Thirty-somethings probably just have to accept that dating isn’t how it was made to look in the Sit Coms. Friends, Will and Grace, How I Met Your Mother, they all made the dating game look so interesting. The truth is there are more rules than a game of cricket. But let’s assume for a second you have secured a date. You want to impress, right? Here are the do’s and don’ts for a first date.
Do meet somewhere public
Don’t go round to their house. Even if you are a big strong man and feel you can handle yourself! Also make your own way there. Being picked up is great once you get to know them but the first meeting should be somewhere neutral. You do not want them to know where you live after the first date. There are some crazy people in the world. Be a little cautious.
Don’t drink too much
Some people “pre-game” before a date, meaning that they have a cheeky drink to take away the nerves. The problem with this is that if you have a glass of wine or two on the date you can quickly get drunk. Getting drunk on a date can be fun, but first impressions count! There will be plenty of opportunities to get drunk together down the line.
Do wear nice shoes
Yes, this applies to everybody. It is something we all notice. Obviously, if your first date is an outdoor adventure then it is okay to don a pair of trainers but if you are meeting at a bar or going for a meal where something classy.
Do put your phone away
Be present! There is nothing more off-putting than being on a date with somebody and they are checking their Facebook or updating their Insta. If you simply have to use your phone (to let loved ones know the date isn’t a nut job) excuse yourself and pop to the toilet. If not keep it in your bag or pocket.
Do find out if you are eating in advance, be prepared to pay
Some people will insist on paying. This may not sit well with you. Assuming you are going to pay for both meals is never a bad move. That way if you “go Dutch” or they insist on paying then it is a bonus!
Don’t stalk them on social media
When they are telling you about their life you will end up bored because you know it all. If you have access to their social media, have a brief peruse to make sure that they seem decent and that they don’t support Millwall, but other than that. Leave their Facebook alone.
Do make an effort
Do your hair, put on nice clothes and make sure they are ironed. Brush your teeth and put on a nice perfume. If for no other reason then if you look good you will feel good. And ultimately having a good time is what dating is supposed to be all about.
Do arrive early
They will probably be just as nervous as you. don’t keep them waiting. Aim to get there 10 minutes before the arranged time. That way if traffic is bad you have given yourself a buffer and you don’t have to wait around for too long.
Do break the contact zone early
I am not condoning grabbing anyone’s ass! But a hug when you meet is totally normal. And slipping in some hand-holding is easy to achieve. If they pull away don’t force anything. You got that, right?
Although first dates can be nerve-wracking, they can be a lot of fun. Enjoy yourself.