First dates can be intimidating, but here are a few rules to follow to help make it easier. 

Meeting with a stranger that you probably met online for a first date can be so awkward. They might not be a complete stranger unless it’s a blind date, but hopefully, you got to talk to them a little beforehand and got to know them. If not, then good luck. 

It’s one thing to talk to someone over text and another to talk face-to-face. You can read what they sent and write and edit a response. You can edit your thoughts before replying. It’s for that reason that I love writing in general. So what do you do and not do on a first date?

What to do on a first date

Ask questions

You’re there to learn about them. Who are they? What are their aspirations? What’s their favorite food? You can ask the usual questions like “what’s a dream you’re pursuing?” or a weirder question like, “If you could have any superpower, what would it be?” (the only right answer is teleportation). 

Asking questions is your chance to get to know what makes them tick and lets you get to know them more. 


Please, I’m begging you. Listen to what they say. I can’t count how many times I’ve had friends tell me that they cut a date short because their date was on the phone or not paying attention to them. Listen to what they are saying, pay attention, and see the “ask questions section above” to keep the conversation going. 

Remember to have fun

First dates should be fun; otherwise, what’s the point? Loosen up, unbutton your collar, order a drink, and relax. The last thing anyone wants is a stiff and boring first date. 

What not to do on a first date

Don’t talk about yourself too much

I know that sounds weird since you’re supposed to get to know each other, but there is a balance to it. Let them get to know you but also let them talk. There is nothing more annoying than someone who won’t stop talking about themselves. We get it. You think you’re amazing. But the goal of a first date is to see if you mesh. You can get along in the virtual aspect, but do your personalities vibe in person?

Keep in mind that it’s not just you who should be talking. 

Don’t be scared to be yourself

First dates are a chance for you to put your best foot forward, but it also lets the other person see if they like you. Do you two have the same sense of humor? Great. Then, crack jokes. 

If you try to pretend to be someone you’re not, then it’s only going to bite you in the butt further down the road. Don’t waste your time, and don’t waste their time trying to be someone you’re not. Either they like you for you or you need to move on to someone who will.

Don’t be scared to set boundaries

Boundaries are important in all aspects of life, but especially when it comes to dating. If the person you are on a date with can’t respect your boundaries, then what makes you think they will when you are in a relationship? Set boundaries for yourself and be clear about them. It’s up to you to hold to them, but you deserve respect. Know your worth.

Don’t make the date super long

Your first date shouldn’t be a 5-hour expedition to the center of the world. Keep things nice, simple and casual. Keep it under 90 minutes, no matter how much you like them. Save something for date number 2. 

First dates can be super awkward, but just be yourself and try to have fun. If you get along, then maybe there is a second date in your future. If not, then nothing lost. There is no science to having a first date, but if you can follow the rules above, then maybe you can get that second date after all.

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