In life, first impressions are everything. Whether it’s interviewing for a job, applying for college, or simply meeting new people, the way a person initially presents his or herself can predict the outcome of the situation.
This applies to dating as well. In any relationship, the first date is crucial. The way a person acts, what they say, and how they look can either spell disaster or foretell happily ever after for not only the date but the chance of having dates with the same person later on in time.
Teenagers, with cyclonic hormones and sometimes inexperience, may find the first date the most excruciating, especially if it is with a person they don’t know well. Should I hold his hand? Where should I take her? What should I wear? There are loads of questions that need to be answered. For those teens out there who are new on the dating scene, or are just starting to revisit it, here are a few pointers to setting forth the best impression during an initial date.
Where to go?
The main things teens should keep in mind when choosing a destination are price and whether or not the place allows for ample communication. If it’s too expensive, your date may have trouble paying for him/herself, or, if your date expects you to do all the paying, you may wish you had picked somewhere else. The cheaper the date, the less guilt you will both feel over the bill. When paying for a date, don’t automatically assume you or your date will be paying for both. Instead, offer to pay, and if your date says otherwise, come to a compromise. Also, always bring cash. Tips need to be factored in, especially when going to a restaurant.
Another thing to avoid when picking a location is the silent factor. Theaters, for instance, are the main places to avoid because they prevent communication. The only way to initially get to know someone is by talking to them. If this is prevented, the point of actually going on the date is mute. Try taking dates to places like Petco Park, Balboa Park, or even the local mall where entrance is cheap and the talk is plentiful.
What to say?
The ice is hard to break on the first date, especially when a pair doesn’t exactly know what they have in common. The trick is to first discuss popular things that most everyone recognizes, and then lead into more personal (but not too much – no one needs to know about your athlete’s foot when they first meet you) items once the atmosphere becomes more comfortable.
For example, ask your date what they think of a popular band or book, such as Twilight (EVERYONE knows something about that, even if they haven’t read the series themselves) and then go on to ask what type of music/books they listen to, what their favorite artists are, etc. These types of broad-to-specific questions can branch off into many different pathways, providing multitudes of conversational, get-to-know-each-other, topics.
What to do?
Actions do often speak louder than words, so behaving in a correct manner on dates is a must. First, mind your manners. You weren’t raised in a barn, were you? And second, just be yourself. On the first date, you want your crush to get to know who you really are. This doesn’t mean you should pour out your life’s story to them, just don’t hide behind a mask.
Perhaps the most valued question teens have about the first date, however, is how much affection to show. They don’t want their dates to feel like they’re not attracted to them, but yet they don’t want to turn them away by slobbering all over them. To avoid all this, just stick to hand holding and hugging. These are inoffensive gestures that shouldn’t provoke any negative feelings.
How to look?
Guys: Stay away from the extremes. Most girls don’t like overly macho or feminine men. Be well groomed but still have an air of manliness around you. And whatever you do, DON’T douse yourself in cologne. It just smells bad.
Ladies: Be modest, but don’t feel like you have to dress like your grandmother. If you feel you need to show off your body to attract your date, you’re going after the wrong type of guy. Wear something that makes you look radiant but not homely or risqué. Also, ditch all the heavy makeup. As much as you feel it makes you look better, a vast majority of guys out there will find you more attractive without it.