What are the Key Components of a Thoughtful Date?

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Having a successful first date can be a challenge. It can be nerve-wracking to plan the kind of date that shows you’re interested without looking as though you’re trying too hard. You have to think about the other person and what they would like to experience if you want to plan a thoughtful date. If your date is all about you rather than about the other person, it doesn’t qualify as a thoughtful date. Putting the other person first is the best way to make sure a date is thoughtful.  

Choose the right location

The location you choose will set the tone for the date. Don’t overcomplicate the date by arranging the perfect day out or a romantic picnic. A neutral, low-pressure public place is often best for a first date. Rather go out to a bar or a coffee shop than choose a very expensive restaurant and find you don’t click at all. A coffee date or meeting for a drink at a bar allows you to get to know the person a little better without any pressure. If you don’t hit it off, you can leave after one drink. If you do hit it off, you can always go on to have a meal together. 

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Wear suitable clothes

It only takes a few seconds for someone to form their first impression. You should try to look good for your date. This doesn’t mean going overboard, but you should at least shower and look decent. The way you dress will also depend on where the date takes place. Don’t dress too formerly if you’re just going to a coffee shop or to a bar. Wearing a formal suit will make it look as if you’re trying too hard.  

It isn’t the right time to try out a tight-fitting dress or stilettos for the first time, either. You can still look well put together in clothing you’re comfortable wearing. First dates can be uncomfortable enough without wearing uncomfortable clothes too. Once you’re on your date, you should forget about your appearance and focus on getting to know the other person. 

Arrive on time

It’s disrespectful to keep someone waiting for a first date. Give yourself enough time to prepare and try to arrive at your destination about 10 to 15 minutes early. If you are unavoidably delayed, send a text message to let the person know. If you just pitch up late, the person is likely to have an unfavorable first impression of you that will be hard to overcome. 

Offer a polite compliment

Don’t start off by telling your date that they have a nice butt. Offer a polite but more neutral compliment on what they’re wearing, or you could start the date off on a really bad note. Just saying that the person looks really nice is acceptable. Empty compliments won’t impress, and if you can’t say something genuine, don’t say it at all. 

Don’t dominate the conversation or talk about past relationships

Don’t ramble on about yourself without allowing your date to get a word in. If your date shares something or asks you a question, reply by asking them the same question or sharing a similar story. This helps to keep the conversation two-sided. A one-sided conversation may come off as an interrogation rather than a conversation. 

Asking or talking about your exes is a great way to ruin a first date. You aren’t sure whether your date is comfortable talking about an ex. If you talk about your ex, you could give the impression you aren’t over the relationship. 

Be respectful

Listen carefully to what your date has to say and ask suitable questions. If you get distracted or obsessively check your phone, this is disrespectful. There is nothing worse than trying to have a conversation with someone who is distracted. 

Respecting someone’s boundaries with regard to touching is another important aspect of a thoughtful date. Any touching on a first date should generally be a natural gesture, like helping a date out of the car. Don’t even attempt a kiss or more without making sure your date is happy with this. Anything that’s mutually respectful is okay.  

Go for it if your date wants to split the check

It’s a nice gesture to treat your date but be open to splitting the check. Today it is often the person who arranges the date who pays for it. If your date objects to you paying, say that you’re willing to go split the check on your next date, but you would like to pay for this first one. The most important thing to remember on a first date is to respect the other person’s wishes.