it will go terribly, he won’t like me, I don’t even know if I like him). Sure, he may not be “the one” but the time you spend together, however brief, is special and sacred to just the two of you. Go into the date with an open heart and have fun. Most of the doubts will disappear as you have a great time with this new guy.
Don’t pretend. Be yourself! If you want a giant hamburger and fries, go ahead and get it. If you find something funny, laugh as loud as you want. If you hate his favorite sports team, say it. Don’t worry about being artificial or trying to impress him. He is much more likely to fall in love with the sauce-on-your-face-head-thrown-back-laughing you then the I-only-eat-salads-and-agree-with-everything-you-say you.
Finally, do enjoy yourself and know that even if things go colossally wrong, you put yourself out there, learned about yourself, and have an awesome “awful first date” story to tell!