Who: Someone you have met and want to get to know better.
What: Be creative! If you think sitting across a table feels like an interview then, think outside the box. It is nice to suggest something the person talked about during your first meeting or on a recent phone conversation (yes, talking not texting). If this relationship lasts, it is nice to recall a memorable first date.
Interactive first dates might be: a cooking class, visiting a museum, a bike ride, exploring an area of town neither of you have ever visited, a physical activity you both enjoy like yoga, golf or sailing.
Do not agree to an activity that will stress you out or make you feel uncomfortable.
When: Whenever, but always listen to your gut. Only agree to show up if you feel safe and relaxed. If a 6 am dive or a midnight concert sound awful, say “no thank you”.
Where: Wherever, but always listen to your gut. Only agree to go places that make you feel safe and relaxed. If meeting him/her there makes you feel better than say so and drive yourself or take an Uber.
How long: No rules here, but again the feeling of wanting more time together is powerful for both people. It’s better to say goodnight after a great goodnight kiss at 11 pm than to be yawning at 1 am and saying, “I am tired, I guess I should go”.
Always do this: Be respectful, kind and polite (even if they are not).
Never do this: Get drunk, talk about your exes, children or pets ad nauseam.
What about sex? I keep using the words “safe”, “relaxed” and “comfortable” for a reason. As a general rule, unless this “first date” is with someone you have known for a while and come to trust, it’s probably not the best choice the two of you could make. But if you are consenting adults who make this decision together, please be safe!
Above are some tips that work. Can it look very different and still work out well? Yes, we all know the happily married couple who had sex the first night, or the couple who tells the story about their horrible first date. Those stories are the exceptions.
Have a great first date and chances are you will have a second one shortly thereafter.
Getting to know someone is a marathon, not a sprint.
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