Dating should be an exciting and fulfilling experience, but for many people it can also be a source of anxiety and discomfort.
From wondering what to wear, to worrying about what to say, it's easy to become overwhelmed and stressed when preparing for a date.
We’re here to tell you that it doesn't have to be that way. With a little bit of preparation and knowledge, you can make the most of your date and avoid any awkward moments.
This article provides tips and suggestions for how to make a date less awkward, from researching the person you’re meeting to avoiding sensitive topics.
So, whether you’re new to dating or have been in the game for a while, read on to learn how to make your next date a success.
Preparing for the Date
Being prepared for a date is crucial if you want to avoid awkward moments. Not only does it show that you’re interested and respectful of the other person's time, but it also sets a positive tone for the entire date.
First and foremost, it might be a good idea to do some quick research into the woman you’re meeting. Check out their social media profiles to get a sense of their interests and hobbies. We’re not saying to go full on stalker mode, and we like to leave the date open to finding out about their real interests and passions, but a quick glance at a social media profile might help to give you some pointers for the night. If it looks like she enjoys Marvel movies and weekend beach trips, you’ve got a few conversation points to move onto later. (Obviously don’t mention you’ve looked at her social media, either. Creepy vibes, but let’s face it, everyone does it. Her or her friends are doing the same thing to your profiles).
Additionally, it's important to plan for the date itself. Choose an appropriate location and activity that will be enjoyable for both of you. This can include something as simple as a walk in the park or a visit to a museum, whatever you think is best.
When it comes to conversation starters, have a few ideas in mind before the date. This will help ease the tension and make the date feel more natural. Show genuine interest in the other person by asking open-ended questions and actively listening to their responses. It’s usually best to avoid sensitive topics, such as politics or exes, which always seem to make the date feel more awkward.
This isn’t the time to get into deep conversations about left vs right, this is for having fun and getting to know your date.
Being prepared also means paying attention to your appearance and nonverbal communication. Good grooming and dress is important in making a good first impression. On the date, maintain good posture and eye contact. This will help to show that you are confident, interested and respectful.
In short, being prepared for a date is crucial in avoiding awkward moments. It shows that you respect the other person's time, sets a positive tone for the date, and allows you to be confident and at ease during the date. Remember, it's important to be yourself, be prepared, and have fun.
Ways to plan for the date
Planning for a date can help make it less awkward and more enjoyable for the both of you. Here are a few ways to plan for a date:
Choose an appropriate location: Consider the person's interests, your budget, and the level of formality you want for the date. For example, if the person is a nature lover, you could plan a hike or a picnic in a park. If they're a foodie, you could plan a dinner at a trendy new restaurant.
Plan for an activity: Having a planned activity can help ease any tension and provide a common interest to talk about. This can be something as simple as playing a game of pool or visiting a museum. It can also be something more adventurous like rock climbing, kayaking or a cooking class.
Be mindful of timing: Plan for the date to start and end at a reasonable time. This will show that you respect the person's time and also help you to plan for any other commitments you have.
Have a backup plan: Sometimes things may not go as planned, so it's always a good idea to have a backup plan. For example, if the weather is bad, have a backup activity or location in mind.
Be open-minded and be open to suggestions: Be open to the person's suggestions and be willing to try new things. Showing interest and willingness to try new things can make the date more enjoyable and less awkward.
Suggestions for conversation starters
Conversation starters can help ease any tension and make a date feel more natural. Here are a few suggestions for conversation starters:
Ask open-ended questions: Ask questions that allow the person to share more about themselves. This can include things like "What do you like to do in your free time?" or "What are you passionate about?"
Bring up shared interests: If you researched the person beforehand, you may have an idea of their interests. Bring up something you have in common and ask for their thoughts or opinions on it.
Talk about current events: Bringing up a recent news story or current event can provide a natural conversation starter. It can also provide an opportunity to learn more about the person's views and opinions.
Share something about yourself: Share something interesting or unique about yourself. This can help the person get to know you better and give them an opportunity to share something about themselves as well.
Ask for advice: Ask for the person's advice on something you're interested in. This shows that you value their opinion and can provide a natural conversation starter.
It's important to avoid sensitive topics, such as politics or exes, that can make the date feel more awkward. Also, be mindful of the other person's comfort level, and follow their lead. These are vital aspects to follow if you’re wondering how to make a date less awkward.
Being an active listener
Being an active listener is crucial for a successful date, as it shows that you’re interested in the other person and respect what they have to say. Active listening involves not only hearing what the other person is saying, but also understanding, interpreting and responding to their message.
When on a date, give the other person your full attention. This means putting away your phone, avoiding distractions and making eye contact. Show that you are listening by nodding and responding with a few verbal cues, this should indicate that you’re engaged and want to know more.
You should also try to ask clarifying questions and provide feedback. If the person shares something about themselves, ask them to elaborate or give your own thoughts or opinions on the topic. This shows that you are actively engaged in the conversation and want to know more about them.
Another important aspect of active listening is empathy. Try to understand the other person's perspective and emotions. This can help to build trust and create a deeper connection.
Being an active listener can help to make the date feel more natural and enjoyable. By showing interest and respect, you can create a more comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. On the other hand, not being an active listener can create an awkward and uncomfortable environment.
Avoiding sensitive subjects
Avoiding sensitive topics is an important aspect of a successful date, as it can help to prevent any discomfort or awkwardness.
Some sensitive topics that should be avoided on a first date include politics, religion, and exes. These topics can be divisive to say the least, and can create tension between the two of you.
Another sensitive topic that should be avoided is personal financial information. Asking or discussing how much money someone makes or how much they have in savings can be considered impolite and can make the other person feel uncomfortable. Additionally, discussing past traumas or mental health issues should also be avoided, as it can be overwhelming for the person to share that information on the first date.
Be mindful of the other person's comfort level. If they’re clearly not interested in discussing a certain topic or seem uncomfortable, it's best to change the subject. Additionally, if they bring up a sensitive topic, it's important to handle it with tact and sensitivity.
Remember that people have different boundaries and comfort levels, so it's essential to respect them. If you're not sure if a topic is sensitive or not, it's always better to err on the side of caution and avoid it.
Body Language and Appearance
The importance of nonverbal communication on a date
Nonverbal communication helps towards a successful date as it can convey emotions and thoughts without using words. It includes body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice, among other things. Nonverbal communication can be a powerful tool for expressing oneself and understanding the other person's feelings
For example, body language such as eye contact, posture, and gestures can indicate interest, confidence, or nervousness. Maintaining good eye contact, sitting up straight and using open gestures can convey confidence and interest in the conversation. On the other hand, fidgeting, crossing arms, or avoiding eye contact can indicate nervousness or disinterest.
Facial expressions can also indicate emotions such as happiness, anger, or sadness. A genuine smile, for example, can indicate that the person is happy and comfortable, while a furrowed brow can indicate confusion or dissatisfaction.
Tone of voice also plays a role in nonverbal communication. A monotone voice can convey disinterest or lack of enthusiasm, while a lively tone can convey interest and engagement.
Nonverbal communication can also be used to understand the other person's feelings. Observing the other person's body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice can give clues about how they are feeling.
It's important to be aware of your own nonverbal communication and how it may be perceived by the other person. Additionally, it's important to be mindful of the other person's nonverbal communication and respond accordingly.
Maintaining good posture and eye contact
Providing good posture and eye contact convey confidence and interest in the conversation. Good posture is achieved by sitting up straight, keeping your shoulders back, and maintaining an open and relaxed position. This can indicate that you are engaged, attentive, and interested in what the other person has to say.
Eye contact is also an important aspect of nonverbal communication. It can indicate interest, confidence, and trust. Maintaining good eye contact during a conversation can convey that you are paying attention, engaged, and interested in the other person. It's important to be mindful of your eye contact, but not to overdo it, as it can make the other person feel uncomfortable or intimidated.
When providing good posture and eye contact, it's important to be aware of the other person's comfort level. Some people may feel uncomfortable with prolonged eye contact, while others may appreciate it. It's important to be aware of the other person's cues, and respond accordingly.
Remember that it's not only about providing good posture and eye contact, but also about being genuine and authentic. It's important to show that you are genuinely interested in the other person, and not just trying to impress them.
The importance of grooming
Grooming is an important aspect of a successful date, as it can make a good first impression and show that you have put effort into your appearance. A well-groomed appearance can convey confidence, respect, and professionalism.
It's important to dress appropriately for the occasion. Make sure that your clothes are clean and ironed, and that they fit well. Avoid wearing anything that is too casual or too formal. It's also important to pay attention to your personal hygiene. Make sure that you are clean and well-groomed, and that you smell good.
For men, paying attention to your hair, beard, and mustache is important. Make sure that they are well-groomed, and that they look neat and tidy. It's also important to make sure that your nails are clean and well-trimmed.
Additionally, paying attention to your teeth is important. It's always a good idea to brush and floss your teeth before the date, and to carry a pack of mints or gum in case of bad breath.
It's also important to remember that grooming is not only about physical appearance, but also about manners and etiquette. Be a gentleman. Make sure that you are punctual, that you open doors and pull out chairs for your date, and that you are polite and respectful.
Managing Awkward Moments
Common awkward moments
There are many common awkward situations that can occur on a date, but some of the most common include:
Awkward silences: These can happen when the conversation runs dry and both parties are struggling to think of something to say. To avoid this, it's helpful to have a few conversation starters or interesting topics in mind that you can bring up if the conversation stalls.
Talking too much: On the other hand, talking too much can also be awkward. It can make the other person feel like they are not being given the chance to speak or like they are not being listened to. To avoid this, practice active listening, and try to balance the conversation by asking open-ended questions and giving the other person an opportunity to speak.
Being nervous: Nervousness can cause people to fidget, stumble over their words, or even become tongue-tied. To reduce nervousness, it's important to practice deep breathing, and remind yourself that there's no need to be perfect. It's also important to remember that the other person may also be feeling nervous.
Bringing up sensitive topics: As mentioned earlier, discussing sensitive topics such as politics, religion, or exes can be divisive and can create tension between two people. To avoid this, it's best to avoid these topics altogether, or at least until you have gotten to know each other better.
Being unprepared: Being unprepared can lead to a lack of confidence, and can make the date feel disorganized and unplanned.
How to handle awkward moments
There are a few things that you can do if you’re wondering how to make a date less awkward and cut down on these moments.
One of the most common awkward situations on a date is when the conversation runs dry and both parties are struggling to think of something to say. To avoid this, it's helpful to have a few conversation starters or interesting topics in mind that you can bring up if the conversation stalls. For example, you can ask the other person about their hobbies, their favorite movies or books, or their travel experiences. Another approach is to bring up current events, news or trending topics. This way you can have an easy, easy-going and relaxed conversation.
Another common awkward situation is when one person talks too much and the other person feels like they are not being given the chance to speak or like they are not being listened to. To avoid this, practice active listening by paying attention to what the other person is saying and responding in a thoughtful and engaging manner. Also, try to balance the conversation by asking open-ended questions and giving the other person an opportunity to speak.
Nervousness can also cause awkward situations on a date. To reduce nervousness, it's important to practice deep breathing, and remind yourself that there's no need to be perfect. You can also try to relax by making a small joke or by bringing light to the situation. It's also important to remember that the other person may also be feeling nervous, so try to be understanding and patient.
Being yourself is so important. When you are genuine and authentic, it can help to build trust and create a more comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. Additionally, when you are being yourself, you are more likely to be confident and engaging, which can make the other person feel more at ease.
When you try to be someone you're not, it can be difficult to keep up the facade, and it can make the other person feel like they are not getting to know the real you. This can be especially true if you are trying to impress the other person by pretending to be someone you're not.
Being yourself also means being honest and open with the other person. This can help to create a sense of intimacy and connection between the two of you. It's also important to remember that everyone has their own quirks and imperfections, and that it's these imperfections that often make us unique and interesting.
It's important to remember that the other person is also on the date to get to know you, and not some idealized version of you. Being yourself also means being comfortable with who you are and not feeling the need to put on a show or impress the other person.
How to make a date less awkward
Dating should be an enjoyable and fulfilling experience, not awkward and uncomfortable. To make the most of your date, try to be prepared, plan ahead, and be yourself.
Researching the person you’re meeting is a good way to find common ground, and to have a few conversation starters or interesting topics in mind. Planning the date can also help to ensure that everything runs smoothly. This includes choosing an appropriate location, deciding what activities to do, and making sure you are dressed and groomed appropriately.
Don't be too hard on yourself, and don't worry about making mistakes or being perfect. Just focus on enjoying the moment and getting to know the other person.
If you liked this article check out our guide on what not to do on a first date.
We’re also written a guide on first date advice for men, telling you everything you need to know about having a great first date.