The usual advice is to never set the bar too high on a first date. But if you really want to score a second date, here’s what you should do.
Your first date with a girl can pretty much clue you in on the important things you need to know about a person. Apart from that, it also serves as a two-way audition for a potential life partner. That is why you need to be at your best, or as much as you can be on a consistent basis.
This date defines the dynamic of your relationship from that point forward. What you present is what your date will expect until a point where you decide to end the relationship. This poses a problem, because setting high expectations can be damaging for a long-running relationship.
How to have the first of many successful dates
Shelling out for a first date can be a regretful experience, but there are times when it’s worth it. You might just be wooing the woman of your dreams or sealing the deal on a very promising relationship. If it’s a little too stressful on your bank account, there are other ways to impress your date on a budget.
The main point is that your first date should be memorable. It has to make a lasting impression, no matter what type of date it is. The key to this is originality, sincerity and a whole lot of confidence. So, what can you do to prepare for an epic first date?
Find out what you can
Assuming that the girl you like already agreed to go out with you, the next step to take is to prep for the date. If you’re a busy person, don’t go out of your way to set something up that takes too much time and effort.
If you want to save yourself the trouble of having to guess what type of date is easy to set up – but will still impress the girl you like – do your research. Once you know what you’re dealing with, it will be easier to plan your date.
It’s easy to find someone’s Facebook or Instagram profile these days. If you see a recurring theme in their profiles like music, art, international cuisine or whatever it is they are passionate about, plan your date around it.
This is the first step to sealing the deal. Your date will appreciate your thoughtfulness or the “purely coincidental” theme of your date. You need to know what makes a person feel all warm and fluffy inside, so you can exploit it for a well-meaning purpose.
Cookie-cutter dates are only effective, if you can carry a conversation well and have an arsenal of witty quips to fill the awkward silences. Some people are comfortable and confident enough to pull this off, but those of you who don’t have that type of personality will have to make do with something a little over the top.
First date ideas to knock her proverbial socks off
It can be difficult to arrange something out of the blue, especially when you don’t know where to start. You can’t just come up with an amazing and unique idea out of thin air, right? Sometimes you can, but for those of you who need some help, we have compiled a list of suggestions that will work for you:
#1 Indie music gigs. You need to choose an artist that she likes or someone you know is really, really good. Choose a band that has a pseudo-pop vibe. Almost everyone likes a band that may one day have a chart-topping hit.
Why it’s a good idea: There’s just something about dim lights, good music and the close proximity of one person to another. The whole feel of the experience is like a tiny spark that builds up to a climactic explosion at the end of the night. Plus, going to a less popular band’s show is way more inexpensive than splurging on tickets for a big concert. [Read: 7 ways to make dating a music lover more fun]
#2 Romantic restaurants near bodies of water. Since frou-frou restaurants are overplayed, you can opt for a cozy and quiet café near a river, a lake or the sea. Date Hack: Set the date on a full moon, and when the weather is agreeable.
Why it’s a good idea: The ambience of places like these will compensate for the lack of showboating. It also gives you an option to ask for a walk down by the water, which is one of the most romantic activities that almost every girl wishes for. [Read: 13 romantic dinner date ideas for two]
#3 Pump up the adrenaline. Researchers suggest taking a date to a theme park to simulate a sense of euphoria in each other’s presence. That shtick has pretty much died out in the 90’s, so why not opt for something along the lines of paintball, laser tag, surfing or go-kart racing?
Why it’s a good idea: Science says that couples are more likely to develop an attraction for each other when their first date pumps up their adrenaline. It’s also way more fun than a walk in the park. [Read: 10 fun and romantic summer date ideas]
#4 Add a little culture and socializing in the mix. Art galleries are no fun when neither of you is interested. Still, there are other ways for you to infuse a little culture into the date. Sign up for an abstract art class or join a Color Run.
Why it’s a good idea: Abstract art is subjective, so neither of you will feel intimidated by your lack of art skills. The Color Run is a race that has no winners or prizes. The main attraction is that you and the other participants are showered with colored corn starch until you reach the end, where a huge party awaits! It’s basically an art installation and adrenaline-pumping date, all rolled into one.
#5 Make your own food. Or at least sign up for a cooking class that lets you eat the final product. It’s best to choose a class that is out of the ordinary, like ones that teach you how to make sushi, cute desserts or anything that’s easy. Avoid baking and French cooking classes. That’s just a recipe for disappointment.
Why it’s a good idea: It’s original. It’s cute. The learning part also allows you to bond with each other. The easy-to-make part lets you eat good food without risking making a failed experiment. Most cities offer date night cooking classes, so you have a ton of options in case you choose this type of date.
#6 Scavenger hunt! If you have time, you can set up a small scavenger hunt that will lead you to various date locations. You can start with dinner, then dessert and an option between drinks and coffee. You can also add little detours, like places where you can buy flowers and listen to music.
You can even adjust the stations according to you and your date’s preferences. Just make sure that the clues are obvious, and the locations are within walking or commuting distance.
Why it’s a good idea: The mystery of not knowing where the next location is can add to the excitement. It’s safe to assume that you’re not conducting the hunt in the middle of the woods, so your partner will be all for it. Even if you make a crappy set of clues, you can always laugh about it while you explain how you messed up.
Things to remember about the first date
Even if you pull off these dates perfectly, you still have to work on your game. You can’t just expect your partner to be awestruck by the logistics of your date, and just fall into your arms in ecstasy. You have to put as much effort into connecting with your date as you did with your preparations. Here’s how:
#1 Look presentable. I cannot stress this enough. Shower, shave *or groom the facial fuzz* and wear something clean. Repeat every day for the rest of your life.
#2 Smile. You overcame the hurdle of actually asking your date out. That means you have enough confidence in you to smile and laugh with your date as much as possible. This small thing is what makes or breaks rapport.
#3 Communicate. Learn as much as you can about each other. Ask open-ended questions. Tell her what’s on her mind. Just talk and everything will flow from there.
#5 Say something personal about yourself. It doesn’t have to be a whole list of autobiographical tidbits. You can tell her about your relationship with your family or a little background on how you got to this point in your life. It does not have to be anything life-changing. It just needs to be meaningful.
When planning a first date, always remember that your goal is to make a lasting and good impression. It doesn’t have to surpass the events on your first date, but you have to be consistent in your affection and appreciation. Once your date is imprinted in your partner’s mind, she will be more likely to agree to the next one.
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Those who can’t do, teach. I can neither do nor teach as well as others, but I can try. Aside from being a writer, I am also a physical therapist. My dream is...