Most people have experienced an awkward first date.
Knowing that you are both going on a date to assess your level of attraction and interest in each other can lead to pressure and stress.
From my dating experience, I can tell there are some things you can do to make the first date not awkward and leave a good impression while being your authentic self.
In this article, you’ll learn how to make your first date less awkward with the help of these tips:
- Keep in mind that this is just a first date
- Steer clear of awkward topics
- Encourage yourself while keeping your cool
- Have realistic expectations
- Ask questions to avoid awkward silence
- Don’t pregame your first date
- Plan an activity date
- Small talk won’t hurt
- Prepare conversation topics
- Feel confident in your clothes
- Laugh off the awkwardness
Read on and find out more detailed information about how to not be awkward on a date.
10 Tips to not be awkward on your first date
Keep in mind that this is just a first date
It’s merely a chance to see whether you have enough in common to go on a second date and continue getting to know one another. You will only increase your tension if you daydream about the future or convince yourself that you must know how you feel right away.
Approach the date with a carefree attitude to reduce the pressure. When your thoughts wander too far into the future, or you grow worried about being liked, remind yourself that it’s merely the first date.
Steer clear of awkward topics
The tone of the conversation may become off if you both feel awkward or uncomfortable with the topics you have chosen. For this reason, it’s important to avoid discussing money, past relationships, ex-partners, and sex in the early stages of dating.
Remember that getting to know someone takes time and that hurrying the process through which you share your life story with them could make everyone uncomfortable. Staying away from getting too personal on a first date can save you from having an awkward conversation.
Encourage yourself while keeping your cool
First dates might be difficult (and, let’s face it, many will be), but criticizing yourself or labeling yourself weird will just make dating seem more frightening.
Remind yourself that even the worst-case scenarios (such as liking someone who doesn’t like you back) or not seeing the person again — can be overcome. Treat every date, no matter how they turn out, as a chance for practice and learning.
Have realistic expectations
Going on a good first date with a mile-long list of expectations is one of the ways to make it more stressful and awkward. By imagining a perfect date, you will only put more pressure on yourself, trying to live up to your expectations.
You will naturally be distracted from being in the moment on your date and find it difficult to relax if you are in your brain thinking about being liked or fearing that you won’t be. Relax and start the date out casually.
Ask questions to avoid awkward silence
I hate to break this to you, but the dreadful moments of awkward silence will most probably occur on your first date. It may happen because you ran out of things to say, maybe you started overthinking every answer, or for some other reason that doesn’t necessarily have to be awkward.
So, how to avoid awkward silence on a date, you ask? It’s important not to freak out when this happens. Relax, take a breath and allow the conversation to resume by asking the person you’re on a date with about their family, childhood pets, or hobbies.
Don’t pregame your first date
You may think it’s a great idea to drown any potential awkwardness in liquid courage, but let me tell you, it’s not the smartest thing to do. Although having a few drinks before your first date may sound like an easy fix, chances are pregaming only adds to the awkward factor.
There will probably be some drinking during the date anyway, and if you have already had some, you risk getting drunk. So don’t try to smooth the date with alcohol; show up sober and be yourself.
Plan an activity date
Going for dinner at a fancy restaurant may sound like a romantic first-date idea. But in reality, it can turn into an awkward mess pretty quickly. Having to be focused on each other the whole time to keep the conversation flowing while trying to be on your best behavior and showing your exquisite manners already sounds like hell.
Planning an activity like bowling, visiting a museum, hiking, or even rock climbing will make your first date a lot more fun and interesting. It will give you different conversation starters with something external to focus on, making the vibe much more natural.
Small talk won’t hurt
Nothing is more attractive than hearing someone talk about something they are genuinely passionate about. But starting your date with some small talk will help you relax and is also a great opportunity to get to know the other person.
According to relationship experts, small talk on a first date is worth a shot as long as you genuinely show interest and listen to what the other person has to say. Putting some effort into small talk will prevent it from turning into a boring conversation.
Prepare conversation topics
Overplaying may make things awkward if the date doesn’t go according to your plans. But having some conversation topics or funny stories up your sleeve can help break the ice and make your date feel open and at ease.
You can even read up on a few topics, like the news or trending stories which can be great conversation starters. That can also release tension and worry of having a dreaded moment of awkward silence.
Feel confident in your clothes
A first date is an excellent opportunity to dress to the nines. Go ahead if that’s your thing! But if you’re usually a sweatpants type, don’t force yourself to wear a fancy outfit.
As relationship coach Carli Alexa Blau noted on TheFrisky.com, “Trying to pull off a new trend or wearing something you don’t feel confident in on a first date might make you feel more nervous.” You’ll feel a lot better if you arrive dressed like you usually would because anxiety can cause awkwardness.
Laugh off awkward moments
If you still feel awkward after using all of these tips, then own it. When you say something ridiculous, make fun of it, and if something goes wrong, joke about it and say sorry. Your sincerity and genuineness will surely be appreciated by your date.
Isn’t it the point of dates as well? The easiest approach to discovering someone who truly appreciates you for you is to be your most authentic self, including your awkwardness. On your next date, keep this in mind, and you’ll probably feel a lot more at ease.