*In the movies, first dates are shown as either awkward disasters or moments when star-crossed lovers develop their first, meaningful connection. Movies exaggerate this situation, as it makes a good story for the audience.
In your personal life, don’t bring drama into the first date — enter it with a thoughtful and open mind. With the right preparation you can, at the very least, have an enjoyable night with a new person.
Successful first dates rely on science. Do you have all the ingredients that will help make amazing chemistry? Make a great first impression on your first date with these tips:
It is very important that you plan ahead. Imagine you show up at a restaurant that the two of you are excited about and they’re completely booked. Your date won’t be thrilled about a table-wait and it would be awkward for you to scramble to find another place.
Make your reservations on OpenTable, ahead of time. This reservation site is used by many restaurants and also provides helpful guides for the most romantic and the hippest restaurants. The OpenTable system allows you the choice of available time slots and you can leave a note for the host about table preference.
Let the host know that it is a first date and you would like a quiet table, so the two of you aren’t shouting over the restaurant’s music and other guests. Check with your date about any allergies and favorite foods, so you can find a restaurant that she’ll love. Your involvement in date prep and your kinds consideration will be impressive and get the date started off on the right foot.
Your date night outfit should be formal casual. Keep your sportswear and tennis shoes in the closet. Unless the two of you are headed out for a sports game, this sort of outfit isn’t appropriate.
You want the first date outfit to represent yourself and your tastes, but in an elevated way. This means, for women, that dresses, pants with a flowy blouse, and heels (that aren’t too over the top) are your go-tos. Ladies, draw inspiration from websites and magazines like, Glamour and Street Peeper.
For men, impress her with a look that shows you put in effort: button up shirt, slim jeans or pants and a nice pair of leather shoes. For first date outfit inspiration, guys should check out He Spoke Style, Dappered, or Men In This Town.
Don’t let conversation lag. Make sure you are prepared with some fail-proof conversation starters. They are based on speed dating types of questions and will help break the ice.
Before the date, you should also brush up on current events. Watch the news or read the newspaper for a glimpse of the more significant international and domestic events.
You shouldn’t bring politics into the conversation on the first date, but it’s important that you don’t fall flat if asked your opinion about a current issue. The key for good conversation is your role as an active listener — you should show interest in what your date says and have follow up questions that will keep conversation flowing.
If the date goes well, at dinner, have some post-dinner activities planned. As this is a first date, keep these activities fairly “PG,” so your date knows you are respectful. More lively, nighttime activities include cocktails at a local bar, a dance club, a jazz club, or a concert. If your date seems like the mellow and sweet type, suggest a bar with old arcade games, an observation deck, a movie, or a nighttime walk through a public garden.
Pick up on cues, while at dinner, that indicate if your date wants the evening to continue. A first date is all about improv, as you never know what will happen and if the two of you will connect.