The harsh truth is that if you mess up the first date it'll probably be your last.
But don't let that discourage you. Let's go over what you've done right so far. You approached her. You were able to grab her attention and peak her interest. Build up some attraction. Get her number and ask her out on a date. Now if she doesn't flake on you, then it's clear, she's interested.
So how do you not mess it up? What if you choke up or can't think of anything to talk about. What if she thinks that's weird or you think she thinks that you are boring.
The first secret to a great date is presence. You, being completely alive in the moment, with her. So keep your phone in your pocket, and turn it on silent. Be present. Don't worry about work tomorrow, or classes, or your 'feeds'. Focus on the moment.
But how can I focus on the moment when there's a million possible outcomes running through my head?
Feel your toes. This simple trick will bring you back to the present and engage. Breathe. Be comfortable. Be yourself. Just kidding. That is terrible advice.
Be the best version of yourself. The self that you believe in, the self that you strive to be, the self that is good and makes others believe that they are good too.
Be doing something. Be active. Because lets face it, conversation has ebbs and flows, moments when you're both interrupting each other followed by moments of silence. The silent times can be excruciating, which is why you need to be doing something to fill in the gaps.
The secret to a great first date is to create an "us" bubble. A world that only the two of you inhabit. The "us" bubble solidifies your connection, fosters intimacy and rewrites reality.
You know. Don't pretend like you don't. You experience this with your friends all the time. When you're out and the things you see and notice about your surroundings are interpreted through your shared experience. This is your goal, the whole purpose of your date. Well, one of them. Remember that this isn't just about you showing her that you're good enough. No, it's actually not about that at all. She needs to qualify herself to you. Is she really worth your time? Find out. Make her work for it. You're not that easy right?
So cool, you're on your date, things are going well, you're finding out a lot about each other, throwing around jokes, connecting. You've created your own little world, just the two of you. You can see yourself with her and she can see herself with you.
Be present. Have her qualify herself. Create an 'us' bubble.
Ok great. That tells me what I should do but absolutely nothing about how to do it.
Be doing something
Get creative. Avoid the standard "let's go out to dinner" or risk being compared to every other dinner date she's ever been on.
But I'm not creative, I don't know what to do.
Well then get plugged in. Find out what concerts are happening in the area. Art shows or galleries. Museums. Art or cooking classes. One time events. Outdoor events. Frisbee in a park. Ice skating. Grab some coffee at your favorite cafe, but don't stay there, go on a walk through the city.
The energy of the environment should match you
If you're a high energy and carefree kind of guy, then a loud concert and dancing might fit your style. But don't do that if your a little more laid back and would rather not have to shout at her 4 or 5 times just to tell her that her dress is cute. Play to your strengths
The "would I" test
When you're thinking of potential date ideas, apply the "would I" test.
Ask yourself: "would I ______ on my own".
Do things you would still do solo. Things that you would still have a great time if you went by yourself. (This does not include playing FIFA or COD btw.) Having a partner along is just an added plus! Do things that interest you, not things you think she'd be interested in. Be self amused and allow your personality to come out.
Be vulnerable, don't wear emotional armor. Maintain proper body language and hold solid eye contact.
Avoid interview mode because it's lazy, boring and just awful. Tell stories, share experiences, explore your dreams and pay attention to what she's saying.
You shouldn't run out of things to say if you're truly listening to her. Pick up on nuance. Misinterpret her stories. Share similar experiences. Don't just talk about your own experiences but bring her there with you. Recall the scent, the feeling, the emotion, the sites, the sounds.
Discover the moments that defined you and her.
Being comfortable in your own skin is incredibly attractive. Accept yourself. Accept her.
Advanced tip: treat her like she's your girlfriend already
This is all about mindset, and harkens back to the previous point. You really need to be comfortable because it affects your charisma, which affects your attractiveness.
We covered a lot today, but there's still more to come that gets into even more detail about conversation, building attraction and maintaining proper body language.