Tap, tap, tap. Swipe, swipe, swipe. We’ve all grown used to these simple finger movements on our mobile screens as a way of narrowing down the profiles of people we’d like to meet on our dating apps.
It’s not just us. There’s an increasing number of people all over the world who are using dating apps like Tinder, OKCupid and Bumble to meet new romantic partners. Between us, we’ve got quite a few friends who are happily married to people they first met through dating apps.
But before we get to that, we all have to embark on the much anticipated — or dreaded, if you’re a huge introvert — first date. We’re no strangers to the pre-date jitters: What should I ask them? What if I run out of things to say? What if I can’t answer their questions at all? Will we even get along?
If you’re stuck in a rut and feeling anxious about it, here are 10 realistic ideas to help you break the ice on your first date!
1. Meet somewhere comfortable for both of you
Image credits: Ella Christenson | Unsplash
Meeting someone for the first time can be daunting for many reasons, so make sure you’ve got the mood right by meeting at a comfortable location. You might be tempted to go all out with a romantic date in a fine dining restaurant, but trust us when we say that casual diners, cinemas and bowling alleys are much less intimidating and can encourage both of you to be 100% yourselves!
2. Go back to basics and ask them about their dating app bio
For those of us who use dating apps, the perfect way to get the ball rolling is to ask your date about their bio! See a cute picture of them with a toy poodle or a fun #wanderlust Instagram shot taken in Bali? Is there something mysterious and suggestive written in their bio? Ask them about it! This way, you can start trading meaningful stories and finding common ground with each other.
3. Make the first move
Not everyone will find it easy to take initiative. If that comes more naturally for you, put your date at ease and start sharing more about yourself! Sometimes a little push is all your date needs to feel more relaxed and start opening up to you about their lives. If you’re not sure how to begin, you can always start by asking your date what they’d like to know about you. It’s as simple as, “Is there anything you’d like to know about me?”
4. 2 truths, 1 lie
This is a classic icebreaker that cannot go wrong. It’s been played among friends, company bonding activities and student orientations – all for good reason! It’s an entertaining way to discover some fun and refreshing facts about your date without them having to rattle off a laundry list of life events. It’s also a pretty accurate way to gauge someone’s sense of humour… So if that matters to you, keep things light and witty to earn some laughs!
5. Dive deep with a social card game
Social card games that encourage self discovery and insightful reflections have been catching on in popularity. Take for instance, our sister brand Hedonist’s newest social card game, Letz Get Naughty, which gives you and your date the chance to share saucy secrets and find out how compatible you both are in the bedroom. If it’s a bit too daunting for your first date, you can always just play it with your friends to learn each others’ spicy bedroom stories!
6. Ask them about their love languages
Yes, yes, we’re still fixated on the five love languages. That’s because it’s important to get a sense of how you and your date would relate to each other in a romantic relationship, especially if you both see a potential of one date becoming two, then three, then a lot more. It’s also a perfect segue to talk about each other’s romantic histories and bond over the ups and downs of love.
7. Share a laugh
‘Laughter is the best medicine’ is a cliche because it’s true. It’s the best way to introduce some positivity on your date and lighten up the mood, so that your anxieties (and your date’s) will dissipate in no time. Some ways you can do this is by going to a comedy show, telling a funny personal story, or just cracking a joke! If they don’t laugh… well, maybe that’s a sign.
8. Address any awkwardness head on
Want to keep things real? Acknowledge and embrace the awkward silences and laugh about it! If it’s bound to happen at some point, there’s no reason to pretend it isn’t there. Staying silent won’t make it go away, so might as well point it out to get some (nervous) chuckles or redirect the conversation to something more enlivening. It’s all part of the dating process so don’t be too afraid of it.
9. Get physical… with sports or on hikes!
Where words fail, the body doesnt’! Instead of sitting through a long meal that may be filled with awkward pauses, try doing something different, like kayaking or hiking. The physical activity required will probably take the edge off both you and your date and reduce the pressure to search high and low for conversation topics. By the end of your date, you would’ve gotten your daily dose of exercise and found a lovely shared experience to connect with on your next date!
10. If all else fails, you might want to look elsewhere
Not every first date will lead to a second one, much less a long-term relationship. If a date doesn’t work out, perhaps the ice between you two wasn’t meant to be broken. Take things in stride and try not to force anything. After all, our time and emotions are precious, and we should save them for the people who matter.