Now that it’s getting cold, people are jumping back into the dating scene to try to shack up with someone. This is largely known as “cuffing season.” If you haven’t been dating for a while, it can all seem a little daunting. But there’s no need to get stressed. To make things easier for you, we have compiled a guide on how to go on a great first date this cuffing season.
1. Prepare For Your Date
Though dating apps are great for fostering connections, they can be a tad one-dimensional. Luckily, most people have a social media presence. According to one study, 59% of men and 75% of women take a look at their date’s social media profiles before meeting up. Social media is a way for you to get a better sense of your romantic partner’s interests and hobbies. On your date, if there’s a lull of silence you could subtly bring up something you’ve learned from their social media. However, just make sure you don’t overdo it — there’s a fine line between charming and creepy!
2. Choose The Right Spot
The location of your first date doesn’t have to be the hippest, busiest spot in town. Instead, it should be a place where you could actually have a conversation. With COVID-19, you will want to check your city’s guidelines to see what’s currently open. You could always do an exciting outdoors activity like take a stroll at the park or go on a scenic hike. If restaurants are open, find an outdoor patio that is noise-free and safe for physical distancing.
3. Make The Most of Your Nerves
Let’s face it: everyone faces some degree of nerves during a date. But the key is to take that nervous energy and channel it into being friendly and outgoing. Chances are that your romantic prospect is just as nervous! A great way to alleviate nerves is by boosting your confidence in your physical appearance. Wear your favorite pair of sneakers and stay on top of your skincare routine and style your hair. Do you have health-related insecurities that are bringing down your confidence? With telemedicine, taking care of nagging personal concerns such as preventing hair loss has become much easier with readily available, scientifically proven solutions.
4. Be In The Moment
The bedrock of any relationship is good listening and communication. Think of this first date as a trial run over whether or not you’re compatible. In order for you to figure that out, you will want to be attentive. A great way to ensure you won’t get distracted is by putting away your phone. If you’re on it too much, your date will get the wrong impression that you’re not interested in learning more about them.
5. Don’t Bring Up Exes
Though first dates are about learning more about your crush, you should always respect boundaries. Nothing kills the mood like bringing up your ex. Unless you’re asked about them, avoid the topic. Regardless of intention, it could come across like you still have lingering resentments that need to be worked out. Are you having trouble coming up with conversational topics for your date? Elizabeth Overstreet offers fantastic, personalized romantic coaching. You could get her insight on how to set healthy boundaries, pursue the right people, and present your best self!
6. Have Some Manners
In addition to avoiding touchy subjects, you should also be kind and attentive. Offer to walk them to their car or Uber, pull out their chair, and open doors. It may seem old school but these gestures are undoubtedly romantic. When you’re in a relationship, you could feel comfortable enough to eat a whole rack of ribs with your partner. However, at the start of a relationship, you don’t want to expose yourself as a messy eater. If you’re having a picnic, keep it simple — eat salads or sandwiches.
7. Be Careful With Pets
Now that we’re spending more time outdoors, it could be tempting to bring your pet to your date. But you should make sure that your crush isn’t allergic and generally likes animals. If you’re thinking about bringing your pet to the date, simply shoot them a text confirming that it’s okay. Who knows? Maybe they will bring their own dog and it will be a double date!
8. Do Your Morning Routine
We all have our own ways of calming down. The morning before your date, do what you have to do to get into the right mindset. Jog around the block blasting your favorite song. FaceTime with your best friend and go over your game plan.
9. Plan A Second Date (Or Not)
If your date is going well, you should build off that energy by planning your second meetup. It doesn’t have to be a super complicated conversation about logistics — a simple “we should do this again” should suffice. On the other hand, if you didn’t feel a spark, send a text later that night thanking them for a great time but informing them that you’re not interested.
The key to not freaking out this cuffing season is to have a good sense of humor and sticking to a solid game plan. Whether you end up cuffed up or not, just have a great time meeting new people!
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