The do’s and dont’s of a first date

Getting back in the game

Naomi Prasad

As horrible as I feel, I’ve stood up a guy before. At the time I was raving about this Thai restaurant that I had been wanting to go to all summer. When I went home for Christmas break last year, one of my lifeguard coworkers decided to take me there on a date. As the day approached when we had planned to overindulge on Thai food, my aunt called me. She was ecstatic that I was home and insisted on me coming over. I decided I would go for just an hour before my date. Three hours after I was suppose to be at the restaurant, I texted my friend in the deepest apology that I had stood him up. He was clearly upset because he waited for me for an hour, ate by himself, took the leftovers and walked home.

I know there are many other horrendous first date stories like mine out there. I am happy to say that I learned from my mistakes and have changed. Clearly, there is a certain code to going on a first date. It may be different for some people, but the first code is to actually show up. If you are clueless as to what to do after that, here are 5 do’s and dont’s of a first date.

Don’t be an open book, but do be authentic and real. Don’t be that person that tells their whole life story and leaves no room for the other person to talk. Open up and answer questions that the other person has for you, but don’t go into detail about how your ex and you fought about the outfit you were wearing in November. Just be honest about who you are and what your values and opinions are. You don’t have start a campaign speech about Bernie Sanders; simply give a preview of who you are.

Do smile and make eye contact. First dates can be extremely nerve-wracking. You don’t have to sit there and play the cool card. When people smile and make eye contact, other people are more prone to be open and that can make the environment a little more comfortable. Being stiff can be a turn off and just might make the date end faster. We aren’t in high school anymore, so dust your confidence off and embrace it.

Don’t feel compelled to get touchy feely. It’s a first date; no need to rush. This is the part where you get to know the person. You don’t even know if you like them yet! Getting physical too fast can sometimes skew your view of the person. At the end of the date, you don’t have to exchange any cheek cells. Phone numbers may be the better option.

Do bring cash. This isn’t a feminist spiel. We live in a time where traditional settings are a bit behind us. I’m not saying that men shouldn’t be gentlemen and women shouldn’t be ladylike. You may not know the other person's traditional background. The person you are going out on a date with may want to split the check, or may want to pay it all. It would be better to pay in cash than in labor by doing the dishes after dessert.

Don’t be afraid to make the first move. Whether you are the guy or the girl, don’t be afraid to be the first to contact them after the first date. The waiting game is not worth it. If the first date went really well then give it another shot! However, if it didn’t go so well, you don’t have to give it another shot. Playing the waiting game could result in a loss of getting to know a great person.

I do not know how many times I apologized to my coworker after the fact. We are still great friends and hang out. Don’t let a bad first date ruin another potential one. Now that you have gotten a quick review of how to go out on a first date, go ask that girl/guy out that you have been staring at in your pre-calculus class.

Naomi is a junior studying chemistry and pre-med.