How to have a perfect first date

With so many potential pitfalls that could deny you happiness in your quest for love, the first date is your most important time to make a good first impression. So don't mess it up!

How to have the perfect first date

With every single thing you say and do under close scrutiny, you need to be the best version of yourself. And while there are no absolute rules, we've put together a few guidelines that should help make that first meeting go off a bit more smoothly! And hopefully at the end of it, you'll be planning a second date...

First meeting

A general rule - it’s probably best to avoid asking your date round to your house for dinner straight off the mark. It’s a bit full on and might make you look a bit presumptuous that there'll be a spot of nookie at the end. This is after all, a first date.

Do lunch

An ideal first date is lunch. You don’t have to worry about clothes as you'll be wearing your work get up and it'll probably only be one hour, so if it’s a disaster at least you have only have to sit there for an hour before you make your excuses!

Who pays?

Who should pay for drinks or a meal on a first date? Well, whoever asks the other to dinner, that person has identified themselves as the host. As the host, they should take care of things like footing the bill. And while it’s always a nice gesture for the guest to offer, ultimately if you're the guest, be the guest.

Be polite!

Even if the date isn’t going as well as you hoped, be polite and courteous. When you’re seated directly in front of someone, listen to them, engage in conversation and act as if you’ re happy to be there with them - after all, they took the time to meet you.

Show an interest in them

Ask your date about themselves and their interests. Even if they totally turn you off at first, you're here to find out about them to see what you have in common. Asking your date about their family is always a good one as it may give you an insight into their personality.

Matchmaker Steve Ward's dating rules...

Don't go on about work

It’s very important that when on the date you don’t drone on about work. It’s dull. And don’t really talk about yourself unless asked. The less you say, the less chance you have of putting your foot in it. In more general terms, avoid religion, sex, money and politics as topics of discussion. There’s no quicker way of ruining your chances of a second date than by having a blazing row! However, if you want the evening to end quickly, any of those will help get you a quick route out of there.

Be considerate

This is different to being polite – it basically shows being thoughtful towards for your date's feelings. If they have religious beliefs that you find ridiculous, realise that these are very personal and important to that person, so don't criticise them openly. Even if you pride yourself on your biting sense of humour, don’t crack jokes that may come across as hurtful.

The end of the date

Don't expect anything more than a peck on the cheek. If they try it on, be wary of their intentions and whether they are looking for something serious or just a fling.

What happens next?

After a date, honesty is really the best policy. There’s no point being dishonest if you're serious about finding true love, as you’re trying to establish a relationship and it needs to be built on truth.

Say thank you!

Whether you enjoyed the date or not, never underestimate the value of a next day 'thank you' phone call - even if you just leave it on their voicemail.

Don't lead them on

Don't tell someone you'll call them when you won't, don't tell them you had a great time when you didn't and don't tell them you'd like to see them again if you don't. It may seem brutally honest but in the long run your date will appreciate it.

Personality is key

So there you have it – you should now be fully equipped to handle any date, providing you adhere to the basic rules of good manners. That way it’s all on you and your personality to charm the pants off them – not literally though; save that for the second date!