Winter weather is here, which means so is the cuffing season. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, cuffing season starts in late fall and continues through winter, and it’s a time of year when people become “cuffed” or romantically attached to someone for a short period.
Online dating apps are notoriously slow during this time of year, but perhaps you’ve lucked out, met someone, and talked long enough that the two of you have decided to meet in person. Building online connections and intimacy through text and phone calls before a meeting is common these days, which makes seeing each other in person for the first time nerve-racking for even the most confident individuals.
If you have a blind date coming up, there’s no doubt you want to look your best because when you look good, you feel good. Keep reading to learn all the bases you want to cover before meeting your romantic interest for the first time.
1. Perfect Setting
Blind dates are hard enough without making them more difficult with the wrong setting. The two of you should meet somewhere public for safety first. Additionally, you want your meeting place to be quiet; nothing can keep an organic conversation from flowing like too loud of a venue or too crowded. You want an environment where you can be comfortable and ready to listen to your date and share things about yourself.
2. The Devil’s in the Details
When it comes to a blind date, since this is the first time you two will see each other, your outfit and grooming are essential. While you want to wear something cute, you also want to be comfortable, so you don’t appear overeager and more confident when comfortable.
It’s a personal decision whether you want to go to a salon for a blowout or pay for a manicure before your date, but natural makeup and a spritz of your favorite perfume are essential. Indeed, looks aren’t everything, but you want to put your best foot forward the way you would for a job interview or meeting anyone else for the first time.
3. Roll With the Punches
It’s important to roll with the punches on a blind date. Chances are high that there will be things about your date that you didn’t expect and the same is true for you. While being catfished is rare, often nervous energy on a first date can prevent someone’s true personality from shining.
Roll with the awkwardness and be prepared to keep the conversation moving. If the date feels stagnant, but you’d like to continue confidently, suggest switching the venue, like going for a walk or heading from a coffee shop to a bar for a glass of wine to loosen things up.
4. Know When to Call It
On the flip side, there are many reasons why you want to cut your date short. For some, that could be as soon as they see their blind date sitting at the venue; if they have grossly misrepresented themselves, there is nothing wrong with unmatching and deciding not to meet.
You’ve never met this person, and you don’t owe them your time or explanations for why things shouldn’t move forward. This is not ghosting, which happens after time has been physically spent together and is best avoided. If you decide to sit down but your date is offensive, or anything else makes you feel uncomfortable, politely say that something has come up and you need to end your date. Never put yourself in a bad situation because you’re trying to be polite.
5. Being Respectful and Polite
When meeting someone for the first time, it’s important to be mindful of your personal behavior. Remember that your date is probably feeling just as uncomfortable as you are. To help put them at ease, practice good etiquette and be respectful and polite.
Start the date with a positive attitude—remember that everyone is worthy of respect and expect it in return. This can be done through small gestures such as smiling, maintaining eye contact and using courteous language when speaking. Reject criticism and negativity—judge based on actions rather than words as actions generally always speak louder than words. It’s also important to listen attentively to your date’s conversations without interrupting or joking around excessively.
Maintain an even temper throughout the date—avoid loudly laughing, raising your voice or being overly cheerful at times when it could make them uncomfortable in any way. Remind yourself that a blind date isn’t necessarily about finding love or long lasting romance but simply about getting to know someone new and building connections with interesting people along the way.
Be mindful of your body language by keeping an open posture during conversation, allowing free space between you two instead of invading their personal space with touches or hugs unless consented upon by both parties. Respectful behavior sets the tone for a pleasant experience for both parties involved so remember these tips to ensure that everything goes smoothly!
6. Leave on a Positive Note
If your date went well, you want to leave things positive when the two of you part. Dating these days in a world where it feels like our options are unlimited can sometimes close us off to potential partners, but by leaving things on a positive note, even if you felt mediocre about the encounter, you leave yourself open to possibly finding the right person for you.
Online and blind dating can feel nerve-wracking, but by keeping an open mind and utilizing the above essentials for your date, you can confidently put your best foot forward and eventually be lucky in love.
7. Following Up After the Date
As much as you may have enjoyed your date, it can still be difficult to determine the best course of action for following up. Part of being considerate is recognizing that everyone moves at different speeds in regards to getting to know one another. The best way to handle your post-date follow-up is by taking a step back and allowing some space for the other person to touch base with you if they’re interested.
If you had a great time, a text message or email expressing that can be appropriate, but remember that first dates should never be treated like job interviews; it is important to communicate authentically and respect their personal boundaries with regards to how much contact they prefer.
Sending another invitation for another date sometime soon after the first one can also be an option. Whatever course you decide on, ensure you check in with yourself regularly and don’t feel pressure from anyone else — your comfort level should always be top priority!