Unless you have been on millions of first dates, it is only natural to be nervous before a first date. Your imminent date has often been preceded by weeks of online chat, text messaging, telephone calls, and emails, so it is highly likely that you have built up a picture of the person in your mind that is immensely create attraction inside you. However, before you dash out of the door on a cloud of white wedding fantasies, give yourself a sharp reality check as the chances of this person being “the one” are fairly low.
Whilst it is entirely possible that your first date might be the start of a beautiful relationship, it is best not to get your hopes up too high just in case it all goes horribly wrong somewhere around the second drink. In my experience, it is far better to go along expecting nothing but a fun evening of conversation and laughter. That way, if you don’t fancy the person, you are not too disappointed.

So how should you behave on a first date?

Always turn up at the appointed meeting place on time. Being late is inexcusable unless you have a cast iron reason and you have done your best to let the person know you are unavoidably delayed.

Make sure you dress appropriately for a first date. If the venue is smart, do not turn up in jeans and trainers, only to be refused entry to the restaurant. On the other hand, do not overdo it and show up in black tie when your date is at the local pub. If you have been out of the dating world and not up to the speed for a while, ask a friend to check out your proposed outfit prior to the date to make sure it is not a crime against fashion.

Try and think of a few conversational gambits before you meet your date. If conversation is a little stilted, try asking them about things you know they are interested in just to keep the chat flowing along nicely.
If in doubt about how well the date is going, use body language to gauge whether your date is interested…or not. You might find them attractive, but they might not feel the same way, so watch how they interact with you before you end up making a fool of yourself at the end of the date.

Generally speaking, if they have been yawning a lot, checking out the guy or girl at the next table, or they disappeared to the toilet an hour ago and you haven’t seen them since, it is a safe bet to assume they don’t fancy you. On the other hand, if they are leaning into you and hanging off every word you say, plus they have laughed at all of your stupid jokes, they probably like you.

But what if you can’t stand your date?

If you end up on the date from hell and you are so bored you feel like gnawing the table leg for entertainment, the only viable option you have is to try and cut the date short. Always allow at least one hour for politeness sake, but after that, all bets are off. The best way to make your escape is to use the time honoured excuse of arranging a phone call from a friend at a suitable interval. If the date is going well, you can cut the call short, but if the date is dire, you can pretend there is some kind of emergency happening at home and you need to leave immediately. I have used this technique and I can assure you it works well. Option B is to climb out of the toilet window.

To kiss or not to kiss…
The end of a date is always an awkward moment. Unless you are 100% sure the other person fancies you rotten, you might not know whether a kiss is in order or not. The best advice I can give you here is that if in doubt, don’t go there. A simple peck on the cheek is more than enough. If you make it to date two, you can be pretty certain that your advances will not be rebuffed, so it is always better to err on the side of polite respect on a first date.

And just for the record, no, it is never a good idea to sleep with someone on a first date. Not only will they assume you always jump into bed on a first date, you may as well kiss goodbye to any chance of a lasting relationship with them. If all you want is one night stand, be honest from the outset and that way nobody gets hurt.

Shall I call them after the date?

If you are a girl, no, do not call the guy. You come across as desperate and he loses the fun of the chase, so play it cool and wait for him to call you. If you are the guy, call her the next day to let her know you had fun. If you want to see her again, tell her, but if she makes excuses and says she’s washing her hair for the foreseeable future, you know she wasn’t interested, so let it go.

And if you both got along like a house on fire and there was more chemistry than an ICI laboratory, congratulations—you can now look forward to date two!

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