When I was single I wished I could fast forward the dating season and simply jump right into a relationship without having to go on a first date. I was simply uncomfortable with going on a first date. There are so many questions going through my head. I’m already a pretty awkward dude; therefore, putting me in an awkward situation was a recipe for numerous social blunders. But, like most things in life, experience brings confidence. This means that for me, and for those of you who can relate to me, I should not allow the fear of awkwardness to dictate whether or not I would go on anymore first dates. Thankfully I’ve chosen to say "no" to fear. Because of this, I can share with you – though I do not claim to be an expert – some insights I’ve learned from my own experience of some things to remember when you go out on your next first date.
First: When it comes to talking about yourself, less is more
When I was in high school, I remember going out on a date after school with a girl I had a crush on. Well, she didn’t know it was a date. She just thought it was two friends getting together for a late after school lunch at Panera Bread. But it was a date in my heart…anyways, back to the story. Because I thought she was great I wanted to impress her with my verbal résumé on how cool I was. Unfortunately, talking more about myself and not showing an interest in her turned out to not be that cool. So my advice is this: when you are on your date, show a genuine interest in the other person. Ask lots of questions, and show your date that you are more interested in getting to know him or her than you are talking about how awesome you are. Of course don’t completely avoid talking about yourself to the point where if your date asks you a question about yourself, you deflect it by saying “I’m not interested in talking about myself, I’m just interested in knowing more about you, babe.” First off, that will annoy your date, and secondly it’s usually a good idea to not call your date “babe” on the first date. As a rule, just remember, when talking about yourself on a date, less is more.
Second: Write down some questions to ask before you go on the date
Are you not a fan of awkward silence like I am? Then here’s an idea for you to try: think of some questions to ask before your date, write them down, and commit them to memory if necessary. That way when you feel the conversation around a subject matter coming to an end, you can ask a question about your date, and then you have something else to talk about. Now don’t pull out a piece of paper or look at your phone and read off the questions one by one. That’s just awkward. And don’t feel the pressure to get through all the questions by the end of the date. If you wrote down a list of 15 questions (which in my opinion might be too much), but you only ask one of the questions and the conversation flowed naturally throughout the rest of the date, then that’s awesome! The goal of the pre-thought out questions is to relieve you from the nervousness and fear of awkward silences that are the result of not knowing what to say next.
Third: Don’t take yourself too seriously and have fun
Finally, don’t take yourself too seriously and don’t forget to have fun. Avoid putting pressure on yourself to be super smooth, mysterious, and cool. Be yourself (I know you have probably heard that a million times, but it’s true)! Have fun! Tell funny stories that are slightly embarrassing, and avoid telling stories where you are the hero (this goes back to the first point of talking too much about yourself). If you tell a story that makes you look funny. Just have fun. If you have fun then you will be more relaxed, your date will be more relaxed, and you both will overall have an enjoyable experience.
These are just some thoughts that I found helpful in my dating life. I hope you also found this helpful.
Now good luck, be yourself, and have fun!