First Date Questions And Answers
Let’s talk a little more in depth about that all-important first date.
My clients often ask me for help and guidance on everything from what to wear to who should pay. And because it’s something that can cause even the most seasoned of singles to get anxious or nervous about, I’ve decided it’s best to compile the most frequently asked questions, along with my answers.
After all, first impressions are everything. And if you happen to meet “the one”, you want to make sure they call you back for a second night out. Good luck!
Question: During Introductions…Handshake, Hug, or Nothing?
Do whatever you are most comfortable with. If you’re a hugger, then offer a hug. If you’re a hand shaker, extend the hand. It’s okay to not be quite sure what to do, just don’t pretend to be something you’re not. Always remember that on the first date, you’re showing and telling the other person who you are (and hopefully they’re returning the favor). You don’t have to be perfect…just sincere and genuine. And if in the end it turns out you love to give hugs and they don’t even want to clink glasses over dinner, then maybe that’s a sign this isn’t the right person for you.
Question: Which topics should be considered taboo or off limits?
A first date is a time to establish a genuine, positive connection. Steer clear of the heavier subjects, and if they come up, only skim the surface before moving on. Don’t get too heavy into politics, religion, or other polarizing subjects; verbal sparring can be fun, but I recommend saving the debates for after you’ve established a positive connection. Until you know a person more intimately, it can be confusing and even a little intimidating to have heated discussions, as you don’t yet know the other person well enough to recognize the difference between when they’re arguing, debating, or just plain angry.
And never, ever go in depth about past relationships on a first date. Doing this can leave many impressions…and none of them are positive. It can lead your date to believe you’re still emotionally tied to your ex. It can stir up jealousy or insecurity. And most important of all…a first date is a chance for a fresh start; but by discussing an ex, you risk ruining a blank slate with all the red marks from your old ledger.
Question: What is a good venue for a first date?
While people often try to come up with things that are considered ‘fun’ or ‘different’ for a first date, we actually recommend an old fashioned approach. The idea of zip lining over the Grand Canyon sounds fun, but it doesn’t really give you the chance to get to know your date.
Nothing beats a nice wine bar, or a lunch or dinner date. Pick a place with pleasant ambiance. Not too crowded, and not too loud. You want an atmosphere that encourages intimate conversation, where you have the chance to relax and be yourself. A first date should never involve inviting your date to your home for dinner, or anywhere else for that matter that has the two of you completely alone for extended periods of time; this opens the door wide for misunderstandings, missed signals, and misfires. Inviting a date for dinner on a 2nd date in your home can also be a disaster. Stay away from that idea until after the 5th date!
Remember…the first date is the chance to see if there is a connection. The fewer distractions, the better.
Question: What Should I Wear?
The wardrobe question is probably the most common question I’m asked when it comes to first dates. Every person is different, but there are a few basic rules that apply no matter who you are or where you’re going:
- Less is more, ladies; this is not the time to flash a ton of skin. Too much cleavage or too much leg can really give a man the wrong idea about what you’re looking for.
- And gentlemen, be polished and professional. Nothing with stains, wrinkles, or holes; don’t care if it’s your ‘lucky red shirt’. It doesn’t belong on a first date.
- Nothing with offensive or controversial logos or slogans. You don’t know this person yet; a first date is the time to make a good first impression, and you never know what might trigger a negative reaction. It’s always better to play it safe.
Question: What’s some good first date etiquette?
- Be on time. Might seem obvious, but you’d be amazed how many people arrive late for a first date.
- Put the phone away; you want your date to feel like you’re interested. Constantly texting others gives the impression that you’d rather be elsewhere.
- No shoveling or slurping your food, if you please. Remember that scene from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ where Belle is first teaching the Beast how to eat…? Yeah, this isn’t a good time for a moment like that. I promise your date is not going to find it attractive if you’re wearing half your dinner and slurping the rest.
- Go easy on the alcohol. You may think you’re cute or hilarious when drunk…but I guarantee mostly you’ll just appear sloppy and immature if you don’t know how to manage your drinking properly. This isn’t college any more, and dates are no longer impressed by how many shots you can handle.
- At the end of the night, the man should pay on the first date. It’s just good manners. Plus, it eliminates the inevitably awkward silence when the check arrives.
Question: To kiss…or not to kiss?
Like a lot of PDA-related questions, the answer always depends on the personal preferences of the individual. If it’s not something you’re comfortable with, then don’t do it. If your date goes in for a kiss, and you’re not feeling it…speak up. Set a healthy boundary. A first kiss should be a wonderful thing; not something you’re questioning five seconds after your date drives away.
Also, some people have a hard time separating physical intimacy from emotional attachment; if you fall into that category, I usually recommend holding off on kissing until you’ve had a chance to get to know your date a little better as a person. Like any kind of physical intimacy, kissing can lead to confusion. It can be hard to know if the butterflies you’re feeling after a date are because you felt connected to the person, or simply because they were a good kisser (and there is a difference…physical chemistry will only get you so far).
Trust me…if it’s the right person, the kiss will happen when it’s meant to happen. There’s no need to rush or force the issue.