Setting Up Your First Date
Congratulations! You've made the leap from trying to date to actually dating. You've mastered the art of small talk and you've finally convinced someone to supply you with their phone number. Now what?
Well, hopefully you took the bull by the horns and followed our advice for the direct approach to asking someone out. If so, you've already sorted out the when and where of your initial rendezvous. If however, you took the indirect approach, you may need to solidify your plans before moving forward.
Making ContactDon't worry. You have their phone number, right? Now all you have to do is use it. We recommend an actual phone call - yeah, it's scary but talking on the phone has numerous benefits over texting. Firstly, it gives you a chance to get to make a little small talk before you commit to spending an entire evening together, plus it cuts down on the potential for misinterpretation.
Call your crush at a convenient time, perhaps when you know they're going to be on their lunch break or just after dinner. Hopefully you won't have to remind them who you are, but if you do, don't be offended and keep it casual ("Hey, it's so-and-so. We met at your cousin's party last week.")
Patience, Young GrasshopperIf it's your first time reaching out, it's a good idea to follow the three day rule. In other words, don't whip out your Smartphone the minute you get home. Unless you want to sound desperate (which we're hoping you don't) wait a day or two, then make the call. You're time is valuable, even if you're spending most of it at home in your Snuggie watching Glee re-runs. You don't want to give your date the impression that you can just drop everything and meet them for dinner right this second, no matter how excited you are to see them again.
ConfirmIf you've already proposed a specific time and place, give your date a call to confirm. If you still have to sort out the logistics, however, now's the time. Be prepared to suggest a specific date, time and location, but be prepared to offer an alternative as well. Aim for somewhere that's convenient to both of you (as opposed to six hours out of your way because you're just dying to show her the waterfall where your parents got engaged) and don't be afraid to fall back on an old favorite if you know it's something you'll both enjoy. You'll have plenty of time to try bungee jumping or sky diving or ballroom dancing at some point in the future if your first date goes well.
To Drive or Not?Depending on where you live, you may want to offer to pick your date up. If you're in a city where mass transit is the norm or simply don't own a car, obviously you can just meet at your location of choice. If however, mass transit is not an option, offer to meet your date as his or her place. Be prepared for a "no thanks" (I prefer to keep my whereabouts private until I know for sure that my date is not an axe murderer) but make the offer anyway; it's polite.
Make ReservationsIf you're headed to a trendy restaurant on a Saturday night, take a minute to call ahead to make reservations. You don't want to disappoint your date and a 90-minute wait is nobody's idea of a good time. That said, if you do find yourself waiting an hour for a table, grab a drink somewhere nearby or make a game out of people watching by trying to determine whether or not your fellow diners are on first dates too.
Hit the ATMIf you're the one who's done the asking in this particular case, be prepared to pay. Most likely, your date will offer to pay for his or her half (or insist on leaving the tip), but make sure you have enough cash or credit on you to cover the full amount.
And if you're paying cash, please use bills of normal denominations. No one wants to see you counting pennies or unfurling a thick wad of greasy singles. Equally distasteful is the hundred dollar bill. Sure, you may work in finance or have your very own trust fund but there's no need to flaunt it.
- Think back to your initial conversation. Did your crush mention how much he or she loves sushi or drop a hint about the new coffee shop around the corner from your office? Do some research and make a plan.
- Grab your phone and make the call! Practice on a close friend first if you need to.