Erika Ettin: The First Date

By Erika Ettin
Tribune News Service

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Two single folks share their first date experiences with dating/relationship expert Erika Ettin. Ettin follows up with a few tips on dos and don’ts before and after that first meeting.

Tribune News Service

As a dating coach, I get question upon question about first dates, the length, the venue, the hug versus handshake (hug, please!), the potential kiss, the outfit … you name it.

This week, I wanted to share two real client questions about the all-important first date. One relates to the date itself, and the other sheds light on what it takes to agree to a second date.

Q: I’ve been texting back and forth with this woman for a while now (kept having conflicting schedules), and we’ll finally meet this Thursday. What should we be talking about on the first date? In the past, I’ve talked to dates about our experience with the online dating sites, especially the one we met on, like how many people we’ve met, bad/good experiences, etc. Do you think that’s something that shouldn’t be brought up? And is there a certain length I should keep the date to, or does it just depends on how well the date is going?
-Jason, 29, New York, N.Y.

A: These are all good questions. If you’re meeting someone for the first time from an online dating site, it should always just be for drinks or coffee or something casual where you can get to know each other and hear each other. As for the length, I recommend staying through at least one drink (that would be, oh, 45 minutes or so?), even if you know it’s not a match for you. If you’re having a good time, of course, you’ll want to stay longer and perhaps order some food. I don’t have a rule about cutting the date off at a high point, as you may have heard from other people. Just enjoy yourself, and don’t try to “game” the parting scenario.

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