How to Prepare For a Date

Whether you’ve been in the dating game for a while or are getting ready for your first date, your date can go great with a little preparation. To get ready to leave, clean your home and car, pick out a great outfit, and do your hair and makeup. To have a wonderful date, bring some cash with you, show up on time, and be attentive to your date. If you get nervous, take some deep breaths and try not to worry!


[Edit]Planning for the Date

  1. Talk to your date about the details of your plans. Ask your date when they are free to get together. There are plenty of ways to have fun together whether this is your first date or you are going out with your steady boyfriend or girlfriend. Do this in person or over the phone.
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    • You can meet for coffee, get drinks at a bar, or talk over brunch. Or, you can see a movie or play, go for a hike or bike ride, watch the sunset together, or have a picnic. The possibilities are endless!
  2. Discuss food preferences if you’re going out to eat. To prepare for a great night, ask your date what their favorite types of food include. Ask them if they have any food allergies or types of food they really dislike. Then, offer your food preferences to your date so you can find the perfect place to go.[1]
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    • Working together to pick a restaurant ensures both of you really enjoy the date.
    • If your date has a shellfish allergy, you don’t want to take them to a seafood house!
  3. Look over showtimes if you are taking your date to the movies. To plan your movie date, first, ask your date what kind of movies they prefer. Search online for movies currently playing and upcoming showtimes. If you aren’t familiar with the movies, watch the trailer to get a sense of the plot.
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    • If your date really hates scary movies, they may not enjoy the most recent slasher film.
  4. Find a local state park to take a walk for an active date idea. A great way to get to know your date is by taking a stroll together through the park. If your date is into active activities, look for a long trail to hike on. If your date doesn’t hike often, consider a loop that is or so.
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    • Most state parks have trail maps online, so you can easily plan your route and impress your date.
  5. Confirm the time and location the morning of your date. On the day of your get together, call or text your date to check in. Make sure the time you suggested to meet works for both of you, and confirm the location of your date. This way, you both can easily change the plans if need be.[2]
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    • For example, say something like, “Does 7:30 at Kava work for you?” or “Just checking if you’re still able to meet at 6:00 tonight. I can pick you up if you need.”
  6. Look up the directions before you leave so you can show up on time. Use the navigation system on your smartphone or search online to find out how far your meeting place is from your home. This way, you can leave your home in time. When going on a date, you always want to be on time so you can set a good impression.[3]
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    • For instance, if you are meeting your date at the restaurant, search online to figure out how far away the restaurant is.
    • If you are driving you and your date, look up how far you are from their home.
    • If you think you are going to be late, call or text your date and let them know you are running behind. This way, they don’t mistakenly think you are irresponsible or aren’t going to show up.
  7. Bring cash with you to cover the bill if need be. To make your date feel special, you can offer to pay for the meal and/or activities. It is not polite to expect the date to pay, so have some money on you just in case. Offer to pay when you are checking out or when the bill comes.[4]
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    • Aim to have $50-$150 (£38.09-114.28) or so, depending on the nature of the date.
    • For example, if your date pays for dinner, offer to pay for dessert.
  8. Tidy up your home if your date is picking you up. About 1-2 days before the date, spend some time cleaning up your home. Vacuum or mop the floors, put away dirty dishes, and straighten up any clutter. This way, you can make a great first impression when they show up.[5]
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    • You can light a candle or burn incense so your home smells wonderful.
  9. Clean out your car if you are driving your date around. If you are picking up your date, make sure your car is clean and presentable. Bring any extra clothing or items into your home, throw away any garbage, and wipe off any dust or dirt. This way, you’ll make a great first impression on the way to your date.[6]
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    • To be polite, open the car door for your date when you pick them up.

[Edit]Looking Your Best

  1. Exfoliate your face the night before your date to brighten your face. In addition to maintaining a regular skincare routine, use an exfoliator cream to cleanse your skin 1 day before the date. Squeeze out a dime-size amount of exfoliator, and rub it over your cheeks, forehead, chin, and nose in small, circular motions. Then, rinse off the exfoliator completely with warm water. This way, your skin may look soft and blemish-free.[7]
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    • After you exfoliate your skin, it is helpful to apply moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated. Use a dime-size amount or so to cover your face.
  2. Aim to get 8 hours of sleep the night before your date. Getting enough sleep prevents dark under-eye circles and wrinkles, and you’ll look refreshed and radiant. Sleeping well helps you look your best, so you can feel confident on the day of your date.[8]
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    • To help you sleep better, try listening to relaxing music or nature sounds as you fall asleep. Additionally, try drinking chamomile tea to help you relax.
  3. Shower or take a bath before your date so you are fresh and clean. Washing before the date ensures you smell and look your best. Use a body wash to scrub your skin, and wash your hair with shampoo and/or conditioner.[9]
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  4. Shave so your skin is soft and smooth. To look your best, you might want to shave in addition to showering. Use shaving cream to cover the skin liberally, and use a fresh, sharp razor to shave as close as possible. Be careful as you do this to avoid cutting yourself. After you shave, rinse off any remaining shaving cream, and pat your skin dry. Then, apply aftershave or body lotion to keep your skin soft.
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  5. Brush your teeth and use mouthwash so your breath is fresh. Before you leave for the date, be sure to brush your teeth for 2 minutes to prevent bad breath. Swish a little mouthwash for 30 seconds or so as a final, minty touch. This way, you can talk comfortably knowing your breath is fresh and clean.[10]
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    • If you are going out to eat, it is helpful to carry mints in your pocket or purse. Pop one into your mouth after your meal to freshen your breath.
  6. Pick out an attractive, flattering outfit that makes you feel confident. You can choose your outfit the day before your date. Try on a few options so you can pick the one that fits you the best. Make sure your outfit is appropriate for your particular date and the weather forecast. What you wear can determine your date’s impression of you, so choose items that make you feel fabulous![11]
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    • If you’re going to a new restaurant in town, you can wear a casual suit or a cute new dress.
    • If you are going to the movies, wear something stylish yet casual. Choose jeans that fit well and a nice button-down or a tunic shirt and leggings, for instance.
    • If you are going for a hike, wear athletic shorts and a casual tank or T-shirt.
  7. Wear a comfortable pair of shoes that are appropriate for your date. If you are uncomfortable during the date, you may not feel your best, and your date may notice. To prevent being uncomfortable, it is helpful to choose comfortability over appearance. If you want a dressy footwear option, go with dress shoes like Oxfords, flats, or kitten heels. If you choose to rock a pair of pumps or stilettos, ensure you are comfortable wearing them for a long time.[12]
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    • For example, you can wear a pair of flats with your little black dress for a comfortable yet cute option.
    • If going on a casual date, consider wearing flats, sneakers, or ankle boots.
    • If you planned an active date, wear hiking sandals or running shoes.
  8. Style your hair based on your particular date. Consider the nature of your date when doing your hair. If you have short hair, you can comb it back and use a little gel to keep it in place. If you have long hair, you can create curls or waves by scrunching your hair with gel. These looks are great for dinner or movie date.[13]
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    • If you are going for a hike or playing a sport, tie long hair into a ponytail or bun instead.
  9. Apply makeup if you want to enhance your features. To look glamorous on your date, highlight your natural features with a minimal makeup look. Apply foundation to even out your skin tone and use a brow pencil to fill in your eyebrows. Draw eyeliner on your upper eyelid to add definition to your eyes. Go with a volumizing mascara for a flirty touch. If you’d like, choose a solid lip color for an elegant look, or dab on a bit of lip gloss for a cute touch.[14]
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    • Customize your makeup look based on your personal preference and outfit. For instance, if you are going on an active date, you may only want to apply foundation and a little mascara.
  10. Avoid applying too much perfume or cologne. While applying a light spray of perfume or cologne can help boost your confidence, if you apply too much, the smell may overpower your date. Press down on the spray nozzle 1-2 times rather than repetitively. You can also hold the perfume bottle away from you as you spray, then walk into the mist to apply it all over.[15]
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[Edit]Having a Great Date

  1. Think of some talking points in advance in case the conversation lulls. When planning the date, it is helpful to come up with a few things to talk about before you go. This way, you can fill in an awkward silence with meaningful conversation. Think of a few funny stories or unique tales you can tell. Brainstorm a few open-ended questions to ask about your date’s life or future plans.[16]
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    • For example, look into current events and bring up an inspiring story.
    • Ask your date about their favorite hobbies, top music artists, or most-watched movie.
    • Find ways to tell your date about the time you hiked the Appalachian trail, played sports in college, or saved a stray cat, for instance.
  2. Set your phone to silent mode before the date so you aren’t distracted. Focus on your date instead of your phone. Before your date arrives, set your phone on silent so it doesn’t vibrate or ring. If your phone constantly buzzes or beeps while at dinner, your date may think you are rude. Wait to check your phone until after the date.
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    • Avoid texting or taking calls unless it is an emergency.
    • If your date excuses themselves to go to the bathroom, you can quickly check your messages if you need to.
  3. Talk about positive topics rather than complaining or being negative. When you go out with your date, this is a time to connect and get to know each other better. If you are complaining about traffic and your roommate the whole time, your date may have a negative impression of you. Try to put a positive spin on your dialogue so you can be your authentic self to your date.[17]
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    • Instead of saying something like “Sorry I’m running late, traffic was terrible and my roommate parked me in,” you can say something like, “Thanks for waiting for me! I didn’t expect traffic to be so bad at 8:00.”
  4. Try to relax and think positively if you are nervous or start worrying. Going on a date can be intimidating and nerve-wracking, but keep in mind this is totally natural! If you are worried about whether or not they will like you, take some deep breaths to relax. Remind yourself of how awesome you are to boost your confidence instead of letting worry and doubt sink in.[18]
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    • Before you leave, you can give yourself a pep-talk. Look in the mirror and tell yourself, “You are smart, fun, and nice,” for instance.
  5. Remember that you can leave a bad date if you need to. Never feel like you are forced to stay in a situation you don’t want to be in. If your date makes you uncomfortable or if you simply aren’t feeling it, that’s okay. Your exit strategy will depend on the circumstances of your date. Come up with a realistic excuse based on your situation, and politely excuse yourself.[19]
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    • For instance, if you are out to dinner and your date is creepier than expected, go to the bathroom. When you come back, say you got a call from your roommate and you need to leave
    • You can say something like, “Thanks for meeting me tonight. I’m glad you could make it. Sadly, I have to leave. I’m sorry this didn’t work out.”
  6. Send your date a text the next day if you want to see them again. If you really like your date, text them the next day to thank them for a great time. You can ask them if they want to get together again in the future.[20]
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    • For example, say something like, “Hey Tim, I had a great time with you last night. Thanks again for the awesome dinner. Let’s get together again when you have some time!”



  • While you get ready, play your favorite music to boost your mood.
  • If you can, avoid obsessing over your makeup, outfit, or hair as you are on the date. Check out your date rather than looking at a reflective surface to make sure your hair is okay. If you are constantly fidgeting with your hair or clothes, you won’t come across as confident, and your date may notice.[21]
  • If you are going out with someone new, it can be helpful to let a friend or family member know in advance where you are going and who you are with. This way, someone knows your whereabouts in case of an emergency.[22]


  • Avoid drinking alcohol before your date. Arriving to the date already drunk may be a turn-off for some people.[23]

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