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Laid out your tux? Ironed your dress? Grabbed a shawl? Booked a limo? 

You might want to relax and draw in a slow breath, please. Planning a first date can be exhausting. You have loads of options, but the confusion is apparent. What exactly do we do? Go overboard, and make a statement? Keep it simple? Take a chill pill fam, it’s not that difficult. 

The truth is this — no matter what kind of date you intend on having, just work towards ensuring that it goes well. Give more attention to your conversations and chemistry, and worry less about whether the date should be exotic or not. Here’s why- if you successfully pull this one off, you get a shot at planning a second date. How sweet! With that, let’s get into the business of things you should consider doing on a first date, in order to have a fun-filled and memorable experience.

1. Choose a perfect location

The perfect location doesn’t necessarily mean expensive. It could be somewhere as simple as a museum, a coffee shop, or a sporting event. What matters the most is that you two get to bond. As a matter of fact, it is advisable that you select a pretty neutral venue for your first date in order to allow you two to focus on getting to know one another, and seeing just how much chemistry you have together. Don’t ruin something that’s yet to kick off by going off to some fancy, new restaurant where you’ve never even tasted their meals. Or would you like to be faced with the awkwardness of discovering that you two do not gel after ordering your meals? In this particular case, you’d have to endure the rest of the meal, stuck with someone you cannot date. Spare yourself this misery by opting for something simple!

2. Be there early enough

As basic as this sounds, a lot of people still flop on this very non-negotiable rule. Show up early! Nobody likes to wait around for the other person. Besides, showing up late is utter disrespect. If perhaps, for reasons beyond your control you happen to run late, do the proper thing by giving your date a call beforehand to inform him or her of the situation at hand. Don’t keep people waiting! If nothing is keeping you behind, do well to arrive at the venue ten to fifteen minutes earlier than agreed. Not only does this give a good first impression, but it also tells your date that you do not take them for granted!

3. Get to know your partner

C’mon, it’s a date. You should be ready and willing to get to know the person seated across you. The main purpose of having dates is to know the person fairly enough before diving into a relationship. So, be open to conversations- engaging conversations. Speak. Express yourself. Play. Just really allow yourself to flow with this person. Avoid being cheesy though, but rather, spark conversation topics that show that you’re curious and intelligent. From the things they say and the way they react, you’ll know if you two are meant to be. And it’s okay if you can already see that things might not work out between you two. Believe it or not, you just got spared the heartache of a meaningless relationship.

4. Don’t make conversations only about yourself

For the umpteenth time, it’s a date. Don’t spend all of the time talking about yourself — your accomplishments, money, and whatnot. It is a conversation, not a pitch. You’re not there to sell yourself as the most ideal candidate, duh. Allow the conversation to flow both ways. Talk, of course, but also listen. Hear the other person out. You connect better when you both find a middle ground in your conversation.

5. Pay attention to your body language

Body language is a super, big deal. While many people dismiss this easily, I have to let you know that your body language is of utmost importance. It’s one thing to say something verbally; it’s another to say it through your body language and facial expressions. Avoid things like folding your arms, yawning unnecessarily, turning your feet away from your date, and so on. Also, look out for those signs in your date- it tells you whether or not your date is truly interested in your ongoing conversation. You can tell your date you’re interested, but make sure your body says it too!

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