A first date, especially the first date you have been on in a long time can be a very daunting prospect. The world of mature dating is full of people just like you. People for who first dates are something they haven’t thought about for 35 years or more. So, the first and very important step is to breathe, relax and understand you aren’t alone here. Dating and the dating scene may have changed an awful lot through the decades but the people haven’t and the principles remain the same. This is an opportunity to get to know someone new, have fun and perhaps even embark on a brand-new romance. If you’re new to the older dating scene, read on for some helpful advice for preparing for a first date.
Pick the Right Location
Location is key to a first date as it is for buying a house. You need somewhere with atmosphere but not crammed with people. Somewhere where you can talk but won’t feel awkward if you pause and most of all somewhere you both feel comfortable. For many of us, this means expensive restaurants or jam-packed bars are out of the question. A comfortable local pub, relaxed restaurant or coffee shop can all make ideal first date locations.
If you feel more comfortable with an activity led date then a wander around your local art gallery or farmers market could help to keep the conversation flowing. The cinema is often used as an easy first date option but it can be a lazy choice. A first date is about getting to know someone and figuring out if you would like to see them again, sitting in the dark and not talking won’t tell you anything at all.
If you are setting out on over 50s dating then it can be easy to assume you are old enough and wise enough to keep yourself safe. This may be true but you are still meeting with a stranger and you should take simple steps to protect yourself. You should always meet in a public place with plenty of people around. You should also let someone know where you are going and what time you expect to be back. Older daters often like to keep their dating discreet but this no excuse for not telling at least one friend or loved one where you are. If you feel uncomfortable with your date at any point, leave and never feel under any pressure to continue a date that makes you feel upset or intimidated. Your safety should always come first.
Look Great and Feel Great
Dates are meant to be fun and a big part of that fun is picking out an outfit and spending some time ensuring you feel your best. This might mean going for a swim, taking a long soak in the bath or treating yourself to a new dress or tie. It’s important, however, not to try and overhaul your image for a date. Your date wants to go on a date with you and not some impossible version of yourself that simply isn’t real. Make sure you feel and look like yourself before you head out of the door.
Don’t Rely on Alcohol
A first date can be nerve racking and if this is your first step into mature dating it could feel especially tough. It’s easy then, to fill up your wine glass one too many times and end up with a sore head and a bad date. Alcohol on a first date is fine, but keep consumption sensible and never let it leave you feeling out of control or unsafe. A coffee shop makes a great first option for a drink free day date that allows you to chat and find out more about each other in a low-pressure environment. This ensures that any feelings or inclinations about a potential new partner aren’t filtered through the bottom of an empty glass.
Don’t Expect Too Much
You have probably had a long hiatus from the dating scene and this can lead to added pressure on the very first date you go on. Remember for mature dating or any dating at all you probably aren’t going to find your perfect match on day one or date one. It’s likely there will be a few frogs involved before you uncover Mr or Mrs Charming. Treat every first date like an adventure, exciting but with no guarantees. Enjoy meeting someone new and perhaps finding a new friend if nothing more. Building up expectations on yourself or your date can mean any potential relationship is doomed from the start.
Be Open and Friendly
This may seem like a given but it is amazing what a few dating butterflies can do to your social skills. Maintain eye contact, smile often and ask relevant and interesting questions to your date. Avoid the temptation to blurt out your life story without pausing for breath and remember he or she is likely to be just as nervous as you are. If you are worried about keeping the conversation flowing make a few notes beforehand with questions you might ask or current affairs or culture that might be interesting to chat over. This can be a lifesaver and will help you feel a little more confident.
Respect Personal Space
You may be a touchy-feely person by nature but on a first date, it’s very important to respect personal space until a potential relationship matures and develops. Intruding on someone’s personal space before they are ready can leave them feeling cornered and is unlikely to end in a successful date. Keep touch to a minimum and make sure any physical interactions are friendly and warm without being intimidating.
First dates can be an amazing, fun and potentially life-changing opportunity. Go in with an open mind, an open heart and great first date etiquette. Choose a dating site for over 50s to connect with like-minded mature singles and enjoy this brand-new adventure!