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First dates: the do's and don'ts

12th March 2013

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We all know just how treacherous first dates can be; if it’s not the long and painful silences that get you, then it most certainly will be that piece of spaghetti that you have had dangling from your chin for the past half an hour. (Don’t worry its gone now, you’re safe!)

Sadly enough, such slip-ups on a first date are not as cute or endearing as one would hope, and I have heard many a romantic tale cut short all because of a spilt coke. But do not fear, I assure you that it’s not as hard as it might seem, and by following these simple tips you will be well on your way to a second date… hey, maybe even a third.

1) Presentation

I hate to admit it, but as human beings we are somewhat shallow, and perhaps care more for aesthetics than for ethics. But on a first date, make sure to present yourself in a manner that is true to you. You do not need ten coats of foundation or six inch heels to look pretty, nor do you need to dye your hair. Keep it simple and sweet, and try not to judge one another too severely on what colour socks you are wearing.

2) Keep conversation flowing

No one likes the awkward moment when conversation dries up and all hope of returning seems lost. But don’t be put off immediately; take a step back, and make a judgement for yourself about whether you are dealing with someone of the shy variety, or whether they are just not that interested in what you have to say. If they truly are a little shy Sally or Simon, then crack a joke or do a cheeky shot to help them loosen up and feel more at ease. The trick is to keep it exciting and keep that ball rolling…

3) Keep the teasing at an all-time low

Everyone loves a little flirt or tease, but with a lot of people (I hate to say it, but predominantly women), a fine line emerges when it comes to playful insults, and once you’ve crossed it, there’s no coming back. So guys, please refrain from making any weight related jokes, and girlies please steer clear of any digs at package size. No one likes a bruised ego, especially not on a first date when sparks are meant to be flying.

4) The name game

There really is no excuse for this, but if someone forgets your name, or even worse showers you with pet names in order to mask their forgetfulness or confusion, then grab your coat and get out of there while you can. If they can’t remember you now, then will they ever? And after all, it’s not like they are able to call after you if you do make a runner!

5) The art of being elusive

Keep in the forefront of your mind the phrase ‘treat them mean, to keep them keen.’ I’m not suggesting the cold shoulder trick, but please refrain from putting too much pressure on yourself or your date, as it just breeds discomfort and will scare your partner off! A first date is a delicate balance between being fun and elusive, so keep a reign on your excitement and don’t present yourself as being too keen. You are a prize to be earned, remember!

6) The ex word

Do not try and dig into someone’s deep and dark past too soon! You are not a tool box, and you are not an agony aunt, so do not even consider acting like one. First dates are meant to be fun, carefree and exciting, so whatever you do, don’t taint the atmosphere by questioning your partner on their past love affairs - it will be too soon, and why would you want to blacken the mood anyway? An ex is an ex for a reason.

7) No cheese please

Refrain frommaking any cheesy jokes; as good as you think they may be. And I would also recommend you staying away from anything of the cheese variety…you don’t want to be cutting the date short from a funny tummy now do you?

8) Politeness is perfection

I refuse to believe that chivalry is dead, and even if it is a struggle for men these days, on a first date you should be on top form in order to show your girl just how much of a gentleman you truly are. Yes that means opening car doors and maybe even bringing along a rose!

9) Meet the parents

As much as you might be excited, and wish to introduce your mum to the hunk or little beauty that you have managed to snag, I would highly recommend leaving meeting the parents out. It is a first date after all…not an engagement party.

10) My place or yours?

After a good night, and a few too many shots, it is more than easy to allow things to get out of hand. But try not to get too intimate too soon; abstain from jumping in at the deep end, and I promise you it will taste oh so much better in the long run. Respect is key, and on a first date you should be doing your best to present yourself in the best possible light… not a night light.

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