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Dos and Don'ts of Your First Offline Date

As thrilling and eagerly-anticipated as it may be, a first date can also be an incredibly unnerving experience for even the most experienced person. Whether there's ever to be a second date or not, the following are some valuable tips for what to do (and what not to do) to improve your chances of giving you and your date the best possible first time out together.

  • DO Show Up on Time.  Being late makes a bad first impression. It could imply that you're lazy, unmotivated, or disorganized, or it could imply that you don't really care about this meeting or the other person. And there's always that chance that your date, having no big emotional investment in you yet either, will simply take off before you even arrive.

  • DON'T Monopolize the Evening.  Show a genuine interest in your date by asking him questions.  Talking about yourself all night makes it seem like you're self-absorbed and only interested in your date in so far as how he makes you feel about yourself.

  • DO Put Your Best Face Forward: In dating, appearances matter. Despite how much our own largesse may protest it, physical appearance is one of the first factors we use to judge the potential for a future with our dates. This doesn't mean you have to look like Brad or Angelina, but it does mean you should look clean, pay attention to your hygiene, and dress your best (appropriately for the venue/activity, of course). Looking your best will make you feel confident.

  • DON'T Bring Up Past Relationships: Little is more awkward and uncomfortable in a first date scenario than someone bringing up a past lover in the conversation. Your date wants to feel like you're there with him, not stuck in the past—and certainly not still stuck on another person for whom you once had feelings.

  • DO Be Yourself: Now is not the time to try out that new personality makeover you'd been fantasizing about. People can see through falsity in another's demeanor quite easily, even when it's a first time meeting. Trying to be something you're not is like wearing a Halloween mask to your date. Besides, you want someone to like you for who you are, not who you'd like to be. So save yourself the trouble of putting on the act and just go out as you. Whether the date goes well or not, at least you'll know that you did your best to present yourself in as honest and genuine a manner as possible. With that in your pocket, you're bound to find the compatibility you seek, whether it's on your first date or your tenth.

Follow the above advice, and you're well on your way to having all your first dates be good ones.

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