First date tips for anxious lovers, and how to keep an eye on body language

Illustration+by+Jennifer+Luxton%2C+Arts+and+Entertainment+Editor
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First date tips for anxious lovers, and how to keep an eye on body language

Illustration by Jennifer Luxton, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Illustration by Jennifer Luxton, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Illustration by Jennifer Luxton, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Illustration by Jennifer Luxton, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Madison Wood

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Illustration by Jennifer Luxton, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Illustration by Jennifer Luxton, Arts and Entertainment Editor

First dates often involve a lot of preparation and overthinking. After all, we all know how crucial first impressions can be, but they don’t always have to be such an anxious experience. Once you get through the first one, the rest is pretty much smooth sailing! Whether it’s your first time or it’s been awhile, there’s no need to panic. Aside from general etiquette, here are a few do’s and don’ts to help you through your first date.

Do:

•   Share positive aspects of yourself. When going on a date with someone for the first time, it is important to share your strengths instead of your weaknesses. As cliché as it sounds, going on a first date with someone is like the sales pitch of the relationship. You want to make sure to highlight all of the good characteristics so that the other person can see the best side of you.

•   Offer to pay. Not everyone may agree with this one, but the first date sets the standard for potential dates to come. By offering to pay, regardless of gender, you are demonstrating manners and showing that you don’t have expectations for them to pay every time that you go out. Relationships should be a partnership, not a one-sided crutch.

•  Focus on the friendship. At the end of the day the person you date has to be your best friend. While on the first date, make sure to keep in mind that this person could potentially be a part of your everyday experience. It’s crucial that you see qualities in your date that you would want in your life on a regular basis.

Don’t: 

•   Talk about your ex. Bringing up your ex is never a good idea on the first date. Save the deeper stories for when you are in a more intimate and trusting relationship. Besides, first dates are a fresh start and a chance to have a clean slate. Bringing up the past won’t help build a future.

•   Go to dinner. This one may seem weird considering that almost everyone goes out to dinner for the first date. But going to dinner often puts pressure on having a continuous conversation throughout the whole night and also involves constantly staring at the other person. By going on a date that takes some of that pressure off, like going to see a movie, it gives you an opportunity to relax and also provides a conversation piece for the two of you.

These are just a few points to remember to make sure that your first date is a pleasant and productive experience. One general rule is to pay attention to body language. The person’s body language says a lot about how they are feeling about the date they are on.

For example, maintaining eye contact and subtle leaning toward the person you’re with can signal intrigue. When we are interested in someone, whether in their conversation or physical attractiveness, it is only natural to want to get closer to that person to create or maintain that connection.

On the other hand, crossing your arms and leaning away from them sends off the vibe that you are disinterested and unapproachable, not to mention a little intimidating.

If the chemistry is there and you feel like things between the two of you has potential, then ask for a second date!