Tips for a Great First Date

You're going to do it. You're finally asking him or her, "Would you like to go out with me?" But then comes the real test: the first date. While it can be an unforgettable experience in the worst way possible, it doesn't have to be. You just have to know how to approach the date. Remember that you're getting to spend time with your special someone and they're doing the same with you. It should be fun above all else.

When you ask your special someone out, there's no need to be dramatic (you definitely don't need to send flowers or take out a billboard ad!). Be casual. Find out their routine and work in the question in a nice way, like running into each other at the coffee shop or taking the elevator up to work.

Then you'll have to decide on where to go. It should be a place that both of you might enjoy. Dinner at a nice restaurant followed by a movie is pretty safe, but don't feel pressured to stay there. What if they like miniature golf or a nice walk in the park? What if you've got tickets to the opening of an art gallery or a concert for your favorite band? You should do your research on what your dating partner likes or dislikes. And you should use the place or activity you pick for your date to be a chance to show yourself off, too. They might know you one way, but here's an opportunity to show off your inner fun, caring self.

While you're on the date, be natural. Dress casually, but not sloppily. Put on your best face and your most enjoyable casual clothes. You should be comfortable when carrying on a conversation with your partner, but not so comfortable that you say something inappropriate. Be polite, respectful, and optimistic. Don't worry about trying to be funny or charming. If you and your partner are enjoying yourselves, then it should all happen naturally. And if you happen to go somewhere where there's alcohol, then either don't drink or do so in moderation.

Now comes the closer: the ride home and--if things are going really well--a good-night kiss. If you're driving them home, stay casual. Never try to force or suggest a kiss outright. Find somewhere private to start. Pay them a compliment and see how well they respond. And if the mood seems right, then lean in slowly. Either your partner will lean in too or they won't. If the kiss doesn't happen, don't fret. It just wasn't meant to be, and at least you'll have had an enjoyable evening all the same.

Image by Carol Von Canon on Flickr

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