First dates can be so stressful. You've only met them briefly (or on your phone) and now you're jumping into some highly contrived shared time in your perfect first date spot and you're probably super nervous. It's totally cool. It's important to try to relax, I mean— it's only a first date, so you've got basically nothing invested if it goes wrong. Do everyone you can to make yourself feel comfortable going into it and try not to look at it as a "big thing".
Because really, it's more just a chance to feel each other out. That's what a first date is. You don't need to feel like you've met the love of your life (and I would be a little wary if you do, but then again I'm a massive cynic). It's just to see if there's any spark there and how you overlap as people. Obviously you'll be able to tell if you just don't feel it, in which case you're fine to get out of there ASAP. But if you're attracted to them and feeling intrigued, try to learn more.
Here are seven little things to find out on the first date, because the what they like and how they talk about people is important:
1. Whether Your Sense Of Humor Matches
Laughing together is a really important part of a relationship. While going to a comedy gig for a first date is a good short cut to see if you laugh at the same jokes, you can just be your own silly self and see if they find it funny. If they don't, don't worry— other people will.
2. Whether You Share Certain Priorities
You don't want to jump into super serious stuff on the first date for no reason, but if you have dealbreakers might as well get them out there so you don't waste time. I'm not religious and it's not important to me so bringing it up on the first date could get weird, but if it's a make or break thing for you then you should put feelers out there.
3. What They Do For Fun
It's not a silly little thing — how you choose to spend your time is important, because it reflects you as a person. You don't need to have everything in common (in fact even within a couple you should activities that stay just yours), but it's nice if there's an overlap. And if they're favorite hobbies are bungee jumping and rock climbing whereas you're more binge-watching and knitting, it may be a problem.
4. Their Attitude Toward Sex And Dating
You don't need to hash out your exes, but it's good to get an idea. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely thinks you should jump in with difficult questions, including "How many romantic partners have you had?". I think this is a bit much, but it's good to get a feel— are they a serial monogamist? Just looking for a hookup? It's important to know. We've all had tough breakups, but if they bad mouth (or worse, slut shame), a whole load of exes, I take it as a sign they're pretty toxic.
5. If They Have Friends
I know, it seems basic, but it happens. If they're free every day of the week it's a warning sighn, and it's even worse if they have nothing nice to say about other people. It's a sign of how they relate to the world and to people. If they can't seem to get along with anyone, then they're common denominator.
6. If They Can Put The Damn Phone Down
To be fair, you don't need to learn this so much as it will slap you in the face. If someone can't get off their phone, they're not worth your time. To be honest, I would be annoyed with it just out on the table. Just take it out and rapidly Whatsapp your friends with emojis while your date is in the bathroom like a normal person.
7. That They're Not A Misogynist
You don't need to randomly start quizzing them out of the blue, but if you're a woman on a hetero date there should be some signs about his attitude toward women, and you should look out for them. Does he seem to take your job seriously? Is he OK with splitting the bill? Does he talk about girls who "put out" or have sex differently then he talks about "girlfriend material"? Just be aware.
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