Being an active listener is a good way to keep the conversation flowing and preempt awkward lulls. For instance, asking your date how they spend their free time can give you a better idea of their interests and help you learn more about them in return.
Avoid droning on about your own interests, as this can be boring and put your date off. Positivity is also very attractive to potential dates, so try to be positive throughout the whole conversation.
Don’t be afraid to be yourself
Sometimes being yourself isn’t always comfortable, especially on a first date. Showing up as your authentic self is a big deal, especially to someone who could potentially fall in love with you.
One way to help ease the nerves and keep the conversation flowing is by bringing up topics that you know your date will find interesting or relatable. For example, talking about a new TV show you’re watching or your favorite book is sure to pique their interest.
If the conversation does go south, don’t be afraid to fess up and say you aren’t feeling it. Being honest is the best policy and it’s the most respectful thing to do.
Listening to your date is also important, so be sure to validate their opinions and concerns. This will help keep the conversation going and give them a full picture of who you are. Complimenting them on something like their sense of humor or intelligence can also be a great way to connect with them.
Don’t zone out
A first date is a chance for you to learn more about someone. So make sure you are able to talk for a good portion of the time. Avoid any date ideas that would prevent you from talking enough (like going to the movies).
If you find yourself struggling to talk, try coming up with a list of first date questions beforehand. This will help you feel prepared and less nervous on the day of your date.
Keeping up a level head and paying attention to your body language is also important. Things like fidgeting, crossing your arms, and looking around the room can signal boredom or nervousness. Conversely, leaning forward, making eye contact, and smiling can show that you’re open and confident.
Finally, avoid discussing any heated topics or trash-talking your ex. This can cause your date to feel uncomfortable and send the wrong message about you.
Don’t be afraid to cut it short
When you have a first date that isn’t working out, cutting it short can help you save face and move on without guilt. While it may seem like it is bad form to leave super early, leading your date on and then dropping them right before they’ve finished their dinner or even the concert can feel much worse.
Instead, try to make the conversation more casual. For example, if you’re on a brewery or winery tour, you could ask your date what their favorite beer is and why they chose that particular brand. This is a great way to get a sense of what interests them and it can lead into a discussion about future goals and plans.
Of course, avoid topics that are too heavy-handed on a first date, such as discussing deep personal traumas or their beliefs in religious matters. These kinds of conversations can really take away from the enjoyment of the date and put your date on edge.
Don’t be afraid to say no
If you’re on a first date and find yourself not fancying your date, then don’t be afraid to say no. It is better to be honest if you don’t think there’s much of a match, rather than creating dating burn out by trying to force a relationship when it just isn’t working.
Alternatively, if you know it’s not going to work out, you can try to reschedule for something else later on, or just send them a simple text saying that you had a great time and would love to see them again in the future. This will leave them feeling respected, and it also means that you haven’t wasted any of their time.
When you do text them, be sure to avoid the dick pics and overly sexual conversations (unless you want to). This is just going to turn them off even more. Instead, try to compliment them on their achievements or something they do well.