It wasn’t too long ago that going out on actual dates almost felt a little bit old fashioned. Of course, once you were going steady with a significant other, you’d take him or her out for dinner, a movie, or whatever else was of interest. But a lot of millennials grew up assuming they’d just meet their SOs at school or at work, or through some sort of extracurricular gathering. The idea of simply asking someone out on a date could feel old school at best, and borderline creepy at worst!
But that’s all changed, thanks in large part to the rise of dating apps. Unsurprisingly, an entire generation’s aversion to dating the old fashioned way led to new methods, and all of a sudden millennials and even people in other age brackets are all about dates. Sure, we search for compatible partners and get to know each other through mobile apps and online services first, but ultimately, we’re hoping to go out in person for drinks or a meal and see how it goes.
Now the question becomes one that’s equal parts amusing and problematic: do millennials actually know how to go out on dates? I know, I know… it’s the kind of question your grandparents might ask you, prompting a well-deserved eye roll. Even so, however, it’s never a bad idea to think about some of the basic things that can help a first date run smoothly, even if you tend to do pretty well for yourself socially.
These are just a few tips that come to mind.
Sure, there’s something gallant about going to pick up your date, opening the car door for him/her, etc. But this is actually a nice way to make dating feel less old fashioned. People today want flexibility on a first date, and riding together can almost feel a little presumptuous regarding how you’ll spend your time afterwards. Plus, if you drive together, you leave yourself open to the remote but devastating possibility of having to deal with a traffic issue together. You don’t want to start the night off getting a speeding ticket with your date in the passenger seat, or end it phoning a lawyer about a minor collision while your date stands by your dented car impatiently. These issues probably aren’t going to come up – but you can save yourself the possibility by agreeing to meet at a venue for the first date or two.
You might be tempted to dress up a little bit more than you ordinarily would, and that’s not a bad idea. You want to look your best, particularly if the venue calls for a little bit of formality. But don’t take it so far that you’re not comfortable in what you’re wearing. For guys, that might mean leaving off the tie, or rolling up sleeves tastefully; for ladies, it may mean ditching the high heels or leaving annoying jewelry at home.
This is a tip for a new generation that, as mentioned, meets online before dating in person. Theoretically, you’ve probably chatted with your date before you actually meet him or her, and that means you ought to remember what you’ve talked about. If you’ve forgotten what first attracted you to your date’s online profile, or even if you’ve been conversing with a few different people in the same app, you’d do well to study up before the first date. Go back and look at his or her profile and the conversations you’ve had. You don’t want to be artificial, and turning the date into a recital of a dating profile is definitely going too far. But it’s nice to refresh yourself on some of the basics your date will probably expect you to remember. Plus, these details are the things that made you want to go out in the first place!
Be Ready For The Tip
It’s a little bit of a cliché, but if you’re paying for drinks or dinner, your date is probably going to notice how you handle the tip. It’s a nice indication of how you treat someone, as well as whether you have a tendency to be cheap. If you need one, having a tip calculator on hand actually isn’t a bad idea; it can be kind of endearing if you use it openly, so long as you’re willing to laugh at yourself, and it can be downright helpful if you use it stealthily. Whatever you need to do, know what you’re planning on tipping and handle it in a straightforward (and preferably generous) manner when the time comes.
Be Ready To End The Night
Occasionally, things will go wonderfully and you’ll both want to spend more time together after the date is over. But if it’s a true first date, you should be prepared to end the night at the appropriate time and in the appropriate manner. Try to go in without expectations, and have a pleasant way to suggest parting ways. The best bet is probably to say that you had a nice time (if in fact you did) and try to set up a call or a second date (if indeed you want one).
Aside from these tips, just be yourself! You’re most confident and most appealing in your own skin, and overthinking it can be the fastest way to a mediocre date. Keep it classy and authentic and remember some basic tips like these, and you should be in good shape.