You took a chance on finding love through online dating and you met someone! Now, it’s time to go on the first date. If you’re like most Catholic singles, you may be a little (okay, a lot) nervous. After all, messaging someone online and meeting them in person are two totally different experiences. While the computer screen can serve as a safety net, a real first date can be a little scary.
Even if you’ve covered a lot of material and gotten comfortable with this new person, all that may fall to the wayside when butterflies appear. You have probably read many ideas of what you should do on a first date, but do you know what not to do? Catholic dating is exciting and effective, but it’s important to know what specific things to avoid on that first date.
Check out the suggestions of what NOT to do below and walk into your first date confident and relaxed, ready for a fantastic first date night!
1. Don’t meet in a private setting
Your Catholic dating experience should be a safe experience, and your first date should be a safe experience, too. Regardless of how comfortable your online dating experience has been with this man or woman, the truth is you don’t know them.
Sure, you may know their life story and what their favorite meal is, but you never really know a person until you’ve met and spent time with them off the screen. Instead of meeting at his or her place, plan your first date somewhere public.
Need some inspiration? Say hello in person for the first time at a chill restaurant, a public park, or a coffee shop.
2. Don’t drink too much
Sipping on a glass of wine or beer isn’t a bad thing. Just make sure you’re not downing several margaritas before dinner is even on the table. Alcohol may be great for calming nerves, but it can backfire if you indulge too much. You want to be clear headed on your first date and have your wits about you.
If you’re meeting someone for the first time, you want to be totally present. If you’re drinking too much, you won’t be able to truly get to know someone, and they won’t be able to get to know you, either.
3. Don’t arrive late to your first date
It’s important to be punctual to your first date. Arriving late can show that you don’t value the other person’s times as much as your own. To help calm your nerves, a great idea is actually to arrive a bit early to a date. Park your car, take a breather, say a prayer and then go in.
If you get to your first date early, this will make sure you’re not the person leaving your date wondering if they’ve been stood up. Being late is bad taste, and tacky is not how you want your first date in person to be. Make sure to leave your place early enough to allow time for traffic and unforeseen events. Arrive on time and you’ll be off to a great start.
4. Don’t act distracted
Maybe you’re the world’s best multi-tasker and can listen to someone talk while replying to work emails. But when it comes to a first date, all distractions need to be left behind. Turn your phone off and focus on your date. This is about you and them, not the people in your phone or the activity across the coffee shop.
The person you’re going out with has likely put a lot of thought and effort into this meet up too. They’re excited to have this time to share real conversation with you. Respect their time and their dignity and be fully present in the present moment with them.
5. Don’t dominate the conversation
Online dating can be exhilarating, especially after you’ve found someone you really click with. Catholic dating can be particularly fun because there are so many common factors to share with each other.
But when it comes to your first conversations off the screen, it’s just as important (and sometimes more so!) to listen as it is to talk. Even if you are bursting at the seams with things to share, make sure you’re giving the other person plenty of time to do the same.
Listen with intent and ask questions so that they know you care about what they are saying. If you spend the entire first date talking about yourself, chances are you’ll be the only one at the table enjoying yourself, and that doesn’t bode well for a first date.
6. Don’t talk about your ex
There is a time and place to talk about the person in your life who hurt you. Your past relationships can be a sensitive topic and that’s why good friends are there to listen. A first date, however, is not the time to share all about relationships that have gone wrong.
This first date is all about newness and starting off fresh. There are so many things about yourself and your life that you can share. Focus on the positive and uplifting for now. Find common interests and unique things that catch each other’s interests. Leave talking about the ex with your friends or spiritual director.
The person you’re sitting across the table from wants to get to know you, not the person you are no longer dating.
Have a great first date!
The Catholic dating world is an exciting place to be right now. So many people are on fire about the faith, and online dating makes it easy to meet other singles who share your faith and values.
When you’ve met someone and are ready to take things offline, make sure you’re prepared for a great first date. Knowing what to do (and what not to do!) can make for not just a good first date, but a great one!
Ready to meet someone to take on that first date? Trust your love story to the original Catholic dating site! Thousands of single Catholic men and women are already on Catholic Singles. Make your online profile with Catholic Singles today!