Your Guide to Having the Best First Date Ever

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(Photo: iStock)

It finally happened: that über-sweet tall, dark, and handsome guy from work finally asked you out. While you might be internally screaming from all the excitement and smiling like a Cheshire cat, a part of you suddenly grows jittery, wondering of the do’s and don’ts for that coveted first date.

While we know dating is supposed to be relaxing and fun, it’s hard to not succumb to nervousness when thinking of how to make a good impression with someone that we genuinely like. If the sparkle of Hollywood’s romance genres has taught us anything, know that the best romances start a little slow and can definitely be nerve-wracking.

To help you prepare for that sought-after rendezvous with the cutie of your dreams, we share a few tips for having a great first date.

Get your beauty sleep
As our lives become busier, for some reason we make sleep one of those things we have to fit into our schedules. But it should be top priority -- especially when it comes to your dating life. If heading out for a date, get adequate sleep the night before. The last things you want to do are yawn and portray disinterest stemming from fatigue.

Dress smart
What you wear is valuable for first impressions. While every woman establishes her own style, don’t overdo your look for the occasion. Dress appropriately and practical -- illustrating what you look like all the time. If you experiment with style, chances are you won’t feel comfortable and that will detract attraction. Be yourself and be positive because when you do, confidence beams!

Don’t be late
There’s no such thing as showing up “fashionably late” --arrive on time! If you respect your time, they’ll respect yours. On the contrary, if they’re late, your willingness to wait should depend on how you two originally met. And while at it, show off social etiquette skills and be polite to wait staff.

Turn off your phone
Your friends, social media followers and eager mom can wait for your updates and the “I’m on a date!” selfie. Sorry but they aren’t invited, so turn off your phone or silence all notifications.

Date with an external focus
Dinner or drinks might sound like a phenomenal first date, but as relationship expert Matthew Hussey suggests, it’s a little too safe. Try doing something with an external focus where the attention is away from the two of you -- like, an art gallery, the zoo, or even a bowling alley. As Hussey infers, this kind of setting broadens dialogue as you both share experiences in a relaxed and casual locale. The key is the more natural you are, the more you’ll “click” with who you’re seeing.

Ask atypical questions
While questions like, “Do you come from a big family?” are solid conversation starters, once you get past the basics, aim for atypical questions that develop deeper discussion. While politics and religion are off the table for first dates, ask about things that bring out personality and creativity. This line of questioning not only furthers attraction, but helps determine whether you share similar humor too! The University of Kansas discovered humor is central to romantic attraction, and a viable prospect for a relationship filled with fun and good cheer.

Be decisive
Indecisiveness is not only a turn off, but also presents you as a pushover -- and frankly, no one likes that. It may be cute to say, “I don’t know. What do you think?” every now and then, but after a while it gets boring and leaves conversations feeling stale. If your date asks something, don’t be afraid to speak up. Chances are they asked for a reason and value your opinion.

Be a good listener
While it is fine to talk about yourself in a clear and soft manner, it’s important to listen as much or more than you actually talk. Like a game of tennis, the best type of conversation happens with an even or equivalent exchange between two people. Make eye contact, smile, be excited, and really show your interest in them. After all, they could very well be your soulmate.