7 First Date Tips That Will Change Your Dating Game

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First dates can be tricky — there’s a lot of pressure to make a good first impression, you’re not sure if the person’s going to be anything like you’ve built them up to be in your head, and you’re probably exhausted by small talk like the rest of us and just want this one to stick. We’ve asked around, and there are a few key things that everyone says make the world of a difference on a first date. Keep these in mind next time you’re out on your next first date, and let us know how it goes!


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1. Keep it short and simple!

There are a lot of unknowns when you’re meeting someone for the first time. Planning an elaborate, long date adds unnecessary complications to an already high-pressure situation. Go for something simple like a coffee or a drink. That way, best case scenario you’ll both be excitedly awaiting date number 2. Worst case if things go south, you have an easy escape!


2. Skip the small talk talk about your passions.

There is literally nothing worse than small talk, especially if you’ve been on several first dates recently and had identical conversations at each. A first date is a really good chance for you to showcase the things you care about. Don’t waste time on the weather – just skip to the good stuff. Do you have a creative hobby you’re passionate about? A game of 20 questions also works well!


3. Present the best version of yourself.

You don’t have to stress about your outfit for hours, but do put a little bit of thought into your overall presentation and make sure you feel confident in the way you present yourself. You don’t need to pretend to be something you’re not — wear something that showcases who you truly are, and do your makeup as you normally do! But make sure you’ve got your basic hygiene on lock. Brush your hair (and teeth), and do NOT forget that deodorant. Remember, first impressions matter.


4. Practice mindfulness.

It’s time to leave your day behind when you arrive at your date. Whether you had a shitty day at work or got into a fight with your best friend, you owe it to your date to give them your attention and give things a fair shot. That includes your phone — put on “do not disturb” and focus on your conversation. There’s nothing more annoying than being stuck in a conversation where the other person is clearly distracted and not present in the moment.


5. Don’t talk about yourself the whole time

A date is not a chance for you to hear yourself talk. It’s nice when someone is a good listener and engaged in your stories, but don’t take advantage of it. A good conversation has to go both ways. If you just talk about yourself all night and don’t show any interest in getting to know the other person, chances are you’re not going to get a second date. Listen, ask questions, and engage in the conversation authentically.

6. Avoid all talk about exes

You could have the worst ex on the entire planet, but stories from your past should never become conversation fodder. Talking about an ex is almost always considered a major reg flag, especially on a first date. For one, it likely signifies that you’re not over them yet or ready to move on. If you end up bashing them excessively, it can also look like you’re not willing to take accountability for your role in the relationship, and might reflect you in a negative light.


7. Treat everyone kindly, not just your date!

This is a classic red flag that everyone says to look out for when you’re on a date, and it’s an easy one to avoid. It’s important to show kindness and treat everyone with respect while you’re on a date (and you know, all the time in life). A lot of people make the basic mistake of treating their date politely, but trying too hard to show off by treating wait staff poorly. No one thinks it’s cute to be rude to your waiter or your valet, so just drop the act. If you’re genuinely kind and considerate, it will show through naturally.


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