Dating, communication and Promenad

Let's be honest — the first date is about as much fun as a job interview. In fact, there isn't much difference between the two: you spend hours preparing, put on the perfect outfit, and spend an hour trying to make a great first impression. Why do first dates have to be so nerve-racking? Good news — they don't.

The first date doesn't have to be scary! You just need the right game plan. Having a better idea of where to go and what to talk about on a first date will give you the confidence you need to nail it. Here are five tips to help get you through your first date:

1. Choose the Right Spot

The stereotypical first date at the movies isn't exactly the best idea. How can you get to know someone if you're sitting in the dark for two hours without speaking? The first date is an opportunity to learn a lot about your new love interest, so picking the right spot is crucial.

If it's the first time you're seeing them in person, safety should be your top priority. Choose a public spot like a coffee shop or café. Keep it casual — no one wants to sit through a four-course meal at a fancy restaurant after realizing the connection you had online doesn't convey in person.

If you've met before and are comfortable with each other, why not opt for something unique? Plan a picnic, take a stroll around the park, go bowling, or hike a nature trail. Of course, there's also nothing wrong with grabbing a slice at the local pizza joint.

2. Skip the Small Talk

Starting the conversation with a painfully generic comment like, "How about this weather, huh?" isn't just boring — it's cringe-worthy. (Yes, the weather exists. Thanks for pointing it out.)

After all, you're there for a reason. Whether you've already met or talked to each other online, you liked what they had to say. Why not expand on it? If you met online, bring up parts of their profile that caught your attention. If you already know each other, try making a connection — do you have any mutual friends? Do you hang out at any of the same spots? Cover topics like your family, hobbies, bucket list, interesting book about relationships, music, and why you chose your career. Of course, remember to keep it fun!

3. Keep an Open Mind

The days leading up to the first date takes a little mental preparation. It's important to go into it with the right mindset.

Remember, no one is perfect! Don't be too hard on yourself or your date. If you head to the date thinking it won't go well, it probably won't. Your date wants you to exude confidence, not hesitation. Be sure not to nitpick or jump to judgment. They're just as nervous as you are, and saying the "right" thing might come out wrong — so cut them some slack! Be patient, empathetic, and open to exploring new ideas.

4. Be Refreshingly Honest

It's okay to admit you're a little nervous or that you changed your outfit six times. It's refreshing to meet someone unafraid of showing who they really are, and the stats agree — 30% of people say personality is more important on a first date than looks or career.

Don't try to hide or alter your opinions or beliefs based on what your date has to say. There's nothing worse than thinking you really know someone, just to find out down the road it was all a facade. Sure, you're trying to make a good first impression (and that's totally fine), but presenting a "better version" of yourself rather than the real thing isn't the way to go about it. Be honest about what you're looking for and any deal breakers (not things like their hair color, of course).

Be honest, but not too honest — if you're uninterested in a story they're telling, keep it to yourself. That said, life is short, so why not put yourself out there?

5. Don't Dwell on Rejection

The problem: You want so badly to make a great impression that the idea of being rejected is weighing on your mind the entire date. The solution: Remember, it's just a date! It's a simple meeting between two people who kind of like each other. If it doesn't go well, the worst thing that could happen is going your separate ways. The silver lining? At least you got a meal or cup of coffee out of it.

There are 117.9 million single people in the United States alone. (That's right, 117.9 million.) If it doesn't work out with one person, use the dating app. The odds of eventually meeting the right one is definitely in your favor.

Be Confident on Your Next First Date

Think you're ready for your first date? (You are!) At the end of the day, first dates are supposed to be fun. They're an opportunity for great conversation, funny stories, and, hopefully, a blossoming relationship.

Now that you have some survival tips put them to the test! A great first date is waiting!