First dates are nerve-racking for most dudes. What do I do? What do I say?
Your friends aren’t any help either. They give the same old stale advice: “Just be yourself!”
No, you need specific help. That’s where we come in. Here are three easy steps to follow so that you don’t make a jerk out of yourself on a first date.
Step 1. Dress the part
The best thing you can do here is make an effort.
If you follow any of our lifestyle advice on Business Insider, now is the time to make it count. Look polished and clean, but still like yourself.
Not only does it show respect, but your interlocutor is also more likely to be attracted to a man who looks vibrant and healthy.
One of the best outfits you can wear on a date is a T-shirt under a blazer. It’s casual, yet refined, and in a recent survey most women answered it was their favorite outfit to see on a guy for a first date.
Most importantly, wear an outfit you’ll feel comfortable and confident in. This will help you put your best foot forward and make a positive first impression.
As for grooming, don’t do anything you haven’t done before. Hair product is a must, but go very easy on the cologne.
Step 2. Prepare
Make a solid plan before you go out. Discuss with your date. Ask them questions. Feel it out. Then, put some structure into the plans, making reservations if needed. Some “winging it” may be necessary, but there should always at least be a loose structure to the date.
Oh, and make sure to communicate your plan. If she’s not clued in, that could cause confusion.
Step 3. Act the part
Be nice on your date, but take care not to go overboard. Getting their coat is nice, but they can handle their own chair. Stand up to hug them if you’re already seated when they arrive. The woman orders first. Put your napkin in your lap. Keep your phone in your pocket — not on the table. Be incredibly nice to the wait staff. Most of this is just typical dining and bar etiquette, but it’s worth a reminder.
When you offer to pay — yes, you’re going to offer to pay — don’t be an arrogant jerk about it. The humbler the better. Shrug off her insistence on paying half, unless she’s really insistent on going Dutch.
And, most importantly: have absolutely no expectations.