I’m Whitney from To Live and Diet in L.A. I attend star-studded events several times a week and have to interact with people I’ve just met. Whether at a dinner, party, or date, the same tips are important when meeting people for the first time and leaving a positive impression. And I’ve seen it all. Here are some things I’ve learned along the way that are helpful in all situations, but especially, first dates.
1. Don’t overdress.
While you always want to look your best, you don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard. Save that for your anniversary. Hopefully you’ll make it that far by following these simple tips!
Ladies, this means saving your cleavage-boasting cocktail dress for the clubs. Black skinnies and a pretty blouse, or a flirty sundress, will give you an understated but sexy vibe. On a side note, keep the makeup minimal too. Most guys will agree that less is more. No one wants to see your extensions and fake eyelashes making an appearance on a first date.
Gentlemen, reserve your Justin Timberlake fedora and cane for a costume party. Unless you can sing Suit & Tie, your jazzy efforts will not be rewarded. Stick to a classic, casual look with nice jeans and a blazer. If it’s a daytime date, a simple fitted tee will work too. Just don’t go the opposite route and sport flip-flops, tank tops, or anything Ed Hardy…I mean, that’s just common sense right?
2. Go easy on the cologne.
This is for both the sexes. You don’t know what your prospective lover likes, so don’t risk offending their senses with an overbearing fragrance. Keep the scents minimal to avoid any allergic reactions.
3. Avoid awkward dinner conversations.
So you were arrested once for public indecency? Got a restraining order against your stalker ex? Recovering from a nasty case of athlete’s foot? None of those topics are appropriate for a first date. I don’t care how intimate the conversation gets or how much wine you’ve had to drink, criminal records, weird health info, and your dating history should probably be reserved for the second date at minimum. A brief mention that you recently got out of a long relationship is okay, if asked. Telling your date that you still visit your ex’s Facebook page 17 times a day is not. Use your judgment here and think about what you do and do not want to reveal before the drinks start flowing.
4. No cell phones on the table.
Make your mother proud and stick to polite dinner etiquette. Guys, this means pulling out the chair for your lady. Women, this means not reapplying your makeup at the table. And both, this means no cell phones! There is nothing more rude than chatting on your phone while your date sits there awkwardly trying to pretend like they’re not listening. If you really can’t wait an hour and a half to have a conversation, then you might not be ready for a relationship anyway. This is includes text messages. Your date is not going to be amused by the picture your friend just sent you of his gnarly surfing wound. The only exception to this rule is if you have kids and they are at home with a babysitter. Set your ringtone for the sitter to an emergency alert, so it’s the only incoming call that will set off your device.
5. Don’t forget some gum.
Hopefully your date will go exceptionally, in which case you may be in the mood for a goodnight kiss. Don’t risk the chance of accosting your date with the overwhelming aroma of garlic. Make sure to pack some gum beforehand, and pop it on the drive home or the walk to the valet. Forgot your gum? Suck on the lemon slice from your water glass. Nothing will make a second date less likely than a mouth full of foulness.
I hope these tips help and your next date leads to a long and successful relationship…or at least just an entertaining evening. For more tips on food, fitness, fashion, and celebrities, head on over to my blog To Live and Diet in L.A.
Whitney English is an Entertainment reporter/correspondent in Los Angeles for the women’s lifestyle website SheKnows.com. On the side she writes a health and fitness blog called To Live and Diet in L.A., which explores the hardcore world of Hollywood dieting, provides healthy recipes, and gives a behind the scenes look at what it’s like to interview celebrities. She is an Arizona native but is now proud to call California her home.