So you’ve scored a first date. Now what? Even the most seasoned serial monogamists have struggled with that first meeting, so it makes sense if you want a little help. 

After all, it’s challenging to understand etiquette, body language and other aspects of dating — especially if you don’t have much XP in this particular area. 

Luckily, you’re not alone. Here’s a straightforward walkthrough that will simplify things a little. 

Levels 1 Through 3

You’ve seized the opportunity to ask someone out, and they’ve agreed. Congratulations! You should feel good about yourself. That said, if this is your first time going on a date, you might be at a loss for where to go next. 

Fear not — just as with games, the geeks who’ve gone before you can offer a tutorial. 

Level 1: Preparing for Your Date

If you haven’t already picked the location for your date, now’s the time to decide. Remember to keep your and your date’s interests in mind when selecting the perfect spot to have your first date.

Because you both have geeky interests, picking a place that excites both of you should be relatively easy. You can mix in traditional options with some that align more closely with your interests for a list of options that may look like this:

  • Convention: A convention is the best place to see all the fandoms you both love up close! Opt for a smaller, local or one-day-only convention if you want a more casual date.
  • Arcade: What better way to express your love for video games than at an arcade? Remember not to get too competitive!
  • Park: If you and your date are more active, consider going for a traditional walk in the park. (Bonus points if you include Pokemon Go.)
  • Escape Room: Get to know your date on a problem-solving level by working your way out of a locked room together.
  • Restaurant: As surveyed by Plenty of Fish in 2018, most first dates that led to marriages were restaurant dates. This location gives you plenty of time to talk and get to know one another!
Would solving puzzles together make for a great first date? Hang on, what’s in this barrel?

Wherever you choose to go, if your date doesn’t play a role in selecting the location, let them know ahead of time to prepare an outfit fitting to the place. You wouldn’t cosplay to a restaurant, and you wouldn’t wear fancy clothes to the park!

Additionally, you should love and accept yourself fully, from your physical appearance to your most obscure interests. To give yourself a confidence boost on your date, pick an outfit that flatters your unique body type. Just don’t spend too much time in front of the mirror that you’re late for your date!

And as a side note, don’t follow all the dating advice you receive. It isn’t all good or suitable to your situation, and you should consider it only so much as it applies to your circumstances. 

Level 2: Going on the Date

If your date looks good, compliment them! Just don’t go too overboard with the compliments or it may come off as suffocating. Additionally, you should choose to compliment your date on traits that aren’t physical, such as their interests, their thoughts and ideas and their personality. They’ll likely be impressed with how thoughtful you are.

Talk to your date to put them at ease. Nobody likes going out with someone who doesn’t talk to them, and similarly, no one likes a date who hogs the conversation. Get to know your date by asking questions. (Pro tip: if you can’t think of something to talk about, direct the conversation to one of your shared interests.)

Additionally, you should put your phone away and keep it away. You might have mobile game notifications coming through, but unless it’s something your date is also interested in, you should turn on Do Not Disturb (the other DND!). Texting on a first date is the greatest pet peeve of a majority of people. Unless you’re on a date that calls for it, like battling in Pokemon Go raids, keep your phone out of sight.

“Damn these are some dank memes”

Level 3: After the Date

If your date has been going well and the other person seems up for it, you might consider a goodnight kiss. 67% of people kiss on the first date, so as long as both you and your date are comfortable with it, know that it’s a perfectly acceptable way to end the night.

It’s all right to call or text and make sure your date got home safely if you drove separately. Beyond that, don’t call or text too much, especially if you don’t get a quick response. Contacting your date too much may come off as too clingy and drive someone away, but if you had a lovely time, be sure to let them know you’re interested in seeing them again.

Level Up and Become a Dating Pro

Once you know what to expect during a first date, you’re ready to treat your sweetheart to the night of their life. With practice, you’ll understand the ins and outs of dating and defeat the only final boss standing in your way: insecurity. Just know that everyone’s cheering you on!

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