Dating in the early stages can be a highly charged situation. When we're getting to know someone, especially on the first date, we often have to fill in the blanks about what to do, what's appropriate, and what the other person's reactions are going to be. While spontaneity is a wonderful, even magical thing, first dates may not be the best place to try out our wilder sides. We want to assure the other person we're normal, kind, and respectful, planting those first seeds of trust in order to move onto the next level. And sometimes, we don't want to take things to the next level after having spent a first date together. Having the imaginations we do, we tend to think a lot about the possible beginnings and middles of our potential dates, but what about the endings? Figuring out some appropriate endings to your first date before they happen can be invaluable.
Tips for Smart Date Endings
1. Don't push too fast. Even if you feel an immediate spark with your date, it doesn't mean they're on the same page as you are. Be respectful of peoples' space, and don't expect to be having intimate moments by the end of your date. You leaning in for a make-out session while they're still trying to figure out if they like you will pretty much guarantee an end to the relationship. A peck on the cheek is about as far as you should expect to get unless you're getting very obvious signals otherwise.
2. Don't be stingy. If you are the one who's asked someone on a date, pay the cheque. If they insist (not if they only half-heartedly offer) on paying half, it's up to you whether you accept it or not. If someone is extremely insistent however, it's often best to acquiesce - there's no need to have an argument on your first date.
3. Keep it casual. If you feel they are less interested than you are, but they haven't said as much, keep the end of the date casual, relaxed and open-ended, in order to let them think over if they'd like to see you again. Don't press for a second date right away - you can tell them you enjoyed yourself and maybe you'll give them a call? Observe their reaction in order to gauge whether they're interested or not.
4. Chivalry is not dead. If you're a man, make sure your date gets to her car or in a cab safely.
5. Don't lead them on. The worst thing we can do is pretend to like someone more than we actually do, in order to avoid telling them we're not interested. In the long-run, you'll hurt someone more by not being upfront with them right away. Be kind but firm, either at the end of the first date, or right away when they ask you out a second time. Unless you both agree, don't say you want to be friends in order to let them down easy - that will simply confuse them and make them think there might still be a chance down the line.
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