First dates can generate a lot of tension, especially when you're the event planner. A first date is often linked to a first impression, even if you've known your potential partner for a long time. Your first date represents a first peek into your romantic compatibility and personal styles. However, whereas some individuals feel encouraged to go all out and plan an exciting fast-paced adventurous date, there is something to be said for keeping things simple.
Inexperienced daters may carry some confusion regarding the dating process, particularly regarding a first date. Hence, it is helpful to keep the following in mind:
- The purpose of a first date is to get to know each other better.
- Getting to know each other by employing a highly entertaining setting is great for entertainment but not necessarily for intimacy.
- Keeping things casual and light will also keep your present relationship casual and light. (Note: this is not always a bad thing.)
- Quiet personal environments are ideal for intimate conversation whereas active environments will encourage less talk and more activity.
- Too much conversation on a first date may lead to too much intimacy and the revealing of information that is far too personal for an initial date.
What to Say
Although the purpose of a date is to interact and get to know each other better, knowing what questions to ask can also be a challenge. Moreover, you may have an arsenal of "get to know you questions" at hand, but timing is every bit as important.
A YouTube video created by the TMIweekly team is an excellent way to start when it comes to what to say and when not to say it.
Generally the questions that will reveal the most about a person run along the lines of:
- Family values
- Core values
- Bad experiences in life
- Health problems
- Financial philosophies
- Past relationships
However, very few of these topics are appropriate for a first date, unless they are revealed openly by your date and not as the result of an interrogation. There is a reason why it takes several dates to feel like you have somewhat of a grasp on a partner's personality.
Indeed, no matter how smitten you are with your date, you should never ignore red flags. These may include:
- Rudeness to waiters or staff members
- Poor hygiene or personal habits
- Conversational monopolization or not asking any questions about you
- Excessively guarded, such that there's a feeling like he's hiding something
- Lack of punctuality without a good excuse (it's just disrespectful)
- Not mindful of others (drives poorly, bumps into people often while walking)
- The character of his friends (if your date involves interacting with members of his peer group)
You can learn a lot just by watching how your date interacts with the world around him. In fact, observing his behavior can be equally as telling as what he reveals in an intimate conversation.
TMIWeekly also hosts another video dedicated specifically to red flags that may go overlooked on a first date. Everything from cell phone usage during dinner to disclosing financial information in light conversation may be all too telling of your date's priorities and moral framework.
The question of who pays on a date is often an issue, especially as gender roles merge. Traditionally,
- The man pays
- The person who initiates the date pays
However, you can divide the costs such that if one person pays for dinner, the other pays for the movie. It isn't impolite to ask if you can contribute to the costs; however, a generous partner will always refuse such an offer.
Reining Your Expectations
The last issue, and one of the most important involved in a first date, is keeping your expectations at bay. Again, the purpose of this date is for the two of you to get a better idea of who you are as individuals and also as a potential couple. On a first date you should always aim to be:
You should not expect:
- Physical intimacy
- Odes of love or promises of a future
- To know all the details about your date
Your main goal during this date is to either secure a second date or to know enough about your suitor to abolish that idea from your head. A first date does not always lead to a second. In fact, in today's society, depending on your age, many first dates never make it to the next stage. Sometimes this is a very good thing. First daters should always keep in mind that if their initial date does not lead to a second, an important step in the eliminatory process has occurred and both parties can move on.