Help! I’m going on a first date. What should I do?
First dates can be intimidating, especially if you’ve never met, or have had minimal face-to-face contact. Relax, take a deep breath and follow some of these tips to help you through.
Take the stress out of the “first date” with humor, practical thinking and, above all, a positive attitude. Have no expectations, and welcome the contact even if he or she only becomes a new friend!
Do an attitude check. Don’t fantasize or romanticize before the first date. I was super-guilty of this one in my younger years. I would get so excited that I’d already planned the wedding and the honeymoon even before a first date.
Luckily, with age comes more grounded thinking. It’s also important to check if you’re ready for dating after a divorce or a loss. The new person deserves a fresh shot and unbiased opinions with no comparisons – positive or negative – to your ex- or late partner.
On our very first date, Marvin told me that I looked just like his dead ex-wife. If that wasn’t enough of a turnoff, he added that he keeps her ashes on his bedside table.
On my friend Debbie’s first date, she told Henny Youngman one-liners all night. So, it’s good advice to try your jokes out on other people before you try them out on a first date, and limit them.
My colleague Allan went on a date with a woman who described her mood swings as she downed pills during dinner. Another friend, Warren, listened sympathetically about his date’s financial problems for several hours. Then he ran for the hills.
As mature daters, we carry a lot of baggage. Don’t unload it on the first date. Keep the conversation light yet interesting. It’s the perfect opportunity to explore common interests with your date.
You’re all smart cookies and will navigate the first date well when you have a positive attitude, a doze of rational thinking and adjust your expectations. Happy dating!
For more “Do’s and Don’ts,” check out Sylvia’s boomer dating guide and workbook in my novella “Suddenly Single Sylvia.” The guide is based on a team of dating and singles experts as well my own personal experience of dating after divorce and loss.
Have you been on a first date after losing your partner or going through a divorce? What was it like for you? Could you have done things differently? What dating advice can you offer the senior singles in our community? Share your first date experiences below as well as pitfalls to avoid.
Tags Senior Dating Advice
He and I are recent friends, but two days ago he kissed me and it shocked me. I am a recent widow but have been married ALL my life. I like this guy a lot; today he is coming for dinner and I am about to have a nervous breakdown. Dinner is fine; conversation is scaring me. Help.
Relax, Smile, Be Yourself, and Enjoy like they are your best friend you haven’t seen for years. Ask questions that are easy, breezy, light in nature (don’t be deep or overly personal). Be happy, show it, and say it, “I’m so happy to meet you!” (with big natural smile).