First date dos and don’ts

First dates are an exciting opportunity to get to know someone better and perhaps spark a connection. You will of course want to make a great first impression and wow your potential lovebug, but it’s not always that simple.

So many people on first dates find it hard to engage the other in conversation and, in the worst-case scenario, they may even give them the ick. But don’t worry, as the thortful team has put together a few first date dos and don’ts to help you not only avoid scaring the other person off, but actually show them why you’re such a catch!

What to do on a first date

Wherever you go for your first date, there will always be some first date dos and don’ts to bear in mind. First of all, here are the things to do on a first date that you should bear in mind:

Do dress appropriately: The outfit you wear should be suitable for the occasion and the venue. Choosing clothes that make you feel comfortable and confident without going overboard is a win-win.

Do arrive on time: Arriving late to a date is unacceptable even if the traffic is bad. On time or slightly early is the sweet spot. Sometimes this isn’t always possible though and if you are running late, let the person know so that they’re not just left sitting there wondering whether you’ve just stood them up.

Do be genuine: It’s so, so, SO tempting to show off on a first date, as you want to impress them and demonstrate how absolutely awesome you are. However, authenticity is key and waffling on about your many achievements can be incredibly off-putting. Be honest but humble and don’t make it all about you.

Do ask questions: A first date is very much a two-way process, as it’s designed for you to find out more about each other and see if you’re a good match. Make sure to ask your date open-ended questions about their interests, career and life goals.

Do listen to them: You’ve asked them a question so now it’s time to listen. Show that you’re paying attention when they’re talking, as this will make them feel respected and valued.

Do be polite to staff: Hopefully you do this anyway, but it’s crucial that you’re polite and friendly to the staff in the date venue. No snapping of fingers to get the waiter’s attention!

Do show appreciation: No matter how the date goes, always make it clear at the end that you’re grateful for the time you spent together.

Do follow up when the time feels right: If the date was a success and you’d like to meet up again, send them a message to suggest a second date. How soon you do this is completely up to you, as even dating experts can’t agree on an exact timeframe. If you’re really not sure, we suggest messaging them within 24 hours.

What NOT to do on a first date

Okay, here we go. These are things not to do on a first date, as all of them can result in a red flag that means you’ll never see your date ever again.

Don’t overshare: Sometimes a conversation can naturally veer onto a more sensitive or uncomfortable topic, such as politics, religion or even your exes. If this happens, try to move the chatter to something more positive.

Don’t interrupt: Butting in when your date is speaking is very rude and will make them think you don’t care about their thoughts. Keep your ears open and your mouth shut until it’s your turn to speak.

Don’t drink too much: It can be very easy to have one too many if your first date involves alcohol. It’s important that you enjoy yourself but if you feel you’re drinking too quickly or have had enough, switch to a soft drink or order a coffee.

Don’t make them feel pressured: Even if the date is going better than you ever expected, you should never pressure them into any kind of physical intimacy such as holding hands or a quick kiss before they’re ready.

Don’t be negative: Did your boss annoy you this week? Is your kitchen sink leaking? Does your dog constantly leave “presents” in the garden? These types of topics should only be shared if you can infuse them with humour. If you find yourself dwelling on negative stuff, it’s time to change the subject to something more positive.

These first date dos and don’ts should help you to have a lovely first date and maybe even find that special someone. If you’re already in a relationship, make sure to send this list to any friends who are getting ready for a first date (it’s bound to get you lots of brownie points). And if you do have a partner or spouse, take a look at our wide range of Valentine’s Day cards and anniversary cards to show them just how much they mean to you.

Perhaps you’re still on the dating scene and looking for more articles and inspiration? Over on the thortful blog, we’ve covered everything from dating trends and terminology to fun first date ideas.