First dates can be nerve-racking for everyone.
Whether you just got out of a relationship, or you've been going on plenty of dates and not finding that perfect someone, dating takes effort. We find dates through Bumble and Tinder, and then proceed to judge potential dates based on what school they went to or what pictures they post.
Then, we edit our own pictures, and nervously think about what we should start the conversation with in order to give off a good impression. And that's just leading up to the date.
Then comes the actual date, and getting ready for the date. Don't panic or freak out. Your date will be fine. But if you want it to be fine, try to avoid these ten behaviors when you're on your first date:
1. Don't wear your best friend's clothes because your best friend tells you they look SO good on you.
First off, please dress in clothes that make you feel cute but comfortable.
I'm not saying you should go all out with the comfort thing and wear sweats and a t-shirt, but you will definitely feel more confident if you feel good in your clothes.
Plus, let's say you go on a date and dress in your roommate's sexy black dress. Maybe it looks hot, but is it really you? For starters, even though the dress is flattering on you, if you don't feel comfortable in it, you're already setting yourself up to be a different person than you actually are.
Your date wants to see the real you, even early on.
2. Along with this, don't order an item off the menu because you think it makes you look better.
On your date, order food that looks good. Don't fake it by ordering something to be more "ladylike" (which shouldn't even be a thing). Do you really want the kale and beet salad just to show off that you like kale? If you like it, get it.
But if you're actually craving the mac and cheese, order it. It's the little things like what you order that make up who you are.
3. And on that note: don't be afraid to be yourself.
Don't be afraid to be authentic and real.
If you shy away and hide your sense of humor or your quirkiness out of fear of your date not liking you, you're doing everyone a disservice.
Let's face it: If you are covering up your personality and your date is interested in you, he or she may be interested in a version of you that isn't really you.
You want to feel comfortable because if things do go well, down the road you won't want to feel like you have to hide parts of yourself to win keep your significant other's affection.
4. Try not to put everything out there on the table in the first five minutes of the date.
First: Remember that above all, honesty is, and always will be, the best policy.
However, this does not mean your date needs to know about your uncle who is an alcoholic, or the extended intense version of your parents' divorce.
These kinds of things are things that you can share once you are truly comfortable with the person you are dating. These are topics that may bring you closer and may deepen your relationship.
But right now? Right now your date wants to know about YOU. Think of it as layers, and work slowly through to the inside.
5. Don't lie about what you are looking for.
Even though you shouldn't put everything out there immediately, if there's something that you do feel needs to be acknowledged on the first date, then please say it.
Maybe you're unsure if your date is looking for a relationship or if they are just seeking casual sex. This could be an intense conversation, but it saves you the pain of falling for someone looking for something casual if you're looking to date seriously (or vice versa).
6. Don't go into a date with low expectations.
Maybe lately your dating life hasn't been so hot. Maybe you've scrolled through person after person on bumble, and have yet to connect with one. This doesn't mean that your date is going to go poorly. It's okay to be excited about your date. It's even OK to get your hopes up.
When you go on a date with a little bit of excitement building and your nerves kicking in, you're more likely to be more open minded about the date.
If you go in thinking "this will never work," then it probably won't work, because you will be looking very specifically for any flaws in your date.
7. Don't check your phone on the first date.
Stay present. Do you really need to check your phone? Do you really absolutely need to talk to your best friend right now? Unless there's some sort of true real-life emergency, you're on a date to see if you are interested in this person. You are here specifically for this date.
If you're distracted, you may appear uninterested, and you also may not get as much out of the date. So put your phone away and check it after.
Your friends don't need an update on your date during it. If you really need to check something, head to the bathroom and check it in private so you don't seem bored or distracted.
8. Try not to get hung up on one tiny detail of the person.
Let's say everything's going well, but the girl you are on a date with mentions one short story about her ex-boyfriend. Minor red-flag? Maybe.
But maybe it was just an experience that related to something you were saying, and she felt comfortable sharing. You don't have to rule her off simply because she may have made one tiny “mistake” in your book.
If you focus too much on searching for flaws, you're never going to find the right person for you. So keep an open mind, and try not to jump to quick conclusions or fast judgments.
9. Don't worry about your date not liking you.
Remember: Confidence is key. Don't go into your date worried that he or she might not like you. If he likes you, he likes you. If he doesn't, so be it…there are plenty of other fish in the sea.
Plus, if you don't hit it off, that's just life. It is no reflection of you or your personality. If it helps, during your date, assume that he does like you so that you feel more free to be yourself.
Likewise, don't worry so much about the little details of the conversation, or the pauses between questions. You just met. These are normal.
10. Don't act like you are in a job interview.
This will lead to formal questions and nervous responses. You don't have to have a list of specific questions to ask your date, and you don't need to brag about all of your skills and accomplishments.
You're not trying to land a gig. You're trying to get to know someone. Pause, breathe, and talk freely. You've got this.
See, if you go along with these dating rules, you'll see that first dates aren't so bad after all. Basically, the moral of the dating story is to be yourself, to be confident, and to keep your mind open.
If you do all of these things and avoid the red flag behaviors mentioned, you'll be good to go.