Summer lovin' is in full swing, but you should find out the one thing to avoid on a first date before you finalize your next romantic meet-up.
From "untyping" to pursuing "expirationships," this year's dating trends run the gamut. All singles are in search of something different, but there's one common theme that unites them all: anxiety over a first date.
Meeting someone new is not always easy, and though it has the potential to be a phenomenal experience, it could also feel a little nerve-wracking...and then some. We've put together a list of expert-backed first date tips to help you survive the awkwardness that might ensue, but there's one thing, above all, to avoid, if you ask the pros.
What's one thing to avoid on a first date?
You might want to avoid that not-so-alluring anecdote about your ex, and it's probably best not to make any rash judgments during an initial meeting. And maybe limit the Aperol Spritzs if you feel like they might go to your head.
We could go on for ages about to-do and not-to-do lists, but the most important factor to take into consideration when you're getting to know someone is authenticity. Do not be disingenuous or put up a facade when out on a first date.
"Perhaps the most important thing (considering safety isn’t an issue) is not presenting yourself the way you are or pretending to be someone else," says Rebecca Alvarez Story, a sexologist and CEO of the intimate-care wellness brand Bloomi. "If your goal is long-term and you’d like to impress the other person, you should allow your date to see your real personality."
Yes, you want to put your best foot forward, but that doesn't mean you're going to turn into a fiction writer in the process. In agreement with Alvarez Story, Maria Sullivan, the vice president of Dating.com, urges singles not to overembellish their likes and characteristics in order to attract someone.
"If you do this, you are giving your potential partner a false sense of who you are as a person, which creates the possibility of the relationship progressing based on false pretenses," Sullivan tells us. "Even little white lies can lead to big misalignments later on, so being yourself is really key on the first date."
How do we follow this first date rule?
Being ourselves is a fairly straightforward concept, but we might feel a bit on edge when a potential match is thrown into the mix. We won't judge if your perception is a little skewed on that coffee date or sushi night.
In order to make sure your true self shines through, Plenty of Fish's dating expert, Eva Gallagher, suggests enjoying an activity that's low-key.
"First-date jitters are real, so it’s important to try and make you and your date as comfortable as possible," she says. "There are a few ways to create a lighthearted and low-pressure atmosphere."
Why not enjoy a bike ride or a walk through a neighborhood market if a dinner setting feels too formal? If you're a bit worried about the conversation, how about a comedy show? A little laughing could help ease the tension.
Regardless of what activity you decide to try, Brenden Durrell, the intimacy coach from Netflix's Too Hot To Handle, suggests we let things marinate with our connections. There's no need to jump the gun and rush into something.
"Give people more time to express who they are and vice versa," he says.
Again, authenticity is key!
Maria Sullivan is a dating expert and the vice president of Dating.com.
Rebecca Alvarez Story is the CEO and Co-founder of Bloomi. Rebecca is a BIPOC and Latinx entrepreneur and pioneer in the intimate health space. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a major in sexual wellness that she created, and holds a Master’s in Sexuality Studies.
Eva Gallagher is a dating expert at Plenty of Fish, a Match Group dating app with personalized connection options that help "create the same magic online that you would IRL."
Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.
Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few.
When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.
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