You see her…your date is walking towards you and you’re wondering whether to go in for the hug, kiss on the cheek, or handshake. This first date moment is one you’ve orchestrated in your head time and time again, but somehow all the planning has evaporated in the moment.
For a gesture so simple, there’s a lot of pressure to start the date off on the right foot. In reality, your greeting and farewell should be totally stress-free. There are a couple signs from your date you want to look out for to best decide what to do in the moment! Today, we reduce the stress that comes with “hello” and “goodbye”.
The Hellos: ✋
Read their body language: If you’re a self described “hugger” like myself, you may be the type to go in straight for the hug, brushing off the handshake as it feels like an interview – a little stiff. Your date may not be feeling a hug so soon, so it’s important to read their body language. If your date approaches like one of the following, it’s safe to say no hugs here:
- Their arms and hands are glued to their sides
- They are not making any effort to open their arms for an embrace as they approach
- They put out one hand, not two, looking for a handshake
- They wave at you from afar and continue that wave all the way to the table
If your date approaches you with open arms, it’s pretty safe to say they too, are looking to hug it out.
Your date is sitting down: If your date has arrived before you and is seated, or vice versa, there’s no obligation to stand up and walk around the table for a hug or other welcoming gesture. In fact, Plenty of Fish singles say that some chivalrous moves like pulling out a date’s chair is considered a little old fashioned.
The Goodbyes: 👋
It’s important to play it safe when it comes to your goodbyes on a first date. Again, read the body language indicators that I listed above. If the date has been a major success, that doesn’t mean you need to seal it with a kiss right away. If you’re ever unsure what to do, just ask your date what they’re comfortable with! This way there is no confusion and you’re not left kicking yourself for not doing anything or feeling bad that you may have caught them off guard.
When in doubt at the end of a good date, after you’ve gotten to know someone better, going in for a hug is most likely a safe way to say your goodbyes.
And don’t forget when you get home to send a simple and genuine “did you get home okay?” text as 71% of singles see this as a very chivalrous act.