Preparing for the Date

Congratulations, you have a date! You are obviously excited, but probably nervous about making sure everything goes well. Preparing for the date does not have to be a stressful process. Set yourself up for success by following the advice below, which includes what to do during both the days leading up to the date and the day of the date itself.

Plan Ahead

Spontaneity can be an attractive quality, but too many unknowns will set you up for disaster. Do not wait to the last minute to plan the date. Know in advance where you will go, when you will get there, and how you will arrive. Plan ahead and make sure your date is on the same page. This is especially important for first dates.

A piece of advice: The answer for "when you will get there" should always be early. Unless the two of you meet at exactly the same time, one of you will have to wait on the other. Do not let your date be the one who waits.

Prevent Silence

Dating is synonymous with awkward silences, especially in the early phases. Even if a date goes well, the nervousness of both parties inevitably leads to gaps in conversation. The best way to deal with this silence is to take a proactive approach before the date even starts.

Think of possible topics of conversation that can be used to fill these awkward silences. You could use an ice-breaker, or perhaps a funny story. Some people prefer to stick with current events, a movie they have recently seen, or a book they are currently reading. Anything to break the silence, just make sure you have it ready to go before the date starts.

Pick Your Clothes Early

Dating is stressful enough without having to panic about what to wear. Pick your clothes early to prevent a headache when the day arrives. Have several outfits ready to go. Not only will this prevent any last minute problems (like that wine stain you didn't notice before), but you can try different looks the day of the date to see which outfit feels best at the time. We have all had a killer outfit in mind only to be met with disappointment in the mirror when we finally put it on.

Curve Your Expectations

Expecting too much will set you up for disappointment if the date does not go well. Stay positive, but do not have unrealistic expectations. Focus on having a good time, not on whether this person will be "the one." He or she may very well be your perfect match, but fixating on that will only add unnecessary pressure to the date.

Don't Over Think It

It's a good idea to be prepared, but this isn't a Boy Scout retreat. Once you plan the basics, relax. Too often people fixate on worst-case scenarios or worry too much about how the date will go. Try to distract yourself; do something relaxing or mindless to take your mind off the date and help ease your nerves. Dating requires planning, but there is such a thing as being too prepared.

Clean Up

This should go without saying, but we have heard too many horror stories. Good personal hygiene is a must when dating! Take a long shower or bath the day of the date (not the night before). Deodorants should be mild in scent, which goes double if you wear any cologne or perfume. You are not likely to win anyone over with a commercial scent shared by thousands of people, but you can easily put someone off.

Fresh breath is equally as important. Brush your teeth, floss, and finish with mouthwash before you leave. It may also be a good idea to keep breath mints on hand during the date, but avoid chewing gum. Few things are as off-putting as someone chomping away at their gum all night.

Final Thoughts

Relax, it is only a date. Staying calm is the most important thing you can do in the time leading up to the big day. Follow the advice in this article and you will have nothing to worry about. Remember, you don't have to blow your date away; dating is all about putting your best foot forward. Take a deep breath and remember that there is a reason the person agreed to go out with you in the first place. Good luck!