Your First Date - What (and What Not) To Do

Getting a date in this time and age can be a daunting task; lots of people seem to only want a one-night stand nowadays. If you're not one of those people, and are looking to go out with someone special, then there are a few things you can do in order to make your date successful.

First off, make sure you are presentable. Nobody wants to go out with someone who hasn't showered or shaved for days. Take a look at your wardrobe as well. If your clothes scream "hobo at the train station begging for quarters", you might want to steer clear of them and find something else to wear. Although it might seem shallow, first impressions are very important on a first date, so choose your look wisely.

It is usually customary for the man to pick up the woman when going on a date, because it shows that the man is responsible enough to own his own car. A man picking up his date on a bike isn't exactly a bad thing, but it can end up sending the wrong signals to his date. If a girl picks up her date, however, it's often looked down upon. It is more polite for the man to pick up the woman. Also, if your date happens to be running a little late inside their house, apartment, bamboo shack, etc., it's impolite to honk your horn to get them to hurry up. That's just showing that you are impatient. Instead, get out of the car and knock on the door or ring the doorbell. Perhaps someone will let you inside so that you may wait in there instead of the car.

When you've finally gotten your date in the car and are driving to your designated destination, let them pick out what they want to listen to on the radio, or let them pick out a CD from your collection. This is also polite of you to do so. Perhaps your date doesn't like listening to death-metal, and would prefer to listen to country, but you hate country. Just grin and bear it. You'll earn points with them for being so nice.

Now you've finally gotten to the brand-new Italian restaurant that you two agreed to eat at together. It's polite for the man to open the door for his date, but it's not necessary; it can be considered old-fashioned by some. So, you've made it inside. That means you've got to sit down and start talking to each other! Don't panic, it's not as hard as you might think, but there are certain topics of conversation you should steer clear from. For instance, never start talking about people you've dated in the past, even if they were terrible. Keep yourself in the here and now. Also, you shouldn't ask them awkward questions, like if they've slept with anyone before or if they've ever done drugs. It's just impolite. In fact, stay away from any really personal questions for now, because you might learn the answer to them later on, if they choose to date you again. If you're a complete social misfit and put your foot in your mouth every time you open it, let your date do most of the talking. It's not going to kill you.

Ah, your plate of fettuccini alfredo has arrived. Little do you know you've ordered possibly the worst meal you can eat on a date. It's extremely messy, and the last thing you want your date to think is that you have no manners. Make use of the napkin the restaurant provides you with and place it in your lap. Try not to slurp the noodles into your mouth, either; twirling the noodles around your fork and popping them into your mouth is an easy way of eating them without any real fuss.

Whew, so you've finished your desserts and you're ready to take your date home. The man should always show his date to the door, whether or not he plans on getting a good-bye kiss. If your date was not impressed by this little outing, they'll probably just tell you they had a great time, they'll see you later, and that will be that. However, if you're lucky, your date might give you a kiss. This can be anything from a peck on the cheek to a full-mouthed kiss, depending on how the night went, but don't expect your date to let you inside for some coffee just yet. After all, this was just the first date. But if it was a good one, who knows what might happen next time!

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By Carol Baugh

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