I know just how nerve wracking first dates can be. I joined an online dating service a year ago and it took 6 first dates before I met someone I really connected with. I learnt a lot from going on first dates and there are many ways you can help the date to run more smoothly. You do need to give yourself every chance to relax and open yourself up to experience. Don’t forget the other person will be nervous too.
If you both find it difficult to relax and get to know each other you may never hit it off. I have felt in the past that with awkward dates I may have be missing out on getting to know someone who in better circumstances may have been just right for me.
Setting the Scene
There is something very cosy about meeting someone for the first time over coffee. Coffee shops these days are welcoming havens in the busy hustle and bustle of the modern world. I find an evening date for dinner can be a great chance to impress with your best outfit, hair and make-up but they can also be very intimidating. In more formal restaurant surroundings it can be hard to relax at first and everyone will be a bit more nervous.
- For the very first date I recommend meeting for coffee. Most people will be more relaxed in the casual surroundings of a nice coffee shop.
- You will be able to linger for as long as you want to if you do find you are getting on really well.
- If there is no spark or connection then you can easily escape by claiming a prior engagement as soon as you want to.
- There is no need to go through the whole process of eating three courses if you know the date isn’t going well.
- If you are planning the date then choose a coffee shop you know well and feel comfortable in.
- Town locations are ideal as they will offer plenty of parking and will be easy for the other person to find.
- Try to choose a time when the coffee shop will be quieter such as mid-afternoon or early evening on a weekday.
- Sometimes if coffee shop is too crowded it can be difficult to have a comfortable conversation and relax properly.
What to Wear
This will depend on where you are going for your first date. If you have chosen a generic coffee shop then a smart casual outfit will be fine. If you have chosen a more upmarket coffee shop or you are going out for an evening meal in a restaurant then a little more care should be taken. First impressions are important when dating and the other person will not be impressed if you have not bothered to make an effort when meeting them.
- Coffee Shop Dates – for first coffee shop dates I like to go for Parisian Chic. My favourite smart casual outfit for cooler days is dark blue skinny jeans, brown leather boots, floral shirt, gauzy scarf and a smart brown leather jacket. For warmer days I opt for smart linen cropped shorts (mid-calf), vest top with a pretty blouse over the top and cute leather sandals.
- Evening Dates – I have several favourite evening date outfits. If the restaurant is formal then I love my dark grey James Lakeland Amphora Dress. This smart wraparound dress looks smart and sexy and I jazz it up with some pretty gold jewellery and killer heels. If the restaurant is more relaxed I opt for a softer, more casual dress. I am really in to floral prints at the moment and have a lovely green and pink soft floral dress also by James Lakeland.
Basically I try to dress in a feminine, sexy way without being too ‘in your face’. I choose tops that show a little cleavage but make sure my bra line is well covered. Dresses are no shorter than the knee and show calves and a little glimpse of thigh but not too much leg. I think for the first date you need to be a little bit cautious and not overpower your natural personality with too much high-end fashion, blatantly sexual clothing or heavy make-up.
The Perfect First Date
Basically planning the perfect first date is about setting the scene. I think it is best to find a relaxing situation in which people can really unwind and open themselves up to the experience.
I try to avoid dressing up too much and keep things simple yet sexy with some classic designs from top brands like fabulous James Lakeland dresses.