Being a woman on a first date is both exciting and nerve-wracking. You want your date to see you at your very best right from the start. At the same time, expectations and jitters can get the better of anyone. While there are no hard and fast rules for guaranteed success, going in with a plan helps avoid common pitfalls.
With that being said, we’re going to take a deep dive into the do’s and don’ts for women on a first date, this way you’re well prepared.
For this article, we’ve sought insights from Dr. Deborah Gilman, a distinguished psychologist and relationship expert. With her wealth of knowledge, Dr. Gilman provided us with invaluable advice for women stepping into the dating scene.
Do’s For Women On a First Date
In the first section we will go over the do’s.
1. Be Authentic
The first word of advice from Dr. Deborah Gilman was to be authentic. She stated that, “Authenticity is the cornerstone of a meaningful connection. Being true to yourself not only attracts the right people but also sets the foundation for a genuine and lasting relationship.”
This is extremely important. A lot of times, people who are desperate to try and make things work will force things and change who they are in order to make a connection. However, by doing this you’re just wasting your time. Be authentic no matter what.
2. Active Listening
The second thing she told us was that, “Active listening is more than just hearing words; it’s about engaging with and understanding your date. This approach creates a deeper connection and shows that you value their thoughts and experiences.”
Sometimes on first dates we get so caught up in what we’re going to say that we forget to actually listen carefully. Try and stay in the moment as listening is important to learn who they are and if they’re a good fit for you or not.
3. Mindful Communication
This next word of advice goes hand in hand with above. She said, “The words you choose can paint the picture of who you are and what you value. Positive communication is key to creating an atmosphere where both parties feel respected and heard.”
The words we choose are powerful tools that can either bridge hearts or build walls. By selecting language that is positive and uplifting, we open avenues for mutual respect and understanding.
4. Establish Boundaries
The fourth thing she said is to establish boundaries. She stated that, “Understanding and communicating your boundaries is crucial for your comfort and safety. It’s a vital step in building trust and respect in any new relationship.”
This is extremely important on a first date because of the fact that if you establish your boundaries early, you’ll know what the man wants. For example, if you make it clear that you prefer to take things slowly and he respects that choice, it demonstrates his willingness to honor your comfort levels and shows a mutual understanding. Conversely, if he disregards your boundaries, it can be a clear indicator of his intentions and respect towards you.
5. Open Body Language
The last “do” on the list is open body language. She said that, “Non-verbal cues are powerful communicators. Open body language conveys warmth and interest, making your date feel more comfortable and connected.”
The last thing you want is for the man to think that you’re disinterested or closed off. Your body language speaks volumes before you even utter a word. By maintaining an open posture, making eye contact, and facing your date, you’re non-verbally expressing your interest and engagement in the conversation.
The Don’ts of a First Date
Not only did Dr. Gilman gave us some solid “do’s”, but she also gave us some solid “don’ts” as well. Let’s go over what they are.
1. Excessive Phone Use
The first thing she mentioned in terms of don’t is phone usage. She said that “Frequent phone checking can be perceived as disinterest. Being fully present in the moment shows your date that they have your undivided attention.”
I get that sometimes phone usage is also a way to cope with nerves on a first date, but try your best to stay off of it in order to show your date that you’re willing to learn about who they are to the best of your ability.
Don’t over think. The next thing said was to “Stay in the present and enjoy the unfolding of a new connection. Overthinking can cloud your experience and hinder the natural flow of the date.”
Overthinking could get your mind to drift away from the date. This could cause you to seem uninterested even if you are.
3. Discussing Exes Too Soon
We’ve covered the ex topic in a past post, and the post suggests that you shouldn’t talk too much about your ex and to keep it short. Dr. Gilman agreed with this by saying, “While honesty is important, diving into past relationships too early can be off-putting. It’s best to focus on getting to know each other first.”
4. Negative Self-Talk
Negative self-talk is one way to make sure a first date goes bad. Dr. Gilman told us that, “Confidence is key. Combat negative self-talk by focusing on your strengths and embracing self-compassion.”
When you focus on the negative, chances are the negative will stand out. By thinking what if i’m too boring, not funny enough, or not attractive enough, you set yourself up for a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead, try to shift your mindset.
5. Pressuring for Future Plans
Although thinking about the future is exciting, Dr. Gilman advises: “Allow relationships to evolve naturally. Pressuring for commitment or future plans can overwhelm your date and put unnecessary strain on the budding relationship.”
You don’t want to come off like you’re overly attached simply because of the fact that they’ll possibly think you’re like that with just anyone. Take the time to get to know them first before talking about future plans between the two of you.
You can talk about your expectations for the future, but don’t say it in a way that ties you two together.
Other Things Women Should Take Into Consideration On First Dates According To Past Blog Posts Of Ours
Here are some key takeaways from blog posts we’ve written in the past that go hand in hand with this article.
- Keep the date under 90 minutes. When you’re on a first date, the key is to get to know someone, not spend a whole lot of time with them. A coffee date or a drink at the bar are two dates that fit that 90 minute mark perfectly.
- Focus on your safety. Make sure you tell your friends and family where you’ll be just in case.
- Ask good questions. If you want some good questions to ask for each part of the date take a look at our post which includes 34 questions to ask on a first date.
- To top things off, here are the biggest red flags you should never ignore on a first date.