First Date 101

By Kirstin Buick
22 December 2014

You never get a second chance to make a good first impression – so you definitely need to put your best foot forward on first dates! Here’s how:

The perfect outfit

Casual Nothing says high-maintenance quite like a pair of sky-high stilettos for a casual movie and pizza date. Girls could opt for something fun and casual, like a dress, cute cardi and flats. If you’re not a girly-girl, wear your favourite jeans and a cute top. Guys, go for jeans and your favourite T. And if you really want to impress, opt for a collared shirt and jeans for a more sophisticated look.

Dress up If you’re going to a fancy restaurant, wear a classy cocktail dress – and leave something to the imagination. Too much flesh on the first date may give the wrong idea – or scare them off entirely! You can wear heels as long as you can walk in them – you don’t want to be literally falling for your date. Guys, you can usually get away with jeans, a collared shirt and smart shoes at fancy restaurants, but to be safe call ahead and make sure jeans are allowed.

Outdoors Whether it’s a picnic in the park or a hike up a hill, outdoorsy dates require one thing – comfy shoes!

Who should pay?

A touchy subject! In straight relationships, while it may be considered the gentlemanly thing to do, it might not be realistic to expect the guy to foot the bill – pocket money only goes so far.  When the bill arrives, offer to pay your half. If your partner insists on treating you, be gracious and don’t put up a fight. If it’s your invitation and it’s your first date, treat your partnerl! You can go halvies next time.

How to ask your parents’ permission

If you want things to get serious with your crush, your parents are going to have to meet them sometime, right? So bite the bullet, and get their permission to go out first.

Approach them by telling them there’s a girl/guy that you’d like to go out with, and explain where you met them, how long you’ve known them and why you like them. Tell your parents exactly what you plan to do, where you want to go, and how they can reach you. Show them you’re responsible and understand their concerns – you can even come up with a proposed curfew time. If you’re mature and honest with them, chances are they’ll be open to it!

How to act

You may have an awesome outfit, but it’s your behaviour that’s going to seal the deal. So remember:

- Breathe – chances are your date is just as nervous as you are. When the anxiety kicks in, take a few slow, deep breaths to calm the nerves.

- Be a gentleman. It may sound old-fashioned but the little things will score you major brownie points. Hold open the door, pull out her chair, give her your jacket if she’s cold.

- Listen – don’t get carried away talking about yourself. Nothing will send your date running for the hills like you being too self-involved!

- Ask questions. If the conversation dies (and chances are it will at some point) ask your date about their siblings, where they grew up, or what they plan to do after school. It will show you’re genuinely interested in getting to know them.

- Put away your phone. Really, there’s no need to text your friends when you’re on a date.

- Be honest. There’s no point in embellishing how many tries you’ve scored this season, or how many As you got last term. Even if this does impress your date, it’s going to be super awkward if they ask you about it on your next date and you can’t quite remember your fib!

- Be yourself. Putting up an act is exhausting and you can’t keep it up forever. Besides, being comfy in your own skin is a special kind of sexy.

- Don’t force it. If your date bores you to tears or the way they chew their food drives you crazy, it’s not going to get any better. Let them down easy, but be honest. You’re under no obligation to see them again if you’re not keen.

Cool stuff to do

Believe it or not, movies and a burger are not your only option! Here are a few fun ideas that will take the pressure off:

- Go-karting For adventurous girls, nothing is cooler than showing you can handle a racetrack. Although it may be best if you don’t beat your date every time.

- Amusement parks This may be a touch pricy but nothing gets the heart racing like a roller coaster. And it’s an excuse to clutch onto your date.

- Markets Grab a gourmet sandwich, sample some homemade ice cream, try your hand at candle-making.

- Bike ride If you live near somewhere pretty, go for a weekend cycle.

- Breakfast For some reason going out for breakfast is more relaxed than dinner – and cheaper too!

- Arcade Unleash your inner kid and head to your nearest videogame arcade. Racing cars, teddy bears, whacking crocodiles – what’s not to love?

- Drive-in If you’re lucky enough to have an old-school drive-in nearby, take advantage of it – these relics won’t be around for ever!

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