Okay, so you probably won't get punched in the neck on your first date. Which is a good thing, unless you're into that sort of action. This article looks to dissect a few areas that can help make those first few dates successful ones… The article is geared more toward the guys out there, but women should be able to find some gold here, as well; from choosing a place to meet, finding what you should spend and how to keep things moving along if things are going well.
What are the ingredients of a successful date?
While the following list isn't comprehensive, it does span some of the more important elements I feel are key to a successful date.
Location, Location, Location
When you've met someone that you want to meet up with and they want to meet you then choosing a spot to meet is the next important step.
The importance of choosing a good spot to meet people is as crucial, I feel, to the conversation you and your date have. The location you choose to meet shows the following: It shows your willingness to put thought into your date and find a place they might like; it shows that you are a person who is interested in trying good places and different things; and, believe it or not, the decor and ambiance of a good spot just makes you look better. Who doesn't look better in dimly lit surroundings, with interesting artwork adorning the walls around you?
To find what locations you should find, I think it's important to cross off some locations you shouldn't go to. Again, this is just my opinion. But for anyone going on a date looking for a place to meet, I would advise them against any chain establishments (there are exceptions to any rule, however). Specifically, I would steer clear of Starbucks, Friday's, and the Movies (if it's a first date, that is). The places I mentioned because they do lack originality and effort, I believe. Instead, I'd recommend you take a look at http://cityguide.com or http://yelp.com and look for places in your area. Get to know your community. Pick out a few potential spots that are well reviewed. You're guaranteed to find a great spot.
This one seems to be a given. A good conversation is essential to a good date. Though, I did find some times where conversation wasn't so good, yet I still managed to have a good date. Weird, right? Well, I can't tell anyone how to be a good conversationalist. And the old adage, “be interesting” certainly holds true. How does one manage to be interesting?
Read up on your current events. Knowing what's going on in the world gives you plenty to talk about.
Be excited about yourself when talking about your interests… But don't be TOO excited. What that really means is that if you are interested and excited about who you are and what you do, so will your date. However, it's a fine line. You don't want to talk too much about yourself. More times than not you will find yourself listening more to your date and asking your date what they are interested in. I highly recommend that, actually.
Don't dominate the conversation. I pretty much touched on this on the previous bullet point. But it's important enough to mention it again. Listen more than you talk, in most instances. Finding a good balance to a mutually beneficial conversation is key and is easy enough… Sometimes it's not easy to gauge if we've been talking too much. If you're keen on body language, your date's expressions and mannerisms can help you detect if you've gone blabbermouth. So pay attention.
Ask questions. Most people like to talk about themselves, so ask questions. Don't probe, however, if your date isn't comfortable and try not to make it like an interview, which most dates with new people tend to be.
Be funny, but not at the expense of your date. Do you want to get punched in the neck? I didn't think so.
What to wear and other stuff…
I'm no fashion expert so I'm not going to tell you what sort of clothing you should wear, but more a general guideline of what to think about. First off, what ever you do, don't show up naked. That will not lead to a second date. The thought you put into your date is more important than any label or trendy piece of clothing you choose to wear. After all, it really is the thought that counts. First impressions are important, so dress accordingly. Sometimes a t shirt and sneakers are not the way to go. Try upgrading the outfit with dress shoes, or non-athletic foot apparel. Instead of the t shirt, try an ironed button-up shirt. Tuck it in. Oh! The one fashion fumble I warn against is wearing white socks with black shoes. That one just angers me and if you do that then you should get punched in the neck.
Regardless of what you don for your date it should look like you put thought and effort into it. A woman can tell, after all.
The theme that is most recurring in a date is thoughtfulness and being considerate. These things will show themselves without any explanation on your part. You need only take a few minutes to do most of the things mentioned. If you take time to do them, you'll have a good date.