A first date is the initial meeting during the dating process of two individuals, in which an effort is made to ask about each other, plan a potential relationship, and/or organize some sort of romantic activity. Aims vary between finding a romantic, platonic, or sexual partner for a short period, to finding a long-term spouse. Dating can vary between cultures, lifestyles, religion, gender, and sexual orientation.
In many countries and cultures, it is the process that romantic relationships are developed and future spouses are found. Some people go on first dates to evaluate a person's potential as a sexual partner. Often, people have dates arranged for them by their friends, or they meet the individual at work, a party, in class, in their community or online on a social media website or dating website. During the date, each participant can evaluate the compatibility of the other person and get the opportunity to screen out individuals who engage in behaviour that a person does not prefer.
There are many possible outcomes on the conclusion of a first date. The two individuals may agree to a second date. One or both parties may decide that there are incompatibility issues and decide not to pursue further dates. Compatibility factors vary a great deal, and can include religion, whether or not a person uses drugs or alcohol, appearance, or personality. Alternatively, the two parties may decide to become friends or some other type of Platonic relationship (a non-sexual relationship). Some first dates may lead to a romantic relationship that can range in duration from short period to a long period.
In one sense, the purpose of a first date is the same as the purpose of any subsequent date: it is an opportunity for the two people to meet. However, the first date differs in that it is often used to screen potential dating candidates. If a person displays behaviors deemed to be problematic, the other person may decide to not meet again. In some cases, one or both parties may decide to end the date before the end of the activity they are engaged in. Because they often set the tone for the relationship, first dates are highly important. As the study by Mary Claire Morr Serewicz of the Department of Human Communication Studies at the University of Denver, and Paul Mongeau of Arizona State University, states that first dates \"represent an important early event in the development of dating relationship.\"
Mongeau's study found that individuals were more likely to approve the friendship goal when alcohol was not involved as compared to if it was available, meaning that more friendships were established through first dates when there was no alcohol involved.
Goals depend on the individual, but for the most part, goals on the first date, are fairly similar between parties. In her study on first dates, Mary Claire Morr explains that expectations for a date can be formed based on information about the communicator, relationship and context.
Women look for certain cues on a first date: For example, it is important to a woman to find out if the man is courteous or not. Women will look for this by observing if the man comes to the door to pick her up or compliments her on how she looks, for example. If some of her expectations are not met, mainly the most important ones, she will not want to pursue anything more than a friendship. If the expectations are met, a second date might be in the future, but only if the man is feeling the same thing.Overall, on a first date, women's goals are related more to establishing friendships and having fun. Mongeau, in his 2004 study found that 60 percent of women go on first dates mainly to have fun and 59 percent go on dates to reduce uncertainty. (Note, however, that there are some errors in the mathematical calculations done in the study, and the study is statistically invalid as it uses the convenience sampling method.) Women's goals tend to be more relationship-oriented than men's goals. Also, unlike men, women are usually more reserved when it comes to the sexual aspect and having sex. Women are more likely to express companionship, friendship, and romantic relationship goals than men and are also more likely to consider the first date in terms of their relational implications than men.
Abbey's studies might seem at first glance to corroborate the theory that men tend to be more sexually attracted to the opposite sex. However, recent research by evolutionary psychologists and others suggests that the difference in attraction is exaggerated or nonexistent. A study by Terri Fisher, Ohio State associate professor of psychology, for example, concludes that previous studies are flawed in that women are seldom given sufficient anonymity when responding to surveys and interviews, and that women give answers that suggest that women have a sexual attraction for the opposite similar to that of men when greater levels of confidentiality are provided. Conversely, men are \"socialized\" to exaggerate such things as the number of partners that they have had. Fisher concludes that, \"Evidence clearly points to the fact that the gender difference in reported sex partners between men and women is an illusory difference created by attitudes related to sexual success as prestigious which in turn impact self-reports.\"
When blind date newbie Aaron is set up with serial-dater Casey, a casual drink at a busy New York restaurant turns into a hilarious, high-stakes dinner. As the date unfolds in real time, the couple quickly finds that they are not alone on this unpredictable evening. In a delightful and unexpected twist, Casey and Aaron's inner critics take on a life of their own when other restaurant patrons transform into supportive best friends, manipulative exes and protective parents, who sing and dance them through icebreakers, appetizers and potential conversational land mines. Can this couple turn what could be a dating disaster into something special before the check arrives
Good conversation on a first date can sometimes be elusive. In many cases, you're talking to a total stranger that you know virtually nothing about, yet also kind of want to impress, while also sort of trying to evaluate compatibility. There's a lot happening at once!
Don't feel like you have to jump right into an inquisition as soon as a first date starts. The deeper conversations will come more naturally once you've established a bit of a foundational rapport between you.
When you first arrive on the date, try starting with a little bit of casual conversation drawing from the context you're in. For example, if your date picked the restaurant you're at, ask her if she's been here before, how she discovered the place, and what she likes about it. Or if you're at a bar that specializes in quirky cocktails, ask him questions about his go-to drink and share your own. You could also talk about the part of town you're in and how much time you each have spent in the area, an interesting article of clothing or jewelry your date has on, or where they came from prior to meeting up with you.
One of the reasons first dates can feel so awkward is that the conversation can sometimes feel like an interview, with each person taking turns asking the other the basic get-to-know-you questions. To open the door to true connection and get past the canned responses, it helps to try to learn about their world as they're experiencing it presently. Asking about what's going on in their life currently is a great way to tap into that.
If you matched through a dating app, a person's dating profile is an excellent place to look for first-date conversation topics. Before you meet up, review their profile and try to find something you can bring up when you're together. Not only does this show you were really paying attention to the details they chose to share, but what a person puts in their profile can again give you a clue into what they're thinking about presently.
Practice active listening as they talk: Really focus on trying to understand what they're saying and feeling rather than trying to think about how you're going to respond when they stop talking. Then, comment on and validate the things that you're hearing and noticing about them.
Last but not least, if you're on a date, it only makes logical sense to ask about each other's dating goals and intentions. You want to make sure you're on the same page about what you're both looking for, whether that's something casual, something serious, or some other type of relationship.
Although common wisdom holds that you should never talk politics or religion on a first date, the days of trying to politely paper over differences for a date are behind us. A 2021 study by the dating app Bumble found that 62% of adults believe it's important to talk about key social issues on a first date, including topics like gender equality, race, the environment, and more, and 75% said they'd only date someone if most of their political and social views aligned.
Take your time with each topic, really trying to color in a full picture of this part of your date's life or mind and leaving space for your date to share as much as they want about the current topic. Just as well, make sure you're also taking time to share your thoughts or stories related to the topic so they're getting just as full a picture of you.
The truth is, awkward silences happen. Sometimes your mind just goes blank, and you can't think of what to say next. It's OK to let them know you're blanking, or call attention to the fact that first dates can be awkward. You can even poke a little humor at the whole situation, if that's your thing. Sometimes naming the discomfort and sharing a laugh about it is all you need to defuse the tension and turn it into a connective moment.
For the most part, you can really talk about anything you're in the mood to talk about on a first date. As Nguyen points out, almost any topic is fair game for conversation as long as it's approached thoughtfully. \"What's more interesting is navigating the tension of the date appropriately so you don't share too little or too much,\" she adds. \"Having the right attitude and remembering to stay balanced with what you share invites intrigue to the date and enriches the interaction dramatically.\" 59ce067264