Video:All About the First Datewith Jonathon E. Stewart
First dates can be stressful, but going in prepared can help to keep the butterflies at bay and allow you to make the most of getting to know your date. Get ready for a great time with these first date tips and ideas.See Transcript
Transcript:All About the First DateHey guys -- Jonathon Stewart here for About.com. So, you've met at a party, or through a friend, or maybe even in this brave new world, on the internets. But no matter how you get to that pressure-cooker first date, take a quick look at the following tips and you'll be smooth like butter. Check it out.
Pick the Perfect First Date LocationAbove all else, first dates are about getting to know each other, so choose a spot that allows you to talk. Meals at restaurants are generally a good way to go, as is a cup of coffee and a walk in the park or on the beach. Activities like fitness classes or going to the zoo can provide something to do while you're hanging out, and grabbing a drink at a local pub or going wine tasting together can help to take the edge off of potentially awkward conversation.
Just don't get so schnockered you forget your manners, or drool on yourself. Be sure to pick a place that's safe if you're just meeting in person for the first time, and if you choose a restaurant, just remember to avoid dishes like shrimp scampi or French onion soup or anything else vampire repellant.
Dressing for the First DateBe sure to dress for success no matter where you end up meeting. Choose clothes that are suitable to the location or activity you choose, but take the time you need to put yourself together and look your best. Always go for quality over trendy -- nice shoes for guys and simple, elegant attire for gals are always good ways to go. Avoid heavy cologne, perfume, makeup, and hairspray.
After all you never have a second chance to make a first impression. But don't discount the second impression -- sometimes that second date is where you make or break a budding relationship. So you might want to save the All County Beer Pong shirt until at least date five.
First Date ConversationsFear of what to say is one of the biggest first date concerns people secretly harbor. Bringing a few prepared starter questions is never a bad idea. Ask about things like non-work interests, where your date grew up, or what kinds of movies or books your date likes. Keep your questions open-ended and avoid ones with yes or no answers, and be sure to share about yourself, too. The more open and open minded you can be, the better chance you'll have to get to know your date. On the other hand, you might want to avoid certain topics like ex-boyfriends or girlfriends, stories that involve strippers or dropping not-so subtle hints about being excited to get married and have lots of babies next month.
Paying for the First DateWho pays for the first date can prove to be awkward, so always be sure to bring enough money to cover your portion of any meal or activity you share, just in case. Especially if a date is going poorly, you should position yourself to be able to make a quick exit and not have to wait for the other person to pay. But just like opening doors, there are some traditions that you might want to stick with -- so if you're a guy, go ahead and pick up the check on the first date. If you do, and the date's going well, there's a pretty good chance you can fight over it on the next one.
Kissing on the First DateFinally, if the date is a success, don't be a afraid to end it with the first kiss, or not. Sometimes delaying the kiss to another time can heighten the anticipation for future encounters, sometimes it can be the perfect romantic ending to a perfect romantic date. No matter what you do -- if your first date was a good one, follow up the next day with a call. Don't text, e-mail, instant message, poke, or twitter -- don't wait two days or six or ten -- just pick up the phone, and dial.
Thanks for watching! To learn more, visit us on the Web at About.com.