April Masini is a relationship and etiquette expert, and the founder of the ‘Ask April’ free relationship advice forum where over 22,800 questions have been asked and answered personally by her. She is the author of four relationship advice books, has nearly a quarter million active forum members, over 600,000 Facebook fans and over 1.4 million Twitter followers.
First dates are more important than most people realize. If we don’t go on enough of them, or we don’t accept offers for them, we often end up regretting it. Another mistake we later regret is agreeing to go on a first date, but not spending the time and energy to get prepared and dressed up— or relegating the first date to inferior weekday status because we didn’t want to risk an entire Saturday night.
Imagine what life would be like if you took a completely different attitude towards first dates, and instead of treating them as throw-away dates that will probably not pan out, you treated them as sacred opportunities!
This is an important mindset because first dates are sacred opportunities, and so are first impressions. They happen once, and then they’re gone, and they can make or break everything. A great first impression is exponentially valuable, and so is a fantastic first date. You’ll either get written off, or you’ll stand out (in a good way) from the rest of their options.
Allow yourself to anticipate and mentally prepare for a first date. Ask for the first date a week in advance, not an hour before. This lets your date know you’re not scheduling her into a slot that happened to open up because a different date canceled at the last minute. She’ll feel respected and valued, and you’ll seem gentlemanly and organized. You’ll have raised the bar and become the kind of person who treats people well in her eyes. This also shows that you think she’s special, not a filler for an empty night. Advance notice demonstrates your genuine interest.
Asking someone out in advance also gives you both time to get ready for what’s to come, especially when there are six days between the asking and the meet up. In preparation, go to the gym. Do crunches. Cut out the carbs. Go to the salon. Get your eyelash extensions touched up. Have your eyebrows waxed. Buy a new blouse. Do whatever you need to do to feel confident and excited. And when you meet, know that you’re giving one hot first impression. You’ll see it in their eyes. So, remember — don’t choose the clothes off the floor that smell the least offensive. Don’t wear your comfortable, ugly shoes. Use the good soap. Really give yourself the opportunity to make a great first impression. Plan ahead, and use the time between asking and that first date to prepare and savor the excitement.
Don’t be average or boring
Avoid the typical first date cliché of dinner and a movie. If you really want the first date to go well, plan the type of date you know you’ll both enjoy, and create a great memory. Customize it. Plan something unique and fun. Make it a thoughtful SuperDate instead of an average, boring and mediocre date. Depending on who you are and who she is, create an exciting itinerary. You could go to a museum, a theme park, get tickets to a concert or take her horseback riding. In other words, do the exact opposite of hanging out and trudging through what may seem like just another average first date. Make this first date count for something. Create an atmosphere that allows for love, intimacy and romance to grow.
You know that mundane ‘first date’ you went on with that guy you met on Tinder? You know, the one where he asked you if you wanted to ‘hang out’ with about one hour notice, and you met for a coffee conveniently located at the coffee shop right by his place? Those ‘hang outs’ are Tinder specials, and those are not real first dates.<
Leave stress and negativity at home
When you have an opportunity for a real first date, don’t waste it. Leave your negative attitude at home. Yeah, yeah, I know — you’ve been burned, cheated on, dumped, lied to and divorced. All in the same day, right? Let go and move on. Consider breaking the cycle and treating this first date like an opportunity to meet someone who’s a truly decent person, who is fun and interesting will help make your dreams come true. Don’t consider this date an opportunity to rant and rave to someone about the unfair hand love has dealt you or why you’re single.
Please don’t prejudge your first date and expect more of the same disappointment. Instead, stay in the moment (not the past) and get ready for awesomeness. It’s the best way to attract it! Don’t trash talk anyone or anything on this first date. Trash talking your ex only makes you look bad.
Bring a gift
A great way to stand out is to bring a gift on the first date. Who does that anymore? Nobody you know? Good! If you show up with flowers, an interesting book, a cake pop, fresh strawberries or something clever that happens to also tie into your conversations preceding the date, you’re showing that you’re different. You’re proving that you’re thoughtful and that you go the extra mile. You’re demonstrating that you’re unique and funny and not the average Joe. Now, if you ask me, that’s a lot of pay off for one small gift.
Give this date a real chance
Finally, risk your Saturday night on a first date. Give it a real shot. Throw caution to the wind and quit hedging against bad dates by saving your Saturday night for something better. I mean, be honest. What are you really going to do? Hang out? Binge watch? Troll dating sites? Make it a date on a Saturday night and send yourself (not just your date) the message that this is something special You’ll set yourself apart from lazy daters who hang out, order in and call it a date.