Your everything guide to first dates, because those things are scary as fuck
Trust me, I’ve been on ten thousand
First dates are really scary, because you say one wrong thing and you're out. It's not like when you've been dating someone for months, and one of you says something stupid, and the other ones is annoyed, but knows it's not their actual personality. AND, to make matters worse, you're arguably much more likely to say something stupid because you're so freaking nervous in the first place.
First dates are also the number one thing people ask about if it eventually results in you becoming a couple: What was your first date like? What did you do? Where did you go? Who asked the other person out? So there is understandably a lot of pressure involved. But, there are some key things to do, focus on, ask and remember that can set you up for success:
How should I dress?
Because there are so many components involved in first dates, I've broken this article into categories and subcategories for you. It's a lot to take in at first, but remember, none of these rules are hard and fast, they are simply things that have worked for some of the editors at babe.
Avoid heels unless you are suuuuuper comfortable in them
I have literally no idea why anyone would ever wear heels on a first date. Not only are they uncomfortable, but they make it look like you tired really hard. If heels are your thing, and I mean you wear them every single day, then wear them. Otherwise, avoid them. Plus, we already know how fragile some dude are about their height, so if you aren't sure how tall they are, maybe just stick to flats.
Try and gage how you think they are going to dress
This goes hand in hand with avoiding things like heels, but you do not want to be dressed way better than the other person. First of all, the better you dress, the harder it looks like you're trying to impress, and the more that boosts their ego. Why? Because it makes it seem like you're the one who needs to impress, not them.
Look like you gave a little bit of a shit (little is key)
You don't want to roll in wearing yesterday's leggings. Try and strike a balance when it comes to dressing. I usually suggest nice black skinny jeans, a top that makes you look your age, and then either stylized shoes, or a stylized coat to show your personality. I opt for coat since they'll see it, but you won't have to wear it the whole night.
How should I do my makeup?
Avoid going dark unless you usually do
Again, it's a personal preference, and if you usually wear and love dark makeup, go for it. However, if you have never worn a red lip, or a dark liner, this is not the time to try one out. You'll probably just end up feeling uncomfortable, and when you're uncomfortable it's hard to be yourself.
This might sound hyper calculated, but one rule I always stick to is choosing two aspects of the face to highlight. It makes it look like you cared enough to put on makeup, but not so much you went overboard. For me, it's usually eyebrows and eyelashes. I like defined brows and I also want my eyes to stand out for eye contact. Then, you can toss some lip gloss and highlighter on without feeling like you've overdone it.
How should I prepare?
How much should you talk before the date?
You will definitely want to talk a bit before you are suddenly sitting across the table from this person you know nothing about, but you want to avoid getting to know this person via text. It's a lot easier to seem interesting and cool when you have ten minutes to come up with every response.
Set up a time and place for the date, and then allow yourself a few messages back and forth. This will give you something to bring up on the date, without leaving you searching for topics you haven't already covered.
Should you stalk them before meeting them?
Light stalking is key here. Stalking someone on IG let's you know if they have friends, it give you a better idea of what they really look like so you aren't stood there like an idiot looking for them in the restaurant, and it also let's you know if they have any recent (I mean really, really recent exes). That said, you do not want to over-stalk. There is nothing more embarrassing that bringing up a pice of information about themselves you then have to explain you only know because you scrolled back five months on the timeline.
If you do stalk, give yourself a time limit, do NOT follow them, and do it in an incognito window, god forbid you're logged into LinkedIn and they get a notification that you've been eyeing their profile.
What should I talk about?
Don't force yourself to stick to 'safe' topics
I know people always say you want to keep it safe on first dates, but you also don't want to seem boring, and there's nothing more boring than siblings, college and pets. These things are fine to bring up, but only if you've either exhausted all other topics, or realized you have absolutely nothing in common and already want to leave ten minutes into the date.
You want to show off you personality, and you want to ask a lot of questions, because questions lead to flowing conversation (unless they're an asshole who never asks you questions back, in which case you should leave.) Travel, aspirations for the future, hobbies, music, television — these are all things that tell you a lot about a person.
What not to say
Honestly, I am a big proponent of nothing is off limits, unless it's genuinely offensive. Do not say anything racist, sexist, homophobic. I do not need to tell you this. Another thing you want to avoid is talking about exes or past relationships. If this thing works, they are going to find out about all of that at some point, but they do not need to know right now.
Otherwise, I say go for it. I talk politics on dates. I want to know who this person is voting for!! If they start getting weird about it, you should be able to pick up on it quickly and change topics. Don't dwell on a particular topic if they clearly don't have a lot to say about it.
Where should we go?
I think people stress out about this aspect way more than they should. if you two are going to get along, you are going to get along wherever you choose to go.
Avoid super pricey places
Not only are pricey places…pricey…but they can also be pretty pretentious and uncomfortable. It's hard to relax with someone when the restaurant is dead silent and the waiter comes to refill your water every three minutes. If you're going for dinner, go somewhere the waiter will literally ignore you. You want somewhere laid back where there is less pressure. I also suggest a darker location if possible. There is nothing more off-putting that a well lit bar or restaurant. Honestly, sushi is my go too, but a sushi place that serves wine as well. Just go very light on the booze. There's nothing worse than being tipsier than you want to be on a date with a new person.
Who should pay?
Do not stress about this part, because you will know when the time comes. Always, always offer to split. Just take your card out and put it on the table, because it's honestly a shit look if you don't. That said, if they absolutely insist, let them pay, and say something like, "I've got next time." This not only implies you're interested in seeing them again, but it let's them feel good about paying or whatever. Always say thank you if they end up paying.
Just because a guy does not pay for you doesn't mean he isn't interested.
How should the date end?
There is no right or wrong way for a date to end. Just because he didn't kiss you doesn't mean he doesn't want to see you again, and just because you guys slept together doesn't mean he "doesn't think of you as girlfriend material." And if he doesn't, he isn't boyfriend material anyway.
Do not force anything. If a hug feels easiest, go for it. If you're both feeling it and want to go back to one of yours, go for it. As long as it all feels natural, you're in the clear.
How long should I wait to hear from him? / Should I follow up?
Personally, I believe in waiting for the other person to follow up. Not because I don't think girls should follow up, but because I like to be sure they are interested. If you had an amazing time, or they told you to message when you got home, do! But if you left things kind of unresolved, I'd suggest waiting on them to say message. It's frustrating, especially if you had a really great date, but if you thought it was great, chances are they did, too.
Put the phone down and walk away. Staring at it won't make them text faster.