So you’ve worked up the courage to agree to actually meet in person. That’s great! Our Sweet Pea experts are here to help ensure it’s a great experience and give you the best chance of hitting it off.
We’ve put together our best tips on how to tackle the first date to help you enjoy yourself and get to a second date.
1 – Make eye contact early on.
Sure, it’s actually not always easy to look a complete stranger in the eye the minute you meet. But, if you wait until you’re halfway through dinner – it’s even more awkward. Take a deep breathe, smile, and introduce yourself to your date by looking them in the eye when you first meet. It all gets easier from there!
2 – Use their name from the start.
Just like eye contact, the sooner you practice it, the easier it is. Especially if you aren’t super confident using their name (Is it Christie or Chrissie – you’ve forgotten. And it’s too late now to pull up their Sweet Pea profile and check). The best thing, is to repeat their name when they introduce themselves, and then use it a couple of times at the start. This ensures you get it right, and don’t accidentally mispronounce their name at the end of the date and make it awkward, after you’ve spent all that time getting to know each others backgrounds and childhood stories.
3 – Ask where they’re from.
This brings us to the actual conversation. What do you talk about on a first date? The easiest way to put someone at ease, is to talk about something very familiar to them. Gently enquire about where they’re from, and if they’ve ever lived in other places. If your date is from the area, you can ask for food or activity recommendations. If they’re new to town, tell them about your favorite places.
4 – Find out what they like to do for fun, or to relax.
A good way to see if you have common interests, is to find out how your date spends their downtime. Are they a hiker? Or more of a Netflix-and-snacks kind of person. And as a bonus, talking about things they do to relax helps your date’s mind associate you with things they like to do!
5 – Ask open-ended questions.
Ask something like “When did you realise you love tacos over every other food?”
Base your questions off your previous conversation. If you simply ask a long list of unrelated questions, your date will feel like you’re not really invested in them, and it’s more like an interview.
If your date isn’t comfortable opening up to you yet, then it’s a good idea for you to go first. For example, if you talk about travel, mention the next place on your must-see list. They’ll start to feel more comfortable doing the same.
6 – Use humor – tell a fun, lighthearted story.
Most people feel a little nervous on a first date, so the best way to break the ice is to have a couple of not-serious anecdotes in your mind, to help if you feel like the conversation isn’t flowing. They don’t even need to be about you – maybe an experience a friend has had. It can help you see if your sense of humor is compatible, and get your date to share a related story too.
7 – Let your date talk.
We know, silence with a total stranger can feel *very* awkward. But don’t feel like you have to fill the entire date with conversation. Sometimes a small break in conversation can help your date organise their thoughts, and think about what they’d like to ask you. Quality conversation always beats quantity – ask their opinion on something, and give them space to explore their answer. If you’re trying to fill the silence by saying anything and everything, your date might feel like you aren’t paying attention to them, you just like to talk.
8 – Talk about growing up
What was their favourite band in highschool? Did they play sports? What was it like where they grew up? Be genuinely interested, and if they give an insight into their lives, try and establish some parallels with your own experiences.
9 – Talk about your jobs, sort of.
Asking what someone does for work can be considered a little unoriginal. Most people need to work, and it’s not always the thing someone wants to be defined by.
Ask your date if they enjoy their work, and tell them about your job. Keep your job description to one sentence unless they ask multiple follow-up questions. And please, never mention how much you make – don’t even suggest it’s a big sum – bragging is a major turn-off and doesn’t attract people who are genuinely into who you are. Resist complaining about your job too. You want to bring good energy with you.
10 – Listen to them carefully.
Listening is just as important as talking on a date. When your date is speaking, pay close attention to what they are saying. Again, maintain eye contact, don’t look at your phone, and say “excuse me” if you have to get up. Try to reference things they’ve mentioned on their profile, or things they’ve mentioned earlier, to show you’re genuinely paying attention.
Let us know your fail-safe tips for the best first date experience, and if you’re ready to find your next first date, download Sweet Pea here.