First dates can be a doozy. Just ask any single gal. You’re either putting too much pressure on the date, or dreading it, but it’s stressful whichever way you spin it.
After a handful of mediocre dates in the past two months, I was losing faith in the process. Getting dressed up, and meeting a stranger for small talk, was starting to sound more like a chore than it was fun. While I was trying to make a conscious effort to put myself out there, I was cringing at the thought of sitting through another bad first date. My time is valuable, ya know?
Thankfully, a couple of weeks ago I had a really, really great date (followed by an even better second date). It’s too early to tell how this will play out, but I am in a really good headspace about it. Regardless of whether things fizzle, or the momentum continues, it’s refreshing to know that there are good ones out there. The fact that I can feel those things again, and be excited about someone, makes me happy. It makes all of those bad dates seem worth it, and that makes me hopeful. Boyfriend or not, I’ll chalk that up as a win.
So, if you’re single and feeling a tad pessimistic, here are five tips for getting out there and surviving a first date.
1) Opt for drinks instead of a full dinner — there is nothing worse than being stuck at a long dinner with someone you can’t wait to get away from. That sounds mean, but it’s true. Opt for a quick happy hour for your first date, so you have an easy escape if necessary. If all goes well, suggest dinner for a second date.
2) Have a handful of talking points on the back burner — I’m an over-sharer, so awkward silence isn’t normally an issue for me. That being said, it’s always a good idea to have a handful of talking points in the back of your mind for a quick and easy conversation starter. If you’re lucky, the conversation will flow naturally and you won’t need them, but be prepared regardless.
3) Go into it with an open mind — About a month ago I was feeling discouraged and was really dreading a date. One of my best girlfriends said, “What’s the point of going if you’re not going to have an open mind.” She was right. Even though I ended up not being interested in this guy romantically, I went into things with an open mind and had a good time.
My new favorite quote is, “Open to the possibility, not attached to the outcome.”
4) Wear something you feel good in — Confidence is your friend here. Luckily, I’m a pretty confident girl, so I generally go into a date feeling pretty good about who I am and what I want. However, if you’re feeling nervous and a bit insecure, wear something that makes you feel like a million bucks (I have two go-to date dresses). The fact that you’re comfortable and confident will speak volumes.
5) Relax and have fun — I always get ahead of myself going into dates. If I’m into it, I immediately think about things long term and whether or not it could actually work out. Don’t do this. It puts too much pressure on yourself, the guy and the situation. My advice would be to relax, enjoy the company, go with the flow and just have fun. If it’s meant to be, it’ll happen effortlessly.