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So You Have Your First Date...Now What?

So You Have Your First Date...Now What?

I’m going on my first date this weekend with a guy from school. But it’s actually my first date ever (like, in my life). I’m kind of freaking out—any advice?

One important thing—of many, honestly—to keep in mind before your first date: No matter how much excellent, life-affirming, thoughtful advice you get, you’re still going to be nervous. Dates are nerve-wracking; they just are. But here are a few tried-and-true tips to make it slightly less so.

We’re going to assume that you actually like the guy and want to be around him for an extended period of time. And if you’re not sure how you feel about him yet, that’s fine, too. Just make sure you’re not going out with the dude because you feel like you “have” to or to be “nice,” something that happens way more often than you’d think. Don’t waste your time—only make voluntary plans with people you’re excited to be around. But you sound excited, which is obviously a plus.

We’ll spare you all of the vague general unhelpfulness about “just being yourself,” because you’re smart and you already know that. (Though fwiw, you do need to just be yourself when it comes to relationships. Always.)

Another must: Confidence. It’ll make the whole experience way more fun (for him, sure, but especially for you!). Of course, being confident can sometimes be hard, particularly in situations like this. So our advice is to stick with what makes you feel your best, both in terms of the where and the wear. If you’re terrified of heights, don’t go rock-climbing; and if you hate bowling, do something else. Similarly, if you feel most comfortable in a dress, then wear a dress; but if you’d choose jeans and sneakers over skirts any day, then wear your Converse! Sure, you want to make a good impression, but more than anything, you want to give him an accurate and genuine representation of who you are.

Remember that he's freaking out, too. Whether this is his first date or 50th (which would sort of be an issue in and of itself), he wants to impress you just as much as you want to make an impact on him. Also? If the date’s not great—he’s boring, he’s rude, he's just not for you—don’t be hard on yourself. You’ll have a lot of dates in your life (and even more gray-area question-mark almost-dates), and they're not all going to be memorable.

Finally, have fun. It sounds trite and maybe a little impossible. But that’s the reason dates exist: To enjoy yourself! And, OK, to eventually meet the heart-stopping love of your life with whom you’ll drive off into the sunset and live happily ever after. But mostly to have fun.

Need advice? Hit reply on this email and ask us anything (really, anything!).

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