Unless you are the luckiest woman ever to walk this earth, you’ve probably had a bad date. Plus, when you meet someone online, it’s even harder to gauge how much you’ll enjoy it or even if you’ll hit it off at all. But luckily, science is on your side. Dating apps have done some major research into what works and what doesn’t on a first date. While it can’t save you from them talking with their mouth full, it might at least give you the best chance of it not being a total car crash. (Have a friend ready with an escape call though, just in case.)
Over to you, science:
The set up
A scary amount of people (81%)in their profiles, and that leads to some very awkward first dates. Keep things honest and you’ll avoid any uncomfortable surprises on the night.
First of all, wear what you want and most importantly, what makes you feel confident. If they don’t love you the way you are, they should probably go in the bin anyway. But if you’re feeling indecisive, studies have shown that black makes us feellike it. While red may be associated with passion, it’s also . But don’t force yourself into a sleek, all-black outfit if you’re going to spend the entire night feeling like an emo mime.
When it comes to dating convo, people are throwing out the rule book, thank god. While historically people have been told to veer away from the big topics like politics, a study from last year found that 80% of daters thought talking politics, religion, and even money was totally. Which makes sense, because you want to learn about the deal-breaker issues right away. The bad topics? Only 14% of people want to talk exes on a first date and, sorry football fans, but less than 25% give an F about your sports passions. Stick to what really matters.
The phones have to go. I know, they can help you feel less nervous, but when your date is around they need to be gone. A survey from last year found that 75% of daters found answering your phone a turnoff and more than half didn’t even want to see your phone face up on the table. (Honestly, seeing you pretend not to be glancing at your notifications is really annoying.) In fact, 45% of daters thought that keeping your phone off and away was a turn on. So, at the very least, save it for when your date is in the bathroom.
If a date’s going well, you might not want it to end — but a bad date can make you feel like time has stopped. Not sure how long it should last? Match’s Singles in America survey found that there’s. If you get carried away talking, that’s great, but don’t be afraid to bow out while it’s still going well. If you’re both still feeling frisky rather than fizzled, it’ll keep the goodbyes from being too awkward.
Saying all that, if the date you’re on feels perfect for you, then you can totally ignore all of this and just go with your gut. But for a lot of us (including myself, hi!) first dates are nerve-wracking. And if you find them super difficult, it can be really helpful to have science on your side.
This post originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.co.uk.
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