The First Date

How to prepare and make the most of it!

Congratulations! Now that you have arranged your date, let’s see how you can make the most of the opportunity. 


Make sure you present yourself in the best possible light, so that if your Date turns out to be as promising as when you first met, you will be sure to secure a second date.

Four things to bear in mind

  1. Good conversation topics
  2. Presentation
  3. Keeping calm
  4. Punctuality

Good conversation topics

Speaking from a lifetime of experience I have always found that if a person is right for you there will be no shortage of things to say. If you struggle for something to talk about, you probably don’t have much in common.

  • Have a few topics of conversation up your sleeve however, avoid researching your Date’s occupation, hobby or interests. If you gain some superficial knowledge about a subject you run the risk of getting caught out and feeling foolish.
  • Try to remember as much as you can about your first meeting, so, for example, you could ask after their Great Aunt Fanny’s trip to Disneyland; how they got on with their MOT; how their new job interview went. If they mentioned going to the cinema or musicals, find out all you can about the latest productions and releases so that if the opportunity arises you could suggest you both go and see one.
  • Read, watch and listen to as much as you can about current affairs in the media which will again give you topical subjects to discuss.
  • Instead of counting off the hours until the appointed time, go out and do interesting things so that you have plenty of new experiences to talk about since you last met.


However nervous and ill at ease you may feel inside, your outward appearance must not show it. If you know you look your very best you will feel much more relaxed and confident and this feeling will transmit to your Date, giving them confidence in you. If you feel good, you will make others feel good too. Five things to bear in mind:

  1. Face
  2. Hair
  3. Body
  4. Smell
  5. Clothes


Make sure you have some early nights before the date so that your eyes are sparkling as well as your personality. A clean, clear, fresh face is a must, so eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water to avoid last minute skin eruptions. Ladies, avoid wearing heavy make-up and try to achieve a more natural look; after all if things go well, at some point you’ll be seen without make-up and you wouldn’t want to scare someone off with the stark contrast!


Make sure you have clean, shiny hair that looks very touchable; just the sort your Date would love to run their fingers through. Men, if you have a beard or moustache make sure you trim it neatly.  Ladies, get rid of any unwanted hair!


Try to get some exercise into your schedule. You will feel more confident if you feel fit and toned and probably more attractive too.


  • Fresh, sweet smelling breath is a must, so brush your teeth. Strong smelling foods such as onions and garlic are best avoided before the date; alcohol, especially beer, will give your breath an unmistakable smell. Of course if you accept an unexpected date shortly after having downed a pint of beer plus cheese and onion crisps, emergency measures are necessary – make sure you’re always armed with mints or a breath freshener.
  • Avoid overpowering aftershaves or perfumes. Your Date may not be as enamoured with your new scent and might even have an allergic reaction. Many years ago one of my dates was ruined because I was wearing a brand new perfume which I thought was great but dissolved my Date into such a paroxysm of sneezing he left me as soon as he felt he could.


Make sure you know where you will be going and what you will be doing so you can dress appropriately. If it is a surprise location then ask if you need formal or informal clothing. As a general rule it is always more acceptable to be casual and underdressed than overdressed. Overdressing can give the impression of trying too hard, making you seem less of a challenge as well as making you feel out of place and awkward. Make sure your clothes and shoes are clean; men, if you wear a tie, watch out for gravy stains!  But most importantly, if you think you look good, so will other people.


A first date can be daunting and nerve-racking, reducing the strongest and coolest of us to a quivering blob of jelly. Anyone can panic when they are really keen on someone and want to make the best impression they can. Here are three simple things to bear in mind:

  1. Give yourself enough time
  2. Think positively
  3. Be happy

Give yourself enough time

Allow enough time to get ready so that you’re not rushed, flustered and in a panic at the last moment. However it’s equally nerve wracking to give yourself too much time. If you’re ready too early you may spend the rest of the time pacing round and getting worked up. I did this once and was eventually sick with nerves. I landed up having another shower, a change of make-up and clothes at the last moment and made myself late!

Avoid this by planning the waiting hours like a military manoeuvre. Try not to rush yourself and fill each minute with productive things to do, giving you less opportunity to worry. A good tip I was taught is to drop your shoulders every time you get in a state – it’s always worked for me!

Think positively

Thought-block all negative feelings about what will happen on the date and the outcome. Remember, you must have made a really good impression at your first meeting or you would not be embarking on this first date. Think positively that your Date will find you as likeable and attractive now as they obviously did the first time. If you can always think of a positive scenario you will more often than not attract it like a magnet.

Be happy

Think happy thoughts, listen to happy music, watch a funny programme on TV, chat on the phone to a happy friend and be happy. Remember the most important thing you wear is the expression on your face; if you feel miserable with yourself it will show and maybe make your Date feel the same. However, if you present a happy welcoming expression they will feel good and well disposed towards you. Remember that your Date is probably just as nervous as you are.


It shows good manners, a thoughtful caring personality and respect for the other person to be on time. Two things to bear in mind:

  1. Think ahead
  2. Be good humoured

Think ahead

Always think ahead and allow time for possible delays. If you are driving, listen to traffic reports to see if there are any jams along the way and allow time in case you get lost and to find a parking space. If you are going by public transport keep yourself up to date for news of any delays. However if you are late, tell the truth about the reason. This will be far more endearing and give you more credibility than if you had made up an excuse. A few simple words such as ‘I’ve got no excuse, I just didn’t allow myself enough time to drive here’, or ‘Halfway here I realised that I’d left your address at home’ will suffice.

Be good humoured

If your Date turns up late, be good humoured and laid back about it; at least they turned up! Show you are a good natured and reasonable person and you will win more than a few Brownie points.

Remember that this is going to be an exploratory meeting for both of you and if things don’t work out, this Date is not your last hope for happiness; there are plenty more fish in the sea.