No matter how many first dates you go on, it seems like they never get any less nerve-wracking. Especially when it comes to meeting someone from a dating app, it's easy to get yourself worked up over all the little things that might go awry. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a ready-made guide of what to expect on a first date, so you can calm your nerves a bit and go confidently into the date?
Hinge, a relationship-focused dating app, published a new book called IRL — which contains both personal anecdotes from Hinge users as well as tons of statistical insight into what singles really do on first dates. In spite of all the problems plaguing modern dating — like ghosting and breadcrumbing — singles are still determined to find love (and are actually super scared of being single forever). So even though it might seem impossible at times, it is possible to stick it out, and use dating apps to find a real partner.
Whether you want to get some insight into what to expect on your next date, or you just want to see how your dating habits compare, here are seven common trends among daters.
1You Get Your Smooch On
According to IRL, a whopping 89 percent of people kiss during the first date — and 41 percent of first kisses happen in public. If you didn't already, now might be a good time to get into the habit of carrying breath mints at all times.
2You Talk Politics
Apparently, singles don't like to tiptoe around more sensitive issues on the first date. IRL reveals that 71 percent of people are down to discuss taboo topics — like religion and politics — with a date they just met. (But let's be honest, Trump is making it pretty hard to talk about anything else these days.)
3You Have A Couple Drinks
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the most popular date for singles is going out for drinks: 59 percent of people said drinks was their top pick for a first date activity — and two drinks per date is the norm. Going out to dinner was the next most popular date activity (15 percent), and Mexican and tapas were the top two cuisines of choice.
4You Show Up On Time
Being punctual might just be singles' biggest turn-on: 88 percent of people think it's unacceptable to be late to a date. C'mon guys, Google Maps exists, so there's really no excuse anymore.
5You Ignore Your Phones
At this point, it should be common sense to keep your phone tucked firmly in your pocket on a first (or second, or third...) date — but mid-date texting still happens alarmingly often. Fortunately, it seems singles are really starting to crack down on phone-induced rudeness: 71 percent said using your phone during a date is a major no-no.
6You Let Your Guard Down
It might seem like a turn-off to show your date that you're feeling a bit of nerves during a date, but 66 percent of people surveyed for IRL said they find it 'endearing' when their date is nervous. So (literally) don't sweat it: just be yourself and your date will appreciate that you let your guard down and opened up.
7You Crave "Old-Timey" Activities
One of the cutest stats mentioned in IRL? 50 percent of people said they wish dinner and dancing was still a popular date activity — swoon. What are you all waiting for? Make your old-timey dreams come true!
I know it can be scary to put yourself out there on a first date, but the only way to find a real, meaningful connection is to just go for it. Plus, practice makes perfect, so the more you date, the better you'll get at dating.