Don’t leave love to chance – prepare for your big date to ensure it’ll be alright on the night. By Match.com’s relationship expert, Kate Taylor
1. Confirm the arrangements…
A quick email or text on the day – “Just confirming our plans. I’ll see you at the Rat & Carrot, Shoreditch, at 7.30 tonight. Looking forward to it. x” – is the easiest way to reassure yourself that you’ve got all the details correct AND that you won’t be stood up! (One of the most-common causes of dating anxiety.) Don’t fear that texting like this makes you appear over-keen – it simply shows you’re organised and thoughtful.
2. …And the table
If you’ve secured a table at a popular restaurant, call on the day to confirm your booking. Nothing’s worse than arriving with your date to discover you’ve been bumped. Also, confirm any events where your name is going on the guest-list, and any tickets booked through an app or website (call the venue directly).
3. Plan your journey
If you’re going somewhere new, research how you’re going to get there, and how long it’s likely to take at that time of day. And don’t forget the journey home too! There are great travel apps that give you public-transport updates straight to your phone. If you’ll be drinking on the date, check the last-train times, or ensure you have taxi money.
4. Check your bank balance
Dinner’s on you tonight? Then quickly check your available balance to make sure you can cover it. Draw out some cash too. We’ve all been caught short when an old, forgotten cheque finally leaves our account, or pay-day’s been delayed, but an important date isn’t the time to look chaotic with finances.
5. Print out tickets
Don’t leave it till the last minute – print them out early and put them straight into your wallet or purse. In fact, do it now. I’ll wait.
6. Plan your outfit early
As soon as your date’s confirmed, decide what to wear. That way, you’ll have time to ensure it’s clean and crease-free. Don’t be the dater who discovers their lucky shirt moulding in the laundry basket just as the taxi arrives, or has to run out at lunchtime to buy a new dress. Preparing your outfit early also leaves you time for any grooming (like fake-tan), minor repairs (like sewing on buttons) or buying accessories that’ll complete the look.
7. Tidy up
Always tidy your house before a date – you might be coming home with company. Never put yourself in a position where you have to end the evening on the pavement because your house is a health and safety hazard. While you’re tidying, make sure your bathroom cabinet is stocked with safe-sex supplies. Better to be presumptuous than sorry…
8. De-history your home
While you’re tidying, remove any signs of any exes. Photos, presents, notes on the calendar – hide, or remove. Even though you don’t notice these things any more, realise that a new partner will notice them straight away. Prune out any self-help books on your shelves with titles like Coping with Repeated Rejection, or Living Well Despite Excessive Sweating. And keep any embarrassing medications or toiletries in a lockable cabinet. New dates have been known to snoop.
9. Find things to talk about
Dating nerves can leave even the chattiest of us tongue-tied, so take time to read the paper or catch the news beforehand. Being up to date on current affairs shows you’re bright and interesting, and helps to keep the conversation off controversial topics like exes.
10. Plan the menu
If you’re on a diet, have allergies or are just really fussy, research the restaurant’s menu online so you can plan what to eat in advance. If you’re cooking at home, don’t be tempted to try out a new, complicated dish on the day. Do a test-run first, and serve it to your friends or flatmates. Prepare as much as you can beforehand, so your evening can be spent relaxing over the meal, not having a panic-attack in the kitchen.
>>We are offering a three day free trial for a limited time only. Sign up to match.com today