First date! How do I not F*** this up?

Unshiftable asks:

Last weekend I met this girl, few days later she added me on facebook and we started chatting, long story short, I asked her out. We are going to the zoo tomorrow, I know she has had a relationship in the past, but I’m a complete beginner, I’m pretty sure shes into me, but how do I not fuck this date up?

Should I get flowers or something? And what should my goals be, as I’m looking for a longer term relationship.

Thank you

Well sir and or madam, I think that even the most experienced daters out there still feel a little bit nervous about a first date, so don’t worry about being a beginner. Everyone is new to dating someone new when you really think about it. Dating experience helps, but each dater and person you go on a date with is unique. What I’m saying is, don’t get too hung up on your inexperience, because you can turn your inexperience into an asset.

It seems like this girl likes you, so you’re already in good shape. The most common mistakes that people make on dates are pretty simple, and they’re often tied to one of the following:

1. Conversation

2. Attention

3. Attraction

4.Chemistry

5. The close

You can directly impact 3 of the 5, and indirectly impact Attraction and Chemistry (which are distinctly different). The best you can do about the attraction is present the best version of yourself. Groom, bathe, put some effort into your clothing (not saying to spend more money, just make sure your clothes are clean and are not wrinkled). As for chemistry, just be yourself, but the version of yourself that you show to new friends, not the old friends you’ve had for forever, Remember, there is a time and place for everything, so feel free to be honest about who you are…just don’t reveal EVERYTHING all at once.

When it comes to conversation I’ve actually written and podcasted on the subject quite a bit, but I’ll share the same helpful information I always do. If you get stuck on conversation, use the FORD method (Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Dreams). Ask insightful questions that are on topic, especially if it’s something she shows interest in, ask her the questions that she asks you, and try to avoid questions with Yes/No answers.

As for attention, that one is simple: Pay attention to her! I’m not saying that you should spend every second of your date staring at her, just avoid staring at your phone, or talking on your phone, or initiating conversation with other people. You can do all these things, just focus mostly on her.

Lastly, the close. If you had a good date and want to see her again, tell her, then if she agrees, go in for the kiss. If she doesn’t kiss you don’t force the issue, she could just want to wait kiss you, or maybe she’s not attracted to you. Either way, if you follow these tips you’ll have done everything you could to not have fucked up the date.

Remember, most dates aren’t bad, most dates end with people realizing they don’t click. If you don’t click, don’t take it as a defeat, just move on to the next person.¬†As for your goal of having a long-term relationship, you’re getting ahead of yourself. Just try to have a good date and take it from there. Keep having good dates and that will eventually lead to a relationship…with the right person of course.

Good Luck Out There.

Demetrius Figueroa

Demetrius is a sex, dating, and relationship writer based in Brooklyn.

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