Whether you’ve been chatting on Bumble for weeks before meeting up or you’re going on a blind date set up by a buddy, making a great first impression matters. First dates can be, in a word, nerve wracking, but with the right mindset, ensemble, and plan, you can prepare yourself for success. You never know if this girl will be the proverbial One, so keep these tips in mind and prepare to knock her socks off.
- Skip the Lies
We shouldn’t have to go over this, but for safety’s sake, we will. Thanks to the advent of online dating and social media sharing, it’s easy to make yourself and your life seem like something you’re not. Of course you want to post that photo from last year’s festival where you’d been working out religiously, but if you haven’t kept up with the habit, you might look a little different these days. Maybe those abs have faded into a softer blob, and your arms are nowhere near the same girth thanks to the lack of gym time in recent months. Whatever it may be, don’t send the girl a picture that looks nothing like you, and don’t line your Bumble profile with photos taken in your college glory days. When she shows up and you look like a completely different person, prepare to watch the disappointment on her face. Don’t lie—just be yourself. You can paint yourself in the best light without making her think she’s getting to meet the version of you from five years ago. Be honest about the way you look, what you do, and what you’re looking for. It will make everything go much smoother.
- Dress to Impress
This goes without saying, but you’d be surprised at how many dudes show up to first dates rocking stained, wrinkled shirts and jeans that haven’t been washed in weeks. Don’t be that guy. Spend a little more time on your grooming. Shave that messy stubble or trim that beard, and don’t be afraid to use a sparing amount of light cologne. Smell is the strongest memory trigger—do you want the smell of BO take her mind back to your date in the near future? Take a good look at your outfit options, and cater your pick to the day or evening’s plan. You don’t have to run out and buy something new; sometimes the most basic outfits are the best bet. Dinner date? You truly can’t go wrong with a sports jacket. Headed to a local drive in? Don a casual white shirt and tailored jeans, and don’t forget the sweatshirt that you can offer to your date when it begins to get a little colder. If you’re taking her for a sail around the bay, don those designer polarized sunglasses, and don’t forget those ever so stylish boat shoes.
- Make a Reservation
Nothing’s more attractive than preparation. Make sure the evening goes off without a hitch by calling ahead to your planned date spot and making a reservation. She’ll be impressed with the extra effort and you won’t have to spend an awkward 30 minutes sitting in the waiting area hoping a table opens up. Use OpenTable to check out local spots that have availability. If you’re headed to a movie, grab the tickets ahead of time to be sure the theater doesn’t sell out before you get there, or grab passes to a local miniature golf course during the day to ensure you’re good to go once you step foot on the green.
- Manners Matter
Chivalry isn’t dead. Open her doors, be attentive with her chair, and offer to pay for the meal. She may ask if she can split the bill with you, and if she really prefers it that way, it’s fine to do so. However, being a gentleman means wanting to pay, and wanting to treat her to a special night. Don’t talk with your mouth full, don’t chew with your mouth open, and be kind and courteous to wait staff. Manners matter, and it’s guaranteed she’ll be looking.
- Listen, Listen, Listen
Don’t spend the entirety of the date yacking on about your week at work or the crazy boys’ weekend you had in Vegas. Those topics of conversation are fine as long as they don’t dominate the evening. This date should be about getting to know each other, and listening to what she has to say attentively will take you far. Don’t be a passive listener—take in her words and come up with great follow-up questions and related anecdotes.
A first date shouldn’t feel like torture. Ace your next night out with a special girl and guaranteed yourself a second meetup by the date’s end using these tips.