Just about everyone and anyone you’ve ever met who’s married or in a relationship all started with that other person on a first date at some point. It can be hard to imagine a couple you know have been married for 20 years going on their first date, but it most likely happened. Some chronically single people sometimes bemoan their own lack of opportunities to get that first step on the relationship ladder, but the fact is that they too can get there if they apply themselves right.
As hard or even impossible as it may seem at times, getting a first date isn’t exactly rocket science. We’re not saying it’s all easy, either, and it will take a measure of courage on your own part, and a willingness to put yourself out there, but with enough resolve, it can be accomplished quickly.
Getting a Date: Helpful Advice
Find Popular Hang-Out for Your Age Group
Your best shot at finding a date is to find out where people your age are generally hanging out and place yourself there. In most cases, it will be a nightlife hotspot like a bar, pub, karaoke club, or nightclub. Don’t forget though that you can meet people your own age in many different places, so if the nightlife scene isn’t for you, don’t panic.
Why do we bring age into this? We’re not saying it’s impossible for you to meet and for a genuine connection with someone older or younger than you (within legal limits, of course), but the fact is that you do stand a better chance with someone your own age for several reasons. Most importantly, you have more in common with that person, and are at a similar stage in life which makes embarking on a relationship in the longer-term a great possibility.
Having said all that, never write off a potentially great connection based purely on age. Many people find happiness despite an unexpected age gap.
Join a Dating Site
Meeting people in the real world is always a great way to get dates, but why not take advantage of the now mainstream infrastructure that exists online? Internet dating is far from a fringe activity like it was back in the 1990s and early 2000s. More people than ever are connecting online, and that’s just a consequence of the way we have all now built a more meaningful online presence.
A dating site or dating app is the perfect way to get yourself connected with people who have been conveniently pre-filtered, with some of the initial “are they, aren’t they” questions already answered. If someone messages you on a dating site, they’re invariably interested. Some modern platforms even have you first express your interest and then see if the other reciprocates. If you match, then that’s the way to a first date paved right before you.
Click the button below to see our list of the best dating sites.
Tap the Family and Friends Network
This is another realm in which your online connections can come in handy. If you are struggling to meet people who are potential candidates for dating yourself, then outsource the task to your friend, family and colleague network. Though they may not always admit it, your friends and family will always have pictured various people they meet or otherwise know being with you and what that might be like. You’re bound to get at least a small crop of potentially great candidates.
Where does online come in, here? Well, thanks to our social media pages, it’s never been easy to get connected with friends of friends quickly and effectively. There may well be a currently unknown friend in someone else’s Facebook collection, for instance, who is just as single and ready to mingle as you are.
Get Out More
In our first tip, we talked about getting out where the people your own age are. That’s true, of course, but to further improve your chances, why not widen your net by getting out and about in the community a bit more generally. Is there a book fair in town? Or a comic book convention? How about a music festival?
The best thing about attending events that you genuinely enjoy going to is that anyone you meet there is likely to share that interest with you. That’s a great romance connection built right there from day zero. If you just stay holed up in your apartment all the time, your chances of meeting someone are at rock bottom.
Strike Up a Conversation in Public
Finally, why not try starting a conversation with a cute guy or girl on the subway, on the bus, or in the bookstore? We know, it’s an absolutely terrifying proposition, but you never know! As Wayne Gretzky once said, “you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” If you’re tired of feeling like you’re always missing out on a dating life, then take matters into your own hands! Even if it doesn’t work out, you’ll always know that you tried.
Things to Avoid
When thinking about the potential pitfalls of trying to secure that first date — and hopefully a second, and beyond — we have three “overs” that you should avoid at all costs.
First of all, don’t overthink by going over every detail of the date to analyze and scrutinize it in your head. For instance, if you ask someone out on a date and they say no, then there’s no point spending countless hours reflecting and scrutinizing every moment of your request, and thinking about everything that went wrong. Some things were just not meant to be.
The same goes for if and when you’ve gone on a date with someone and are overthinking every detail of the date after the fact. When you do this, all you’ll do is drive yourself crazy and increase the risk of you self-sabotaging what could become something really great. Whatever happens, leave it there and just continue your regular communication with your new connection. If a second date materializes, then hopefully it will prove you had nothing to worry about, but even if it doesn’t, then you should just take a philosophical attitude and accept that some things weren’t meant to be.
Don’t expect to meet your soul mate the first time you agree to go out with someone. A first date should be light, easy and enjoyable for all parties, but you shouldn’t expect some kind of movie-like “love at first sight” connection, or at least not the first time, or any time. When you over-expect on a first date, you are just sowing the seeds of your own disappointment. It sounds bleak and pessimistic to say that, but it’s the truth.
The fact is that you’ll likely enjoy the date more if you take it a bit more lightly and focus on having fun doing whatever you’ve agreed to do: dinner, movie, drinks, bowling, going to a party together and so on. Spend your time getting to know the person and let anything good that comes of it be a surprise or a bonus. If things don’t work out, it’ll be easier to move on.
If something goes wrong on the date, it’s important to keep your cool and not overreact in any sense of the word. If your date turns out to be rude, obnoxious and insufferable, then just make an excuse to get away, shut the thing down and explain later that there’s no connection there and so you think it’s best for both of you to move on. Don’t take anything personally, and be ready to simply write off a bad first date, move on, and perhaps store the memory for use as a funny anecdote with friends in the future!