First dates can be difficult waters to navigate, even at our age. They’re a mess of anticipation, emotion, confusion and excitement that, sometimes, leads to the very best night of our lives.
That is, of course, if we can remember it in the first place because, surprise! England loves a good drink. By far the most common first date for adults of drinking age is a trip to the local bar or pub, and for good reason – skydiving doesn’t make for the most relaxing environment to get to know somebody new.
Nevertheless, lots of us still make mistakes when it comes to drinking on a first date – even as over 50 and 60 daters. Here are our dos and don’ts of first date drinking:
Do: Get to know your dates drink preference beforehand
You might love wine or only drink real ale, but before you go planning the date around your own preference, make sure you ask your date what they’re interested in.
It might be that your tastes are perfectly in line and you know that perfect little place. However, it might transpire that he or she’s only into wine, in which case, a little research and some planning can lead to a much better result than if you’d never asked at all.
Don’t: Drink beforehand
Okay, okay. We’ve all gone the Dutch courage route before, but it’s not the cure-all response to first date jitters you think it is.
Showing up to a date with the smell of alcohol already on your breath and your gaze that little bit less steady than it should be is an extremely bad look for just about everybody, so don’t do it.
Do: Eat whilst you drink
Everyone knows that eating helps to stop you getting drunk to excess, but it’s also a useful way to help slow down the drinking and engage more in conversation.
Drinks with light bites encourage both of you to take your time with the drinks and gives space for natural pauses in conversation as you eat. It’s an effective way to relax a date and enjoy each other’s companies a great deal more.
Don’t: Drink to excess
Drunkenness can sneak up on us, but on your first date, there are few things less appealing than a drunken stranger struggling to get their words out.
Whilst it’s true that after a couple of drinks, you might find conversation is flowing beautifully and you’re both having a great time, know that continuing to drink will certainly push you over the limit, where undignified behaviour begins. If you’re feeling close to that limit, row back and let the night unfold without further stimulant – you’ll thank yourself later.
Oh, and whilst we’re at it, don’t try to match your date drink for drink, it’s unlikely you’re going to have the same limits.