First Date Tips: Five Ways to Not Screw Up a Good Thing

First Date Tips Five Ways to Not Screw Up a Good Thing

Whether you're a seasoned dating veteran or you're going out for the first time, you should recognize the challenge in front of you. First dates can be both fun and exciting, but they're inherently stressful, too. You're meeting a new person who is, in effect, putting you through an appraisal and psychological analysis all at the same time. There are many mistakes you can make to turn a great first date into one of those stories your date tells on the internet. If you're nervous, here are five tips that can help you master the situation and put your best foot forward.

1. Keep the focus on the other person

First dates are inevitably about conversation on some level. You'll spend time getting to know that other person. One sure way to mess up the date is to focus the conversation solely on yourself. Learn about your date, who they are, and where they've come from. If you let them talk about their own interests, you'll find that they'll be more interested in you.

2. Go with honesty, no matter what

Honesty is more than just a means of avoiding potentially awkward situations down the road. It's also a way to present yourself in the best possible manner. Honest people tend to be more confident. They're less nervous because they're not busy trying to remember the details of the last lie. Put yourself out there in an honest way, and if your date likes the real version of you, then you may have a chance going forward.

3. Be thoughtful in discussions on politics and religion

Some experts will tell you that it's never good to talk about politics and religion on a first date. This is harder to do in the current climate given that politics has taken over life in so many ways. You'll want to be careful in your discussions, though. Make sure that you are thoughtful in your responses. Your date will value your intelligence if you can explain your positions in a way that projects respect for varying viewpoints.

4. Cease and desist with the gimmicks

There's no certain trick that will lead to a good first date. Don't think you need to make a big show of things by getting a girl flowers or bringing a guy some equivalent gift. This is a risk that could sabotage a potentially good thing. Think of the first date as a job interview. In an interview, you want to keep the focus on legitimate things rather than distractions that can keep the interviewer from getting to know you. A first date has a similar purpose, so treat it that way.

5. Leave your expectations at the door

First dates can end in a range of outcomes. You might find yourself sleeping with your date after a night of instant connection. You might find yourself ready to be done after the first few minutes. If you go in with a set of expectations, you'll try to bend the date to meet them. This is true whether they are good or bad. Go in with no expectations and let the date lead where it will. You can adjust on the fly to changes in the dynamic.

First dates don't have to be stress-inducing. They can be fun opportunities to connect with another person. Go into your dates with confidence that the worst thing that can happen is rejection from a person you didn't even know a few days ago. If you follow these tips, you'll at least have a chance of having a successful date.

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