It’s often said that your first impression is the last impression, or at least, leaves a lasting impression. Ask anyone who’s ever had a first date! From being a rosy picture of young love, first dates have now transitioned to a greater trial than intended. They can cause even the best of us to feel wobbly legs and that instantly recognisable churning sensation in the belly. Moreover, first dates are the epitome of nerves for many, even for the seasoned dater.
We caught up with a few millennials to find out their best and worst first date stories, and how they coped with the pressure. Draw upon their experiences so you stay cool and composed on your first date (and hopefully make it to the second date).
In some cases, planning doesn’t always work, but persistence does. Take the case of Harshita*, 27, for example; “I was stood up on my first date! He never showed up and it was quite infuriating at first. However, he did make amends and more than made up for it at the next one he planned. It was a first real date for both of us; we’ve been together 12 years now! In the end, it’s the understanding and initiative, communication has been key, even in the face of resistance from our families. The common goal is greater than all else.”
Speaking about their actual first date, she says, “We didn’t really have any expectations except having a good time wherever we were going. It just works to have low expectations and to keep an open mind — don’t shut out to opportunities. Just go with the idea that you want to have a good time, regardless of whether you two will meet again. Intimacy was a strict no-no right after the first one though!”.
Indeed, what often leads to disappointing first dates is a mismatch of expectations, especially regarding intimacy. “Emotional intimacy is a big must before even thinking beyond anything other than a cute peck on the cheek — it doesn’t need to be a magical connection, but connecting on a level on some beliefs is always reassuring,” she says.
From the dream date to the more practical advice, we turned to Karan*, 24, for some solid tips. “It’s important to look the part and act the part,” he says, “Put your best foot forward because you both deserve nothing less, regardless of whether things work out in the long run! Having been on not less than 10-15 first dates with a variety of people, the commonalities are simple enough to crack. Keep your expectations low, look good, bring your A-game as far as manners (always, everywhere), confidence and personality are concerned, plan ahead, keep intimacy off the table – unless you both really hit it off and the chemistry is boiling over the brim!”
“Secondly, ensure you’re in the right headspace. Leave all responsibilities behind. Your date deserves your full attention at, well, a date! Lastly, if you’re nervous, just remember — they’re as nervous as you are. Be honest in your communication, don’t lie even if it’s a tiny thing, and as long as you both are on a good wavelength, it shouldn’t stop either of you from having a reasonably good time.”
To sum up, a first date is definitely NOT the last impression, but it does leave a lasting one. And let’s face it, if you find someone you really like, wouldn’t you want to leave a lasting impression? Focus on being at your best and keeping expectations low and at the very least, it’ll keep those jitters at bay and ensure you have a good time to boot!
*names changed to protect privacy
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