So you met online or were set up by friends and now you’re on your way to meet someone who could be your next bae, or maybe just a cool new friend.
You know a few things about each other and have chatted a bit over text, but IRL chemistry can be really hard to find.
As someone who recently tried online dating and went out with a few people, I can tell you that it will get awkward at some point. It’s very rare that you meet someone and immediately click.
So what do you do?
Keep it short
Your first date (especially if it's the first time you're meeting up) is mostly just to see if the person is who they say they are and if you click.
You can hope and wish for one of those super romantic movie dates, but you're probs not going to get it. So agree to a time period before you meet up. That way you know if it goes awfully that it'll be over soon and it also takes the pressure off trying to fill up three hours with talk about how awesome your cat is.
But don't think that rules can't be bent or broken - if you're having a good time, ask your date if they'd like to stay longer.
Meet somewhere you're both comfortable
Think your favourite (non-chain) coffee shop or a bar you know has great cocktails, but doesn't get too crowded or play their music so loud you can't hear each other.
Or ask your date for their suggestions and find a nice place you'll both like. Try for a place you're at least both familiar with, but if not, just enjoy trying something new.
Try something interesting on the menu
If you’re meeting up for drinks or dinner (or both) then look for something interesting on the menu and say you should give it a try. It could be a interestingly made cocktail (there’s a bar in Cape Town that makes jalapeno cocktails and they’re divine) or ask your waiter what food they’re best known for and try that.
You get to have a new experience and share it with this person which means that you’ll have something in common and bond over that.
Play a game
I’m not saying you need to start running up and down the bar, but ask if they’re interested in a game of Never Have I Ever or Two Truths and A Lie. You could even bet on it by saying the winner gets dessert from the loser, or if you’re feeling brave you could do shots. Just make sure you’ll still have enough sense to Uber home.
And if after all of this, you still find yourself struggling, well here’s a list of more questions you could ask.
What are your first date tips? Tell us about them.