First Date Dos And Donts 3

Women's Dating

6 Ways to Prepare for a First Date

Bethany Heinesh

Written by: Bethany Heinesh

Bethany Heinesh

Bethany has ghost-written hundreds of dating articles in the last 10 years for relationship experts all over the United States.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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Being nervous before a first date is to be expected. After all, there are countless of unknown factors that accompany a first date. What if he doesn’t like you? What if you don’t like him? What if you say something stupid?

Each factor has the potential to create a lifelong memory you’d do anything to forget. Yes, facing the first date requires the courage of a warrior and the can-do spirit of a fierce and fabulous femminista.

Take notice of these first date do’s and don’ts and read them aloud to yourself in front of the mirror every day for five days leading up your date. Soon enough, they will become part of your mental arsenal of positive affirmations and will come in handy as you face your fears and go on that first date and all dates that follow.

1. Do remember you look fabulous.

Carefully select an outfit that flatters your figure and makes you feel self-assured. When we look our best, we feel our best, and then we act our best.

Choose something in your power color. If you know you’re dynamite in black, rock it. If it’s tie-dye you’re into, go for it. If you feel like a lady in red, show your stuff.

When you’re wearing something you know makes you look beautiful, your attitude and self-confidence will follow.

2. Do remind yourself it’s not the Olympics.

Come on, you’re going on a first date. Big whoop! There’s no medal to be won for your performance and no shame to be felt for lack thereof. Your date is not going to be internationally televised and no one is keeping score.

Relax. No matter how bad or embarrassing the night may become, you simply cannot fail. And soon, it will be over.


“First dates are an opportunity for

two people to get to know one another.”

3. Do prepare questions.

By coming to your date ready with interesting questions, you are ahead of the game. Ask him about his life, his spiritual beliefs and his most prized accomplishment.

I like to play “The Question Gameon first dates when they don’t seem to be going well. I’ll say, “So, you wanna play The Question Game? I ask you a question, and then you ask me a question.”

Be sure to tell him no question is off limits and all questions must be answered honestly — no passes.

Trust me, this game always makes for an interesting dinner, especially if you’ve done your homework and come up with some real thought-provokers.

4. Do recall that people like you. 

If you’re a “Saturday Night Live” fan, you’ll remember this skit from the 1990s. Stuart Smalley would sit in front of the mirror and repeat this mantra to himself over and over.

The truth is, darling, you are good enough. You are smart enough. And people do like you! If the date doesn’t go well, it’s his loss.

Don’t take it personally and move on. Another awkward first date is always in line to take the place of the previous.

5. Don’t develop preconceived notions.

When you go on a first date, go with an open mind and an open heart. Don’t project your fantasies or fears onto this guy, but give him absolute freedom to be himself.

If he acts like a gentleman, fantastic. If he belches at the dinner table and unbuttons his pants, oh well. If he’s smart and funny, great, but if he’s an ignorant pig, so be it.

If you go on your date with expectations, you are sure to be disappointed. Observe this beast in his natural habitat and form conclusions accordingly.

6. Don’t blame it on the alcohol.

Getting loaded on a first date is not a good idea. It’s one thing to have a glass of wine before the date to calm yourself down. But, throwing back cocktails before or during a first date is just bad manners.

Most men, at least the ones worth keeping, admit they are turned off by a woman who drinks too much. As the saying goes, “A drunk tongue speaks a sober mind.”

You don’t want to say or do something embarrassing in front of some guy you barely know. Plus, you don’t need any intoxicants in your system that could cloud your judgment as you figure out what kind of guy you’re on a first date with. Trust me, go easy on the alcohol.

First dates are nothing more than an opportunity for two people to spend a few hours together and get to know one another. They are not invitations to feel insecure, inadequate or inferior.

Take a few deep breaths, reread these first date quick fixes, and go after that first date like a champ. After all, he’s lucky you even decided to bless him with your company for the evening!

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