Great, so you have secured that all-important first date. This is a positive step in that he or she has agreed to “go out” with you and hopefully for both parties, trying to get to know each other a little better.
In this section we will cover the etiquette of the first date and a few pointers on what to do and what not to do. Places to go on a first date are covered in more detail on our date ideas page here.
If your date is someone who you don’t really know all that well and you would like to get to know them a little better, then perhaps lunch somewhere might be the best option.
Keep it simple, maybe a pizzeria or a pub lunch. Stay away from the flashy fancy stuff at this point, as no one likes a show off.
Over lunch or a drink, the atmosphere should be light and casual and it will give you a chance to talk and find things out about each other, rather than going to a movie where there is very little interaction involved. You might also feel awkward if you choose a movie and it turns out to be rubbish.
The great thing about lunch is that it is during daylight hours, which may make things a little more comfortable if your new date is female. If things don’t go to well during the date and you realize that it will never work out, then it’s easy for either party to make an excuse to get away. Such as “I have a hair appointment, doctors, dentist etc”.
On the other hand, if things are going exceptionally well, then you could always extend the date a little and opt for a walk maybe, or a few drinks in a nearby pub or bar. One tip though, never over indulge on alcohol on the first date as this can lead to all sorts of problems and you might end up no second date and a bad hangover thrown in for good measure. So, what is the proper way to greet someone when you pick him or her up or meet him or her at the chosen venue at the start of the date?
A lot of people find this an awkward moment, but it needn't be.
In this situation, I would recommend a warm, two-handed shake. When they shake your hand put your other hand over theirs - it simply shows warmth and takes the formality out of the shake.
Even the continental kiss on a first date is too much - you would be entering your date's personal space without their consent, save the continental kiss for date two or later.
Try to view the first date as a casual, informal job interview. Both parties are interviewing each other at this stage, finding out if you are suited to one and other and deciding on whether there is scope for a second "interview".
Keep things light hearted, try to stay away from politics, religion etc unless of course these topics are your date’s line of work or interests.
At the end of the date.
Hopefully you will have made it through to this point and you will have a good idea how things went and whether you both want to see each other again.
If you have exchanged telephone numbers already, this is a good sign. So how long should you wait before you try and arrange the next date?
Well, if both of you have mobile phones, it would be polite to send a brief txt message or email when you get home from the date or later that evening.
You could say something like how much you enjoyed his\her company and that you will phone them in a few days to arrange another date. Don’t be tempted (I know it’s hard) to call straight away when you get home and bombard them with txt messages or phone calls as you might appear pushy, needy and desperate and scare your potential partner away.
A simple message will suffice and leave it there. This adds to the sparkle and mystery, which makes dating very exciting.
So, who should pay on the first date ?
Well, I believe that whoever asked he\she out on the date should pick up the tab. If an offer is made to go half and half, you should accept and find a way of showing your appreciation for that gesture.
Do NOT get into an argument about money. If you feel this may happen, settle for a 50/50 split on the bill.