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First Date Jitters?

Eliza’s Guide to Nailing Your First Online Date

Dear Eliza, I’m gearing up for my first date with someone I met online and have been texting for the past two weeks. I’m feeling quite jittery and uncertain about how to proceed. Could you please provide me with some guidance and share the essential dos and don’ts for a successful first date? Thank you, A very anxious friend of yours

Letter from Eliza:

Dear Anxious Friend, 

Congratulations on taking the leap into the world of online dating! The excitement and anticipation of a first date can indeed be nerve-wracking, but fret not; I’m here to help. As requested, here are a few dos and don’ts to make your first date a memorable one.

The Dos:

  1. Be Yourself – First and foremost, be authentic. Authenticity is incredibly attractive. Just be you, and let your genuine self shine through. Remember, your date is interested in getting to know the real you, not a carefully crafted persona.
  2. Choose a Comfortable Location – Opt for a location where you feel comfortable and at ease. It could be a cozy coffee shop, a scenic park, or a casual restaurant. Picking a comfortable spot can help alleviate first-date jitters.
  3. Dress to Impress, but Stay True to You – Dress in a way that makes you feel confident, but don’t go overboard. Wear something that represents your style and personality. Confidence often comes from feeling comfortable in your own skin.
  4. Arrive on Time – Punctuality matters. Arriving on time shows respect for your date’s schedule and sets a positive tone for the evening.
  5. Engage in Active Listening – Listen actively when your date is speaking. Show genuine interest in their stories, ask follow-up questions, and maintain eye contact. This demonstrates that you value what they have to say.
  6. Keep the Conversation Balanced – Strike a balance between sharing about yourself and asking about your date. It’s a two-way street, and both of you should have an opportunity to contribute to the conversation.
  7. Be Respectful and Courteous – Respect is non-negotiable. Be polite, use good manners, and treat your date with kindness and consideration. It’s not only about creating a great first impression but also about being a decent human being.

The Don’ts:

  1. Don’t Overwhelm with TMI – While it’s essential to be open, avoid oversharing extremely personal or negative details on a first date. Keep the conversation positive and light-hearted.
  2. Don’t Bring Up Exes – Refrain from discussing past relationships, especially in-depth conversations about your exes. This is a first date, and your focus should be on the present.
  3. Don’t Overdo It with Your Phone – Resist the temptation to constantly check your phone during the date. It’s distracting and sends the message that your date isn’t a priority.
  4. Don’t Rush Things – Take the time to get to know your date. Don’t rush into heavy topics or discussions about the future. Let the connection develop naturally.
  5. Don’t Be Impersonal – Avoid generic or rehearsed conversation topics and compliments. Instead, be specific and genuine in your interactions.
  6. Don’t Drink Too Much – If you choose to have alcohol, do so in moderation. Overindulging can lead to sloppy behavior and poor decision-making.
  7. Don’t Push for Physical IntimacyRespect your date’s boundaries and avoid pressuring them for physical intimacy. Consent and comfort are paramount.

Remember, first dates are about getting to know each other and deciding if there’s potential for a second date. Be yourself, stay relaxed, and enjoy the journey of discovering someone new. Good luck, and I can’t wait to hear all about your fantastic first date!

With warm wishes,


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