How to prepare for a first date

I’m writing this piece after being on yet another first date myself (the first of many first dates, but that’s a story for another time). Surprisingly, when meeting someone new, my nervous energy manifested itself in not knowing what I was going to wear and exactly what I was going to do with my hair. It really got me thinking about all the things we do to prepare for a first date.

It can be as simple as choosing a nice outfit, or it can even be as complicated as reminding ourselves not to have any expectations. Social media has added an extra layer of anxiety to dating. There’s definitely some pressure to post the details of the perfect first date to our 45 followers.

SEE ALSO: Online dating. male point of view

How to prepare for a first date

So how do we prepare for a first date while maintaining our sanity? The answer is simple, right, keep it simple.

Keep communication open

Keep all lines of communication open and communicate if/when there are changes to your plans. I value communication above all else, and the introvert in me craves a confirmation text as well as an “I’m on my way” text because I’m looking for a reason to stay home.
But seriously, most of us have been in a situation where someone’s phone died or there was a lack of connection due to a date feature.

This goes without saying, but you have to be cool about it, don’t bombard the person with “Where are you?” text messages. Want to give the impression that you are very cool (even though your nerves are short).

CONTACT: You are an instant red flag.

Keep the location random

The venue or set up can be one of the most stressful aspects of a first date. I recommend just keeping it casual. Meeting potential romantic interests shouldn’t be a pressure-filled event, and it should be casual enough that if either party decides they’re “not feeling it,” they can just excuse themselves and walk away. A perfect example would be meeting for drinks. Worst case scenario, you or the other will politely excuse yourself and leave after the first round. In the best case scenario, you move on to the next activity so you can get to know each other better.

Wear something comfortable

Choosing the perfect outfit can also be stressful. I know I suffer from “I have nothing to wear” when I look at a closet full of clothes.

A quick search around the interwebs revealed that comfort is paramount when it comes to gear. No one wants to be on a date and constantly think about how tight their jeans are or how their legs hurt (been there, not pretty). Internet gurus all recommend dressing well, most importantly dressing like yourself. Adapting your personal style to a date can mean anything from crisp jeans and a stylish shirt to business casual.

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Most importantly, be your true self

It’s easy to say just be yourself, but what if your amazing sense of humor and wit don’t always translate to personal conversations? Many experts recommend preparing first date topics to prevent awkward silences. I would suggest not to over prepare, you don’t want the other person to feel like they are being interviewed. Also, engage in active listening and pay attention to verbal and non-verbal communication.

Dating can be a source of great anxiety for those of us who prefer not to do this life called life on our own. Dating can also be fun and a way to meet new people, people who may or may not be in our lives for a long time. The key is to always be optimistic, even when things don’t go your way.

about the writer

Cecily Tye

Aspiring writer, eternal romantic and social media junkie. Health professional by day and too much internet by night.

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