Knowing how to tackle a first Tinder date isn’t always easy. Just because the app is simple, doesn’t mean dating on it is. The nerves, the anticipation, the odd hellos, the stress over whether you should hug or shake hands, sit at the bar or a booth, kiss goodnight, or part ways with a wave… It’s all still there.
But like all aspects of dating today, there’re things you can do to make things easier on yourself and prepare for the date. If you’ve met a great match and are ready to take it off the app and into real life, here are seven tips to help you have a great first Tinder date.
How to Have a Great First Tinder Date: 7 Top Tips
1. Breathe and think deeply
When we stress out, our bodies react instinctually. Oftentimes, anxiety can cause physical discomfort in your chest from shallow breathing. To counteract this, try taking deep breaths through your nose, into your stomach, and out of your mouth. Put your hands on your stomach and feel it expand as you take in the air. Do this for 10 minutes before heading out and you’re almost certainly going to feel better for it.
Visualize each part of the date: the meeting; the conversation; the body language; and what could go wrong. Visualization helps your mind be at ease with all possible outcomes. Walking through your fears in your head will help you make peace with them. And remember: Self-love is the best love! Be confident, be yourself, and relax!
2. Clean up and dress to impress
Nothing gets you amped for a date like a nice shower and a shine. First impressions are important, so you’ll want to make sure you make the right one. Feeling attractive is the most important part, so make sure you pick out an outfit you feel strong and comfortable in.
If you have wrinkles in your shirt, iron them out. If your jeans are a little dirty, go for a clean pair this time. When you put time and effort into your appearance, it shows your date that you’re putting time and effort into them and the experience. It’s one small way to show you care.
3. Pick somewhere fun
Once again, first impressions are everything. Everybody wants to date someone who’s fun, so pick the right place that’ll give that impression. Tiki bars, restaurants with bands, or sunny day picnics, are all good for this.
If a date spot allows for movement, has lots of people around, or has a novelty that will allow for built-in conversation, chances are you’ve got a good date idea on your hands.
4. Revisit your online conversation(s)
If you’re an avid online dater, it’s likely that you’re talking to multiple people at a time. It’s safe to assume that your date is, too. There’s no shame in it, but there is when you can’t remember which conversation you had with your date, or worse you confuse them with somebody else.
There’re ways to salvage a conversation, but if you think you had a connection with them about a certain topic and it turns out that was from your date last week, it’s not a great look. So before you step out to meet your possible future lover, double-check the conversation and, oh yeah, their name.
5. Show up fashionably early
Showing up early is underrated. It’s good for a few reasons. One, it ensures you’re not late. This should be a no-brainer but punctuality is a virtue, and it plain sucks to wait alone. You’re not fostering any fuzzy feelings by showing up late. Two, it gives you time to get acclimated to the environment. If you’re meeting in a cocktail lounge or a fair, arriving early gives your social sense some time to wake up to being around people.
Start chatting around and warm up those vocal cords by chatting with some strangers. Third, you can tell your date where exactly you’ll be when they do show up, so you don’t have to crane your neck around hoping you’re finding the right person. Be ahead of the curve and the clock to assure things go smoothly.
6. Remember there’s nothing at stake
One of the most frustrating things that can happen in any first Tinder date scenario is that the other person tells you they don’t want to see you again. (Or maybe they tell you they do want to see you again and ghost anyway).
Even if they don’t like you, it’s not a total wash—you’ve figured out that they weren’t meant for you. It takes time to find the right person, and this date helped you get one person closer to them.
7. Have fun
A lot of people put a lot of pressure on dating. Whether you’re trying to find the love of your life or a friend with benefits, you should take it seriously right? Well, probably, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t also be a lot of fun.
There’s a reason why people celebrate being single because meeting new people can be loose, unpredictable, and amazing. Even if you have relationship goals in mind, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy this part of the journey.
First dates can be nerve-wracking. We’ve all been there, and for a lot of us, that’s not going away any time soon. But remember: By getting out there you’re already doing the thing that will help you the most. So deep breaths and enjoying the first Tinder dates that might be coming your way!
*The Date Mix is owned by Zoosk, Inc. Zoosk, Inc. is not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with Tinder, or any of their subsidiaries or affiliates. Tinder is a registered trademark of their respective owners.