Preparing For Date Night
When we think of preparing for a first date, we think of choosing the perfect outfit – probably we need to go shopping or raid a girlfriend’s closet to find something new to wear. We think about fixing our hair just right, of doing our make-up like that YouTube tutorial we just watched. We think about the plans for the night – what restaurant we’ll go to, maybe what we’ll order (something that isn’t too messy!). Maybe we plan what we’ll do after dinner – do we want to see a movie? or go out dancing? or catch the live music at that coffeehouse down the street?
It makes sense to spend time preparing our plans and preparing our appearance. But are we missing some other key preparations for date night?
Here are 5 other things we can do to prepare for a first date:
1. Relax. Don’t put too much pressure on this first date. You aren’t living in a rom-com, and this doesn’t have to be the most romantic date ever. Keep things casual and simple with the goal of getting to know each other.
2. Prioritize your safety. Meet in a public place. Provide your own ride so you don’t have to be alone in a car with a stranger. Share your location with your best friend. And trust your gut – if you feel unsafe, end the date early.
3. Decide your boundaries. Before you find yourself in the position of making an on-the-spot decision or before you’re in a compromised situation, decide what your physical boundaries will be. Do you really want to hook up on the first date? Are you comfortable with even kissing on the first date? Know your own boundaries and honor those. If you’re feeling pressured to change your boundaries or if your boundaries aren’t respected, that’s a huge red flag – and probably this first date should be the last with that person.
4. Communicate your boundaries. Maybe it’s too awkward to straight up have a conversation about physical boundaries at the beginning of a first date, and maybe you don’t need to just yet. But if things start to get physical at all – if he’s comfortable touching your leg or putting his arm around you – or if he mentions going back to his place or yours, then it’s time to talk about boundaries and expectations. It’s important that you’re on the same page. And the only way to be on the same page is to talk about it. So be honest and speak up about what your limits are.
5. Plan to have fun, but be wise. The point of the date should be to have fun together. If you’re not having any fun, then maybe this guy isn’t second-date material. But it’s also important that you stay wise and in control of yourself. In order to best protect yourself from becoming too vulnerable, stay sober. If you’re drunk or high, you aren’t in the best position to maintain boundaries or keep yourself safe.
So go ahead – put on that hype playlist and try on all the outfits and fix your hair and makeup. But spend some time preparing for your safety and protection too. Because you deserve to look great and have fun, and you deserve to be safe and respected.