First dates — for many, just the idea of having to spend time alone with a potential partner can be absolutely nerve-wracking, akin to the feeling of preparing for a big test or job interview. After all, you never know if you are finally going to meet your soulmate or come across the epitome of a ‘living nightmare disguised as a daydream’. By that, we mean people that make you so uncomfortable that you realise that it’s a terrible mistake, within the first few minutes of your date. Or individuals that make you rethink the notion of ever using a dating app again.

Well, the thing about dating and mutual chemistry is that it’s totally unpredictable. You would think that someone with the same interests might make a great significant other but that’s not necessarily the case. As such, that is what first dates are for — to test the waters and see if the other party is compatible. Therefore, most of us tend to spare no effort in ensuring that the date goes well. We go to great lengths to make sure that we are impeccably groomed, whether be it styling our hair, applying makeup, shaving unwanted hair on our underarms or investing in a new outfit. We search for the fanciest, most date appropriate restaurants that we can take our prospective other half to.

Nevertheless, in spite of all our hard work, we sometimes find ourselves in the midst of an impending train wreck whereby both parties end up getting upset or bored, thus effectively dashing any chances of a second date. To make things worse, we start to notice that it seems to be a frequent occurrence among most of our recent dates, leading us to wonder if we are even cut out for the dating scene at all.

If this situation seems familiar to you, fret not as you’re not alone. It’s not unusual to experience a string of bad dates. But if you find yourself getting increasingly disheartened or frustrated by it, perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate your behaviour, appearance and expectations and see if there are any areas in which you can improve. With that in mind, let us share with you some dos and don’ts of a first date, so as to increase the likelihood of you scoring that next date.


Your Guide To Avoiding Common First Date Blunders

As the saying goes, ‘by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.’ Like how you would handle various important events in life, make sure that you are prepared for the date by researching what your date partner likes. Have a brief look at his or her social media profile or seek the advice of any mutual acquaintances so that you can have a better understanding of the said individual. So, if he or she likes Japanese food, perhaps book a Japanese restaurant for your first date. However, take note to go overboard with committing every detail on their social media profile to memory as that can come off as creepy and scare them away.

Also, as it’s the first date, it’s natural to want to dress up and look good in front of your potential partner. But if you exert too much effort, it can sometimes backfire on you. For instance, spritzing on copious amounts of perfume or applying too much deodorant on your armpits to combat any funky odour but unintentionally overwhelming your partner’s olfactories in the process. Or putting on a brand new outfit that makes you self-conscious about your body, whether be it your overly ample cleavage or dark, discoloured armpits. Therefore, the key is to practise moderation.

As such, here are a few tips on what you should and shouldn’t do on your first date as below:

Do Voice Your Opinion

Even if it’s your first time hanging out together with your date, do not hesitate at voicing out how you feel as well as your likes and dislikes. This will help both of you to be on the same page and make the date less tortuous. After all, nothing can be as stifling as endless banter centred around being fine with anything, thus resulting in zero decisions being made. For instance, if your partner asks about what movie you would like to watch, list one or two prospective ones and then compromise accordingly if he or she isn’t into it.

Do Dress Appropriately For The Occasion

As mentioned, while it’s good to put in the effort to look good for your date, it’s imperative that you factor in the venue and nature of the activity when selecting an outfit. For example, if you are going on a picnic as your first date, it doesn’t seem appropriate if you show up in studded strappy heels and a figure-hugging mini dress right? Plus, it’s not exactly the most comfortable apparel to walk around, given the grassy terrain. Instead, opt for a sundress which is fun and feminine. If the idea of exposing your flabby arms or unsightly dark armpit shadows scares you, another alternative would be to wear a long T-shirt dress or a flowy sleeved top with shorts. Also, go for preservative and fragrance-free deodorants or antiperspirants to avoid exacerbating your darkened underarm skin.

Don’t Expect Your Date To Pay For Everything

While it might be nice to get treated to a fancy dinner and movie, it’s not fair to expect your date to foot the bill for everything. In fact, your date partner might end up feeling resentful for doing so. Hence, it’s best to suggest go dutch for the date costs unless your partner says otherwise.