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By Halima Bekenne

“First impressions last longer” – nothing proves this statement to be true better than first dates; they are your opportunity to get to know the other person and decide whether or not you want them to be a permanent part of your life. So yeah, they are quite important. But how do you get past the awkwardness of hanging out with a person you have only just met without making a total fool of yourself? Here’s what to do:

Plan ahead;

This applies to both parties, but mostly for the guys. Before you take a girl out, find out what she enjoys doing, don’t just ask “are you single?” and start planning a disastrous date that just might ruin your chances. Once this is settled, getting past the awkwardness that comes with meeting for the first time should be easier.


Ladies, a lot of us are guilty of putting the cart before the horse. Some of us go on first dates with the perfect wedding dress already picked out in our minds! Going on a first date with that level of expectation can lead to disappointments. Rather go with an open mind, relax, enjoy your date and be objective about whether or not you’ll be giving him another chance.

Casual environment;

First dates are about getting to really know each other and the way to set the tone for that is to pick somewhere casual. Somewhere that will not heighten the pressure your date is already feeling so you can actually have the time to talk. Cozy restaurants or the beach are nice ideas for a lunch date. The key point here is “Casual”.

Same thing applies to your outfit. Ladies, except your first date is a formal dinner, please don’t show up in a reception dress/wedding guest outfit. Try to dial it down!

Put down your phone;

Stop checking your phones! I can honestly say that your mentions and direct messages are not going to disappear if you pay attention to the person sitting across from, or beside you. Some people go out and forget to make actual memories because they are more concerned about updating their social media with the idea of fun. Put down your phones when on a first date and actually pay attention to your surroundings. How else are you going to determine if the brother is worth a shot or not if you don’t pay attention?

Don’t go on dates just to post on social media. Be open to learning things about your date. Be observant without scrutinizing his/her every word. Listen to them, watch what makes them light up, and genuinely have fun! Even if you guys don’t end up as a couple, you might just make very good friends.

Ask questions;

People think the best way to avoid any form of awkwardness on your date is by staying safe and talking about mundane things but that just isn’t the case. Leave the weather alone and talk about things that actually matter like jobs, future ambitions, growing up experience. These things can even lead to anecdotes to ease the tension in the air.

Third Wheels;

Yes you have a best friend! Yes you guys are inseparable and tell each other everything! But taking your friend along on a first date screams AWKWARD. They can go incognito just to keep an eye on things, but your date should not know about their presence. A third wheel on a first date is a red flag for almost everyone so try as much as possible to avoid doing this.

Dear brethren, with these pointers of mine I hope I have been able to enlighten you on ways to enjoy your first date! Go forth and have fun with your potential bae!!

Read Halima Bekenne’s content on Accelerate TV Every Wednesday

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