We want your first date to be your last first date!
As an elite matchmaking service we love it when your first date becomes your last first date because your long-term relationship is our biggest reward.
The 23 tips in this article will guide you through the first-date jitters when you’re nervous, you’re excited…
what if this person is “THE ONE”?
It’s okay, relax. You’ve got this.
Let’s jump into 23 tips to (hopefully) make your first date the last first date:
Look the part
We know...you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but there are some basic rules to get your date off to a great start:
Take a shower
Get a haircut or spend some time styling your hair
Clean & trim your nails
You give away lots of cues with your posture. Are you standing up straight? Did you know that standing tall with your shoulders back makes you more attractive? It also helps to keep your posture aligned to your partner. More on this in a minute...
Dress with class
Show off your personal style, but leave something for the imagination.
If you’re not wearing a tie, just leave the top button undone. Your date doesn’t need to see your chest hair.
Ladies, unless you’re still in high school you don’t need a crewneck under that dress. You can be elegant and sexy at the same time.
Don’t share your sad story. That means avoiding the “ex” diaries and your personal issues. You’ve got a best friend for that chat. Don’t make this first date all about your troubled past. Your dinner date doesn’t want to hear your dating horror-stories.
If you find the conversation going down that road, change lanes as quickly - and tactfully - as you can.
Bad vibes are bad news. There are two positive reasons to stay away from negative conversation.
That thing you’re complaining about might be your date’s favourite thing in the world, and it might not be a relationship deal-breaker.
That person you’re complaining about might be your date’s friend or colleague. It’s a small world.
Oh, and no politics.
Table manners, please!
The silverware is there for a reason. If that first date becomes a second you might find out he or she loves finger-food. But for now, use your knife to help guide your food onto the fork.
And if you order a beer, pour it in a glass.
Please don’t chew with your mouth open...and don’t talk with food in your mouth. (Mom, is that you?!)
Again, the napkin is there for a reason. Put it on your lap.
Give them compliments
Imagine how much effort you put into getting ready for this date (this post is all about setting expectations for that date.) Now flip the mirror. Your date put some thought into what he or she is wearing. Give them credit.
You don’t have to be creepy about it. Maybe they’re wearing a neat piece of jewelry or a unique shirt.
Tasteful compliments give your date the boost they were hoping for...and show that you’re considerate and observant. A genuine compliment goes a long way to building a relationship.
Humility is sexy!
Compliments are relationship builders. Bragging about yourself shuts the relationship down. Of course, you should be proud of your accomplishments, but a first date is no place to try to impress someone with a laundry-list of them.
They’re here to get to know you, not what you own or what you've done professionally.
Be a good listener
Listen with intent to understand, not to respond.
Let that sink in.
Your date tells you they’re interested in water sports. You can talk about one of your interests, or ask them to tell you more about why that’s an interest.
And then listen to their answer. Just think, by listening more, you'll not only get to know your date better, it’ll take the pressure off of you to do all the talking.
This one’s for the men: chivalry isn’t dead
Yes, please open doors. Pull her chair out for her. And definitely pick up the tab. If a man wants a second date, he needs to pay the bill on the first date.
If you invited her out, you take care of the tab. If she’s insisting on chipping in, well, that’s a good sign and a chance for you to set up your second date by suggesting you’ll split the bill next time...
Your date will notice how you treat the taxi drivers, waiters, cashiers, or anyone else you encounter on the date. After all, how you treat others shows your true colors.
It takes so little effort to be polite, remember names and compliment others. And it can make such a big difference...be polite!
Body language makes up 93% of the communication mix, especially when it comes to your first date. Make eye contact. If you don’t your date feels as if you’re distracted or uninterested (even if you’re not) and may respond in turn.
This is really important if you’re meeting in a restaurant or other spot where there’s lots going on around you. Ignore the clanking of dishes, people walking by...keep your focus on your date. More on location in a minute...
Two drinks max
Getting drunk on a first date is extremely unattractive. Don’t make your last impression by stumbling into the back of a cab, it’s not appealing.
Don't go where you know everyone
You need to keep your focus on your date. It’ll be easier if you don’t go to a place where “everybody knows your name”...you’ll come across as a bar rat.
Besides, if everybody knows you she might get the impression you’ve taken other “first dates” there...and you want to make her feel special.
Trying something new can be a fun way to create a connection...you can share the great (or disastrous) experience and laugh about it on your second date.
If you happen to run into someone you know, of course, be polite (see Tip #11). Make introductions, then end the conversation by saying "It was nice to see you." Your friend should take the hint.
Put the phone away!
Your phone doesn’t belong on the table. It’s a distraction. Give your date your undivided attention...unless you’re on call. If you’re a professional trying to wedge in a social life that’s fine, but tell you date at the outset. There’s no reason to take personal calls or respond to texts while you’re having a personal conversation, though.
Remember Tip #14? You’ll try something new and things might go sideways. That’s alright. Take it in stride. Your date will appreciate your patience and flexibility. If something goes awry, it's a great opportunity to show off your spontaneity!
Watch your mouth
At LUMA our favorite four-letter-word is LOVE. Leave the rest at home on your first date.
If you need to use the restroom, say, "Excuse me, I'll be back in a minute," not "I have to take a piss." No one wants to know what you're doing in the bathroom!
And limit your swearing--it's often a sign of a limited vocabulary.
Turn down the volume
Sometimes people get nervous on a first date and the voice-volume gets turned up. Turn it down. Speak at a reasonable level for two people having a conversation with each other, not with the whole room.
After meal check
When you're done eating, excuse yourself to the restroom. Wash your hands and check your appearance in the mirror. Your date was too polite to mention the spinach between your teeth. Take care of that.
It’s also a great idea to keep mints on hand. That garlic-infused dish was delicious, but probably not the scent you want to linger when it comes time to say goodnight.
Did you know that when most people listen their face goes blank? Smiling when you listen is such an easy way to show your date you're enjoying his or her company. Even if you don’t see a second date on the horizon, show some courtesy and be polite.
Spare the drunk stories
We’re back to NOT sharing your sad stories. Trust us on this one: your date doesn't want to hear about how wasted you got last weekend. It’s boring and uncouth.
You’re on a date with a fabulous, professional woman. Show her your best side, not your worst. You might discover that you both enjoy letting your hair down once in a while. But that’s not a topic for your first date.
Compliment your parents
Do you have funny stories to tell from your childhood, about your parents? People like family-oriented people, and if this “first date” leads to more you’re setting the scene for that “first” meeting with the family!
Finally: Don’t Do It
No matter how well the date is going, resist temptation. Don’t have sex on the first date. Earn your date's respect and save some anticipation for the future.
As an elite matchmaking service, at LUMA we love connecting professionals who are looking for discreet dating options. Maybe it’s time to get your personal assessment done by a professional matchmaker.
Do you have any other tips to share? We’d love to hear from you.
This article was originally published in 2016 and was updated in 2019.
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