As you will know from the first blog post, I have started dating again after a couple of years of being single. Over the last couple of days, I've been thinking about how my first date went and thought I would post a few points on what I have learnt:

1 – Don't go somewhere pricey for the first date

Now, this isn't because I'm a tight a*se, but because now that I am dating, I'm hoping to meet a few new people a month. If I take each one out to the best restaurants available, it's going to be a pretty bloody expensive time! The last thing I want to happen is to get a 2nd date then be like "oh, it will have to be next month as I've spent all my money on first dates!"

2 – Don't go for a meal together

Although it may sound like a good idea, I found that I didn't enjoy the meal as much as I should have done and it also took me agggeeesss to eat my food. It’s obviously not polite to talk with your mouth full so every time I spoke, I wasn't eating, and I like to talk. It also limits eye contact as the focus is on the food so it can feel a little impersonal.

3 – Don't drink alcohol

Before the date, I made a conscious decision to only have a couple of drinks, which I did. However, looking back, I still felt this clouded my judgement somewhat and it's only 3 or 4 days after the date that I'm able to look back and see that.

4 – Don't dwell on the date for days on end afterwards and be realistic

Now this is kind of what I have done, and it hasn't been fun. Take the date for what it is, a way to meet a new person and see if you get on. You'll know if you have some kind of connection and you'll also know if you don't. I really enjoyed my date but it was one date and is too early to form a proper opinion of someone and nearly impossible to decide if that person is going to turn into a long-term relationship.

5 – Call, don't text

I didn't know what the best way of getting in contact was after the first date so decided texting would be the best method. Whilst it is sometimes easier to put down words in a text, it drags out a process that should take a 5 minute phone call and turns it into a 2 day texting session, plus you'll end up sitting staring at your phone waiting for a reply. In the future, I'll call my date the next day and be honest – if I had a great time I'll tell her, if I didn't, I tell her (nicely obviously). A phone call also stops the other person avoiding any questions such as "Do you want to go out again?”
I'll leave it at those 5 points. You might find them helpful, you might not. Everyone is different and will ultimately do whatever they feel is right for them and their date. I'm hoping that some of the things I've learnt from my first date will help me in my future dates!

Read Martin's next post: Online dating (with a recruitment analogy!)