How To Prevent An Awkward First Date

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Getting ready for a first date is never easy. Between the expectations, nervousness and excitement it usually doesn't go as planned. In fact, a first date is often awkward and a bit uncomfortable. After all, you're getting to know someone for the first time. Instead of worrying about the possibility of the date going wrong, take a look at 15 easy ways you can make your first date less awkward and more of a success! The Frisky: Do You Celebrate Your "Dating Anniversary"?

1. Do an activity you can enjoy together: Go with what you know. If you both like the outdoors, try going for a walk or biking through a nearby park together. Animal lovers? Maybe a trip to the zoo? After all, when was the last time you had a good excuse to go? Athletic? Maybe try taking a yoga class together or going bowling. Like to dine? Try wine tasting, but just make sure you don't drink too much!

2. Wear something you're comfortable in: Trying to pull off a new trend or wearing something you don't feel confident in on a first date might make you feel more nervous. When it comes to dates, you're always better under-dressed than over-dressed. Wearing jeans and a nice shirt is always a smart way to go. Heels or no heels, you'll always look put-together.

3. Don't go anywhere too fancy: Going to a fancy restaurant on a first date might make you feel like you have to be on your best behavior, making you tense up rather than just be yourself. Fancy means pricey, and pricey can make anyone on a date feel uncomfortable if they can't afford it.

4. Stay away from loud places: A first date is all about getting acquainted with the other person and learning about them. However, you can't learn much if you can't hear what they are saying.

5. Do your research: We’re not saying every first date you’re going to go on will involve birth control, but never let yourself be unprepared. If it comes to it, there are a lot of ways to avoid an awkward night or morning after. Bedsider.org is a hugely helpful resource to get more information on which birth control method is right for you, giving you one less thing to have to worry about on your date. If you already have it figured out, it’ll probably be a huge relief to your date too! At Bedsider, you can find your perfect method, set up a reminder to take your birth control consistently in a way that isn’t annoying or cheesy. You can get a ton of information on common myths and do a zip code search to find a medical provider who can help you find the best method for you. And with all of that out of the way, you’ll be free to actually enjoy your date in the moment!

6. Steer clear of the movie theater: Taking in a new movie that you both want to see is always a good idea, but unless you're going to do something before or after, it does not leave much room for conversation. Maybe try a cute place for dessert after the movie. This way you can indulge in something tasty and have something to talk about too. The Frisky: 11 Reasons Not To Call Him Back

7. Stay classy: There is a fine line between flirting with someone and propositioning them. If the other person on the date is not as sexually inclined, it might make them feel pressured or uncomfortable and ultimately uninterested. If they flirt with you too, maybe the date can turn into a passionate evening. Unless the intention of this date is to get a steady booty call, stick to flirting.

8. Never bring up past relationships: Everyone comes with baggage, but if you're trying to start something new, the last thing your new date wants to hear about is whom you were with before. Keep your past love life out of the conversation. An ex is an ex for a reason, and now you're on to someone new.

9. Instead of going to dinner, meet for a drink: Sitting with someone for a full meal that you may not exactly be interested in can be difficult. If you grab a drink and realize the chemistry is there, that can always lead to grabbing a bite to eat afterward. But if you realize the chemistry simply isn't there, going for a drink makes the time together less awkward and allows you to leave and get back to the single world again.

10. Be yourself, nobody is perfect: There is a difference between a job interview and a date. On an interview maybe it's best to keep it professional, but when it comes to dating, it is OK to be quirky sometimes. After all, we're all different and kooky in our own individual ways. Your true colors will come out eventually, so why hide them at the beginning?

11. Offer to split the bill: While chivalry may be dead, some men still feel they should pay for their date. Yet, with today's economy the way that it is, not only is it unfair to have this expectation, it can make the date very awkward. Plus, you don't want to feel obligated to go on a second date simply because he paid for the first one.

12. Don't drink too much: No one likes a sloppy, drunken mess, especially not on a first date. The way you compose yourself can either make the date go smoothly or simply make it a mess. You want to walk out of the date looking forward to the next one, not looking forward to getting up close and personal with your toilet bowl. The Frisky: 10 Mistakes You Shouldn't Make On A First Date (That I May Have Made In My Life)

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13. Take a breather: Just because there is an awkward moment of silence here or there doesn't mean the date is destined for doom. Sometimes silence can lead to a cute moment of eye contact or just a second to simply digest all you've spoken about. Would you rather take a minute to appreciate what your date had to say or listen to them chatting away with constant meaningless conversation?

14. Learn how to leave appropriately: If it is really that bad and you can't fathom sitting at the table with your date for another minute, at least be respectful and leave courteously. Anyone can be nice if they are having fun. However, it is when someone becomes bored, uncomfortable, or angry that their true colors come out. Instead of being rude, simply excuse yourself and explain that you have to get home, thank them for the date and get back out into the single world.

15. Don't talk badly about people: You never know who your date knows, so be careful who and what you talk about. Like they say, if you don't have something nice to say, don't say it at all. No one likes people who only have negative things to say.

16. Remember your manners: From the day you could talk, your parents probably taught you to always say please and thank you and treat others the way you wish to be treated. If you're polite, you'll be sure to leave a good impression. Whereas, if you're not, your terrible manners may make your date feel embarrassed and not want to date you again.

By Carli Alexa Blau for The Frisky