Our advice for successful dating

Article 1

First Date Tips

Whether you’re new to online dating, or just haven’t been on a date for a while, it’s worth taking some time to consider how you want to approach that all important first impression. First dates needn’t be nerve wracking; they can be a really enjoyable way to discover someone on your wavelength who could become a new friend or potential partner. Remember this is a new chapter of your life unfolding and a wonderful opportunity for self discovery. We’ve put together some thoughts below to help you decide how you want to approach your first date.

Don’t be afraid to be the one to suggest the venue

The ideal first date is just long enough to find out whether you’d like to see each other again. So choose a venue and time that feels comfortable for you. Maybe you’ve got a busy week rushing around after the kids, or a big presentation due for work? If so, it’s absolutely fine to suggest a coffee date in your favourite town centre cafe, or a quick bite to eat over lunch rather than dinner. Less is definitely more on the first meeting, and the date should leave both of you wanting more.

Put your best foot forward

Even if you’re meeting in a casual venue like a pub, consider your outfit carefully. You might want to inject a boost with a new haircut or trip to the beautician so that you feel at your best. Consider wearing a well-tailored jacket or coat if you’re a man - it will make your shoulders look wider and you feel smarter – or, if you’re a woman, you might want to dig out your favourite heels and a pretty dress or top, to make you look feminine and feel glamorous.

Sound your best

Put your most positive self forward on a first date. Don’t feel you have to be chirpier than a children’s TV presenter, but do make an effort to be cheerful and optimistic. Don’t make negative remarks about your appearance or past relationships, and even if you are having problems in your personal life, don’t pour them all out now. Look for the good in life! If you are confident and enthusiastic about who you are and where you are going in your life, your job, or your pastimes, it will make you more engaging and fun to be around.

Enjoy the date

On the subject of being positive, try to have fun on the date. If the restaurant turns out to be a disaster or the pub’s awful, don’t complain. Don’t lie and say you love it either – remain neutral. If you date has taken time to choose the venue, compliment something about it such as the convenient location. Start conversations by asking questions about values and feelings rather than just facts for example “what do you love about your job?” is more revealing and will warrant a longer answer from your date than asking “what do you do?”.

Don’t talk about exes

There’s no need to reveal your entire life history on the first date. The important thing is that you both take time to get to know each other at your own pace. If you are asked why you split up, say something diplomatic like, “We just wanted different things”. Don’t go into details, it’s definitely not the right time. Similarly, if your date starts talking about their ex, gently change the subject as soon as you can, they’ll be plenty of time to discuss it later if your relationship progresses.

How to end the date

Unless you are 100% sure you don’t want a second date, try to end the date on a warm and positive note. If you’d like to meet them again, tell them! If you’re shy, or would prefer to find out if they’d like to meet again before you suggest it, say, “It’s been lovely meeting you, I really enjoyed it.” If you are sure you don’t want to meet again, it’s only fair to be clear about it, but not brutal. It’s fine to say, “I’ve had a nice time but you’re not what I’m looking for,”. Don’t promise to call them then don’t. There is a reason why there is a saying, ‘Honesty is the best policy’. Being honest creates transparency where trust can flourish and is something you can take forward into the next relationship you choose to be in.

Saying Goodbye

To tell if your date would be receptive to a goodnight kiss, place your hand gently on their arm. If they turn their body slightly towards you, it may be that they would like you to kiss them. If they turn away, they wouldn’t – in which case, just thank them for a great evening. Don’t take it as rejection; some daters prefer to take it slowly when it comes to kissing.

The follow up

Follow up the date if you’d like to see them again. A text on the way home is sweet, but a call the next day is sweeter.

And finally, remember to always take things at your own pace. Not everyone gets it right on the first date, and you may choose to go on several first dates before you meet someone you would like to pursue a relationship with. Think of your past as a blessing of experience, remember you are a person who has done many interesting things in their life and you have a lot to offer a partner.

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