Going on a first date can be an exciting prospect – it gives you the chance to meet someone new and impress them with your best self – but the first date planning process is sometimes far from simple. How do you plan the perfect first date? What should you do? Who should decide? How much time should it last? The questions are endless. To offer you some help and advice, we have put together a list of things to consider when planning and suggesting first dates. Follow them, and you will plan the perfect first date!
1) Get to know the interests of the person you will date, before you date
Although on rare occasions there can be instant dates (for example, you meet a random person in the street and 5 minutes later you are on a date), most of the times before dating you chat a bit by phone, WhatsApp or whatever.
Use this time to get to know the person a bit, and understand its interests. Have a chat (by phone or text) about what he/she does and likes. Be careful though: don’t use it as an excuse to postpone inviting her/him for a date because “you still don’t know each other well”! You don’t have to talk about everything on the phone, or you won’t have anything to say on the actual date!!
So, just have a quick chat about what he or she likes, just to get a taste of her interests, and leave the details for the date. Once you know what she or he likes, it’s much easier to find something that you both like and you could do on a date, making it a perfect first date. Not doing it would be a mistake: for example, let’s say that you are going to date an easy going person who hates eating in chic restaurants and, since you don’t know it, you actually plan a date at a one star Michelin restaurant! ? Or the opposite, you might end up dating a chic fashion blogger at McDonald’s!
Once you know what she/he likes, find something that you both enjoy, and find out how to have a date doing that. If you both like parks, why not going to that park that you visited and loved but she/he didn’t and would love to? If you both like art, why not going together to that new interesting art gallery that just opened?
This will make planning your perfect first date much easier! ?
Of course, this means that you and your date have to have something in common! If you really don’t find any interest that you share, it’s better to move on and avoid dating a person you have nothing, nothing in common with. The date would just be a disaster!
However, if you want to find people who share your interests, you can use CLiKD, a dating app that focuses on interests and matching people who share your interest.
2) During the date, do something that lets you talk and get to know each other
As tempting as it is to reinvent the cutesy movie scenes of couples cuddling up in the cinema, your first date should be considered a chance to get to know someone. Going to the cinema on the first date is one of the worst mistakes. Same with a concert or anything that doesn’t allow you to talk with your date. This is for a simple reason: you spend two or maybe three hours looking at a screen, or a stage, and at the end, you know each other more or less like you did a few hours before.
On the first date, you should spend your time getting to know each other better. You can interpret this however you like: if sitting and chatting to someone is too intimidating or not your thing, doing an activity can allow you to talk and do at the same time and hide any potential awkward silences.
3) Try to split the decision making!
Offering ideas that the other person will want to do is a solid start, but sometimes splitting the decision making is a good way to make sure everyone enjoys themselves. If your match has a say in the planning process, they will likely feel more comfortable letting you know their ideas (or if they aren’t 100% sure on yours). Making decisions isn’t everyone’s strong suit, so letting someone else take some of the strain can be a stress relief.
Now that said, there is still a huge difference between guys and girls when talking about date decisions. The thing is that determined and self-confident men are sexy, so a guy who doesn’t know what he wants and frequently asks the girl “what you wanna do? For me it’s the same” it’s totally unsexy. So, if you’re a guy, try to take the initiative and avoid asking the girl “what you want to do”. At least give her various choices, but never give her blank page, since it means you have no idea of what you want, and this is not a great start.
4) How long will the date last?
How long does the perfect first date last? There is not a clear answer. Some dates should end in no more than half an hour, while others go very smoothly for hours. When thinking of ideas for first (or future) dates, it’s often worth considering how much time an activity will take. For example, if you choose to go for a meal you could spend 2 hours sitting around the table, whereas something like a coffee might take just 30 minutes. In the planning stage, think about how much time you would want to spend with your match and use this to whittle down your ideas.
In general, try to make it dynamic: don’t plan a 6 hours date ahead, it’s not a tour de force, and if you don’t really like each other it could become the worst date of your life. Just plan a couple of hours maximum (sometimes even less, like one hour or half an hour, depending on what’s the plan) and prepare yourself for the chance that the date could continue for some more hours. Plan a “first activity” and then make sure that you are ready an “encore”. For example, the most typical is planning a dinner and, if after eating you both like each other a lot and no one of you seems wanting to go home, you casually know that there is an amazing pub for a drink after the dinner right in front of the restaurant.
5) Where do you meet?
Once you have an idea, you have to work out where you and your date are going to meet. It’s often a good idea to choose somewhere that is easy for both of you to get to and that you both know well (after all, turning up to meet someone you don’t know that well, in a place you’ve never been to, makes things doubly nerve-wracking). Also, if you’ve never seen her/him, make sure you set a specific meeting point, otherwise it will be difficult to catch up and recognise your date, and this is quite embarrassing ?
6) Have fun!
The most important thing is to have fun! First dates are supposed to be exciting and enjoyable, and this can sometimes get lost in the stress of planning and impressing someone. Obviously be safe (let someone know where you’re going, have a get out clause etc.), but focus on fun, and getting your perfect first date will be easier than what you think!
If you want to meet new people who share your interests, you can do it with CLiKD, a dating app that lets you find people who share your specific interests.