The First In-Person Date

Your efforts at online dating have finally succeeded in landing you an in-person date. Congratulations! It's understandable if you're feeling a bit nervous. You're about to leave the comfort of your living room or wherever your computer is located and venture into the great outdoors. At this point online dating takes on more of a traditional role.

Now you need to care about what you will wear, how you will style your hair, where you will go and which one of you will pick up the tab. The upside is that by now, you and your date will likely have spent a good deal of time corresponding with one another. You've perhaps even talked on the phone a few times. You like what you've heard so far so now is not the time to tense up.

Where to meet

Many of the issues mentioned above will clear up all by themselves simply by deciding where the two of you will meet on your first date. Dinner and a movie are two common locations for first dates. These are safe choices. But there are many more places you can go on a first date that are just as safe.

One way to help decide on a location is to think about the things you both enjoy. There is a good chance that you've talked about the ways you each like to spend your free time so use that as a starting point. If it's art, check the newspaper for upcoming museum events and spend an afternoon there. If it's sports, make a date to cheer on the local team. If you both love salsa, nothing could be more exhilarating than dancing the night away.



Any place that will be mutually enjoyable and where you will be part of a crowd can be a perfect place for a first date. That means it is probably a good idea to avoid going to his/her house for a quiet dinner or hiking that trail you can only get to by foot. Just because you know each other fairly well, you still don't really know the other person, their personality, their quirks or most importantly, their ultimate intentions with you.

Break the silence

You're all dressed up and you've arrived on time at the mutually-agreed upon date destination. Now what? Well unless you want this date to drag on into eternity, you better start communicating. And communication is the key word here because it means both talking AND listening. Ask each other questions, but do what reporters do. Phrase your questions so that you will get more than a yes/no response. Instead of saying, 'Do you like Italian food?' ask, 'Which type of food is your favorite?' See the difference? If you don't do this, you'll find that you both will be struggling to make conversation.

The key to a successful first date is to relax. Remember, you're just on a date. You're not walking down the aisle – yet!