The best part about a first date is that it's a totally blank slate, with a world of (hopefully romantic) possibilities to be had. The worst part about a first date is that, yeah, it's a blank slate. When we meet up with someone new, most of the time, we are totally riddled with excitement, anticipation, anxiety, fears, and assumptions. While a majority of the preemptive emotions we are feeling going into it are just bogus nerves or dreamy fantasies, there are some first date expectations that are genuinely OK to have.
These days, there are infinite avenues for meeting romantic prospects: being set up by a mutual connection, through work, at bars, while grocery shopping (does this really happen...), exchanging digits after a one-night stand, or swiping on dating apps, to name a few. In almost all of these scenarios, the person is practically a stranger, making the actual date feel totally unpredictable.
But there's a major caveat to that: You do know yourself. Setting realistic expectations for the evening that feel true to who you are will help you gauge the romantic connection without letting the butterflies (or lack thereof) get in the way. Here are the things to expect going into your night that will help guide the way.
1. It's Going To Be Awkward
Even if you are the most confident, least awkward person in the world, it's hard to get through a first date without any awkwardness. Meshing two new folks under the context of romance is a lot of pressure. You don't want to get too deep on a first date, but small talk is boring. Finding a comfortable balance and rhythm takes time spent getting to know one another. Embrace the awkward — it's kind of sweet.
2. You May Hate Each Other
Not to get all negative, but going into the first date expecting that you really might dislike this person (or they may dislike you) is a safe assumption. We decide to give people a shot for a lot of reasons that don't actually dictate how much we will get on with them (i.e. they have a killer bod or a funny dating app bio). A lot of the time, we go through a bad first date and search for excuses as to why it didn't work. However, going into it knowing that you may not like this person — and that's totally OK — might result in saving yourself from an unnecessary second date.
3. But You May Instantly Click
On the other hand, you might be really into your date. The thing is, many people find it hard to let their guard down. Opening yourself up and letting yourself enjoy the evening, without negative thoughts getting in the way, could lead to a real connection. Open yourself up to really vibing with this person, and you could be surprised.
4. They'll Get The Check
In 2018, we don't conform to the gender norms of yesteryear, meaning on a heterosexual date, the guy isn't always expected to pick up the check anymore. There is, however, a new etiquette rule: Whoever did the inviting (regardless of their sex or gender) should likely be the one paying the bill. Granted, going 50/50 is totally acceptable, too, so it's polite to offer your share, even if they invited you.
5. There May Be K.I.S.S.I.N.G. (If All Goes Well)
It seems like a joke that people ever had the rule of no kissing on the first date. (Though, more power to you, as that's your prerogative). Set your own boundaries and do whatever makes you feel most comfortable, but if you're into your date, things are going well, and you're both feeling it, then go for it.
6. You'll Have A Story For Your Friends Tomorrow
Whether you're recounting every awful detail or gushing over how you met the person you're going to marry (maybe pump the breaks a little on that one), a first date makes for a great story.
The best thing you can do before a first date is relax and trust yourself. If you go into it with an open heart and realistic expectations, it'll be a good experience, no matter the outcome.
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