Ten Tips to Make it a Great First Date

By Tess Challis
Author of Food Love: Nourishing Yourself, Your Family, and the Planet

So, you’re feeling hopeful about this new person, and want to make sure it’s a really good first date? Yay! Here are ten tips for a great first date.

  1. Look your best. Here’s a cliché for you that’s always true: “You never get another chance to make a first impression.” I don’t care how much your date “should” like the real you, it’s absolutely imperative that you look nice, shower, and wear something appropriate—thus, you’ll show them that you care enough to make a good impression.
  1. Check your breath (and your teeth). Especially on a first date, you don’t want to have cilantro in your teeth or garlic breath. There are even nice, natural breath sprays you can purchase! Give your mouth a little spray before you meet, and glance at your teeth in the mirror—then, you’ll be good to go, especially if there’s a kiss at any point.
  1. Be on time. Aim to be right on time–not too early, and definitely not late.
  1. Be cautiously optimistic. Is it going well? That’s fantastic! This person just might be the love of your life. Feel free to be excited and optimistic and do a happy dance on the inside—but keep it in check. If you get way too excited way too quickly, you’ll run the risk of seeming desperate and scaring them off. Be yourself, be excited, be present—but pace yourself and let it unfold naturally.
  1. Think “friend with potential.” It puts a lot of pressure on the whole situation if you’re wondering “Is this the one?” the whole time. Rather than do that, think about the person you’re going to spend time with as a new friend. Perhaps there will be a lasting love connection. Perhaps not. But either way, looking at them with friend-eyes in the beginning is a way of extending kindness to both yourself and the other person, as well as removing pressure.
  1. Choose a “first-datey” venue. Not 110% sure you want to spend a whole evening with this new person? That’s quite smart, actually. Your best bet is to choose a place with an escape route. For example, don’t do a weekend trip to the coast as your first date activity. Instead, choose something with an “out” if needed. If you’re not really feeling it after a cup of tea and an hour of conversation, it’s OK to part ways. Make that first date short and sweet. Coffee or tea houses are perfect. Then, if you’re having a great time after an hour or two and want to continue, go to dinner—and maybe dancing!
  1. Ask questions. Nothing’s worse on a first date than someone who doesn’t seem interested in you (and only talks about themselves). Don’t be that person. Ask questions, and listen to their responses. You’ll seem much more charming that way—and you’ll learn important stuff about your date.
  1. Make eye contact. Are you shy? That’s completely OK! Just don’t be so shy that you’re not making eye contact. It can easily be misinterpreted as disinterest or poor social skills. Be brave! Look that cutie in the eye! And have fun with it.
  1. Plan a follow-up date. Did you have a great time? Yay! That’s so awesome. Now, don’t drop the ball—make plans for next time!
  1. Going really, really well? Behave yourself, kittens. In the words of “Millionaire Matchmaker” Patti Stanger, “no sex before monogamy.” Yes, you’re having an amaaazing time. Yes, that is super awesome. But, don’t rush into things too quickly, or you may ruin something that could be lasting and even more amazing. Some things are better when they have time to develop. Besides, making out like teenagers is totally underrated.

We hope these tips will help you make the most of your Veg Speed Date experience — and hopefully connect with someone wonderful! Find out where the next Veg Speed Date event is located and be sure to sign up in advance, as seats sell out early!

You can also check out this guide on what to expect at your first Veg Speed Date event.

Tess Challis is a vegan chef, wellness coach, and five-time cookbook author and can be found on tesschallis.com. She’s a big fan of Veg Speed Date as well, and hopes to host an event soon!