Six tips for a great first date

Georgina Carey, founder of dating platform At First Sight, shares her tips for making a great first impression

DATING: First dates can be awful – but they don't have to be

WHEN IT comes to dating, first dates can be the worst – but they don’t have to be. Georgina Carey, the founder of At First Sight, a new black-owned matchmaking service for Londoners, is on hand to help you navigate the nerves and avoid awkwardness. Here she shares her advice for making the best of a first date.

Make an effort

If you feel good in what you’re wearing, trust us, you’ll look good. Don’t stress too much about what to wear but do make sure you’re polished. Turning up in a shirt that clearly hasn’t been near an iron, or in shoes covered in dried mud, doesn’t make for a good first impression.

Be yourself

Can you tell when someone is trying too hard? We’ve all done it at some point due to nerves and/or insecurity. The person you’re meeting is probably just as nervous as you, so keep it simple. If you find something funny, laugh. If a question pops into your head, ask it. Want to put your best self forward? Try focusing on the positive attributes loved by your friends and family, and relax!

Address the awkwardness

First dates are awkward. It’s near impossible to avoid so just call it out. When you find yourself in the middle of an ear deafening pause, saying something like, “So, this is awkward. I’m sure there’ll be more awkward silences to come,” is a kind thing to do. Addressing the elephant in the room is always a good idea. It can help create a bond and it’s a great way to lead into some questions. Speaking of which…

Ask questions

We all like someone showing an interest in what we’re about. Start off by keeping it light. Do they have any Netflix recommendations? What music are they into? Do they cook? What’s their secret recipe? Do they know any good jokes? Listen and reciprocate to get the dialogue going, but keep it clean! You don’t know your date yet. Hold back on anything that could be seen as inappropriate or too personal.

Who pays?

At First Sight members don’t have to worry about figuring this out, as matches pay for dinner in advance. Members are however able to order extra food or drinks on the date, so we’re not completely immune to this conundrum. We live in an age where going dutch is a viable option and everyone at the table should come prepared to pay. Whatever you do, don’t fight over it. If they offer to pay and you’re comfortable with that, let them. But if you offer to pay half and they won’t let you, don’t fight about it to prove you’re nice, especially if it was a great night.

Next steps

Resist the temptation to rush in. It’s a good idea to think carefully about what you actually want before taking any action following a first date. How did the date actually go. Do they align with your values? Are they looking for the same thing as you? Were there any red flags? If you’re an At First Sight member, provided your match feels the same way, you can pause your membership while you find out more about each other. Who knows, this time next year you could be celebrating an anniversary.

Find out more about Georgina Carey’s matchmaking service At First Sight here.

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