Esther Moriarty, 11.05.2016

First date advice: Our top ten first date tips

Are you bit nervous to ask someone out who you’ve met on a dating site? It’s totally normal to feel a bit anxious and insecure before your first date, especially if you are new to online dating. Here are our best tips for your first date to go smoothly and to make a great first impression.

The transition from online messaging to an offline meeting is not as nerve-wracking as it may seem, in fact it’s simply an opportunity to test your relationship chemistry. If you feel like you’ve clicked online, then most likely you’ll click in person too. Wish your next first date could be with someone you genuinely get along with? Register with us now to take our personality questionnaire or continue reading for our top first date tips.

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1. Arrange your first date sooner rather than later

Deciding when it is best to ask out the person you like can be tricky. Not too soon as it may scare them away but if you’ve been chatting online regularly for a couple of weeks, ideally you should try to see them sooner rather than later. In fact, a study at the University of Florida found that you should wait no longer than 23 days after your initial interaction. This is because you may create  a fantasy of what your date will be like and in real life it will be hard to live up to your idealised expectations.

READ MORE: Want advice for writing a successful online hello? Read our first message article here

2. Plan ahead and stay safe

Your safety on the date is of upmost importance if anything sets off your instincts before heading on the date, stay safe and decline the invitation. If you’re happy to go on the date, set it up so that you meet in a public place and tell a friend when and where you are going on the date. Then for an extra precaution you could check in with your friend a few hours into the date to let them know all is well. Ultimately, trust your instincts, if you feel like something if off, excuse yourself and leave.

READ MORE: Looking for more online dating safety tips? Find our guide to staying safe here

3. Dress appropriately

Clothes can say a lot about who you are so what you wear on your first date matters. In her article on what to wear on a first date, dating expert and blogger for Stylecaster, Chiara Atik says that clothing is a strong factor in determining if you are suited to each other, if you want to your date to see your true personality then your outfit should represent that. However, labels and trends are unimportant as long as you feel comfortable in your outfit, for example if you don’t usually wear high heels, then don’t start wearing them for the date.

4. Keep it simple

Planning a cheerful activity that you’ll both enjoy can be a bit daunting. The key to a fun date idea is to keep it simple. On your first meeting, you’ll want to get to know each other better, so make sure to choose an activity where you’ll have the chance to chat. Rule out going to the cinema and meet for a coffee or drinks instead. In fact, a recent survey of our UK members revealed that the majority (82%) would prefer to go on a casual date than out for an elegant dinner.1

READ MORE: See our best date ideas in London, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh! (More UK cities to come!)

5. Don’t change your personality for someone else

As EliteSingles psychologist Salama Marine explains, ‘Sometimes when some people want to impress, they try to do everything in their power to look perfect, by saying yes to everything and never showing any disagreement. But maintaining your own personality is probably the most important thing to do during a first date. Don’t forget yourself and your opinions; this is actually the best way to seduce a new person.’

READ MORE: Looking for some conversation starters? Try one of our top ten first date questions

6. Avoid inappropriate conversation topics

Whilst you shouldn’t change your personality there are some conversation clangers to avoid. In a recent EliteSingles survey, 73% of our members said that mentioning other dates that you have lined up is the most taboo topic, followed by bragging about yourself (55%) and talking about ex partners (44%).2

READ MORE: Find out what else you shouldn't do on first date - Top five dating deal breakers

7. Let your body speak too

While it is important to establish a mental connection with your date through the art of conversation, body language is also a huge part of attraction. Studies consistently show that a degree of self-confidence correlates strongly with being perceived as attractive and having success on your first date. It’s totally normal to be shy or reserved when you first meet, but this can be interpreted that you’re lacking enthusiasm for the date. In a TED talk, social psychologist Amy Cuddy advises standing tall and open in times of stress, as such ‘power stances’ can raise levels of testosterone and cortisol, boosting confidence and quelling nerves.

8. Offer to pay for the date

We all carry assumptions surrounding that first date bill and how it ought to be settled. When those expectations aren’t met, the evening could end awkwardly. She might be offended if he doesn’t let her pay; he might be annoyed if she doesn’t at least offer to chip in. In this situation, you should both offer to pay at least your share and if the man is adamant about paying for all of it, then ladies just let him do it! Squabbles over who will pay are best to be avoided!

9. Plan the second date together

If on your first date you get the impression that you both like each other, bite the bullet and arrange a second date then and there. For example, if your date mentions an activity they enjoy, ask them to join you in a few days time to do that activity.

10. Follow up the date with a quick phonecall or text

If your first date has gone well, make the effort to send a quick text or phonecall afterwards to say how much you enjoyed spending time together.  However don’t bombard your new love interest with too many messages; even if the first date went well, our members see this as this is the main reason they wouldn’t meet up again after the date has ended.

Ultimately, a successful first date is one where you feel comfortable and confident. First dates should not be a big deal. They’re supposed to be a fun and casual meeting with someone you’re interested in getting to know. We have recommended these first date tips to help you create this environment, but try not to over think it. Stay calm, be yourself and enjoy the date!

Whether you’re dating in Aberdeen or Kent or anywhere in between, try local dating with us and meet exciting UK singles.

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