Agony Aunt:“I’ve been asked on a first date by a guy on my course. I’ve never been on a date before. Any advice?”

First dates are always intimidating, no matter how many you’ve been on.

Before my first ever date, I felt like I was going to be sick. I was so sure we would have nothing to talk about, or that he would go to the toilet and never come back.

Thankfully, I was not as socially awkward as I thought I was going to be, and he didn’t plan an escape route out of the bar. But don’t let this deceive you – not all dates go well, and these tips will help you survive the best and worst of them.

Prep for the date with your possible future husband.

1. Choosing where to go is a crucial factor in the success of your date.

If you have similar interests you’ve talked about previously then choose a location based on that. For example, if you have similar music tastes you could go to a gig at Belgrave Music Hall, or if you both have a competitive streak then you could try Junkyard Golf.  Going for drinks is always a safe bet if you haven’t found common interests yet.

2. Dress to Impress.

Don’t go all out if you’re just going for a few drinks; for most first dates, jeans and ‘a nice top’ is a good way to play it casual. Missguided has a section devoted to the phrase ‘jeans and a nice top’, so refer to that if needed.

3. Give them a social media stalk before the date.

Look at their most recent posts to see if you two have anything in common you can talk about during the date (their holiday to Mexico in 2013 won’t be relevant unless you want to scare them away).

4. During the date with the possible love of your life.

Remember that Instagram stalk? SUBTLY mention things you saw that they were interested in on their social media. If they went to a recent football match, talk about football, and if they went to a festival over the summer, ask them about it.

5. DO NOT talk about your ex or how your date looks exactly like them.

If you’re still thinking about your ex then you shouldn’t be looking for love elsewhere yet.

6. When discussing your interests, ask open questions

So that your date responds with more than one word, and so that you learn enough about them to know if they have potential. Take notice if they do the same, it’ll mean they want to know more about you and will likely want a second date…boo-yah.

7. DO NOT go on your phone during the date.

If you are on your phone 24/7 this will make them think you’re not interested in them. But if your date is making you feel uncomfortable, know that your phone is there to help you out and contact a friend.

How to end the date, depending on if he’s Mr Right or Mr Wrong. If he’s just SO not your type on paper, be prepared with your excuse to leave:

  • An early lecture in the morning.
  • You’re really hungover from the night before and need to go to bed.
  • Tell them they look like your ex.
  • If they seem super creepy, most bars have a system to help. If you ask for an ‘Angela’, they will help you out discreetly and call you a taxi (Terrace Bar in the Leeds University Union does this).
  • If you really aren’t feeling it, you could tell them the truth, but honesty sometimes isn’t the best policy.

If the vibes aren’t flowing between you and your date then don’t say “see you soon”. If you never want to see them again then you don’t want to lead them on.

Alternatively, if they haven’t suggested a second date but you’re keen to see them again then put yourself out there (if you’re daring enough).

Don’t feel pressured to continue the date back at theirs if you’re not comfortable, its perfectly fine to leave a little mystery.

Use these tips and hopefully you’ll meet Mr Right! Good luck on your first date…

Lucie Phipps & Tilly Judges