Ah, the excitement of a budding relationship. You met a total #Qutie and after hitting it off online (and using our video verification features to ensure you’re safe), you’ve finally nailed down a place and time to meet your potential match! Maybe you decided to meet up at a Starbucks or a locally owned coffee shop, and you’re covering a lot over a latte. From your future goals to past relationships, missteps and mistakes are bound to happen as you fumble through that initial conversation—and that’s OK. We all have to forgive the nervous ramblings of a first date.
As you maneuver through that first date, take the time to read through some of our top tips for making sure you’re prepared.
Embrace the Awkward
First dates can be nerve-wracking, intense, exciting, and difficult, all at the same time. No great relationship ever begins without one, so remind yourself that you have goals, and that this is just part of achieving them. Don’t flake out on the other person just because you’re nervous! Tell a friend where you’re going to be, and get excited. Treat yourself to a new top, a new pair of jeans, or something special to pep yourself up. If you’re just getting back out into the dating world after a long relationship or terrible break up, remind yourself that you are worthy and love is worthwhile. Not every date has to go perfectly. Just getting back out there is reason enough to celebrate, so take your date in stride and remember, this is meant to be fun! Shake off that awkward feeling, and walk right out the door and off to your date in full confidence.
Know What to Say, and What not to Say
Ice breakers and conversation starters can often prove difficult on the first date. There are of course, several topics that #Quties should prepare themselves for tackling in advance. These topics extend far beyond the superficial “what do you do” and “how long have you been in the city?” Politics, religion, and future children, and the dreaded ex’s almost always make their way into the first date conversation, which leads us to this very important point: Don’t talk about your ex! Just don’t. It’s never going to end well. Either you come off resentful, still in love, or somewhere inbetween. If your date begins to ask you questions about your ex, politely steer the conversation to topics of the present and the future. Your ex is your past, and you’re looking forward to a bright future with someone new. Write down a few conversation starters or have some ideas in your back pocket for when the conversation dies down.
Given the current political climate, it’s important to have established boundaries. Can you accept someone with radically different political beliefs? Do you have strong ties to religion? Deciding these things for yourself before the first date can help you weed out potential partners that won’t last. Don’t hide your feelings or belief systems, but be sure to assert them in a respectful manner. Unwarranted aggression or ultimatums are never helpful on a first date, and can be a sign that you may have some work to do. Ask questions, seek to understand, and go into the first date knowing what you can and can not accept.
Be Prepared for the Red Flags
Sometimes we can be so mesmerized by a person, their accomplishments, or the excitement of the first date, that we neglect the red flags that may potentially arise. Do you notice that your date treats the wait staff with disrespect? Do they interact with their cell phone more than you? Do they drink way too much at dinner? These can all be signs of deeper issues that may come out if you continue dating. Know what your deal breakers are, and be vigilant. Almost everyone puts their best foot forward on the first date, so be mindful of that and realistic of that. Everyone has flaws; it’s what makes us human. Before you walk into a first date scenario, take the time to do some self reflection and understand what you can, and cannot, accept.
Most Importantly, be Yourself.
It’s just as important for you to be yourself as it is for your date to be themselves. All too often, we feel the need to impress someone by covering up the parts of us that make us who we are. Are you a big sci-fi nerd? Own it. Are you secretly obsessed with the Kardashians and ashamed to admit it? Don’t be. You have the right to disclose as much or as little about yourself as you wish; however, if you want your first date to be a meaningful experience that truly reveals if this person warrants a next date, then putting yourself out there and staying true to you is something you simply won’t regret.
But if doesn’t go well, remember: life is not scripted, and sometimes mistakes happen. If you make a mess of your dinner, have an embarrassing moment, or say something you immediately regret, laugh it off. If you have an awkward pause or silence, embrace it. You’re not in the running to becoming America’s next top model: you’re in the running to finding a suitable partner with whom you can laugh, cry, support, and experience life. If you can’t laugh off the awkward moments of a first date with them, then they’re probably not the person you’re looking for anyways.