Dressing to Impress – A Man’s Guide to First Date Outfits

Edward Pritchard is the Owner and Manager at Pritchards, a designer menswear specialist. He’s the great-great grandson of the original founder, who first opened up shop over 180 years ago, so it’s safe to say that impeccable style runs in the family. In this blog post, he shares his insider tips for nailing the dress code on a first date.

First Dates: The Awkward Moments and How to Navigate Them

Raise your hand and say “I” if you’ve ever experienced an awkward moment on a first date? Guarantee, you just put up your hand, or at least cringed with the thought of your last groan inducing date moment. But that’s the beauty of first dates isn’t it? Both parties are excited, nervous and perhaps a little awkward. These are all the natural feels; don’t sweat it if you run into one or even two of these hiccups along the way. Remember, you’re only human!

Here is my list of some of the most awkward moments you may have, or have yet to experience in your dating life. Behold…

6 Ways to Be Your Best Self On A First Date

Let’s face it, dating can be super stressful, especially if you’re just getting back into the game. But even with all those first date jitters, it’s important that you bring out your best self. Here are 6 ways to help you be the best version of yourself when on a first date.

3 Ways to Keep the Conversation Flowing On a First Date

You did it! You’ve met someone great on Plenty of Fish, had amazing conversation online and are ready to meet in person, awesome. Unfortunately, sometimes the difficult parts about dating aren’t even in finding a person, but finding how to actually connect with another person. Witty banter, charm, and a relaxed flow of conversation are not things that can be faked IRL. Often times – even when you know you would hit it off with your date – your nerves inhibit you from carrying on a thriving conversation.

Simple Tips to Elevate Your Dating Game

Between work, hobbies, family and friends, it can be hard to find time to date. But when you finally get some free time, you can meet people anywhere these days. There is no doubt that asking someone out can feel gut wrenching, but once they’ve said yes, the rest is a no-brainer. The most important thing to remember while dating is to keep an open mind. Bad dates might happen, and probably will happen, but they’ll only help you figure out what you want and don’t want in a partner. Throughout the process you’re going to have some questions, and thankfully, others have been in your place and have advice to help build your confidence and success in the dating world.

Body Language – How to Tell If Your Date Is Into You

If you are someone that needs a little more than a subtle hint about how someone feels about you, then listen up. Body language is one of the simplest and most telling signs of someone’s true feelings. People will subconsciously reveal their reactions and emotions to a person or situation without even meaning to through body language. As the saying goes, “listen to their words but watch their actions”.  Here are a few common body language movements decoded:

Crossed legs or arms

If any part of their body is crossed, it means they are guarded and not feeling completely relaxed around you. If a woman’s legs are crossed (as most women do this for modesty and comfort measures) look at where her legs are pointing, are the crossed away of towards you . Folded arms over the chest also indicate that your present company still needs to be convinced.

Playing with hair or ear

When someone plays with their own or someone else’s hair, this is usually a flirting technique. It means they feel comfortable and attracted to you and want to be able to get closer to you. However, ear grabbing usually means that the person doesn’t like what they are hearing and feel uncomfortable and a little nervous as well.

Touching of the neck and décolletage

This can be taken in two different ways. Someone who is stressed can rub their neck or loosen their collar, or even place a hand up around their own neck.  These signs will also go with probably a straighter back and maybe even crossed arms. On the flip side if someone is grazing their fingers playfully around this area it can also mean they are flirting and are attracted to you.

Eye contact vs. no eye contact

The eyes will really tell you a lot about someone. If you are yet to be able to master reading the small movements of the eye, then just stick to understanding the importance of eye contact. When someone feels comfortable and attracted to you they will make eye contact. Anyone who is bored, nervous or uncomfortable will not be able to hold your gaze. They will keep looking away, or down and will answer your questions without looking at your directly.

Smiling with teeth vs smiling with no teeth

A big open smile with lots of teeth, shows that the person you are with feels relaxed, happy and comfortable. It’s also a clear way of flirting. A more demure and coy smile with no teeth but smiley eyes will also indicate a playful and flirty nature. A smile that has no teeth and no “smiling eyes” indicates they are just being polite but are most likely not interested, lacking confidence or comfortable.

Remember just because their body language indicates one thing at the start of a date, doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t change throughout the course of the date.

7 Signs Your First Date is Going Great

If you’ve been online dating for any length of time, you know that first dates can be very hit or miss. Sometimes, you just don’t seem to hit it off at all. In these cases, you exchange an awkward hug at the end of the evening, and call it a night. Sometimes, however, you receive a call or text the next day asking to hang out again. Dumbfounded, you wonder if he or she was on the same date as you.

While we can all laugh about these awkward encounters, sometimes you simply hit it off with someone right away and your first date goes off without a hitch. During these times, however, you may be wondering, “am I the only one who feels this way?”

To avoid these misunderstandings, we wanted to look at tangible evidence that indicates a date is going well. We came up with this simple checklist you can use to analyze your outing; here are seven signs your first date is going great!

[ √ ] Genuine Face Time

I’m not talking about the FaceTime app on your iPhone, I mean face time as in eye contact, nodding, and smiling. If your date is too busy looking through his or her phone instead of at you, it’s a good sign they may not be interested. Pay attention to this, it’s definitely bad form to scroll through your phone and ignore your date.

On the other hand, you can tell if your date is really engaged in the conversation by his or her body language. Is he or she reacting to the conversation, leaning in, nodding, smiling or laughing?Smiling can also be a good indicator of mutual attraction.

[ √ ] The Conversation Flows, Easily

Are you and your date able to have a normal conversation, or are there a lot of awkward pauses? If you’re able to converse comfortably, it’s a good indication that you feel at ease around each other. It’s an even better sign if you’re able to crack jokes and share your sense of humor.

Of course, if the conversation doesn’t flow freely, don’t write your date off just yet. Remember, everyone can have first-date jitters, and it can be hard for some people to open up right away. You also don’t want your date to feel too much like an interview with pre-rehearsed questions.

If you’re enjoying yourself and having a normal conversation, rest assured things are going well. This is a good sign that you can at least communicate, and as you know, that’s a non-negotiable foundation piece for any successful relationship.

[ √ ] They Make You Laugh

Not every first date is going to be a comedy show, and it really shouldn’t be, but if you’re able to laugh with your date from the get go, you’re already ahead of the game. Plus, this means you’re probably pretty comfortable with him or her, which isn’t always the case when you meet someone new.

[ √ ] You Have Things in Common

While we all have heard “opposites attract,” it’s a lot easier to get to know someone when you have some common interests. Plus, this sparks ideas for future dates if you’re both into similar music or movies or enjoy the same types of activities.

[ √ ] You Get the Feeling They’re a Good Person

I once found myself on a date where the guy yelled at our waitress because his tacos were breaking. Newsflash, genius, hard-shell tacos crack when you bite into them. I knew right away I didn’t want to be on a date with someone who was that rude to other people.

First impressions are very important, and you can generally tell when someone has good intentions. Pay attention to the way your date talks to you, the wait staff, or anyone else you interact with. If they’re generally courteous to the people around you, they’re most likely a nice person, or at least on their best behavior for the date, as they should be.

[ √ ] No One Pulls the “Something-Suddenly-Came-Up” Move

We all know the classic get-out-jail-free or get-out-of-this-date-now lines; “I think I left my straightener on,” “my friend needs me to pick him up…”, etc. If your date suddenly bolts with a lame excuse, it’s a safe bet the evening is a wash. But if you met up for dinner and are going somewhere else for coffee or dessert or you’re still sitting and talking long after your plates have been cleared, it’s safe to say you’re both having a pretty good time.

Now, this doesn’t mean you want to have a marathon, all-night first date, but if no one is in a rush, go with the flow and enjoy getting to know your date.

[ √ ] The Long Kiss Goodnight

OK, don’t get too excited, some people don’t kiss on the first date, out of principle. When you part with your date, however, pay attention to if he or she leans in for a kiss or hug, or just awkwardly walks away. If there’s some sort of comfortable embrace, there may be a second date or at least an “I had a wonderful time” text.

Of course, if you don’t hug or kiss, don’t jump to the conclusion that all bets are off just yet. He or she just may need a little more time to get more comfortable with you.

Keep an eye out for these positive indications while you’re on your date. You generally know right away if you want to see the person again or not, but if you pay attention to the signs, you will have a better idea if your date is on the same page.

How can you tell your date is going well? Let us know in the comments below!

Top 5 Fall Date Ideas

And just like that, you blinked, played a Drake song or two, and Summer 16 was history. It may be a little chillier and a little darker, but Fall 16 has fully descended upon us, and believe it or not,  it’s the best time of year to try out some exciting new experiences in your love life!

Because pool parties and barbecues are overrated, and actually pretty awkward date ideas anyway, here are our top 5 fall date ideas:

1) A Pumpkin Patch

I know it sounds a little corny, but it can be pretty cute! Farmers markets are bustling with activity during the autumn months, so get in on the fun and check out one with a pumpkin patch! While rocking your gumboots, roll out into the patch and snag the perfect Jack’ O Lantern. Afterwards,  stick around and grab some local veggies to cook up together for dinner.

2) A Halloween Party

Sometimes, it can be fun to play pretend and dress up as someone else entirely. You may even see a completely new side to your date that you didn’t know existed. Even if you just head to a haunted house together, it’s great to get a little spooked all in the name of fun. If you’re really strapped for cash, a scary movie can create a similar ambiance for you and your special someone. Ghostbusters anyone?

3) An Art Show

When the weather is great, you probably don’t want to coop yourself up inside for hours – but that’s what fall is for! I guarantee there are some great places within your community to appreciate art, both great and small. So after some due diligence on some places that interest you (or bonus points, the style of art your DATE loves), grab some lattes and spend a rainy afternoon getting some culture! Even if you end up not loving the art, there’s no shortage of conversation starters! If you’re not wild on art in general, I recommend perusing your local bookstore or craft market!

4) Spa Day

This comes with a pricetag of course, but sometimes dreary autumn days call for a generous helping of good old fashioned TREAT YOURSELF. Indulge in massages and relax by the hot tub or pool. If that sounds a bit hard on the wallet, there are some great DIY spa recipes you can put to the test, without having to leave the comfort of your own home!

5) Brewery Tour

These days, it’s impossible to swing a purse without hitting a craft brewery in almost any neighborhood, so why not embrace it!? Many of these breweries boast seasonal offerings, so if it’s pumpkin flavor you’re after, you’re in luck! On a sunny, crisp afternoon, walk, cab, or take some responsible mode of transportation down to your local brewery for a tour of the premises, and indulge in a beer or two! Bonus points for most likely supporting a local business.

First Date Deal Breakers to Avoid!

There’s no doubt that first dates can be nerve wracking and most of the time it’s because we know a certain standard is expected, and also because we secretly hope that just maybe this will be the frog that turns into a Prince. However before you let your mind get carried away and start to overthink or over complicate the first meeting , here are 5 definite first date deal breakers that you or your new flame won’t be ready for:

1: Arriving late with no reasonable excuse

First impressions count, and when you or your date turns up late without a reasonable excuse or some form of communication beforehand as to why they are late, it really isn’t going to set the right mood. To stop this from happening, make sure you take in to account delays that could occur such as bad traffic, slow public transport, meeting running overtime or anything else that you think could slow you down. A date that arrives on time indicates that they are making the person they are seeing a priority, it shows respect as well as good manners.

2: Playing with your phone

Granted we are all a little addicted to the convenience of what our phones can do for us; however, when you are on a date with someone, it should be kept out of sight! The focus should be on getting to know one another personally and organically, rather than updating statuses or checking social media. Make an effort not to text or take calls (unless they are completely necessary) during your date, as it shows that you value and esteem the time with the person in front of you.

3: Bad manners and no eye contact

Good manners really do go a long way, everything from saying please and thank you to simple acts of chivalry.  Listening attentively to your date and making eye contact also shows that you appreciate this meeting with them and want to pay your respects. Being old fashioned I believe that the man should always pay for the first date, simply because it is a romantic and generous gesture which makes the woman he’s with feel like she is someone special.

4: Talking about the EX

The first date should be fun and about getting to know each other casually, so save any heavy talks or discussions about previous relationships for a more appropriate time. Talking about past lovers on a first date usually leaves one person feeling uncomfortable, plus it’s not exactly a romantic mood setter.

5: Unwanted touching

When there is a mutual connection and chemistry the rules of intimacy tend to get thrown out the window on a first date! However before you start getting touchy feely with your date, make sure the feelings are reciprocated. Ladies, if a guy is in your personal space and you feel uncomfortable, then stand your ground and make sure you tell him. There is nothing romantic about being groped or touched inappropriately and there are no excuses for why it should happen.

 

 

 

Conversation Topics That Immediately Kill A First Date

A first date can be a nerve-wracking experience at the best of time so don’t blow your chances before you’ve even started. Avoid these conversation-killer topics and bag yourself that second date with ease.

Exes

Talking about yours or asking why they spilt up with theirs is off-topic. No one wants to hear about exes and certainly not when trying to impress someone new. Mention your ex and it will put a downer on your first date that will be hard to shake.

Plans for the Future

5 year plan conversations should definitely be shelved until further notice. For both men and women this rule applies, don’t start planning your lives together on the first date!

Specialist Subjects

Your knowledge of serial killers, nude photography and road kill recipes are best left until you get to know the person better. Your interest may be perfectly healthy and intellectual but they don’t you well enough yet to make that distinction.

Complaints

Whether you’re moaning about your boss, your job, your roommate or your family – just don’t! A first date is not the time to be a grumpy bum! Likewise, don’t complain about the choice of meeting place if it was your date’s idea.

Self-depreciation

You might not have much in the way of confidence but going on about how you’re ‘such a loser’ isn’t going to win you any sympathy – or a second date.

Politics or Religion

While it is good to know where a prospective partner stands on important subjects, best to leave these until the third or fourth date at least.

Finances

Don’t start talking about how much you earn and never ask how much your date earns. Discussing how much you spent on your handbag or the dress you’re wearing is a no-no as well. You’ll either come across like you are bragging or as someone totally materialistic.

Sex

Do not assume that your date will want to have sex with you after the first meeting. A first date should be light, fun and with minimal pressure. If you bring up the subject of sex, you are putting your date under pressure to choose right then and there and they may not be comfortable with that.

Personal Secrets

Of course it is a good idea to share details about yourself on a first date, don’t go overboard, especially with personal secrets, such as a current family dispute or that time you were arrested for public nudity. It can be liberating to share with a stranger but it is not the right tone for a first meeting.

True Love

You have only just met this person and, even though you’ve got butterflies and think they are The One, coming on too strong is likely to send them running. If it is meant to be, you’ll get that second date.

Appearance Expectations

If you are going on a blind date, or they don’t quite meet up to their photos, don’t point out that you had higher expectations. It is very rude. If they are not for you physically, be polite, see the date through and then let them down gently later.