Going on a first date can be exhilarating, nerve-wracking and everything in between. Whether you’re a seasoned dater or it's your first time dipping your toes in the dating pool, there’s always a sense of anticipation and excitement before that first meeting. While you may have already picked out the perfect outfit and planned out just how the day will look like, have you taken the time to ask yourself what is it that you really want?
Self-reflection is the key to making a great first impression and establishing a better connection with your date. Not only can it give you more clarity on what you’re looking for, but you’ll also show up as your best self.
This handy list of questions to ask yourself before a first date aim to help you feel more confident and prepared. From figuring out your deal breakers to what makes you unique, these questions will help you prepare for a successful and enjoyable first date, no matter what your dating goals are.
What am I looking for?
This question can help set expectations immediately and prevent any misunderstandings. Knowing what kind of relationship you're hoping to find can help ensure that both people are on the same page. According to Tinder’s Year in Swipe Report 2022, 'situationship' is the new fun, honest, stress-free way to enjoy the benefits of a relationship with clarity of intentions and less pressure.
Am I comfortable in my own skin?
It can be easy to put up barriers when meeting someone new, but it can be difficult to truly enjoy the experience if you don't feel comfortable and confident. Take some time to think about how comfortable you are with yourself before heading out on a date. Embrace your inner quirks, be unapologetic about them and don’t be afraid to wear your heart on your sleeve.
What are the boundaries I feel comfortable setting before I meet up?
Establishing clear boundaries sets expectations between two people, so it is vital that each one feels comfortable communicating what they are willing or unwilling to do beforehand if they want a positive experience together. Green flags like mutual interests, social values and respectful behaviour are the new 'turn-on'. As per a recent Tinder survey (conducted by YouGov through a sample of 1,018 Indians between 18-30 years of age, across Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai, and Hyderabad), 50% young Indian adults said discussing boundaries explicitly is a green flag for them.
How can I make myself feel safe and have fun?
If you're meeting someone new and unknown, it'll be helpful to think about what you need to feel safe and also what you can do to make your match feel safe as well. Many people will share their location with friends/loved ones beforehand. To feel safe while you have fun, you can also opt for more creative, authentic and sober ways to get to know one another – hit up a karaoke night, grab a coffee, or plan a trivia night.
What qualities do I value in a potential partner?
It's important to identify which qualities are most important to you so that when someone catches your eye, you'll know whether they align with your values or not. In fact, Tinder’s Modern Dating Dictionary revealed that finding a Value Match is the latest dating trend in 2023. Know beforehand what matters to you and what your deal breakers are in finding a partner and don't be afraid to say it. This not only ensures a fun date but also saves you from fleabagging in the long run.
What 'pep talk' can I give myself before going on that date?
Instead of asking, "Will they like me?" switch to "Will I like them?". A simple wordplay to shift the 'being chosen' mindset towards ascertaining whether you want to spend more time with someone can be an empowering and practical approach to building self-esteem. Let the 'main character energy' kick in as you become ineffably in charge of your happiness.
Dr. Chandni Tugnait is a life coach and Tinder’s relationship expert.