When getting ready for a date, especially the first date, first impressions can be crucial. You may be a great guy (or girl), but if your date gets turned off when you first meet, you’re not likely to get a chance to impress her (or him) with how great you are.
To make that crucial first impression, you need to take the time to get ready for a date rather than simply rushing to your date as if it was just another meeting on your calendar.
When you get ready for a date, you should also get mentally prepared for the date. Approach it like top salespeople approach each customer meeting, rather than writing it off in advance and waiting to be proven wrong. If your expectations for the night are low, it’s no surprise that the night will meet those low expectations, and your date will not want to waste any more time with you. But if you give each date your best, you’re much more likely to get a follow-up date.
Three simple steps for how to get ready for a date
Step 1: Good grooming
Nothing turns off a potential date more than poor grooming habits. Make sure that when you get ready for a date that you have taken care of body odor, bad breath, or the overpowering smell of whatever you last ate will send your date running before you can say, “Hello.”
Your hair should be washed and styled, and you should be freshly showered. Brush your teeth, trim your nails, clean your ears, and scrub your tongue. If you are a man, get a close shave and get rid of any stray eyebrow, ear, and nose hairs. If you are a woman, put on fresh makeup, even if it’s just a quick coat of lip gloss.
If you perspire under stress, apply plenty of fresh antiperspirant. Wear fresh deodorant. Choose a great cologne or perfume and apply it at least an hour before your date so that it will not be overpowering.
Step 2: Show some style
There is no one clothing style for everyone. Different styles look good on different people, so when you are considering how to get ready for a date check out the latest trends and choose a style that suits both your body type and your personality. You want to wear clothes in which you both look good and feel comfortable.
Your outfit should give the signal that you value your date. A faded concert t-shirt and torn jeans is a great look for hanging out with friends, but a date deserves a higher level of regard.
A classic look for men is a nice button-down shirt, with dressy pants and stylish shoes. A classic look for women is a day dress or blouse with dressy pants and stylish shoes. Wearing the wrong socks and shoes can destroy an outfit. Avoid wearing gym socks, beat-up sneakers, desert boots, or Doc Martens. Dress socks and polished dress shoes are the way to go.
Step 3: Getting there is half the battle
Your ability to get yourself to the date on time will be seen as reflective of your ability to manage your life and to overall be a success. Make sure that you have contact information in case you are trapped in a situation beyond your control such as being stuck behind a traffic accident on the highway.
If you are picking up your date, part of getting ready for a date includes getting your vehicle ready for the date. Take your car to a carwash and vacuum the interior. If you smoke, empty all the ashtrays and use baking soda to absorb the odor. Throw out any trash and move the junk from your back seat into the trunk. Clean the inside of the windshield. Your car should look like it just drove off the dealer’s lot.
Know where you’re going and how to get there. This includes both where you’ll be picking up your date, and your ultimate destination for the date. Make sure you print out directions in advance, or that your GPS system recognizes the address. Find out how long it takes to get there at the time when you’ll be driving, since traffic patterns can vary widely based on time and day.
Know what the parking situation is. If you are going to a restaurant, does it have its own parking lot, nearby on-street parking, or will you need to park in a paid lot or garage and walk to the restaurant? Take into account the time required to park and walk to the restaurant if you have a reservation. Part of knowing how to get ready for a date is knowing how to plan your time appropriately. There you have it, now get ready for a date.